Monday, 28 April 2008
Sunday, 27 April 2008
Now - this could be the shed I was telling you about. I did say it was a bit wonky didn't I? Well, I, along with Hubby Ian and the current sheds' owner Paul, all think that it will be ok with a bit of TLC, some bits of wood and about 10,000 nails! I think it will look GRAND - all old and full of character on Plot 142.
What do you think?
As you can see, this bed is looking quite full up now, but there is still room for more - it's just my plan (above) that is looking full!
So, under the watchfull eye of Dibble, the Chilli plants and peppers were watered well and then covered with an open ended plastic polytunnel, which I will check later today (Sunday). Olga from Plot 138, kindly gave me some onion sets, so I put in a row of these. My other onions grown from seed and my onion sets which are interplanted with my carrots (bed 1) are both doing well, so another lot won't hurt!
Next to go in were the Courgettes (Zucchini) and Pumpkins which hubby Ian kindly brought down to the lotty for me. My fellow allotmenteers couldn't believe their eyes when he turned up in his Porsche Turbo and lifted the bonnet - as this is the boot (storage area) and brought the plants out!!!! Ha ha ha. Anyway, these went into the bottom of the potato plot (bed 4) which I had put some horse manure compost on. I put in 2 x pumpkins and 4 x courgettes, mulched them in and then covered them with plastic bell cloches.
So, nearly 4 hours later, 2 mugs of freshly brewed tea, a long chat with Mavis, a visit & delivery from Ian and having negotiated the old delapidated shed which is currently just about standing on Paul's Plot, I was ready for home. Once there however, I got stuck into washing out pots and seed trays etc. as the weather was so nice, it was actually a joy to do this outside.
I then looked at my "left over" carrots that were still sitting in modules. I decided to pot these remaining 4 plants into a patio pot to see what happened. As I was lifting one of the plants out, the compost fell away, and I was amazed to see a tiny baby carrot in my hand! I had to call hubby Ian quickly, to take a picture......
So, into the pot it has gone, along with the other 3 plants and I will let you know what happens!
Today is Sunday, and the weather forecast is not great, cloud cover is prominent, but it does look as though it is trying to "cheer" up a bit. I will go to the lotty later to check on my newly planted veggies and to put in the final lot of maincrops.
Friday, 25 April 2008
Tomorrow is due to be a nice day weather wise, so I will go and put in the french beans that I have grown from seed - it will be interesting to see if the ones that I sowed direct last week have done anything? I will also put in my maincrop potatoes, but as too how many will depend on the room I have as I have to remember to leave room for the courgettes & pumpkins which are doing nicely in the utility / greenhouse room!
Oh! I forgot to mention - I have been very greedy and I have taken on another plot - all to myself - Plot 144. It's quite overgrown and has about 10 baby trees - very young ones on it, but I will just have to work around them.
Pictures will be taken either later today and / or tomorrow and this post will be updated with them later .
Please don't loose interest - I really HAVE been busy this week.
p.s. As promised the pictures of Plot 144
Monday, 21 April 2008
Saturday, 19 April 2008
Ok, let me explain...... I decided to pot on my tomato plants - these are the Marmande variety, which will hopefully end up as BEEFSTEAKS - yummy - which I love, or why would I grow them? Anyway, this led me to thinking that I should pot on my "normal" toms which were currently in module pots and onto 3 inch pots, so I did this too, and then decided to pop them (the normal ones) into the cold frame - Question is will they survive? - Experiment 1.
Experiment 2 was to plant 2 x butternut squash seeds from a squash that I cut open and used in a slow cooker chicken casserole recipe yesterday - I will let you know the outcome.
Experiment 3 was to buy and use these new "Suttons Sow & Grow Peat Pellets"
Sorry these pictures are the wrong way around - I can't work this blog system out sometimes!
Ok, so they say "just add water" well it's a lie - you have to soak them as you can see in picture 1 for at least 15-20 minutes, so one Gin & Tonic later and they are ready - gone soft all the way through. If you just water them as is suggests, you just have a small hard pellet for ages! The picture on the left shows you a fully soaked one.
In the first tray I planted sunflowers and in the second Carrots (Nantes 2 variety)
Here are the Sunflowers and the finished positions on the windowsill - p.s. the propogators are infact recycled "Taste the Difference" Beef packaging from Sainsburys!
Recycling - the possibilites are endless !!!
And finally, I was rewarded by some Blue Tits, which I saw just outside my utility room window, having a FEAST on the fat ball that I leave out for all the garden birds.
My apologies in advance for the blurred picture - I will try better next time.
Thursday, 17 April 2008
I did mention that it was nothing exciting didn't I? Ha ha & yes that is Grub you can see there with his back to us!
Well, I took half a day off today and guess what I did? I went to the lotty! I spent around 4 hours there and it was wonderful. Although it was an "official" afternoon off, my work always knows that they can reach me on my mobile, but guess what - it didn't even vibrate!
