Wednesday, 30 June 2010

Cafedirects Sow Your Own

Caf├ędirect’s Sow Your Own campaign aims to inspire even garden starved urbanites to grow their own great tasting food anywhere and everywhere this summer. A host of green-fingered celebrities – from Stella McCartney to Hugh Fearnley Whittingstall – have donated a range of everyday items which instant organic garden experts Rocket Gardens have used to create greenprints for bite sized indoor gardens made from everyday objects from handbags to mixing bowls.

Over the coming weeks, we’ll be giving you plenty of practical growing tips, as well as some mouth watering recipes from some well known foodies.

We’ll send out free seeds and tips to get you growing and there’s even a prize for the most imaginative transformation of an everyday object into a micro vegetable patch.


Here's the link to take you to their site

Tuesday, 29 June 2010

My Patio is finished!

Thanks to my lovely husband, who took time out to come to the allotment and put in some sweat building hard work in the heat, my patio is finished!

Due to the unlevel and rock hard ground laying more slabs was nearly impossible, so I came up with the idea of putting down some wood chips which we (SRAGS members) can get for free by the Allotment gate as big piles of the stuff are dumped there by the council, so just bag it up or fill your wheelbarrow and take it away!

I love the combination of the patio slabs AND the wood chippings.  The wood chips have hidden up all the unsightly little nooks and crannies and I even had enough to put some between the shed and the greenhouse to tidy that up as well!

I am so pleased with the end result, so a big thank you to my lovely husband for all his hard work today!

My half of plot 121

Please ignore my reference to plot 122 - it is in fact plot 121!! It was 6am in the morning and I had just finished watering plot 144 which too me an hour so an early morning start for me today!

Monday, 28 June 2010

Allotment Plot 144 Take #2

This is a better video that the first one, hence Take#2!!

My 1st Video!!

Tuesday, 22 June 2010

Mr Chilli Head

This is Mr Chilli Head - my new windsock.

Friday, 18 June 2010

Step by Step - Bed by Bed - A walk along my Plot

This bed is to the back right as you come out of the shed or greenhouse - It has Swede, Spinach & Beetroot

Directly in front of the greenhouse are Parsnips, Peas and Radishes

 Next to the peas are the Onions and Carrots

 And next to the Onions and Carrots are a row of Leeks

The potatoes come next, Earlies followed by Desiree & Cara's

Next to the potatoes to the front are the Cucumbers which I hope will climb up and unwanted metal sweetpea column, so I thought I would make good use of it, with a row (not block) of Sweetcorn behind

Alongside the sweetcorn row is a row of Cherry & Roma Tomatoes which are accompanied by some French Marigolds and to the left again are some Fiorentino Tomatoes

Along the back you will find another row of peas and some Primo Cabbages & Kohl Rabi which are under the netting tunnel - To the right and left of Tatty the Scarecrow (this also applies to Hilda) are some Vines which I hope to get some grapes off, and you may also notice some red & yellow dahlias that I planted to liven up the bit of "waste ground" against the fence.

To the left of the Fiorentino Tomatoes are 3 Californian Sweet Peppers which are under cloches for the warmth & some Lettuces which are being protected from slugs with the "rings"

Next is a row of Dwarf French Beans

And in front of the French Beans is the Sweetcorn which is planted in a block, interplanted with Butternut Squash

Next is the "Brassica Bed - your guess is as good as mine" but I can see signs of Cauliflowers and Broccoli already.  In front of the Brassica Bed are two Cucino (mini) cucumbers

Next is my row of mini fruit trees - Apple, Plum & Pear - these are interplanted with Courgette plants and to the very back of this row is The Pond

Bed 3 is home to Broad Beans #3  & some of last years leeks which are still tasting good

In front of the leeks are 3 Courgette plants

And in front of the Courgettes is the Gherkin WigWam which I have circled with Cos Lettuces - some of which are under pop bottle cloches to see the difference between cloche grown and non cloche grown.

The rear of Bed 2 is home to Cut and Come again Lettuce, Spring Onions, Mizuna & Rocket & in front of this is the Sweet Potato Suite

Bed 1 which housed the first planting of Broad Beans (they are now either eaten or in the freezer) is now home to some more Fiorentino Tomatoes,  

And a later sowing of Dwarf French Beans

To the front of Bed 1 is the 2nd sowing of Broad Beans & you will notice the
Dwarf Sunflowers making the entrance to the plot (as this is where our side gate is) look pretty

And last but not least - in the middle of my plot, I have sown
PLOT 144 in mustard cress seeds which will look great in a couple of days!

Wednesday, 16 June 2010

Busy Bees & Sunflowers

I planted some Dwarf Sunflowers to "pretty" up the plot a little

 Within 5 minutes of putting them in, I had a little visitor who was quite happy for the next 10 minutes or so.

I pulled out what was left of the 1st batch of Broad Beans and raked it all over - ready for a few more tomato plants, so I can free up a little more space in my greenhouse

I then planted some more cos lettuces around the Gherkin Wigwam so I now have a Cos Circle!

Sweet potato news - Well as you can see most of them are ok, apart from the one to the front right - it's lost all it's leaves, but still has a nice healthy stem!

Tuesday, 15 June 2010

More surprises & some new planting out!

I found my 1st courgette on plot 144 yesterday

 I also found my 1st tomato in the greenhouse!!

I planted out some Gherkins (I love them pickled)

I also got around to finding a small free space for some cos lettuces!  I have put fizzy pop bottles over these to act as mini cloches, as the temperatures at night are still not that fantastic!

And due to the fast occuring lack of space, I put 3 courgette plants in between the fruit trees  The wood wigwams are purely there to remind me not to step on them!!  They do however look a little like cucumbers at the moment but who cares!

And finally, I have said time and time again that I don't lke to wear gardening gloves, well this is what happens after the first 10 minutes at the plot! oh er!!

Thursday, 10 June 2010

Onions, Gnomes, Broad Beans & more.....

The Onions on plot 121 are coming along very nicely

Potty the Gnome is happily standing guard outside my shed & greenhouse.

Even my carrots are doing well this year - I have planted these in between onions to deter carrot root fly, or to try to at least!

And I have a baby Cucino Cucumber that's nearly ready to munch on!

The courgettes are coming along

And the Broad Beans are ready for picking

So that's exactly what I did! Broad Bean and Bacon Risotto tonight! Mmmmm

Saturday, 5 June 2010

Plot update....

My Broad Beans are nearly ready - I feel a Broad Bean and Bacon Risotto coming soon!
I managed to get all the plants of the staging to the right of the Greenhouse, which has made room for about 80% of my tomatoes to remain inside, protected & hopefully blight free!
I put in this very neat row of 16 leeks yesterday - I left it until around 5pm but still melted in the heat.
 I also planted another row of radishes - fortunately this was in a more shady spot so I didn't feel like dying in the heat!

And this is one I prepared earlier!

Nigel kindly bought this sign for me - he went to the Isle of Wight on his holidays - how kind and thoughtful is that!
And finally - this is my latest project - a vineyard!
No not really, only joking, me and hubby went to the Godstone Vineyard off the A22 for a little day trip yesterday.