Friday, 28 May 2010

Lots going on + I had some help today!!

Yes, I had some help today - my lovely husband came to the rescue with screws and a screw driver & he expertly put my "Dig for Victory" sign on my shed door. 
He even brought his spirit level with him to make sure it was straight!
And there it is looking FAB!

A view from further down the plot

And this is from the top of my plot looking down
 And this is the view as you walk into the gate - as you can see I have left a bit of a "wildlife reserve" to the left - this is for 2 reasons.  One is to assist the wildlife that may like to live there e.g. hedgehogs, ladybugs etc & the 2nd is because it contains a lot of brambles & nettles - which is good as it will deter any good for nothing "let go and get into the allotment and do some damage" type yobs from climbing over.  There is anti climb paint along all the fences and columns etc but it all helps.

Now for the busy bit!  I had a good re organisation of the greenhouse as I want to keep as many tomato plants in there as possible this year to save them from blight, so out came a couple of "cucino" which are minature cucumbers.

I have kept 2 inside just in case.  So 2 are now outside hardening off & my fingers are well and truly crossed.

A selection of other plants followed to make more room indoors, including - Leeks, Beans, Cauliflowers and a few surplus Cherry & Roma Tomatoes.

This gave me room in the greenhouse to pot on Chilli Peppers, Aubergines, 12 cherry tomatoes and the 2 cucino cucumbers that will be benefiting from the protection the greenhouse has to offer.

This is one of the Cucino with Roma tomatoes in the background.  Eventually I will take out the trays (pictured above) which will allow the tomatoes to grow to their full height.

These are the Fiorentino Tomatoes (beefstake)which will all be staying indoors.  More potting on tomorrow but first I have to buy some more big pots!

Thursday, 27 May 2010

Sweetcorn Rows & Blocks & Puddles!

Ok, so I had a problem - rows or blocks.  Traditionally blocks are the only way to plant sweetcorn to aid pollination, however, Les, one of our old boys with the most perfect plot to die for, plants his sweetcorn in neat little rows. North to South, not East to West.  So I was in two minds - rows or blocks.
As I had 24 plants I decided to do both

And once I had my row planted I made them all little puddles to soak up the water as it's been so dry.

I made puddles for the Dwarf French beans

All 4 wigwams got the same TLC

I then planted the other 12 sweetcorn in a block just below the Dwarf French Bean Wigwams and Lettuces

And I made them a puddle too  - I knew my sandcastle building skills which I have kept alive (to my husbands embarassment at every sandy beach opportunity) would come in handy one day!!

I interplanted the block of sweetcorn with some butternut squash instead of pumpkins!

And finally, this is one of my broad beans - another week of sunshine and I think they will be ready!

Tuesday, 25 May 2010

The Suite Potato Sweet - (Now Updated!!!)

Actually that should be the Sweet Potato Suite!  Yes, I am building a suite for the Sweet potatoes, to go with the Brassica Bedroom!  Sounds like a Hotel for Vegetables doesn't it!! haha.
So I read the instructions and did what it said to have more of a chance of getting a good crop. 
First of all I dug in a couple of bags fo manure.....

Instead of buying an expensive polytunnel, I decided I would do it in true allotment style, beg & swap!  I managed to get the plastic sheeting from Ron for the main body and George gave me another odd piece he had left over for the ends (these are still to be done - it was toooooo hot over the weekend so the ends will be done today now that it's cooler)  I then duck taped the two pieces together so that I had the body well covered with a bit of overlap each side.

Derek our allotment angel lent me 4 hoops that are made from plumbing pipes - I just had to simply push them into the ground - simply she says - some went in like a hot knife cutting through butter and others were like trying to push a square peg in a round hole!  As Gertie & her family walked up the path from their plot, I asked if I could borrow her husband for a bit of brut strength!

Then I covered the dug in manure with black plastic.  Again these were free, as I used manure and compost bags that I had saved and I had some galvinsed pegs to keep them in place! FREE!!!

I then had the task of covering the hoops and using little cable ties that Arthur gave me, I eventually got there in the end!  So just the ends to go now!

