Wednesday, 30 April 2014

Spring Update

In early Spring I dug out the raspberries that to date have produced little other than greenery.  I dug out tonnes of bindweed which has been having a party where the rhubarb bed meets the raspberry bed.  I now have another super big bed to plant up :)

I'm hoping to keep on top of the bramble this year - we had buckets of blackberries last year, but it rampaged everywhere and eventually the path became unpassable.

It wasn't helped by the Hop that Vick had planted in the second bed - the support collapsed during the winter, so I took the opportunity to dig it out so that the bed will be more usable. Vick has resited our willow wigwam sculpture which looks splendid in it's new position.

This is the bottom of my garden (you can just see the gate to the allotment to the right of the photo :) )

When we moved in we were told that this area was full of glass, rubble and general crap ... a brief inspection confirmed it would be a massive job to excavate, so it was an easy decision to build some raised vegetable beds.  In the background you can see the moors looking out towards Dore & Totley - we love living here :)

OH has been busy filling them with top soil and I've started to plant them - so far I have 9 raspberry canes, 8 strawberry plants, a tayberry, a fig (which will remain contained in it's pot) and a very sickly Globe Artichoke

The beds are sitting on landscape material which we will cover with gravel.  The rest of the garden is still work in progress :(

This bed hasn't really been used for much before, so I've dug it over, removed all the herbs, weeds & self seeded alpine strawberries and planted strawberry plants.  I've left some alpine strawberries to edge the bed as they are so pretty.  There are also a couple of brambles growing against the wall.  This bed also has bindweed, I've dug out a lot, but looking at all the shoots that are appearing it is going to be a long battle. 

This shot is from the bottom of the lottie, looking back to the house.  The sloe tree is now in full blossom and the comfrey in the 2nd bed is about to flower - I might do the first cut this weekend and add it to the compost heap

Tuesday, 29 April 2014

Surprise !

hello its been a while !!

The allotment is in full swing and I've been busy sowing & potting on various seedlings.  I had a disastrous start to the season last year, with seeds failing and sporadic germination, but this year has been fantastic - I've had almost 100% germination.  My secret ... instead of spending a fortune on John Innes this year I've just used Aldi's seedling compost :) :)

Here is the 'salad' greenhouse ... Vick removed the raised beds, which were a bit too deep to be fully useable. As usual the kitties like to be close ... here is Kinder kindly warming the seeds before they are sown :)

So far I've sown:  broad beans, peas, dwarf purple beans, borlotto beans, climbing french beans, sweetcorn, courgettes, lettuces, cucumbers, peppers, tomatoes, melons, rocket, fennel, cauliflowers, cabbages, squashes & pumpkins.

I planted out my broad beans & peas around a month ago.  There was a wobbly moment when we had 3 nights of frost just as they went outside, but fortunately the bed is quite protected and so far they are all doing well.

I think this weekend I'll be planting out the cauliflowers & Vick's cabbages ... I've been anxiously checking them each evening for signs of slugs & snails, but so far the rain has caused more damage and I've lost a couple of seedlings.

The garlic & onions planted late last year seem to be doing well - not sure whether its been cold enough for the garlic to clove.

The rhubarb is in full swing as usual and I noticed that the gooseberry bushes have signs of fruit forming.

The tayberry / blackberry bushes have flower buds forming and the fruit trees are in full blossom.  Vick's peaches have already finished flowering and the fruit has started to set in the greenhouse.

I've replanted the strawberry beds and the plants are starting to flower - hope it is a good year for fruit again ! 

I've yet to plant my potatoes ... that will be another job for the weekend, along with sowing beetroot, salads and carrots.  Come on Summer ... I'm ready !!