Sunday, 12 August 2012

Week Ending 18th August 2012

 Well this week began with just a quick 10 minutes of raking and time to sow some Detroit Globe Beetroot in the far left corner near the fruit cage on the evening of Sunday 12th. Not much but at least something was done .
Monday 13th was a hot humid day . I didn't go to the allotment today as I was inbetween nightshifts .

Week Ending 11th August 2012

Thursday, 2 August 2012

Week Ending 4th August 2012

It may seem like such a big leap from my last entry but as I was on holiday in London until last weekend I kind of neglected the allotment being proccupied with holiday planning . Even though I have been home a week now it has only been this evening (2nd) that I have managed to put in a good hours work weeding .

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Monday, 2 July 2012

Week Ending 7th July 2012

Way back on April 17th I drew up the following list of tasks :

'Tasks I would like to complete before June arrives'

While I've got a spare few minutes I thought I would draw myself up a list of jobs I would like to complete before May is out .
1) Clean all the sacks the gravel came in and store ready to reuse. - task completed
2 )Sort out the front fence , replacing the gate post and gate . Still not done although a post and replacement gate has been 'prepped'
3)lay paving in the fruit cage area and level off the soil up that end , including putting plastic down to subdue the weeds. All done apart from the laying down of weed control.
4)Build fruit cage - task completed .
5)Build lean-to on the side of the shed - still NOT done.
6)Kit the shed out with storage - Still NOT done.
7)Short out flue pipe etc and get stove installed in the shed. - Still NOT installed.
8)Build the cold frames - Still NOT done.
9)Sort out the water butts - completed in June.
10) Build climbing nets for beans and peas. Still NOT done
11) Sort out the plastic sheets I've been given into a neat order. - Done
12)Fix party fencing - Still NOT done
13) Plant seeds - Ongoing!
14)Draw up plan of allotment - Started
15)Make shed lock easier to open. - Done
16)Install bench into shed. - still NOT done
17)Sort out the path at the entrance to the shed - Done
18)Womble more bricks - Done
19)Womble fence post - Done
20)Womble blocks to raise stove up on - Done
21)Womble more paving - Done
22)Womble some guttering for shed roof
23)Transfer fruit canes to the allotment - Done
24)Bring up fruit trees and equipment from the old plot - Done
25)Install wallplanner and enjoy. - Done apart from the 'enjoy' bit.

Week Ending 30th June 2012

Apart from a touch of weeding all that was completed this week was the harvesting of blackcurrants and some raspberries along with enough rhubarb stalks to make a crumble on July 2nd . It has and still continues to rain . This week has seen flash floods in the NorthWest of England that are totally out of character. Not a good gardening week although I was occupied at home trying to re-arrange our own backyard.

Sunday, 17 June 2012

Week Ending 23rd June 2012

Monday evening was a brief visit just to water the plot and to plant out some Mizuna and Ruby Streaks Oriental Mustard as well as Parsley that I had germinated at home. Tuesday had me digging up 3lb potatoes as it transpired that several of my potato crops were suffering from what I now know to be 'Blackleg'.

Week Ending 16th June 2012

I will fill in asap - So much rain this week it has been hard to do much outdoors.

Week Ending 9th June 2012

I will fill in asap

Tuesday, 29 May 2012

Week Ending 2nd June 2012

Fruit cage when completed on May 27th 2012
Sunday 27th May was spent creating a doorway covering and attaching the end panel nets to the fruit cage and at long last all is done . Monday and Tuesday were just brief visits in which I just watered the fruit canes that were already in the cage . Wednesday I didn't visit at all . Thursday the day began with rain but dried up in the afternoon by which time I had unearth the raspberry and blackcurrant fruit canes from home and transported them up to the allotment even though they were developing fruit.