I have just realised that to plant the 10 Sweet Potato Slips I will have to climb into the Sweet Potato Suite to do so!!  I am also wondering if I could interplant with Aubergines and Sweet Peppers as the Sweet Potatoes will grow down and they grow upwards, and also like the heat that the Suite will provide - I wonder?????


As promised I have been back to the allotment to finish of the ends of the Sweet Potato Suite....

This is the Front End - I made this in 2 pieces so I have a "door" so that I can water - you can just make out the duck tape to keep it together in the middle
I also had the idea of adding a backbone to make it all more stable so I used bamboo and cable ties and it did the trick!

To finish it off I put bottles on the sticking out bamboo ends so I wouldn't have an accident &
I made a sign

"The Sweet Potato Suite"

Saturday, 22 May 2010

More from 144

Can you make out the flowers on my Tomato plants?

 A view of my plot looking East - I have the greenhouse door wide open and a piece of trellis acts as a cat guard!

The Sweetcorn is sunbathing

& I planted out the lettuce that Derek gave me.

 Watering the Onions and Garlic on 121
They are doing really well and I can't wait to harvest the garlic as they look big and fat and full of flavour
And watering my potatoes too, because I have seen the old boys watering theirs!

My courgette was about to flower, and the next day it did!

Watering the peas and parsnips

Thursday, 20 May 2010

Going Potty & my Dogs enjoy a day out!

 Yesterday morning, I helped to unload the new delivery of compost etc. with the boys, and after that I went to work on my plot 144.    There was a rumour that the council inspectors were on site, and guess what - it was true!  I caught up with them just as they were leaving.  Lets just hope that the few plots that remain unworked can be claimed back ASAP to give people who want to grow veg, the chance too!

As you can see, I had a little mix up with my broccoli & brussels, so the appropriate sign had to be made!!

It took me ages to get the netting on the metail build a ball frame by myself, but I managed - eventually

The tadpoles are doing well!

Everything needed a good soaking as it has been dry for days and with the hot sun, the ground was dry and cracked up. (not in a funny / laughing way)

I had to pot on all my tomatoes, all 48 of them as they were getting leggy and pot bound - they obviously should be outside by now, but I can't risk it. 

 So the Fiorentino (Beefstake) and Roma's went into large pots, which have been spread around the greenhouse floor.
The cherry tomaotes went into slightly smaller pots and put on the staging. I then potted on the chilli plants and also planted some more peas as #2 had just gone outside.

So it's all looking a bit "full" in the greenhouse at the moment.  I had to move some pots and tins into the shed to make room for more pots and trays in the Greenhouse!

I had two visitors to the plot today - my dogs Scooby Doo (blue roan) and Perdita (orange roan)  They surprised me as they were very well behaved! They can come again!

Tuesday, 18 May 2010

In - Out - In - Out - shake it all about!

It was one of those days here yesterday (weatherwise).  The sun was shining brightly in the sky, so after watering all the plants in the greenhouse, I took some of them outside, including the dwarf french beans & peas.  After about 30 minutes and the war on weeds = me winning, it had cloulded over and felt as few spits in the air, so the plants all went in the Greenhouse again!

Then the sun came out as quickly as it had disappeared - no more clouds and no spits of rain, so I decided that enough was enough.  Come rain or shine, those peas need to be outside - NOW!  As you can see they were getting very pot bound, and it hasn't really been warm to put them out until now, apart from the odd day sunbathing.
I had to carefully untangled all the roots as delicately as I could and I managed to get most of them loose and complete, into the hole in the ground in one piece.  Tatty is going to be looking after the 2nd row of peas - the 1st row I put out about a month ago, by the greenhouse & parsnips. 

 Next - I keep on finding these little sprouts from the ground.  Yes you've guessed it, they are last years potatoes!  Now I have dug, dug, rotavated & raked this piece of plot many a time this year, and still these sprouts, sprout! I can't believe I have missed so many spuds!! there must be at least 7 of these & I am going to try and leave them be and see what happens.

Next job was to plant out the radishes, so I put them in between the parsnips, as the parsnips will take ages, and the radishes will be a fast growing crop.(can you see the first lot of peas to the left??)

Ah, my spinach - yes it's doing well!

As are my beetroot, but there were a few patches, so

I did a quick repair job, and sowed more seed in the gaps!