Sunday, 6 March 2011

Hurrah ! the weather man was listening

Finally a lovely day ... and where have I spent the best part of it ... sat in yet another committee meeting ! Did we make any decisions or reach any conclusions ... don't be daft. Joy !!!!!!!! I had a walk around the site after the meeting with a friend to see the improvements that the allotment office have been making and have to say that when we are being charged £100 a plot I suspect they will not be able to get anyone foolish enough to take them on. They have chopped down lots of trees on plots - but left the stumps & roots !! I feel sorry for the office, things have been allowed to get so bad, that I'm not sure how they will turn it around. There is a lot to be said for being self-managed I think ...

I continued with my grand plan, taking up another two sets of paths and relaying them across the beds. Stupidly I tried to dig out the now dead artichokes with my lovely fork and have snapped that damn thing in two. So cross with myself. At least the beds are looking good. Took me a long time to dig out the bindweed - it is especially concentrated around the artichokes, so I'll have to have a think and come up with a plan to remove them. The newly created strawberry bed will need a through digging over, but I'm quite excited now - I can feel my enthusiasm returning. Got the two beds in front of the greenhouse to dig over still. Look at all that bare earth - lovely !!

Look at my new water butt to the right of the photo below, I'm very pleased with it - not bad for a fiver. Ideally I want to put it behind the greenhouse - possibly linking them - so I have 4 to feed the greenhouse in height of the season.


Here is the view from the other end - a few more nice days and I should be able to get most of my digging done.


The lesser spotted OH arrived mid-afternoon to help with fixing the broken pane of glass in the greenhouse. I realised once he'd arrived that the spare piece of glass that I have is actually the wrong size !!! doh ! so plan b) (I have a lot of those lately) was to cut down a piece of perspex. Thankfully I have a collection of several old and rusty saws just laid about - as you do. Somehow it became a two person job but the newly cut perspex is now in place and my greenhouse will hopefully start to heat up - just need to get rid of those pesky meeces now.

I shall be monitoring the weather forecast closely to find a nice day to get some manure delivered - hopefully in the next couple of weeks as weekends are a little busy at the moment. All things considered it is starting to take shape :)


  1. You've been busy!
    I had planned to spend the day digging up and burning my blackcurrant bushes, but ended up spending 5 hours hauling wood instead!Ho hum...hope it's nice tomorrow - I'll get it done then!

  2. Lucky you - I have work tomorrow ... planning an early night tonight, as I have to get up at 5am, to be there for 6.30am :( :( :(

  3. ooo I'm on a promise for blackcurrant bushes too - are they nice ? what can I do with them - make jam ??

  4. Hi I like your blog and have started following it because I came across it researching allotments in Sheffield as we are thinking of moving there this year

    I have terrible bindweed in my garden (neither neighbour is a gardener so the effort I put into clearing it a few years ago (involving triple digging some areas) was largely wasted as tendrils of root come in at amazing speed to sample all the luscious compost etc in my garden!

    I have found that a relatively painless way of keeping it at bay is to simply pull off all the above ground growth - little and often seems to work really well. I am lucky as I work from home so a couple of times a week as a lunchbreak I nip out and upset it

    Best of luck, your allotments looking really good!


  5. We nearly became self- managed but were glad we didn't. To make it work successfully everyone needs to pull in the same direction and unfortunately we have a small group of people who just disagree for the sake of it and like to cause trouble. We consider we had a lucky escape!

  6. Yep, blackcurrants make the best jam ever! They're also very nice as blackcurrant vodka(!) and go really well in home made ice cream.

    I've been battling for 2 hours now and have only dug up 3 of the 8 bushes :(
    Don't work too hard!

  7. thanks Crispin - sadly I'm a weekend gardener, so it has all week to mount it's attack - by which time I'm usually distracted by an onslaught of dandelions or something similar. Our hedges are full of it, so short of ripping them out, we'll be forever 'managing' it ...

    waiting lists are 2-3 years I believe for most sites, so you might want to get yourself on the waiting list sooner rather than later. Check out 'Allotment 81' and 'A plot too Far' - two other Sheffield bloggers (Links on my front page)

  8. GLA I don't think in reality it would work on our site - we can't even get people to close the flippin gates - to the extent that it looks like we will be issued with new locks shortly at a cost of £10 per key :'(
    How that will encourage people to close the gates I'm not sure ... presumably they think that non-plot holders won't get a new key, whereas in reality plot holders won't get new keys so will leave the gates open for each other.

    Do I sound cynical ... LOL

  9. Not at all. I resigned as chair of our allotment association after being verbally abused by certain people because I tried to get them to lock gates.
    On top of all that the council officer wouldn't support me and even went as far as to say that if I insisted on making a formal complaint about the abuse I could be the one who had to leave the site!
    Also all the people (the majority)who had complained about the gates being left unlock ducked down behind the parapet and only offered secret support!! And we weren't self managed - as I say a lucky escape.

  10. oh happy days ! Hey, I realised on Sunday that I was staring at you - we have your article on our shop wall :)
    Fame !!

  11. Starting to look better now! Glad you've got your enthusiasm back (I never doubted it!!)