Monday, 28 April 2008

Pictures from around the allotment

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Sunday, 27 April 2008

Rain, Rain Go AWAY Come again in another 6 months!

I don't believe it! (Say it like Victor Meldrew w0uld - go on - you know you want too!)
There I am, all prepared - wax jacket on - check, boots on - check, gardening jeans with yesterdays mud on - check, fully equiped bag on arm - check, barbour base ball cap (kindly bought for me by my Armchair Gardener aka mother in law for my birthday) on head - check, kissed husband good bye and off out the door when the heavens opened! I carried on walking - allotment bound and got there - still raining. I stood in the rain & ate a gluten free chocolate chip cookie to cheer myself up - still raining. I thought "sod it!" and got on with putting in my final batch of Main Crop potatoes - Mayan Gold (the 2nd lot I put in yesterday by the way, are called Swift - the 1st lot are Vivaldi's) OK so I only had 5 tubers to plant, but I got there in the end.
I also watered my courgettes/zucchini's & pumpkins as they are under bell cloches and would not be benefitting from the downpour, that was still going on!
I noticed that the shop door was open, so I abandoned the plot (probably quite literally at this stage as I was soaking wet) and went for shelter. Nigel was just packing up, but stayed the extra 5 minutes - well long enough to let me stop dripping! Thank you Nigel. He told me that the shop took a good amount over the weekend and that we had 5 new members for the Garden / Allotment Society too - maybe one of those leaflets that I posted through someones door yesterday worked??

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?

Making the most of todays' SUNSHINE

I left for the lotty on the sunny day of Saturday 26th April at around 10am, thinking I would only be there for about 2 hours. 4 hours later and I was still finding things to do!

Well, can you imagine my surprise when I spotted my first potato plant showing through? This is one of about 5 of my first earlies! At least I could now identify the difference between my potato plants and the brambles that were starting to rear their ugly heads again - they came out "extra quick" I can tell you!!

I went on to weed around one of my raised beds. I think Susan plans to phone a local timber company to see if we can get some free wood chips - I must remember to ask her about that!

My next job was planting the Dwarf French Beans, but first I stopped to chat to Perry. Soon 15 minutes had passed and as soon as Perry had gone - with his spinach in Sainsburys' plastic bag (recycling - the possibilities are endless) I realised that I had forgotton my courgettes and pumpkin plants.

Well I was not surprised really - the strain of the wheel barrow that morning was huge - it was so heavy because I had a full bag of mulch & the reason I had this mulch with me was because I had read over breakfast, that courgettes and pumpkins like to be mulched in (and are very thirsty too) so I was immediately on the phone to hubby, who said he was going to pop down to see me later, asking him to bring my forgotten plants.

Back to the Dwarf French Beans - these were grown in pots at home. I had, about 1 week ago, also directly sown some of the same at the base of the sweet pea wigwam, but nothing was showing from them yet, so inside the wigwam, went the Dwarf French Beans.

Next to go in were the Main Crop Potatoes - I put in 2 varieties, one of which is Vivaldi, the other I cant remember right now!! I put these into holes, using my bulb planter contraption, which is the method I used for my Earlies & Late Earlies, and as this method had worked so far, what was the point of digging a trench? I soon realised that I had enough space in that row to plant my 3rd variety, Mayan Gold, so I will go back there today and put those in & get the name of the other variety at the same time.

Following the potato planting came the Chilli plants and Peppers which had both been in the cold frame for the last couple of nights, so a row each of these in Bed 2 in front of the Sweet Pea Wigwam.......

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

Experiments - Update 1

This is an extremely quick entry as I am working my socks off this week - it's been manic - anyways the exciting update is that one of the Butternut Squash seeds has germinated and so have all the sunflowers! I am still waiting for signs of life from the carrots, but another sowing that I didn't mention earlier, well I don't think I did, was coriander - that has started to show signs of life too!
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.
Ali x

p.s. As promised the pictures of Plot 144

Monday, 21 April 2008

Is SPRING finally here?????

What a lovely afternoon we had here in Carshalton in Surrey. Mind you I do say afternoon as a matter of fact, because the morning was cold and overcast and very gloomy. Still, at around 1pm the sun start to push its way through the clouds, so I decided to fill up my wheelbarrow and go down to Plot 142.

The first thing I did was to make a cup of tea with my brand new Campingaz stove and 1ltr kettle that Hubby Ian bought me from a camping shop on Friday. What a treat to have a steaming hot mug of tea, instead of a half luke warm one from a flask! As you can see, I drink my tea black because I have a lactose intolerance, but I still took a small bottle of milk with me just in case a fellow allotmenteer took me up on the offer of a cuppa!