Wednesday, 23 May 2012

Week Ending 26th May 2012 A Fruit Cage Is Born

How things were on the 22nd May 2012
Well Sunday the 20th was a no show. On Monday I spotted some pink flowered strawberries growing wild on one of the entrances to the allotment site so by the Tuesday they had made their way to on to my allotment. Weeding tasks were occurring daily as the weeds were growing with vigour this week . It had been a very hot and dry week so I took the opportunity to bring those 10 decking boards ,I had bought as I was constructing the shed base , home whilst I cut them using a circular saw to use in 2 projects . 2 lengths were cut to use as a seat in the shed and the other eight lengths were sawn into 3 lengths each ready to construct a fruit cage. On the Tuesday evening I used 4 of the fruit cage poles Billy had given me back in March to build a  support for fruit canes using a scaffold bar that I found on Saturday last week . On Wednesday I did the sawing and on Thursday I began to construct the rear frame for the fruit cage . On Friday daytime I constructed the front frame of the fruit cage and on Saturday the top bars were added and the whole frame was painted . As we were working late we even managed to attach netting to the structure apart from the entrance and both the end panels .
24th May 2012

What had been done by the end of 25th May 2012
Side view of work done by the end of 26th May 2012

Tuesday, 22 May 2012

Monday, 14 May 2012

Week Ending 19th May 2012

Sunday and Monday I was unable to visit although it did rain heavily in the evenings. On Tuesday however I was able to make 2 one hour visits . In the morning I popped into the shed and fixed the chest of drawers and did a quick tidy up afterwards. In the evening although it was late I was able to finish cutting holes in the vinyl and replant the strawberries that the guys from plot 43 had given me a few months back. On Wednesday I spent 3 hours in the afternoon levelling off the beds that were going to be inside the fruitcage. So that task was completed along with all the weeding. I now have only where the blackcurrant cuttings are growing to level off . Compared to what the plot was like 5 months ago I think it has come along good. Thursday morning was a brief visit just to measure up for the intended fruit cage . Now I have rough plans drawn .
 Friday was a no visit day and Saturday was only a brief visit to do a spot of raking.

Thursday, 3 May 2012

Thursday 3rd May 2012

Sowed some old seeds today in the greenhouse at home ;

Sage , Parsley Moss Curled, Sweet Basil & Coriander .

These are old seeds so there's no guarantee of germination.

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Saturday, 21 April 2012

Week ending 21st April 2012

The plot is looking a touch scruffy this week to say the least as it has rained most days and domestic chores have pre-occupied my time .
As I type out this entry a section of vitreous stove pipe as just arrived so adding that to a section of flame resistant pipe I bought for £6.99 at Wickes last night and a cowl I was fortunate enough to womble I should be able to install the stove in the next few weeks.
 With regards to the other tasks on my list one of the new locks I fitted to the shed bust last night in the sense that the key snapped in the lock so I've bought a triple pack of locks last night that all use the same key to help simplify the keyring. I have however brought the gravel sacks home and I am slowly washing them and drying them out to reuse later on .

Tuesday, 17 April 2012

Tasks I would like to complete before June arrives

While I've got a spare few minutes I thought I would draw myself up a list of jobs I would like to complete before May is out .
1) Clean all the sacks the gravel came in and store ready to reuse.
2 )Sort out the front fence , replacing the gate post and gate .
3)lay paving in the fruit cage area and level off the soil up that end , including putting plastic down to subdue the weeds.
4)Build fruit cage
5)Build lean-to on the side of the shed
6)Kit the shed out with storage
7)Short out flue pipe etc and get stove installed in the shed.
8)Build the cold frames
9)Sort out the water butts
10) Build climbing nets for beans and peas.
11) Sort out the plastic sheets I've been given into a neat order.
12)Fix party fencing
13) Plant seeds
14)Draw up plan of allotment
15)Make shed lock easier to open.
16)Install bench into shed.
17)Sort out the path at the entrance to the shed
18)Womble more bricks
19)Womble fence post
20)Womble blocks to raise stove up on
21)Womble more paving
22)Womble some guttering for shed roof
23)Transfer fruit canes to the allotment
24)Bring up fruit trees and equipment from the old plot
25)Install wallplanner and enjoy.

