Tuesday, 25 April 2006

Spent Sunday making bed 6 and a teepee for my sweetpeas - although I think I'll go and check out the arches in Home Bargains, as they sound like, erm, a bargain.

Planted out my globe artichokes into their permanent places and repoked my onions back into their warm beds after they'd been plucked out by the pesky birds ... gave up on the netting after it threatened to engulf me mummy-style !

Beans have been munched slightly, looks like slugs, so I'll sow some more in a couple of weeks just in case.

My sweetcorn is looking fab and I think my pumpkins may have arrived by the weekend, but my sunflowers look very sickly - will give them another week or so, but think I may need to sow some more. Peas are starting to pop through.

Just got back from digging up loads of strawberry plants from a lovely lady that I met through the freecycle network. She has also kindly given me a loganberry or tayberry bush (not sure which until it grows) and some evening primrose seeds - thanks Diane ! Have promised to make her a strawberry tart in the summer.

Tuesday, 18 April 2006

Bedtime !

phew, have I been busy. Spent 4 long days at the lottie and now have 5 new beds - ta-daa:

Planted my onions in beds 2 & 3 - planted them in red & white stripes as I was feeling artistic and just as I finished the radio announced that Sheffield United had been promoted (they play in red & white stripes) I'm thinking of marketing my services to other football clubs.

Fourth bed will have my peas. I've put my broad beans at the end of bed 3 & 4 and made them a frame each - they are not quite finished yet, but my beans seem happy:

The first bed, which is raised brick, is really a manure store with a bit of top soil on top - I think thats where my courgettes are going to live for the summer.

I spent the first day planting my potatoes (Pentland Javelin & Desiree). Thought it would only take an hour or so. Soon realised that I'd underestimated the space I needed, overestimated the amount of manure that I'd need and vastly underestimated how long it would take. Ended up having to barrow 5 loads of manure to the bottom of the lottie and recover another substantial patch of ground from the jungle, but finally they are in.

Here is my first crop - need to find a recipe that doesn't involve the oven (although its moved to the kitchen, its not connected yet, due to a mis-calculation)

All of my sweetpeas and my sweetcorn have appeared. 3 of my Okra are poking through and I think one of my pumpkins may be making an appearance, which reminds me - when I planted my Big Max I was horrified to discover that there were only 4 seeds in the packet as they cost £3.69 ! The blighters better appear ... No sign yet of the lavender or strawberries. Final job of the day was to sow some marigolds.

Sunday, 9 April 2006

Seduced too soon ...

Hmm, regretting my enthusiastic sowing fest yesterday. Today had plans to spend all day at the allotment, but it poured down this morning and then decided to hail followed by SNOW this afternoon.

May rethink planting my seed potatoes next weekend ... and therein lies another problem. I didn't 'label' the trays as I knew which were which ... until my OH decided that it really was time that my oven moved from the living room where it made fantastic potato staging into the kitchen where it could be used (what a ridiculous idea I told him, but he didn't listen). It wasn't until a couple of days later when I looked at the trays that are now neatly stacked on the living room window that I realised I don't know which are my earlies and which are my mains ... hope they know when they are supposed to be ready.

Spent most of the day clearing the clutter from OH's house. I'm moving in soon, so he's having to spring clean. Only problem is that he is the King of Clutter, so far we've thrown out one wardrobe, 2 black bags of junk, 2 black bags of paper to be recycled (he and his mother have a fetish for using old envelopes as notepaper), freecycled some curtains, plate warmer, cycle pumps and some IKEA legs - I'm banned from his mum's garage as I'm so ruthless at getting rid of 'stuff'.

I'm easing his suffering by making Delia's old fashioned rice-pudding ... his favourite (I'm a full believer in bribery !)

Saturday, 8 April 2006

Spent today at the allotment, its been very neglected lately, so it was with suprise that I opened the potting shed to discover that my seedlings have emerged. Broadbeans, Globe Artichokes and sweet peas all looking surprisingly healthy. No sign yet of the lavender.

Here is my garlic, its looking really good.

Decided that my shallots needed some attention, somehow (I don't know how), but somehow they were planted UNDER the soil, not on top. At first I couldn't find them, but eventually they turned up - they've really swollen and have fantastic roots, but only one has tried to put shoots out. I've replanted them and hope that they will be OK.

Did some weeding on the main beds (AGAIN !!!) - the soil felt really warm and after a very heavy rain shower it was steaming, so think I will plant my potatoes next weekend.

I also planted some more seeds: Sweetcorn (Earliking), Butternut Squash, Pumpkin: Big Max and Carbocha, Peas - Sugar Snap and Oregon Sugar Pod, Sweet Peppers, Sunflowers, Okra, Aubergine - Long Violet, Strawberries, Chrysanthemums and some ornamental grasses.

Friday, 7 April 2006

Not much activity at the allotment lately. My OH's dad passed away unexpectedly and its turned our world upside down; Henry was one of the lovelist people I've ever met and if you didn't know about his illnesses, you would never guess. Apparently he's coming back as one of his cats, as they have the purrfect life. Will miss you Henry, lots of love x