Tuesday, 9 January 2007

What to do on a rainy day ...

Finally Wilkinsons have started to get their gardening stock.

I had a walk up today, in the rain, and got onion sets (Red Carmen and Sturton), shallots (Red Sun) and potatoes (Rocket, Pink Fir Apple and Charlotte). Just need to decide on a main crop and I'm all set.

Not quite the full monty

Gawd it can rain in England. I managed to do a few of my jobs in between showers:

- Take Tin Bath to plot (still needs drainage holes)
- Take Bay Tree to plot (still needs repotting)
- Clear area next to compost heap for manure
- Move manure to newly created area (sifting out bindweed as I go)
- Knock pallets apart to make proper compost bin
- Christen incinerator (stuff is just too darn wet to burn .. patience, patience .. )
- Check for daffodils

The compost area looks great - now. Had to empty out the compost, and then dig out the bindweed and some wierd weed with enormous tap roots (has a really large round leaf and lilac-ish flowers, currently in flower). It took ages. I've used a really heavy door for the rear of the area - that should keep out Ken's weeds and brambles and then used pallets for the dividers. Unfortunately a couple were just too rubbish to use, so Nick next door has promised to get me some more.

and then, I mean just how great is life at the allotment, I spent hours sifting the manure by hand to get rid of more bindweed. I never in my life thought that I would inspect a load of old poo so closely. By the time we were rained off the area had turned into a quagmire. The manure area looks as if it needs to be doubled in size looking at the pile that I've still got to shift. Once it dries up a bit I'll have another go.

While moving the compost heap, I came across a little mouse / vole nest - it has been beautifully made out of my best red string ! The nest was empty - but maybe the owners are responsible for my disappearing beans. This is what remains.

Also managed to sow some sweetpeas

Thursday, 4 January 2007

a list !

well I had a little think and this is my weekend list:

- Take Tin Bath to plot, make drainage holes
- Take Bay Tree to plot, repot
- Clear area next to compost heap for manure
- Move manure to newly created area (sifting out bindweed as I go)
- Knock pallets apart to make proper compost bin
- Christen incinerator
- Repot blueberry
- Check for daffodils
- Dig greenhouse area
- Lay base for greenhouse
- Secure greenhouse to new base. Glaze (on a non-windy day)
- Move bath (for carrots)
- Get sand to put in bath
- Position water butts outside greenhouse
- Make wood chip path in front of hedge
- Move strawberries to bed next to greenhouse
- Move rhubarb (if I can find it !)
- Dig rest of plot that has not been touched yet
- Make cold frame
- Clean potting shed

hopefully I'll be home in time for tea !

Monday, 1 January 2007

Another nice, bright shiny year

Got some excellent Christmas gifts for my lottie: incinerator (with a chimney !!), blueberry bush, bay tree, fleece cloche, plastic cloche, backpack and vango flask.

The incinerator is now nicely installed - just need some dry days so I can get rid of the ridiculously large heap of non-compostable stuff (mainly the hedge and bindweed). Had a lovely cup of tea from my new flask - my very first at the lottie, so very satisfying. In fact it was so good, I had one at the top of the plot and then one at the bottom.

The blueberry is self fertile (Sunshine - what a great name), so I only need the one. Have taken it up to the plot and intend to repot it next weekend - hopefully we'll be eating blueberry pancakes & muffins later in the year ! yum.

Had a bit of a tidy round, but I wish it would stop raining so I can make some real progress. Started to move the manure pile, so that I can lay the greenhouse base, but it's riddled with bindweed, so I'm having to sift it very carefully (I must have been very naughty in a previous life to deserve so much bindweed). Think I'll put it next to the compost heap ... hmmm, compost heap. It's not doing much composting. Perhaps it needs to be a bit warmer (it's not got a front), will need to look around for some more pallets - everytime we see some we've either got a car full of stuff already or we're on our way somewhere.

God there are so many jobs to be done - I keep wandering around aimlessly. Maybe I need a list, yes with a list there will be a plan and a plan means that things will get done ... doesn't it ?

Broadbeans are looking good, those that haven't been ravaged by the local wildlife that is. They are looking quite sturdy.

Been thinking about next years potatoes, even though this years are still coming out of my ears. The pentland javelin started to sprout in the cellar head a long time ago and now look like extras in some weird alien film - the two blue trays have fused together. Going to put it off a bit longer, but will have to do something with them soon, or they may actually develop plans to take over the world, mmmwhhhhhawwww ... well OH's house at least. Not made a decision yet, but am thinking about anya, charlotte, international kidney, pink fur apple and cara.

Still on the look out for shallots and saw some today in B&Q of all places - £1.98 for 10 ... and still I didn't buy them. One purchase I'll definitely be making is at Nettos on Monday 8th when their seeds at .19p a packet arrive (being as I'm so short of seeds 'n all).

Ken, my next door but one lottie neighbour, and I have complained about the state of the allotment in between us. The owner has only been seen twice in just over a year and a few months ago their greenhouse collapsed into the public lane. Ken has left telephone messages with the council and I've sent an e-mail, so hopefully we'll get a response. I'm half toying with the idea of taking it over myself. I think if I had a family to feed and more time (!) then I'd seriously consider it, but OH and I have been overwhelmed with the produce from this season, and the lottie is not even fully functioning yet ... still, its a thought though isn't it ... now where did I put that list

Happy New Year to you all