Saturday, 30 May 2015
Sunday, 24 May 2015
Received 2 courgette plants from my allotment neighbour. Potted on Pumpkin(Dill's Atlantic) and Courgette despite Nice. Planted out coriander seedlings in the onion bed. I really need to pot on and possibly plant out the squash seedlings. With a bit of luck I shall have enough pumpkin to see us through the winter.
Saturday, 23 May 2015
Had quite a busy midday on the allotment today spending just over 4 hours there.
Managed to attach most of the mini green wire fence to the path edging as well as clearing sections of the path I've had bits of projects on since February.
Harvested 65g of Swiss Chard.
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Friday, 22 May 2015
250g sifted plain flour
3 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
250g rhubarb cut in to 1cm pieces.
Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius
Grease and flour a 22x33cm cake tin .
Sift together the flour ,baking powder,salt,cinnamon,nutmeg and cloves and set aside.
In a large bowl cream together the sugar and margarine. Beat in the egg then add the milk and flour mixture alternately whilst still mixing. Stir in the rhubarb and then pour the mixture into the prepared tin.
Bake in the oven for 50 minutes then allow the cake to cool in the tin .
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Today I made several plant labels from a used soft cheese container and then a windmill from a used coca cola bottle before baking a vegan rhubarb cake using 250grams of the rhubarb I harvested yesterday from the allotment.
No visit to the allotment today instead I caught up with adding photos to this blog. I sorted through some seeds I had collected last year sowing French Marigolds in to a 9x15 cell tray . Sown too were Cardoon in to a small seed tray and Nasturtium and Peas in to a 8x4 root trainer .
Harvested 10g of Chives and 2g Rocket leaves as part of dinner's side salad.
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At the allotment I began clearing the paths as I have several projects on the go at once and yet it looks like nothing is completed but hopefully all these projects will be completed around the same time so that I can be proud to show off my plot. One task done whilst undertaking this tidying was attaching a hanging basket containing alpine strawberries that was given to me last year by a neighbouring plot holder to the apple tree .
|Alpine strawberries hanging from the apple tree using a chain I unearthed back in 2012|
In the polytunnel I began transferring tomato plants in to their final positions in growbags purchased last month including several of the yellow tomato plants that had grown from seeds saved from tomatoes purchased in Calais at the end of March this year.
After doing a spot of weeding , adding some cardboard to the compost bin and sweeping paths I harvested 356g of Rhubarb , 103g of Swiss Chard and 7g of mint . The mint and swiss chard were used for dinner whilst the rhubarb occupied the fridge awaiting recipes to experiment with.
Wednesday, 20 May 2015
Early evening I pricked out the following seedlings: Brussels sprouts Darkmar 21, Spinach Emilla, Hamburg Parsley, Dill , Cabbage Greyhound, Couve Tronchuda, and Turnip Snowball.
The following sowings failed mainly due to a hungry mouse visiting the greenhouse: Turnip Petrowski, Cucumber Marketmore, Marrow long green Bush, Kale Nero di Toscana and Spinach Beet. I also took the opportunity to refresh the water in the sweet potatoes that I'm attempting to grow 'slips' from
|2 Bushbok Sweet Potatoes one growing vines from the top the other below the waterline with roots.|
Although I do a 'to do' list each month quite often tasks are left undone because of having to deal with pricking out and potting on as and when required. To help deal with everything I have yet again followed the late Geoff Hamilton's advice and I purchased 10 notebooks containing 80 pages ( small enough and thin enough to put in my back pocket) for 99p so that I can make daily observations and deal with tasks in order of importance.
Visited the allotment and added kitchen waste to the rotating compost bin. From the squash seeds sown on May 2nd the following will need potting on this week: Courgettes despite Nice, Marrow long green Bush, Cucumber Passandra, Courgette Black Forest F1, Pumpkin Dill's Atlantic, Pumpkin Jack be Little, Cucumber La Diva, Melon Piel de Sapo, Squash Cha cha F1, Turks Turban.
Transplanted 3 Gardeners Delight tomato plants in to a growbag in the polytunnel after spending 20 minutes de-tangling the supports from last year.