I then had the strength to carry on. That was of course after a chit chat with my neighbour who has a plot 2 away from me - her name is Olga and she is from Russia, a lovely lady who is very enthusiastic - yes she has to be as she and her husband have taken on 2.5 plots! Then my neighbour Susan popped down to check on her beds and again I stayed chatting for another while! I finally go on with sowing my lettuces in between my sprouts and my rocket seeds in between the brocolli - or that could be the other way around!

I then planted Nasturtiums - 20 0f them, around the outside edge as you can see in this picture, so when the bed is more matured in a few weeks time it's going to look FAB!

Saturday, 19 April 2008

Experiments......Hahahahahahahahahaha(laugh like a nutty professor for the right sound effect)

Today was a wet squid type of day here in the deepest darkest depths (sorry, it's that all that Paddington Bear TV from childhood) of Peru, opps - I did mean Carshalton, of course I did!

Needless to say I did NOT visit the lotty today, although I have to confess that I did a little "drive past" in Smarty Pants (the name of the Smart Car - very original I know) to make sure Tatty was still there, and Cutbert, and Dibble and last but not least Grub + Twirly was going around and around and around.....

Well, after a quick visit to Wyevale Garden Centre in Purley Way, which is infact an old outdoor swimming pool with a massive concrete structured diving board arrangement from years ago, which I used to visit as a child to practice my 100 yards (Yes, I did get my certificate) & (yes the concrete diving board is still in place). Well, after spending another £30 I felt quite triumphant that I had finally freed myself from the clawing grasp of Woodcote. It was very nice to go to a different garden centre for a change.

Right - now for the experiments...........Ha hahahahahahahaha (remember to do the nutty professor laugh!)

Notice the gloves, ready for experimental action - do I watch too many movies? - yes, probably!!!hahahah (oh dear not that again - sorry)
Composing myself to continue.

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)

Well, I said it was an experiment so I will let you know if they germinate.

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

Nothing exciting......

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

Tatty Bogie Gump in his place at last ! ! !

Tatty Bogie Gump is finally in his place - Plot 142 - Stanley Road Allotments, Carshalton, Surrey
He does have some friends with him that were VERY kindly sent to me by my very own "armchair gardener" aka my lovely mother in law, all the way via snail mail, from Ferring on the South Coast!

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

More April showers & a Twirly!!

This is the WONDERFUL TWIRLY that my friend and fellow plot holder bought as a present for me! She is sooooo thoughtful as I have wanted one of these for my plot and she found me one!

It has pride of place at the top of Bed 2 - If anyone nicks it there will be BIG HUGE trouble. In fact I might even security mark it with that invisible inky stuff!!

Again, today, being another April day, we had on and off showers all day. I went to the lotty a total of 3 times with wheelbarrow there and back eachtime, and needless to say, getting a drenching each time too.

I managed to put in 3 rows of onions that I had grown from seed, and in between these 3 rows, which were quite generously spaced out withing the rows themselves, I inter-planted 5 varieries of French Marigolds - just for the "prettiness" of it all.

This plan will give you some idea of what it looks like......

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
  • cold
  • disheartening
  • dismal & making me angry!


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!

And finally

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

Sweet Pea Wig Wam & April Showers!

The canes are up! This was of course after following Montys' advice on Gardeners World last week and digging a hole first, which you then fill with compost - THEN put the canes in and then the plants - so having followed all that I have ended up with this....

Half way through all this loving work, the 2 gentleman who have the "Green" shed in the middle of the allotment came by - well they had to, to get to the gate. They said hello and stopped for a quick chat. They are SO funny & always laughing - one called the other his "scarecrow!"

The left just in time as the showers came......

I got a little drenched & so I ran for shelter in Nigels' shop as I don't have a shed. I knew he was there as I saw him walking through the gates earlier with his "Texas chain saw!" I told Nigel about my current problem of Greenhouse Whitefly that I seem to have on my tomato plants in my utility room (not greenhouse, so the could be utility room white fly - ha ha!), and he kindly looked through all the bottles in the shop (which was dark as it was officially closed and the shutters were on) and found the right stuff I need to "blitz" the little white buggers!

I will go tomorrow to purchase some.


Both the carrots and parsnips are still alive and well.
It's nice and cozy under pollys tunnel - oh sorry - the poly tunnel!!
On a VERY sunny / hot day I will have to go and open up the ends for some ventilation for them.

The Sweetpeas

Friday, 11 April 2008

More goings on today!

This is the updated plan for Bed 1, which has now been fully planted out - no more room at this one!