Tuesday 17th April 2012

Popped briefly to the plot this morning and met up with Billy who promptly gave me a pine chest of drawers for my new shed that he'd offered me a few weeks ago. In return I gave Billy a Jasmine cutting that I took to the plot the other day and also promised Billy 6 tomato seedlings that I have growing at home . Well all his hand outs and free labour have helped bring my plot on quicker. I really need to draw up a list of jobs that I wish to do before mass planting occurs.
 That's all I have time to write for no , so thank you for popping by and reading, Paul

Monday, 16 April 2012

Monday 16th April 2012

Only paid a very brief visit . Met Billy who gave me a length of wood and some plastic fencing . In reality I wanted to check on the garden peas as there had been ground frosts during the night. Totally forgot and went home.
Early evening planted some Hot Patio Sizzle , Chillis and Sweet Pointed Pepper seeds before getting ready for work.

Sunday 15th April 2012

I only made a brief visit today mainly to take up some plants from home.

Sunday, 15 April 2012

Long Time No Write , 15th April 2012

Well it seems I have been very distracted indeed . From April 9th - 11th I was laying foundations for the new shed which arrived in the afternoon of the 11th .

On the 12th I painted the exterior of the shed whilst also attaching locks on the door and an internal wall cupboard.

I've spent too many days now looking for stove pipes and getting beaten at the last minute on Ebay.

Lots of ideas floating around my head I really need to focus and get on top of it also that I can begin the growing process.

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Thursday, 29 March 2012

Pruning the Apple Tree

Well today (thursday 29th March 2012) I had popped to the allotment with the sole intention of planting some Sugarsnap Peas I had growing in the dining room at home . Not everything goes to plan!
 First I wheelbarrowed some more manure from the plot opposite to cover up the Vales Emerald potatoes as they were growing through quickly . Then Billy arrived and swept my paths before setting up a sprinkler hose with Dave from a plot down the bottom end of the site . Whilst the sprinkler was working away on the dry beds attention was turned to the Apple tree which ended up getting the much needed pruning it required . So with the help of a few new friends plot 44 is starting to look cared for.
 Thanks for reading, Paul

Wednesday, 28 March 2012

Muck Spreading

On Sunday 25th March 2012 I purchased 1 Tayberry and 1 Gooseberry sapling which I duly planted in the afternoon up at the top end of the plot where the rest of the fruit appears to be going . Whilst I had the helping hand of my son I decided to transfer the manure I had been offered in to the bed I was preparing for onions . The result of which can be seen in the photograph below. 

On Monday 26th March I picked up 2 large tubs to be used as water butts on the way home from work . No planting occurred today as it was just a case of getting the butts on the plot .

Tuesday 27th March saw me planting a 110 onion sets in to the bed I had been preparing since last week . I also spent time weeding out the bed on the right-hand side and putting manure on that . Gradually the allotment is taking shape and hopefully before May arrives it will be looking more productive indeed.
Thanks for reading, Paul

Sunday, 25 March 2012

Holes For The Onion Sets

Well the Saturday 24th March saw me pay a brief visit to the allotment as I cut out as many holes as I could in the sheet Billy had given me yesterday . I keep telling myself 'it's getting there' I just hope I can get ahead of myself at some point soon so that it all becomes a pleasure rather than a chore . Still even I couldn't conceive that I would be in the position I am now just a few months ago. Anyway cutting those 140 holes and a small bit of apple tree pruning was all I did today. Thanks for visiting and reading, Paul

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Saturday, 24 March 2012

Potato Planting Begins

I know I've already begun with the potatoes last month when I planted the Vales Emerald but I appear to have amassed so many so quickly that I fear I might not have the space for them all. Today I was only planning to be at the plot for no more than 30 minutes but ended up being there for a hour more. I met Billy who gave me some poles to help build my fruit cage with ( a future project! ) . I also explained that the 120 onion sets I had been given needed planting urgently as they were beginning to take root already. 

Anyway cutting a long story short Billy gave me a tarpauline sheet that we roughly marked out with a craft knife for me to later cut out holes for the onion sets. I'd met my neighbours opposite and was offered more free manure with an agreement that come October we would have one load delivered between us as a single load was far too much for a small plot to use in a year. So all in all a productive 90 minutes and I managed to plant my Saxon and Marfona tubers and another Rhubarb root whilst at the plot and begin pruning the apple tree.
It will all get there soon . Thanks for reading, Paul.
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Thursday, 22 March 2012

Five hours at the allotment and still not sorted.

