Friday, 26 March 2010

Out of Action

See my other blog for the full story......

Before the Op


After the Op!!

Wednesday, 24 March 2010

More Jobs done....

Hello blog readers! Nice to have you back again.

I started with plot 121 today as it needed weeding.  I hoed away to my hearts content between the onions and the garlic, chatting to Brian on the other half of 121 at the same time (he's already dug his half all over and is putting in peas!!) when I hear this voice calling me, so I looked up and there was the lovely Ron asking me if I would like a cup of tea! Bless his cotton socks!

After a lovely cup of tea, I had to get on, things to do, people to see, plants to pot on etc, you know how it is, so I toodled on up to 144 and made a start in the Green House.

I potted on the Dwarf French Beans as I was advised that as we could still get a frost not to put them outside just yet.

Watered the peas which are all looking healthy

Noticed that Arthurs Cos Lettuces are making an appearance

Potted on the Courgettes which have really grown so they are in nice big pots

The Chilli plants are now in their new homes &

The Green House Leeks are getting there!!

I then decided to plant out the Broad Beans that I put into Root Trainers on the 4th March, so they are 3 weeks old tomorrow.  Starting life in my utility room, progressing to my Greenhouse whilst its not been heated they have done well, as you can see from the good root growth in these photos.

I then completed the job by filling in all the gaps in the Broad Bean Bed - the BBB!

So it's all looking rather splendid!

I hope you don't miss me and my blog whilst I am incapacitated.  I will be going to the allotment, but only when my husband can drive me down there and only when he agrees to doing a few jobs for me, so please send good vibes his way e.g. "take her to the allotment & do the jobs she needs, take her to the allotment and do the jobs she needs, take her to....."  ok you get the drift!

Until my next blog, take care of you!

Tuesday, 23 March 2010

A quick trip to the allotment today....

And I mean a quick trip because it started to RAIN after a few lovely hours of sunshine!
I couldn't believe it.

I cycled down there with my bike basket full of tools, and couldn't get in the gate I normally use as the lock is faulty, so I cycled to the main gate, saying a quick hello along the way to 144.

My other plot (half share) 121 is by the main gate and  Brian, my new plot partner, was working away like a busy bee.  Now, just to remind you, Nigel actually "lets" plot 121 but last year when he took it on, he offered me half as he didn't need it all, so I said yes as I needed a little more space (greedy me).  Well a few weeks ago, this chap came into the Trading Hut asking if there were plots going, but he hadn't registered with the council so we advised him to do that.  The next week he came in again and after making his purchases, he said that he hadn't heard anything, so I told him to phone the council to see where he was on the waiting list.  The following week he came in again, bought some more stuff and told me that he was number 47 on the list.  I felt so sorry for him.  He really seemed keen to get a plot or even share one with someone that was finding a whole plot difficult, so I told him I would put a post out on the SRAGS blog and that he could also put a notice on our Trading Hut board, which he did but still no luck!
I went home thinking about his dilema, and I thought about letting him use one of my raised beds that is currently empty.  Then when the other one became free he could use that one.  I emailed my 121 plotholder partner Nigel, who said that Brian could use his half of 121 as he could wait for another year to use that, and he had only planned to use it for potatoes this year, and not a fruit orchard as originally planned - how kind was that!!  So I phoned Brian with the good news, and by the following week he was digging away, so a happy ending.  When he eventually gets his own plot he will be able to move to that one.

Anyway back to my efforts.

I cycled up to 144 and took off the plastic cloches covering the small area I prepared the other day.  The soil was nice and warm so perfect for my parsnip seeds!

Here they are all tucked up!

Then is started to rain - that little fine stuff - not impressed, but I had to crack on with my Beetroot.

So the Beetroot is in the plastic cloche which I mended with duck tape earlier as I had previously split in in half to fit on the raised beds neatly.

All 4 rows - 2 of Parsnips and 2 of Beetroot, were all neatly labeled up as were the Potatoes that Derek planted for me yesterday.