Monday, 18 May 2015
Spotted a few new ideas via the Chelsea flower show on tv . The tomtato plant from Thompson&Morgan but more realistic was the potato pot where you can harvest New potatoes without pulling up the plants. Might attempt to create one of those. Have saved 5 Charlotte and 3 Maris Peer from our food cupboards to trial this idea.
|Agralan's Potato pot|
I spent a few hours on the allotment this afternoon erecting the bean frame my wife purchased me yesterday as well as assembling a bean wigwam next to it . Hopefully 2015 will be the year of the bean on the allotment.
In order to make space for the bean frame I began moving strawberry plants in to the bins I had drilled holes in to inside the fruit cage copying one of Geoff Hamilton's original £2 garden ideas but on a larger scale.
Some more of the squash sown on May 2nd had germinated and will require potting on later this week. Harvested some rhubarb, Swiss Chard and onions today.
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I didn't visit the plot today and spent most of the day nursing the dog and updating other areas of this blog namely the £2 garden section. My wife went out shopping and running errands returning with a present for me . A sweet pea/bean grow frame which coincidentally cost £2 at a local discount store.
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Today was spent near Chester whilst we took our Standard Poodle for his MRI scans following his accident on May 2nd. Managed to look at a book briefly whilst in Ellesmere called Gardening on a Shoestring from which I got the plans for a self watering plant pot that I will attempt to utilise in the next few weeks. Please note that I didn't purchase the book.
Had a brief visit to the plot just to water plants.
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Thursday, 14 May 2015
I also planted a fig tree that I had growing in a plant pot in my backyard in to a red tub that I had dug a hole for last night . I used the opportunity to dispose of the hedge clippings from my front garden two days ago by putting those in to the base of the red tub prior to placing the fig tree in there and back filling with the soil I had removed whilst digging the hole.
Wednesday, 13 May 2015
I had planned to sow a lot of herbs yesterday but that never materialized so today I sowed:
Hamburg Parsley, Marjoram, Flat Leaf Parsley and Curly Leaf Parsley, Fennel , Sage , Dill , Basil Dark Bush and Dark Opal , Coriander
As well as : Courgette , Cabbage , Mustard Greens , Pak Choi , Mizuna , Mustard Oriental Pizzo , Hungarian Wax Pepper , Quinoa Red and White, Tomato Glorioso (from seeds collected on May 1st) , Celtuce , Black Salsify , Cucumbers (Bedfordshire Prize and Later Diva).
Small seed trays in the greenhouse were sown with Aubrietia and Nicotiana .
Elsewhere in the back garden I emptied the small herb garden I have of the yellow flowered poppies , transferring the plants to a small neglected area of land to the rear of our property that I am slowly tidying up and bringing in to cultivation. 32 sweet pea plants ,sown from self collected seeds back in January ,that I have been growing in root trainers for the first time this year were planted out around 2 sides of the herb garden. I must say that despite the price (almost £10 including postage) the 32 cell root trainer have proved to be a success . Now to see if it works as well on edible peas.
Managed to spend 2 hours on the allotment in the evening. Sown Parsnips (Hollow Crown & Guernsey) , Carrots ( Early Nantes& Royal Change may Red), Radish (French Breakfast 3) and Beetroot Boltardy in a bed where I sowed similar on 29th March but none appeared to have survived.
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Apart from sorting through seeds just to see what hasn't been sown or failed to survive yet nothing was done vegetable wise in the garden . A brief check on the polytunnel in the evening to see how things were progressing in there.
The day had been spent tidying up the front garden . There was an obelisk that had been damaged by the March winds and although I replaced the metal work sadly the newer ones that were available were not as good as the original being much thinner , smaller in height and generally not as sturdy. Anyway the day had come to make this structure sturdy once more. My front garden being just 4 inches of compost on top of concrete I removed the soil in the area required before drilling 14mm wide holes through the concrete. I disassembled the obelisk and inserted a leg in to each of the 4 holes before reassembling . The roses , Jasmine and other climbers that normally hide the metalwork were cut back severely to stop the wind from moving the structure . I'm hoping that it will get back to its former glory this summer.
