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Showing posts from January, 2012

2 Days to a Shorter Winter Month

Although many plants & the soil benefit from cold weather & rain, I will be glad when January & February come to an end this year. The inconsistency of the weather recently does nothing to aid planned outdoor jobs, working the soil, early germination or indeed deciding wether or not to wear a wooly hat.

This week despite heavy rain I have been able to clear my top fruit bed of weeds & turn & hoe it. More mulch was added to my Rhubarb crowns, (which seem to be enjoying the colder weather), after they had been earthed up.
 My 2 year old Pear tree had a couple of branches growing from the rootstock which were removed. The cuttings could be propagated & used for future rootstock, but I do not have room for more fruit trees so the cuttings will come in handy as pea sticks.

I prepared six large plastic barrels which I am using for sowing Carrot seeds into later. I added compost from my heap to the barrels with a layer of soil on top then added a layer of potting com…

Almost Springtime 21st Jan 2012

Both my plots are almost ready for sowing & planting when the weather allows me to do so. Since mid-week I have created one small planting area on my 2nd plot & forked over 1 more full bed turning in the manure as I did so.
The soil was "just on the damp side" for turning but due to the stiff westerly wind & plenty of sunshine drying out the soil quickly I carried on. It's not advisable to dig clay when it is wet, not only is it heavy work but the soil structure can be damaged, leaving small dry lumps of clay on the surfaces.

In future I will be digging in the manure "as required" rather than leaving it on the surface over the Winter. The reason for this is that too much moisture is being held on the soil surfaces by the rotting manure.

The remainder of my beds on both plots should be ready for rotavating by Monday if the weather remains dry until then. Up until last October I have never used a rotavator on my plots, preferring to use garden forks …

2 Productive Days

Heavy frosts on Saturday & Sunday nights were followed by sunshine on Sunday & Monday. Although cold during the day on Sunday, I managed to dig over a full vegetable bed, turning in the well rotted horse manure which had been spread over the surface in October. The digging kept me warm.  

Yesterday I was back down the plot to re-position one of my water butts which was sinking & leaning over due to soft ground underneath it, on my other plot. After I had tamped the soil down & replaced the slabs & blocks supporting the butt it was midday. 

I then marked out an area of grass between one of my bottom veg beds & the allotment road, skimmed off the turf & started to dig the area over ready to turn it into another planting area. The removed turf was added to the bare patches in one of my paths. Surprising what u find whilst digging, 2 old plant pots, half a dozen pieces of rope an old brass water tap, along with part of an old welly boot. (Thin…

Genetically Modified

What are your views on genetically modified crops. Have your say, leave a comment, it can be anonymous if you wish.

A Cool Week

No rain for a week, lovely. At the weekend I managed to completely tidy my back garden, clearing away all the dead vegetation & debri after the Winter, hoed all the beds & borders & cleaned my greenhouse. Even the lawn got mowed, (the 1st time it's ever been cut in January). All looks tidy now, giving me time to concentrate on working "down the plot".
Went down the plot all day on Tuesday and prepared 2 more large barrels ready for sowing Carrot seeds into later. I added 50% manure & 50% soil to each barrel. After this was done I cleared the storage area behind my shed, plastic trays, plant pots and other bits & pieces were checked for slugs & snails, cleaned & put back in accessible order. 250 plastic milk bottles were washed out & will be used as cloches for my Sweetcorn & Cucumbers later. The bottles have capacity markings on the side of them, so I figured out that my last years Cucumbers were 2 litres tall when I removed the b…

Beware when Picking Mushrooms

Monster Mushroom!Tree killing mushroom is largest living thing ever found! News-Journal Wire Services.
Beneath the soil of the Malheur National Forest in eastern Oregon, a fungus that has been slowly weaving its way through the roots of trees for centuries has become the largest living organism ever found.
The Armillaria ostoyae, popularly known as the honey mushroom, started from a
single spore too small to see without a microscope and has been spreading its black shoestring filaments called rhizomorphs through the forest for an estimated 2,400 years, killing trees as it grows. It now covers 2,200 acres.
"We ended up having on the landscape this humongous fungus," Tina Dreisbach, a botanist and mycologist at the U.S. Forest Service's Pacific Northwest Research Station in Corvallis, Ore., said Friday.
In 1992, another Armillaria ostoyae was found in Washington state covering 1,500 acres near Mount Adams, making it the largest known organism at the time.
"We j…

Female Carrots

Sorry for This One Ladies
Courtesy of Aha Jokes

A Thought for Wintertime

Keep your faith in beautiful things
In the Sun when it is hidden
In the Spring when it is gone

A Little Ray of Sunshine

New Years Eve morning surprised me with some sunshine. The air temperature had risen considerable the night before and the rain held off until the evening so I spent the afternoon down the plot. The soil was fairly wet but "workable" enough on my Raspberry bed to clear the weeds and dead leaves away. I took all the Christmas wrapping paper & cardboard with me and deposited it onto the compost heap, covering it with the weeds etc, from the Raspberry bed.

No rain again on New Years Day so I was back down the plot, late morning but just after I arrived the rain started again and the temperature dropped. I spent some time filling seed trays with compost for later use. I thought the compost would warm better in trays, than if it was left in a 60litre bag in the corner of my shed?
When you re-cycle your Christmas Tree try using some of it for hooks/pegs. Saw the main stem just below each set of side branchs, (they are usually growing in threes or fours at…