Friday, 26 December 2014

Plotting At Christmastime

Since the beginning of December things have been slow and restful down my plots, compared with previous years. Over the past couple of weeks, air temperatures have risen and I have spent several pleasant days in the sunshine, mainly replacing the storm damaged vents in the walls of my poly tunnel. This involved fixing wooden battens along the sides of the tunnel, inside and out and replacing the original torn vents with stronger pieces of nylon mesh. To date one side of the tunnel has been completed and the other side partially completed. A bit of a fiddly job to say the least, trying to fix battens to both sides of the tunnel walls at the same time and definitely a 2 man job.

Squash Seeds
It Always Looks Good On Paper (Next Seasons Squash Seeds) Dec 2014
Most of the allotments are looking tidy if not devoid of crops at this time of the year and compared with previous years, few plot holders seem to have been tending their plots lately, compared to last year over the same time period. With the final pruning done to my blackcurrant bushes two days ago, just some pruning to the red and white currants and fruit trees remains to be done later this Winter, leaving the plum tree pruning until June. My rhubarb plants are already showing early signs of new growth. If this mild weather continues it could well be an early start to next season. I mentioned in an earlier post that I thought this Winter would bring extremely bad weather with it. Wrong so far!! But I wonder now if Winter will be late with snow, frost etc around Easter time. I had a good harvest of cabbage (round headed and cavolo nero) parsnips, carrots, mixed lettuce and lambs lettuce today most of which will be eaten and hopefully enjoyed on Christmas day.

Damaged Poly Tunnel Vents
Poly Tunnel Vents Needing Repair (Dec 2014)
Repaired Poly Tunnel Vents
New Vents & Battens Being Fixed To My Poly Tunnel (Dec 2014)

Some Veggies for Christmas Day
A Few Veggies For Christmas Day
(A gardeners poem with apologies to any poets reading it)

It was Christmas day in the kitchen and the turkey was cooking well
The giblets still inside their polythene bag were exuding an odorous smell
Brussels sprouts were purchased from Asda this year
I forgot to sow some last Spring
My planning was wrong, my memory was short and definitely needed some zing
The carrots were simmering nicely smelling sweeter with each passing minute
The pan they were in was full to the brim, after I spilled some bleach right in it
Parsnips and peas looked delicious, as they cooked alongside the spuds
But the yorkshires were somewhat deflated not rising just how they should
The runner beans were a wonderful green and looking ever so tasty
But the gravy was thick and lumpy, because I had been too hasty
 The custard and pud were coming along very well, as I added a little more rum
Spirit and flame from the gas hob combined, to give off a bl**dy great flash
Christmas dinner was lost in the blink of an eye, just as the first guests appeared
Sod it I thought I'm off down my plots, to sow some more seeds for next years'


Monday, 1 December 2014

Autumn Colours

After another chilly and drab Autumn week, but with a beautiful sunny day yesterday, which cleared away the dampness in the air and on the ground I decide to spuddle off to my plots today in the late morning. With not a great deal to do around my allotments, the intention was to make a short visit and do a cursory inspection of everything. Most of the ground areas were reasonably dry, except where the fallen Autumn leaves were strewn around, holding in moisture, mainly across the southern lower parts of my plots, close to the hedgerow. The grass areas of the plots were also a little damp, as only recently has the grass stopped growing to any degree. As I wandered around my plots checking the beds, borders, paths, cloches and ground covers, I noticed a surprising and varied amount of new growth, despite the recent cold, damp weather. Many spring flowering bulbs were showing well above soil level. The autumn sown veggies which would be expected to develop were doing well and even my mixed lettuce, (uncovered as yet), was growing away, unaffected by the recent frosts. 

Passiflora Still Flowering End of Nov 2014
 Seven or eight other plot holders were working away on their plots when I arrived and were in the process of some rough digging or clearing decaying vegetation from their planting areas. By about midday most of them had left for home. I dug over a few feet of soil at the top end of No1 bed. After about forty minutes of digging, I decided to remove my runner bean plants, which were still in situ on the L-Shaped bed and still growing, although they were looking bedraggled, having been ravaged by a recent heavy overnight frost. This task took me longer than I anticipated. After cutting away the plants ties, removing the supporting canes and cleaning them of soil and sooty mould, salvaging some beans for seed, disposing of the foliage onto the compost heap and putting away the hundred or so canes, into my shed, 2 hours had gone by. I then cleared the ground, on the drainage ditch bank beneath my fruit trees, of more fallen leaves, depositing them into my "leaf mould bin". By the time this task was finished I called it a day, locked up the sheds and spuddled off home.
Camelia In Full Bud End of Nov 2014
Groundsel Flowering End Nov 2014
Inkcaps Like It Damp Dec 2014
More Inkcaps
More Inkcaps Dec 2014
More Inkcaps
And More Dec 2014
(This One Usually Dies Back in Late Autumn) Dec 2014
Feverfew Flowering Dec 2014

There's Always Tomorrow!!!

Sunday, 30 November 2014

Rooko's December Top 10 Tips & Tryouts

1 to 10.


If you don't celebrate Christmas be happy anyway!!

Bacon Chocolate animated GIF
Now Remember Don't Overeat This Christmas
natal9.gif (7573 bytes) natal9.gif (7573 bytes)natal9.gif (7573 bytes)

There's Always Tomorrow!!!

Wednesday, 19 November 2014

Free Vegetable Growing E-Book

Just a quick link to obtain a free E-book for my U.S.A. viewers (and others)
 (100% free P.D.F. download)