Tuesday, 27 July 2010


 As you know I have a micro pond (a washing up bowl) at  plot 144.
It has had tadpoles in it for a few months now.

To my delight I spotted this little fella there this morning!

He let me pick him up and happily sat on my finger for a long time

Before I put him back into the micro pond for a swim

Then Brian on plot 144a called me over as he had just discovered this big
Frog on his plot!

Tuesday, 20 July 2010

Fruits, Frogs & Flying Ants!!

Well what a week this has been!

Firstly I will start off with the Fruit Trees, as I haven't blogged about them much lately.

Above is the Apple,
below is the pear and

 this is the Plum (just in case you hadn't guessed already!)
They all seem to be doing well and their fruits are swelling nicely.

Now for the horrible bit. 
I decided that I needed more room in the Greenhouse, so I put one of my aubergine plants out to play in the Sweet Potato Suite as I believe it will have a similar enviroment to the Greenhouse one and it won't distrub the Sweet Potatoes, which as you can see are doing very well.

Unfortunately, shortly afterwards, a fellow allotmenteer noticed that I had a Flying Ant invasion!

There were everywhere!
However the next day (today) they are nowhere to be seen!!

I harvested my 1st Earlies earlier on in the week (Pentland Javelin) and after sitting on the shed floor for a day or two, to protect them from the rain, they came home, accompanied by 2 lovely looking courgettes.

My neighbours Artichoke had flowered so I had to take a picture of it's splendor.

And this little chap, I rescued from being entangled in a courgette flower.

And finally, when I watered the sweet peppers in the greenhouse today I spotted this Frog.
I am informed on the highest authority (aka AllotmentMate on Twitter) that it is indeed a Frog and not a Toad.
I am very lucky to have a resident Frog in my greenhouse and I hope he stays there for some time!

Friday, 16 July 2010

Caithness Rare Breeds - Raffle Tickets

Please support Caithness Rare Breeds - they have a great Raffle and tickets are only a pound - yes £1 each!! Take a look at least - there are some great prizes!!

To buy a Raffle Ticket - please click here

This is Sean &

this is Thompson

both these lambs were rescued (along with many many others) by
and will live happily there for the rest of their lives

Wind Damage and other goings on

This was a very sad sight to behold when I arrived at the plot this morning. I very nearly cried, however I quickly pulled myself together, got some cable ties and duck tape from the shed and repaired my Sweet Potato Suite as best I could.  Fortunately the sweet potatoes don't seem to be any worse off for it.

The next damage was to the Gherkin Wigwam - it had completely fallen over, so Brian from the next plot down (144a) helped me to untangle the string that the gherkins were growing up and advised to leave the bamboo canes out for now until the winds died down.  In the meantime Mr Chilli Head the wind sock is now in the shed for fear of him flying half way across the county!

More damage was to the tomato support canes both here in raised bed#1 and to the canes supporting the tomatoes mid plot.  Again it was the cable ties to the rescue and some more canes for extra support as the winds are still high today.  Fortunately I didn't have any "snapped" tomato plants - phew!

I then made a cuppa and after a chat with Brian whilst we drank our tea, I got to work on lifting the last of the Earlies.  Due to the small, quick but heavy downpours we were having off and on, I put the spuds on the floor of the shed to dry out.

Not as many as I was hoping for but without the rain this year, this is better than nothing and they haven't suffered with rust either.

In thier place, I planted 2 rows of leeks - a little late in the year, but it worked well for me last year.

So I got my dibber out and got dibbing and dropped the leeks in, and then watered them in afterwards, as the ground is still dry once you getting digging, despite the amount of rain we have had in recent days.

 And finally, I put 14 cabbage plants in the remaining potato space - 7 Greyhounds and 7 Savoys, covered them with netting and watered them in.

A few hours well spent today.

Wednesday, 14 July 2010

Green Tomato, Red Tomato!

Yes, my tomatoes are starting to ripen & the little cherry toms are getting redder by the day!

Both inside the greenhouse and outside on the plot!

As you can see the chilli plants are also doing well - all four of them

And I even have a sweet pepper growing too!

Now I did have to do a bit of re- arranging in the Greenhouse as some of the plants were going bananas, so to speak! The Aubergines which were under the bench, and hitting the top, had to be lifted and put on the bench itself. I just hope it doesn't collapse under the strain.

And the melons that were on the bench are now both on the floor and they are spreading their arms out like wildfire. I am pleased to report that I do have some baby, baby melons (about the size of a large pea) in situ so watch this space!

And finally, as you already know, I came 4th in Sutton In Bloom 2010.  My friend and fellow blogger - see
Andrew Stanley (pictured below) and kindly invited me to Roundshaw Allotments to see their site and his plots, which were fantastic.  Andrew came 2nd in the same competition & well done to him.  I had a lovely morning, with a nice cup of coffee and a good old chin wag about all things allotment!  Thank you Andrew.

Sunday, 11 July 2010

More from 144....

I wasn't planning a long visit to the allotment today, especially after all the hours I put in during the week, but on arrival, the greenhouse needed watering, the tomato canes needed securing and the polytunnel aka The Sweet Potato Suite needed some minor repairs.
On arrival, I watered the greenhouse and fed the tomatoes inside and out with Tomorite.  I can never remember which day I last fed the on, but I know it wasn't yesterday or Friday, so I added the correct dosage and watered away!

One of my first jobs was to secures some of the tomato canes together, so with a few bamboo canes and some cable ties, I got this in hand.
I then made repairs to the polytunnel with some duck tape, my teeth, a pair of scissors and some more cable ties!

I then harvested some french beans, baby cucumbers & beetroots, along with some strawberries that only made it as far as my mouth, so sorry for not sharing!
To my surprise and huge delight, I discovered that one of the cherry tomatoes had a slighly "red" tinge to it! How exciting.  I hope that this means that a lot more follow and I have a big basket of cherry tomatoes to take home very soon. Mmmmm.

Saturday, 10 July 2010

Onions & Garlic have finished sunbathing!

After a week of basking in the sun on plot 121, my garlic and onions were ready to bring home, so I took my trusty bike trailer with me as I knew that I wouldn't be able to carry 20 plastic bags of them back!

A few of the onions still need some drying out, but I took these back anyway and they are now drying in the back garden.

As you can see, by the time I lifted the garlic into the trailer there was room for little else!

Once home the onions were strung up & will hand in the sun for a day.


I did try to plait the garlic but after a few dozen failed attempts and getting frustrated in the 30 degree heat I strung them up in the same fashion as the onions!

I also have about 2 dozen Onion & Garlic bulbs that were not suitable for stringing up,so these were trimmed and put in bowl in the kitchen, to be used first and handy for cooking!

Friday, 9 July 2010

Sutton In Bloom 2010

I bravely entered for the first time, the Sutton in Bloom 2010 competition this year.

I am very proud to announce that I came 4th out of 15 entries.

Judges comments were ‘a terrific effort. Good use of all the space. Very well done. Good composting’.