And finally, I dug up the remaining leeks from last years planting

You can get an idea of their HUGE size from the onion hoe in the back of the photo!
I took these home and used half of them to make a big pot of Parsnip Soup.

The other half - about 700g - are in the fridge for now, yet to await their fate!

I only have tomorrow and Thursday morning left to get a few more jobs done e.g. plant out the broad beans from the Greenhouse into a raised bed, which I did want to do today, but the rain stopped play.  I also wanted to get my Dwarf French Beans out of the utility room and down to the Greenhouse which is now unheated, as it's mild here, and all in there including the lettuces are all germinating! I am sure I will find a million and one other things to do once I am there.

Monday, 22 March 2010

Pentland Javelin leading the way

Thanks to our Allotment Angel Derek, and his souper douper potatoe ridger, my first earlies are in!

I had enough chitting away, for 2 full rows!

A good job done for Monday.

Tuesday and Wednesday to go before the op!

I wasn't intending..... work at the allotment today, as I have Monday, Tuesday & Wednesday totally free this week, so I tottered down there, with grey skies overhead, and bumped into a few "locals" for a chat here and there.

Then the sun came out, and my jacket came off, and the shed door was suddenly open, and the tools came out, the gloves were on and I was away.......

I spent over 2 hours on plot 144 and got loads done, and it's a good thing that I did because I have to go to the hospital on Thursday for an operation - removing a ganglion from my FOOT!! So I will be "out of bounds" to the allotment for a good 2 or 3 weeks.

Anyways, back to the work in hand:

Everything as weeded, and the broad beans were looking so splendid, that I just had to take a photo!

I harvested some more parsnips


Put the kettle on

This was after raking the previously dug, and then forked over remainder of 144 - phew, I was pooped after that lot.

Wednesday, 17 March 2010

Down at the allotment today....

It was a lovely morning, hubby was going to play golf, the dogs were with their favourite person (the mother in law) and I had a free day, so I decided that at day at the allotment was in order!

Am I mad?  Shouldn't I be going shopping?? Nah!

So I started by raking over what I had previously dug over....

I then prepared some rows for spinach, which I protected with a fleecy poly tunnel, as the nights are still a tad cold

and then I prepared some nursery beds which I dressed with a 75ltr pack of Multi Purpose & protected with 2 x plastic poly tunnels, so that the soil warms up ready for the seedlings.

Talking of seedlings, I have some good ones in the GH!


Broad Beans sprouting at the back & Cos lettuce (just sown)

I also sowed some sweetcorn in those tub things, as this worked well last year.

Saturday, 13 March 2010

It's getting exciting!

As I walked into my utility room yesterday evening, I noticed something "green" beneath the plastic lid protecting the seeds I had sown.

To my astonishment (as I am always astonished by such things) I noticed that a courgette had started to break through the soils surface and next door, so had a dwarf french bean!

How thrilling!

This is the courgette close up.

And on further inspection, I noticed that the Broad Beans were joining in too!!

I have just been back there this morning to check on progress and this is what I have found - and it's ever so exciting.....

The tomatoes have done their thing overnight!

More Broad Beans are sprouting and last by not least.....

The courgette has turned into a Loch Ness Monster!

Until next time folks as I am off to the Allotment now to check on the heater in the Green House, water the Peas & Leeks and to pay my bill at the Trading Hut for the paraffin I purchased "on the slate" last weekend.

Thursday, 11 March 2010

Earthworm Rescue!

It was so cold when I arrived at the Lotty today, that I nearly turned back and headed for my nice warm house!

However I soldiered on and put the kettle on first thing.

I then dismantled the Brassica Cage and folded the netting away, dug out the brussels sprout plants and took off what was left.....

I also found a potato yesterday, so it looks like Bubble "N" Squeak later for dinner.

So I now needed to warm up, so out came the spade and fork and I got digging where the brassica cage used to be. 