The original plan (hatched on Tuesday) was to take Friday off, but when I looked at the weather forecast on the BBC's web, I was shocked to see that RAIN was forecast for the day, so I took immediate action, phoned my boss and pleaded for the 2nd half of Wednesday as some time off.
I know it doesn't look like much from the photo's but it took me hours to prepare that soil - raking and raking back and forth - got a blister on my thumb again! Well the baby plants are my Brocolli or Calabrese (did I spell that right?) and Brussel Sprouts which I adore and have ALWAYS loved. I love my veg. I suppose that having to live with Coeliac Disease, I have always prefered veg to things like bread, pastries etc. but that is another story for another day. Anyway I put some fleece protection over the little plants by using drawing pins on the wood raised beds. This should give them the light and water they need and protect them from the birds etc. until they are a little more "grown up."
It was good hearing the birds singing and the wind blowing, someone further down the lotty whistling a jolly tune - along with the local "nothing better to do" scally wags sitting on their balcony that over looks one part of the lotty talking full pelt into their mobile phone having what must have been an imaginery conversation, due to the disgusting language, that I couldn't even begin to repeat in this text, they were using with their "imaginery friend" just to make themself feel more important. This person must have been dragged up, not brought up! Unfortunately this went on for at least 1 hour.
I felt like having a party with Tatty, Cuthbert, Dibble & Grub when it stopped! Peace at last. A classy low key one of course!
Psst - don't tell anyone, but I overheard one of my fellow lotty people saying to another that they loved my Scarecrows. I was silently beaming from ear to ear. I am so glad that he - Tatty Bogie Gump & friends - has brought a bit of joy to my small bit of shared plot and those who surround / pass by it.
I did get down to the lotty this morning - Thursday 17th - before 9am of course, as work day begins, to take the plastic poly tunnels from the Parsnips & Carrots. I think that unless we do get a forecast frost, I will leave them off from now on, as the ones that I didn't plant out, and that are still in little module pots sitting on my decking in the back garden, are doing fine without any protection.
That's it - I have gone on enough tonight - "Bye zee bye" as my armchair gardener would say
Tuesday, 15 April 2008
This is Cuthbert.....(who looks like he is about to raise his hand and ask to go to the little boys room - I will have to fix that - or shall I leave him that way?)
This is Dibble......(my 1st ever pot scarecrow who has been with me since last summer)
& this is Grub (who has a peculiar smile - who's been drinking all the cider kind of look)
They will all keep eachother company and hopefully the other allotmenteers amused and the birds scared and running for their lives (or should that be flapping?)
Who knows - this might start a "grow your own scarecrow" craze at Stanley Road Allotments! oh er - can you imagine that - it would be like a scary movie - Scarecrows everywhere. Can you imagine if that happened? The local press would want to come down and interview them all - the scarecrows I mean! Won't much out of them will they!
(well apart from some pillow stuffing and straw)
I have a fully seasonal wardrobe planned for TBG, starting with some sunglasses for the summer months and possibly a hand tool for him to hold plus a pair of shorts maybe ?????
Autumn will be long trousers, a cardi and a buttonhole
Winter will be some boots - probably Ian's old ones which hurt his feet (green wellies), a coat or jacket and a warmer hat with scarf (possibly matching?) and then it will be back to Spring next year. I wonder if Gok Wan will approve????
Needless to say, no actual gardening took place, just a photo shoot with some very un talkative "divas"
I have booked Friday off work so I can do some serious garden centre shopping - need a few items, and some even more serious planting out.
I have the 2nd half of Bed 2 and all of Bed 3 to do, so I will be down there pretty much all day - looks like a LARGE flask of Tick Tock tea will be needed and a few Gluten Free marmalade sandwiches !
Come back soon........x
Sunday, 13 April 2008
Unfortunately I could not take a final picture of the sweet pea / onion / spring onion / marigold bed as it was :
- raining hard
- making me soggy
- dismal & making me angry!
UPDATE * UPDATE * UPDATE * UPDATE
Yet again the carrots and parsnips are alive, well & kicking. I took their cloches off today, whilst the sun was shining and I protected all around the carrots with 2 ft high meshy stuff. I used a stapler to arrange the mesh around the canes, but the intention is - which would have happened today if the sun was shining - to sew this mesh into place as that will be a good job done - another day then!
Tatty Bogie Gump News
TBG is now cemented into a bucket - this has only been possible with the kind assistance of Hubby Ian, who has devoted part of his weekend / time off, to doing this mammoth task for me.
TBG is currently outside, getting used to the elements. Me and Susan both hope he doesn't come down with some nasty bug or the flu for that matter!
We are going back to the lotty together on Tuesday night to dig a hole big enough for the bucket to be sunk into. Tatty Bogie Gump will be situated between the two potato beds at the bottom end of our plot!
This was my 4th to the lotty today as I managed to find a spell of sunshine, so that I could take a picture of what I had done/achieved today.
