Saturday, 30 April 2011

Lack of rain.....

....meant lots of watering today and with a dribble coming from the hose it was going to be a long hard slog, but I managed to water all that was planted in the plot.

However I did have my son Junior with me, so I had to make sure that he had lots to do too, so after he watererd his plot, I asked him to water my triangle of peas, then I sent him to the shop a few times asking for prices of canes etc. so he was back and forth and he seemed very content.

Watering the Broad Beans (2nd planting)

The Runner Beans are doing well

Junior helping to even out the new heap of grass thrown on the compost

Junior also helped me to erect a wire fence in between the row (not the triangle) of peas as they were getting very big and in fear of getting blown over now!!

I did want to attempt some weeding but the ground is TOO hard! well that's my excuse anyway!!

Thursday, 28 April 2011

Tuesday, 26 April 2011


Yes, today was BEANS day - runner beans and yes, you've guessed it - more runner beans.

With the help of the wigwam thingys on 8ft canes I managed to site all 3 and plant all of the runner beans at the top raised bed - so the blooms will look rather spendid as people enter through our gate!

And here are the last of the broad beans in Raised bed 2.

Saturday, 23 April 2011

A little bit of weeding....

Yes, I weeded my cauliflowers & cabbages - I built a triangular cage from what was left over of the Build A Ball equipment as the snow damaged a lot of it, but I am pleased with the end result!  Perfect for what's in there now and the addition of a few pak choi at a later stage.  I am not going to do Brussels or Broccoli this year you see, so I don't need a tall contraption.

 As you can see I got weeding in between the onion, all along the broad beans and down, back & in between on 2 rows of peas.  It all looks SO much smarter now and I am really pleased with my achievements today, considering I had Junior with me.

My greenhouse is "heaving".  I had a good POT clearout yesterday, which gave me some space & I also brought home some of the seedling trays that I have been taking down there from the utility room.  This allowed me space for my 18 tomato plants - 6 of each, Roma, MoneyMaker & cherry, all of which have now outgrown my coldframe in the back garden!

I will take pictures of the green house tomorrow as I have lots going on in there but didn't have the time to photograph today.

Tuesday, 19 April 2011

Allotment Threat - Act Now!

Allotment Threat – Act Now!

Allotments could be facing a major problem. The government has decided to undertake a “Review of statutory duties” with the aim of reducing the burden on local authorities. I think most of us would agree a good idea in theory – especially if it brings the council tax down.

However they considering removing the statutory duty to provide sufficient number of allotments for people in the area who want one. This would have the effect of putting all allotments under threat!

Act Now

There is a consultation process but it closes on 25th April 2011 so you need to act now and let the politicians know that allotments are important and we should be protected.

You can email your comments to: or write to them on paper

Review of Statutory Burdens Team

Department for Communities and Local Government

3/H6 Eland House

Bressenden Place

London SW1E 5DU

You should also write to your MP – there’s a great site to help you here: WriteToThem

Look at the Government’s web page on “Review of statutory duties placed on local government“. Then fill in the “Statutory duties webform” which is in the top right-hand corner. The webform is a bit confusing, so here are some model answers which you can use.

Please act now!

There is more information on the NSALG web site and thanks to the Hollin Lane Allotments web site for their informative posting and model answers and to Carole Ware and James Driscoll for their emails on this.

Saturday, 9 April 2011

Peas and digging holes!

Progress at the allotment is always very slow when Junior is there with me, but I had a plan!  I asked Junior to make sure that his broad beans and strawberry plants were very well watered, due to the last few days and of course the current day of hot weather. 

He had brought some pea seeds to plant, he got a packet of peas in a birthday card, so I told him that he had to water the ground well in preparation - this meant several trips to and from the water tank with not only his watering can, but some of my small ones too, as I was watering the plants and seedlings in the greenhouse too - the plan was going well.

When it got to "planting" I got a bamboo stick as a straight line marker and showed Junior what to do - the rest is history - he did his interpretation of what I had showed him and planted away.

This kept him busy for at least half an hour, which left me free to get on with my peas that had been started off in the greenhouse and were due to be planted out any day now!

Junior then decided that he wanted to dig a hole, so I let him get on with that too!  He wanted to dig for marbles but found a 5 pence piece instead!!

I was able to plant about 20 broad beans in my broad bean patch to fill in a few gaps.  Sorry I forgot to take photo's of both my achievements today, and I say achievements because that's exactly what they were - I had a plan and it worked today as I was able to get on with a few jobs that I had been needing to get on with.

Yesterday, whilst I had some free time, I sowed:

Baby corn (1st attempt so not sure what to expect)
Runner Beans (Lady Di a string less variety) &
Dwarf French Beans

So my greenhouse is looking very "full up" now.

I have 3 varieties of Tomatoes in the cold frame at home - Moneymaker, Roma & Cherry and various chilli's, sweet peppers, Cucino (baby cucumbers) and leeks, all at home on the utility room window sill.  It's very tempting to put them out but I must be wary of a late frost, which could still come as it did this time last year, so I may just pot on the Cucino, Chilli & Sweet peppers for now and leave the tomatoes where they are!

I did cheat the other day and bought some Cauliflower & Savoy cabbage plants from the garden centre - with Junior around this year, I am not ready to be totally self productive as it's all so new having him around - maybe next year when I am a little more organised.

So much to do!

Sunday, 3 April 2011

A few new pictures from 121 & 144

I started on plot 121 today - all that was left to do there, as the rest of the plot is now full of potatoes (8 rows of maincrops just in case you need reminding) was to weed the Asparagus bed, which I completed in about 40 minutes.  I was very pleased to see a whole little group of Asparagus in all different sizes, waiting to greet me.  As this is year 3, I should get a lovely crop this year, as year 3 is the year that you should wait for, until you start to harvest.

Now back to 144 - I noticed that the flowers on the Micro Pond were in full bloom today, but sadly there were no signs of life, so I asked Blossom, from a neighbouring plot, if she had and life in her pond (which is massive) and she was happy to say that she had plenty of little baby frogs that she would be more than happy to share with me, so I took along a mug and scooped up a few, carefully walked them back to 144 and introduced them to their new home.

And here they are - well some of them anyway - it's hard to get a photo of them but you can clearly see that they have settled in well.