I then uncovered the area of ground in front of the Greenhouse, where some of the potatoes went in last year

And dug that over too!

Ah, now to the worms and the title of this post.
I have never seen so many earth worms in all my days!  As I was digging, they were surfacing, and I didn't want to accident put my spade through one and kill it, so I spent a good deal of time picking them up and chucking them over to the bit that I had raked yesterday....

Two of the stars of the show!

So after a few hours of digging and two very unexpected visits from Derek (and Laddie) and from Ron, who both walked all the way up from the other end of the plot to say "hello" I decided to call it a day.

What a lovely sight!

And on my way to the gate, I noticed that the fruit trees are already in early bud!

Wednesday, 10 March 2010

Another job done!

More work on plot 121 took place today.....

As you can see there is this tiny little weed that has tried to take over
but this little weed didn't bank on Ali, her spade and her new found love of digging!

So 121 is now all weed free and has had it's 1st rake over.
I have decided that this is where my potatoes (or at least some of them) are going to go this year.

Over on 144, I did a 1st rake over on the little patch of earth in front of the shed.
Tomorrow (weather depending) I will lift the ground cover that you can see just to the left of the picture,
and dig that over.

My reward?

Leeks for dinner - yummy, and they smell divine.


On plot 121 things were looking a little weedy, so I decided to get the onion hoe out!

An hour later with a flask of co-op tea to keep my hydrated and warm, things were looking alot better

Top pic - Onions to the left - Garlic on the far right.

Lower pic - Garlic to the left (thicker foilage) and onions to the right.

I did unfortunately have one or two mishaps with the onions, and a couple of the garlic's didn't take, but all in all I think I will have a 95% sucess rate!

I have planted double the amount of onions that I put in last year, as I did run out before the "sets" were ready and I have also planted more garlic too.  I do have onion sets to to in soon too, so I should have plenty of onions for 2010.

Monday, 8 March 2010


Me and hubby went to the allotment at about 4pm.  I had to take hubby as I was not sure if I could get the paraffin heater alight or not!

"Nothing Sharp or Hot" he always says to me, so I thought I best be supervised.

After putting the heater on a slab, I then managed to light it quite easily.

However I worried all night about the fact that it might set the polycarbonate sheeting alight.

So I got up and hot footed it down there at 7am, only to find a nice and snug greenhouse!


Sunday, 7 March 2010

Sunday's Efforts on 144.....

It was too good, weather wise, to stay indoors after a two hour stint at the Trading Hut, where brisk business was made as the sunshine brings the allotmenteers to their plots!

So I decided to pop home for a quick cuppa, and a warm up - my toes were frozen - and then head straight back to do a few little jobs on 144 like.....

Tidying up the Greenhouse

Sowing some leeks and peas

Then I weeded and de cloched the 3rd raised bed - it has Leeks and even some Spring Onions remaining!

I weeded the middle bed and wanted to rake it over but I forgot my rake head in the shed
at home (it's one you attach to a long handle)

I then went on to weed raised bed #1 where the broad beans are growing
I staked all the broad beans too - I looked that bit up in my book that I keep in the
Greenhouse as I wasn't 100% sure they had to be staked, but then I remembered doing it last year, so best to double check as the cold air was mushing my brain a little!

Just in case you are thinking 
 "oh no, it can't be warm enough overnight in the greenhouse for seeds to germinate?"
Well I am lucky enough to have been given
a paraffin heater

Which has been tried and tested by good old Arthur, our delivery boy a the Trading Hut.
It's a double wicked one and is ready to go
so I will pop down there a bit later on to set it alight
and will go down there in the morning to turn it off & hopefully it will do the trick
as the frosts have not left our part of the world just yet.

So another hour, or maybe two, but lots done, and on my return home my lovely husband had
repaired my hail storm damaged cold frame that's in the garden....

.....with a piece of left over poly carbonate sheeting from the greenhouse
I was thrilled that he had done this and it looks ever so smart!