Well Wednesday 21st March 2012 had been taken up by my re-laying of the paving flags to create a level pathway all around the allotment and of course to get the plot as level as is possible .I still have a further 12 flags to lay and so shall commence that in a moment and complete this post later on. Once I had got the bed that contains the apple tree bordered with level paving I raked the plot over and quickly transplanted the Vales Emerald tubers that I had planted last month to the left-hand side of the bed forming 3 rows . Rome wasn't built in a day and niether will this allotment be. Thanks for reading, Paul

Thursday, 15 March 2012

Losing track of time 14th March 2012

Everyone seems to want to unload their rubbish on to me.
 It would seem that I have been a busy bee on the domestic front as well as at the allotment but I have failed to maintain this blog so I shall try and recount all that has been done since my last posting at the start of March.

Thursday, 1 March 2012

1st March 2012 Seed Order Arrives

I haven't had chance to visit the allotment at the beginning of the week due to decorating commitments at home . On monday night I got a delightful surprise , one of my work colleagues gave me a poly bag containing 112 onion sets that he had spare from his order from Suttons .

I got a touch carried away with myself at the weekend and ordered some seeds from D.T.Brown which arrived on Thursday .

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Sunday, 26 February 2012

Compost Bins In Place ,Saturday 25th February 2012

Another busy couple of hours . It seems that not all the potatoes I'd planted the other day were deep enough and as this was my first year on this plot I'd missed the manure delivery last autumn and had no compost to fall back on . So using the pallets I brought the other day I constructed the compost bins and promptly painted them green using up an old tin of woodstain from the garden at home.
 I then turned my attention to the apple tree and using an old saw removed the thick branches that were below my head height as I prefer to keep my eyes! After that I planted blackcurrant cuttings taking the total now up to 74 planted - time will tell if they all grow. The netting that I had used as fencing between my plot and plot45 was neatened  up using plant ties so that it was no longer sagging during the wide expanses. I planted two more comfrey roots behind the gate and two spinach plants I had growing over winter in the greenhouse at home I planted up in the asparagus bed.  
Just before I went home I had 4m of plastic border edging spare at home so I used that next to one of the beds - not exactly a straight effort so I don't think I will be repeating it.
Thanks for visiting / reading today , Paul .

Compost heap with the apple tree prunings next to the fence.

Thursday, 23 February 2012

Potatoes And Paint

 Today was a very bizarre February day as temperatures reached 19 degrees Celsius in some parts of the U.K. . I took the opportunity late in the afternoon to pay a visit to the allotment . I loaded up the car with the last two pallets I had from just before Christmas , hammer and netting hooks along with the netting rolls I had bought yesterday , fence paint and an old paintbrush and finally a spade and the 16 Vales Emerald potatoes I had had chitting from 3rd January .
 Since early January I have been chitting potatoes in our dining room at home and hopefully today I shall be able to plant some up at the allotment. Overall I have the following collection :
16 Vales Emerald (began chitting 3rd January 2012)
12 Cultra (began chitting 12th January 2012)
25 Maris Peer (began chitting 12th January 2012)
5 Saxon (9th February 2012)
10 Desiree (16th February 2012)
Daylight had gone before I finished planting the Vales Emerald
Total spent so far = just 50p.
The fence once painted.

 I arrived at the allotment around 4p.m. and promptly began painting the fence . Once I had completed the painting I quickly began to hammer the rolls of netting to the posts between my plot and plot 45 - sadly I didn't have enough netting to complete the job and ideally I could do with quite a few cable ties to neaten and strengthen the netting so that it can act as a form of fencing. 
 That was all done and the time was now 5.45p.m. and daylight was fading very quickly now. I returned to the car to get the 2 pallets, potatoes and spade .It's amazing how much longer the walk from the main gates to plot 44 is once your arms are full. Anyway I put the pallets on the plot where I want the compost heap to be and quickly set about planting the potatoes in two ridges hastily dug in the bed that contains the apple tree.
 All done & dusted and back in the car driving home at 6p.m. 
Thanks for reading, Paul.

