Monday, 20 April 2009

A full weekend at 144

What a wonderful weekend - nearly full time at the lotty!
Hubby was working, so I could spend as much time there as I needed too, so I made the most of every minute.

To start with, I offered to do Nigels shift at the Trading Hut, so I spent Saturday morning in there from 11am to 1pm. I spent over £50 myself, on bits and pieces that I needed like organic slug pellets, some more whale pots for my tomatoes and the build a balls that I ordered in to create a brassica cage. I also had some money on my slate (opps) which I needed to clear, so my cheque book - ok I know, cheque book - what's that I hear you ask? I spent ages finding mine and the last time I actually wrote a cheque was in June 2007! But it came in handy this time.

Ok, so one of my first jobs was to re site Tatty & Hilda, however I had 2 things to do before I could do this.
1. deciding on where they should go &
2. I have to fix Hilda as her stake had snapped in two - was it vandals or the wind? we may never know.
Fortunately I am starting to get a tool box together, and one item that I now have in my shed is a hammer, so I nailed the stake to join in several places, and then for good measure I cable tied the area too - so Hilday is fixed and fit and healthy again.
After much deliberation, they have been sited behind the little wood (skirting board) barrier along the fence, which will mean that they will not get in the way of me working on the plot itself.

My next job was to clear and prepare raised bed # 2. This had cabbages which had bolted and previous to that it also housed the brussel sprouts, all of which had now been eaten.
Can I just mention here that the leaves of the bolted cabbages are excellent, steamed, chopped and served with dinner!
So I cleared, weeded, raked, de stoned, raked, de stoned and raked again.
Here is Grub, taking care of the newly prepared bed which I will use for all my salad stuff like lettuce, rocket & mizuna - I may put some tomatoes in there too as I feel like I am quickly running out of space already!

Job 3 was to clear the top of bed#3 and weed the rest of that bed too. It currently has broad beans down the path end and spring cabbages in the middle - now it also has some broccoli with two rows of radishs planted either side.
Ok, so they don't look fantastic do they, but I am hoping that they will improve. I grew them in coir pots and planted them all straight out, so no root disturbance - fingers crossed then.

Job 4 was to "pretty up" the boring column posts. I made a string climber and planted out the sweet peas. I repeated this on all 3 columns so it should look very pretty once in full bloom.

Job 5 was to construct the build a ball cage for my brassicas. It didn't go to plan straight away, but I got there in the end. One thing you do need are a good thickness bamboo cane, a thin one is pointless, so I have alot of swopping around to deal with! At least its in place now, and I know the space it's going to take up, so I can plant to the right of it without the guess work!

Job 6 was to re dig, rake, de stone and de weed the little bed that I had prepared for lovely Hubby Ian. He can't decide what to plant this year so he has allowed me to put in my final stock of maincrops - Cara. This seemed to take forever, but I got there in the end.

Job 7 was to have a wander around and chat with the "locals" A lot of people are still in uproar about the non cultivation letters they have recieved, so this also meant alot of activity at the site this weekend - there were plots being dug, sheds going up, shrieks of kids playing and picnics taking place!
Job 8 - planting a full row of beetroot which we love to eat.
Job 9 - washing out tin cans (I have been collecting for ages and before Alys from Gardeners World suggested it - I remember my Nannu (granddad) growing tomatoes in his back yard in large tins that used to have olive oil in them, so I probably knew about this before Alys was even born!! And no, I didn't use the ones with the ring pulls - just regular every day cans that I put drainage holes in the bottom of, filled with compost and planted various herb seeds into.

And finally.......

Two pictures of plot 144 as it is today - above is taken from the fruit trees looking down &
below is taken pretty much from the very top end & at the start of the raised beds.

I am sure that there are a few other things that I did, but for the life of me, I can't remember - it was such a busy weekend as you have just read!


Jayce Kay said...

Great work Ali.

maureen said...

Great work Ali, it's all looking fab. I have my new shed up now, we painted it today and it has to be re-roof felted tomorrow. It was an amazing bargain,(£150) just a year old, top of the range tongue and grooved 8ft x 6ft, so that's 4ft bigger than my present one.
I'm glad to see Hilda & tatty back, Rosie is back up as well.
I bought some build a balls last year they are fantastic.