I spent around 1 hour at the lotty this evening. I got my parsnips planted and interplanted them with some radishes from seed. The big mistake that I made was that I forgot my little book and I didn't know the spacings for the parsnip plants, so I had a look around and saw that one of the older gentlemen was at his plot. Off I trotted full of cheer to ask him if he knew spacings for my parsnips. Well, the look of shock on his face when I told him what I was planting out and that I had grown the plants on from seed at home! He told me that as a general rule all root veg are planted directly into the soil - oh well - I am sure I must have read it somewhere (sowing indoors etc. hardening off and all that ) I will just have to wait and see what happens!!

My Plot plans........

As you can see, Onion sets and carrots went in on the evening of Wednesday 9th, as per my blog below, and beetroot seeds were planted last night - Thursday 10th.
I am hoping to get the Parsnips and radishes in later this evening which is why there is only the one image of them - this will be altered to the rows they are in once they have been planted.
Below are the plans for Beds 2 & 3 and for the remainder of Bed 4

Again, once seedlings or seeds have been put in, the charts will be updated as to where they are.

Wednesday, 9 April 2008

Yesterday, all my carrots seemed so ...........

......protected & loved, but now I have done the dastardley thing and taken them from the sanctity & warmth of the lovely cold frame and taken them to the lotty!

My first little seedlings to be planted out.

As you can see, this was a mammouth task from the begining as I had to load up the rusty/cementy (where in heavens name that came from I don't know) wheelbarrow and walk through the streets with it loaded up! In it was:
  • Red Trug full of essentials
  • wind up radio
  • mobile phone & camera
  • carrots seedlings
  • flask of tick tock tea (my present favourite)
  • small watering can
  • fork
  • polytunnel

  • 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:

    Time was getting on, and I got chatting with Nigel - the chap who runs the shop and who is kindly ordering in some brassica rings for me! It was getting cold now as the sun was going down, but I was rewarded with this beautiful sunset .......

    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.
    My next plantings in that bed (the lower half where you can just still see the black ground cover sheeting) will be Parsnips, interplanted with radish and some beetroots, which I have in seed form and will be planted directly outside.

    That's it for today's update of what happened yesterday - tune in again soon........

    Sunday, 6 April 2008

    The finished Tattie Boggie Gump

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    Tattie Bogie Gump is now finished. However, in the colder months, I might consider adding a pair of trousers to him to keep him warm, along with a big coat, a scarf and a warmer wooly hat!

    Ian has promised to help me sharpen his stump end, so that his stake can be pushed nicely into the ground, and he has also promised to help take him down there and put him into position - one evening this week - weather permitting of course!

    Stanley Road Allotment in the snow

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    As you can see - I went to the lotty today to take some photos.
    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)
    I bought some compost which the shop keeper (Nigel?) said he would keep on another plot until one day in the week, growmore and the find of all finds - some rafia for Tatty Bogie Gumps hair!
    By one o'clock the snow had stopped falling so I went back to the lotty and took all 3 covers of off my beds. I raked them all and even put some of the soil from Bed 2 into Bed 3 to even them up.
    That's it now - they are all covered over again and are now ready for planting - we just need come nicer weather now!

    Saturday, 5 April 2008

    Meet Tattie Bogie Gump

    This is Tattie Bogie Gump

    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.

    And Finally........

    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

    Ali & the Beanstalk.......

    Ooopss sorry - the Courgette seedling!

    Well I couldn't believe my eyes - just take a look at this little seedling. It's a wonder that I didn't have to trans "pot" it to a larger pot earlier.......

    Oh dear, that is the wrong photo,

    that is the baby one, I meant to

    show you this photo - Isn't it a BEAST!

    I cannot believe that they were planted at the same time (give or take a second or two) on the same day etc. etc. and the difference is so huge.

    Well, since having gone to the allotment on Sunday and putting the finishing touches to the potato plot e.g. raking it over etc., I did little more than help Susan to pack away the enormous amounts of black ground sheet covering along with detatching all the pegs, and chat to fellow allotmenteers of course, as always! I like to go for a walk around to see whats going on. That way you bump into people and get to know a few more faces.

    I went to B&Q today, only planning on getting some more 3 inch plastic pots - well £50 later and I managed to get out in one piece! I bought some 3 inch fibre pots, a HUGE tray to keep all the 3 inch pots in once place (see picture below) and another poly tunnel, but this one is a fleece one and it's bigger and was alot cheaper than the ones I bought in Woodcote the other day. I might go back and get another one. I also bought a sheet of netting/fleece, which I have cut into 2 & half foot height & sewed together with my singer sowing machine (one of the ones with the turny around handle) This will be to put around bamboo's (I am going to sew the fleece to the bamboos) so that my carrots will be protected. Oh! I also bought some French Marigolds and a small tray of Sweet Peas, as I love Sweet Peas, and I only have 9 plants growing.

    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!