Having sorted out the obelisk the surrounding hedges were looking very overgrown so they too were clipped in to shape . I have been trying to grow a hedge, using propagated cuttings from the neighbour's privet hedge that dates back pre-war ,for the past 5 years with the hope to remove the dog rose bushes that I initially planted once we removed the conifers almost 15 years ago now. So a few hours were spent in the front garden and thank goodness as first appearances do count .
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Monday, 11 May 2015
Sown the following pepper varieties today : Cayenne , Cherry Bomb, California Wonder , Mini Sweet Pointed , Red Marconi , Jalapeno , Habenero , Anaheim and Thai Chilli.
Also sown the following : Summer Squash (Custard White) , Winter Squash (variety unknown as self collected last year.) , Winter Squash (Sweet Dumpling) , Butternut Squash , Courgette (Black Forest F1) , Aubergine (Mixed) , Aubergine (Black Enorma) and Sweet Corn (Mini Pop F1).
Also I finished sowing the following beans : French Bean (Achim (dwarf)) , Broad Bean (Bunyards Exhibition) , Bean Yard Long (Metro Rouge) , Runner Beans (Enorma, White Emergo and Painted Lady ) , Borlotti (bush type) and Asparagus Pea.
All the above were sown in coco coir . I am late on the tomato , pepper and aubergine front but that is because previous sowings have failed or suffered frost damage . I am quickly going through my collection of seeds sowing as much as I can whilst the sun shines.
Sunday, 10 May 2015
I received 6 Showmaster Onion seedling from a fellow allotmenteer that I planted out straight away in a raised bed that I had filled with well rotted manure and wood ash raked through.
Planted out 3 Salsify seedlings.
Sowed directly Garlic Chives ,Spring Onion (White Lisbon) and Rainbow Radish.
Sowed 7 fresh Runnerbeans.
Checked on Tomato seedlings currently growing :
Shirley , Black Krim , Marmande , Gardener's Delight , San Marzano , Amateur , Yellow Cluster , Roma , Tiger Stripe.
|Free seeds from the BBC & Kew . Now to find a place for them to grow.|
|500g margarine tub . The lid has had its rim removed.|
|The surfaces having been lightly sanded to allow pencil lead to adhere.|
|15 plant label from just a little effort and no outlay (unless you need to purchase sandpaper!)|
|Mexican Tree Spinach & Red Orach on the right|
|Collected Coriander and Tomato seeds sown at the end of March growing well.|
Saturday, 2 May 2015
In the morning I planted out some Chinese Artichokes (Stachys Affinis) that I purchased at the start of the year online and had been growing them in the greenhouse since February. 4 were planted in the small veg patch that I have at home whilst the remaining 8 were planted at the allotment in the bed facing the entrance to the plot.
|Chinese Artichoke plants.|
Marrow (Long Green Bush)
Squash (Turks Turban)
Pumpkin (Jack Be Little)
Squash (Cha Cha F1)
Courgette (De Nice a fruit rond)
Cucumber (Passandra F1)
Cucumber (White Wonder)
Cucumber (Burpless F1 Tasty Green)
Pumpkin (Dill's Atlantic Giant)
Melon (Piel De Sapo)
Marrow (Long Green Trailing)
Cucumber (La Diva)
Courgette (Black Forest F1)
Water Melon (Sugar Baby)
Sweet corn (Mini Pop F1)
Good King Henry was sown in the shade of the Cardoons.
I began the day at lunchtime saving some tomato seeds from an Italian Glorioso tomato that I had purchased in the reduced section at Morrisons .
|Tomato seeds drying after being rinsed in a sieve|
After that I attempted to remove some 'slips' from the Covington Sweet Potato that I had had producing 'slips' and roots since January 1st 2015 . This is very much an experiment for me as I have never succeeded in growing Sweet Potato yet but after reading about others who have managed to grow their own in the U.K. I thought I would give it another go in 2015.
|The Covington Sweet Potato that has been in water since 1st January 2015|
|2 'slips' removed from the tuber|
|The 2 'slips' put in water hopefully to develop roots|
|Recycling tomato grow bags from last year.|
|Onions in the right bed covered in wood ash.|
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