You can just about make out the spring onions to either side of the Sweet Peas, and the onions (from seed) being inter mingled with a variety of marigolds.
Good night - sleep tight
Lala Salama (in swaheli which I picked up from Masai Mari)
Saturday, 12 April 2008
Friday, 11 April 2008
Again, once seedlings or seeds have been put in, the charts will be updated as to where they are.
Wednesday, 9 April 2008
So back came the covers on Bed #1 and in went some onion sets to start with. I used my giant ruler to get the spacings right, and put in 1/2 a row (1/2 of the raised bed length). Then the carrots went in - again, using the giant ruler for spacing.
This sequence continued until it looked like this:
And finally - the polytunnel went over the carrots for the night - I will go and check on them a bit later on, I am sure they are fine, but I will just have to quell my curiosity! The polytunnel will stay on until the risk of bad frosts have passed. I then have some netting to put around them to protect from carrot fly.
That's it for today's update of what happened yesterday - tune in again soon........
Sunday, 6 April 2008
Whilst there I found that the shop was open, so I popped in to take my first ever look. Well I can tell you it was like finding a goldmine! They have everything that you need right there and can even get you in things that they haven't got. The men in there were a right friendly bunch too, and were happy to pass on a tip or two & advise me on this and that, the ups and downs and the whys and wherefores of life on the allotment. Once of them even started to discuss the amounts of layers of clothing he had on that day!!(due to the snow of course)
Saturday, 5 April 2008
I was calling him Worzel, but that wasn't very original was it, so I asked Susan, my allotment buddy & Ian's (my husbands') Mum, who is my armchair gardener for ideas. Susan told me that Tattie Bogie means Potato Plot & Ian's Mum came up with Gump, which I also liked so Tattie Bogie Gump it is!
He originally started of made with some re-inforced cardboard lengths, but I thought that if he gets wet, then he might sag, so I went to Homebase and bought a length of wood. A nice man in there cut it 2/3rd's 1/3rd for me despite being told by his co worker "health and safety mate, what if you cut yourself?" What has happened to this country???? So, home came the wood (cut nicely thank you very much young man!) and the construction began. I borrowed Ian's drill and 2 x screws to make the cross. I then cut open an old fibre filled pillow and took half the stuffing out to make the head. With the help of a needle and some cotton, I shaped the head (thank you Mrs Ashworth my needlework teacher - I knew those classes would come in handy one day). On the head went - tied around the neck with some string. Next were the button eyes, nose & mouth, which I think turned out rather well!
Another pillow - again half the filling removed - was folded in half length ways and put on the cross section to "beef up" the shoulders - well he is supposed to be a "scare" crow and not a skeleton!
Next came the shirt - lovingly donated by hubby Ian. I had some free (magazine gift) gloves that I stuffed with some of the removed pillow stuffing and popped those on the ends of the cross sections & tied with string. The hat, I think is a bit girlie, so he may get a new one, but he also needs some hair, so I will go in search of some straw or rafia, and I think a pair of sunglasses for the sunny weather, when & if we get some! There might be a few more finishing touches, so keep tuned.
Down on the lotty this week.........
I followed Mavis's lead and put in my "earlies" and "second earlies"
I put my potatoes that I had chitted on Ian's office window sill, into holes, as one of my many books said I could do it this way, so I used my bulb planter. I made a 5ft wooden ruler in the week, again from a bit of wood from Homebase, so that I could get my spacing right as I have no concept of measurements in my head! I marked the begining & end of my rows with small stick, which I tied a bit of red ribbon too, so no one thinks they are just bits of stick stuck in the ground and take them out! If that happened it could be disaster on Ali's potato plot!!!!
Each row (2 so far as I only had around 9 potatoes in each batch) goes around 2/3rds down the plot, so the end of that plot I can use for my courgettes and / or pumpkins (which are germinating nicely) - well that is the plan anyway.
This weekend I need to get to the garden centre to by a long handled rake as I would like to rake over the raised beds that I have covered. Once I have done them I will probably cover them over again until I am ready to plant out - that of course will be dependant on the weather! I raked the area that was left on my potato plot with my hand rake yesterday - the soil it great once you get all the stones out! I have a blister to prove it on my thumb too.
A HUGE THANK YOU to hubby Ian, who put up 2 shelves in the utility room on his day off for me - he even went to IKEA to buy some special brackets. It has made a huge difference to the amount of space for the plants now. (picture to follow)
Tuesday, 1 April 2008
This lot will have to stay outside (hopefully in the sunshine) as I am fast running out of space, so much so that I think come rain or shine, some of my little seedlings will have to go down the road this weekend.......
Here they all are - enjoying the sunshine today. The wind was a bit fierce, but they seem fine!
And finally, this is the latest picture of my utility room. You can see that half the sink is missing and the grow bag tray was the only solution!
My next project is to build a Scarecrow! I was thinking of be-heading one of my Teddy Bears, but that would be a bit cruel, so I will have to think of something else - any suggestions welcome!