Wednesday 22nd February 2012

 Well today I had planned to plant some rhubarb root I had collected over the weekend and had stuck in my car boot as well as plant some comfrey roots I had collected. It was early just before 9a.m. ,with just a touch of fine rain, so I thought I would be done and dusted quite quickly but then I ran in to Billy who showed me the positive effects of raking over the beds now the frost had been . It was quite vigorous work and since I had had no breakfast or anything I had to quit with just over half the plot raked and I was back home before 9.30 a.m. . I had to admit it did make the beds look much neater as hopefully you can see in the two photographs below.
What the plot looked like first thing.

Most of the beds at the back have been raked.
 In the afternoon I bought two 5m x 90cm rolls of netting to act as a fence between my plot and plot 45 with the intention of fastening that to the posts on Thursday.

Sunday, 19 February 2012

Up To Week Ending 19th February 2012

Asparagus roots before planting.

View of plot 44 from outside

View of Plot 44 from the gate.

The mini rose bushes.
I didn't have any free time this week due to redecorating my son's bedroom at home so it was sunday 19th February before I got to visit and then it was only for a hour . I had gone along with a dozen blackcurrant cuttings, 3 asparagus roots and 12 mini rose bushes .
 When I arrived I noticed a dozen strawberry plants that had been left behind the gate of my plot by the holders of plot43 so I wasted no time in planting those along with the dozen blackcurrant cuttings in the bed next to the chain link fence.
The blackcurrant cuttings

 I then planted the 3 asparagus roots in the bed on the left in front of the fruit bed and check on the rhubarb I planted the other week . The rhubarb was just beginning to show through the surface of the soil so I replaced the cover on them .
Rhubarb shoots appearing.

 Although I had intended to only grow vegetables on the plot I had spotted a dozen mini rose bushes reduced down in price to 75p for the lot as they were remnants from Valentines so I purchased them and planted them in front of the raised yellow bed .
With the ground being softer this week I was able to back fill the post holes today in the fence to complete that job .
 So all in all it was a productive hour well spent.

Saturday, 11 February 2012

Friday 10th February 2012

I had bought a lock to put on the gate whilst out yesterday so I popped up today with the sole intention of paying just a brief visit and paying my first annual membership to the allotment society . As I arrived I met Billy and gave him the envelope containing my details and fees for my membership . I then walked up to my plot and checked on the rhubarb that had been planted last week .
 Whilst attaching the gate lock I finally got to meet Ken . An old guy with an obsession with growing large onions and possibly an over active imagination as to what he is actually producing in summer. Certainly a lot of work has gone in to his plot - possibly too much but it keeps him active and happy. He advised me not to submit plans for a shed and told me I wouldn't be allowed a shed at the front . The conversation went from manure to digging drains , growing cane fruit , mulching and security. Regardless to what he said I was still submitting plans for the shed if only to save heartache later on.
It requires painting a.s.a.p. to tidy it up.
 So my five minute visit ended up a hour and then I had to return within the hour as I'd uncovered a wheelbarrow and promptly took it to the plot.

Wednesday, 8 February 2012


I only popped to the allotment to take a photograph of the plot covered in frost . Little did I know that a chance meeting with Billy again would lead to the construction of the boundary fence all in just 3 hours.

Sunday, 5 February 2012

The Week Ending the 5th February 2012

The weather changed a lot this week with severe frost , hailstones and plenty of ice . Before the weather turned too much below freezing ,on Thursday 2nd February ,I was able to plant some rhubarb root (that I had found) in the bed I had dug on the 26th January . I covered this with some blue plastic bag that had once littered the plot. I noticed that in my absence Billy had dropped of 3 fence posts that he had shown me the other week. On my exit from the allotment site I met a guy who offered to get me a key cut for the pedestrian gate so I gave him £2 and said I would pick the key up from the keycutters the following afternoon totally unaware that the key cutter was on holiday this week so chances are that I might not see any return for that £2.
 On Friday 3rd February the big freeze was on so I only made a brief visit to the plot just to show my wife what progress had taken place since the last time she saw the place last . Thankfully she was impressed.
The glass pixie's work

I can't wait to erect the fence posts.

It's getting there , all I need is a fence,gate ,shed and some plants.
 Sunday 5th February and as the ice began to melt in the afternoon I took the opportunity to drop off several wooden pallets that I had had stored in my back garden since just before Christmas. I noticed the glass pixies had been busy with 2 broken bottles appearing on the plot , one being down a fence post. The post holes were full of water but I took the opportunity to dig them a touch deeper.

Wednesday, 1 February 2012

Digging the last beds 26th January 2012

Well this week had been very busy so no time to actually visit the allotment except on thursday and so I made the most of my time there by digging the last of the beds out and extending others. I also began digging holes for the fence posts . So below are the photos of progress.
View before digging from the right.

View before digging from the left.

After digging the beds at the top I turned my attention to the front and a future fence.

Digging the holes ready for the fence posts.

View from the front left corner before I left.

View from the centre of the front.
View from the front right corner.

At home I sowed several lots of seeds on the windowsill with the hope of planting them out when they germinate.

Monday, 23 January 2012

180 Packets of Seeds Sunday 22nd January 2012

 Well finally I have finished entering my seed collection in to the database and the results are 130 Packets of vegetable/herb/fruit/salad seeds and 50 packets of various flowers . Now I just need enough space and time to germinate them all and grow them on . There are 20 varieties that can be sown in January according to the packets so I shall sow some daily. It looks like it will be Tuesday before I return to the allotment .

Wednesday, 18 January 2012

Wednesday 18th January 2012

Well this morning I continued cataloguing my seed collection inputting the details in to the newly created database. In the afternoon I managed to bag up some of the rubbish in to rubble sacks ready to put in my wheelie bin at home this friday. The blue sack in the yellow bed is full of glass that I unearthed this afternoon after thinking I had already removed all the glass on Sunday . How wrong was I? I've moved the remains of Saturday's garden waste to the front where eventually the compost heap with hopefully go.
 The only other job done on the allotment today was to mark out a bed on the left of the apple tree at the back ready to dig before next weekend.

Tuesday 17th January 2012

Cataloguing began today of my seed collection and in some areas it appears to have got out of control with 11 different varieties if carrot seeds alone . Too many just to write them all down and seeing as it is too frosty to do much outside I created a database using OpenOffice and began inputting the catalogue . Time consuming yes but once it is done it will be easier to update and refer to.

Monday, 16 January 2012

Sunday 15th January 2012

 I didn't spend more than a hour at the allotment today as time was stretched. I collected as much glass as I could find and brought that home to put in the bin . Whilst I was there I marked out the bed next to the 'yellow tub' and quickly dug that over ready for the frost.

Saturday 14th January 2012

With the amount of brambles I had removed from the rear fence there was nothing left to do but set fire to them then at least the ashes could be used to fertilise the soil.  2 hours I ended up staying for just to ensure that the fire didn't go out of control or cause a nuisance.

Thursday, 12 January 2012

Brambles and Billy Thursday 12th January 2012

 Today my task was to continue clearing the brambles that were dominating the area in front of the rear fence . I was working quite well pruning out all the branches as the first photograph shows . I then began digging out the roots which was when Billy , the guy who had started me off digging beds on Friday , appeared .

Just some of the bramble and weeds I removed from near the fence.
View from the left once I'd removed the brambles.
View from the right once I'd removed the brambles.

After praising me on what I had managed to complete so far he warned me that I was in danger of losing my paths to weeds if I didn't do something to protect them such as using old carpet . He also said that my beds going front to back might not be as productive as beds going side to side due to the sun being on them  longer in the latter position. He had a dig in the soil where the brambles had been removed from and was satisfied with the condition of the soil. He also warned me about pruning the lower apple tree branches before I lose an eye.
Anyway just when I thought I might be allowed to continue he took me on a tour of the site , after all he had been there since the site opened in 1976.

View from the left once I'd removed the weeds and turned the earth over

View from the left once I'd removed the weeds and turned the earth over.
View from the front - that mound on the left-hand side has been levelled ready for where the shed will go.

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