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Showing posts from March, 2012

Allotmenteering Can Kill You (After a Super Week)

The hot sunny weather has been incredible again this week, allowing me to complete a variety of things down the plot, from seed sowing, to watering due to the lack of rain. It's been a balancing act keeping the seedlings both in the ground & various trays & pots correctly watered. Moving them in & out of sheds & cold frames so they could benefit from direct sunlight & back in again at the end of the day. Monday saw more Runner Beans sown into pots & trays. The last of my cloches were removed from Lettuce on my main plot but kept handy ready to combat any late frosts, which don't look likely, at the moment.



On Monday 1 row of Beetroot & 1 more row of Lettuce were sown in my 2nd plot. This completed the sowing & planting, except for Sweetcorn & Runner Beans, which are still germinating at present. It's just a case now of keeping any weeds down & watering & feeding when required. Due to the dry warm weather weeds are few & far …

Thursdays Top 10 Tryouts (Or Show Us Yer Tips 5)!!

1. If you are sowing Beetroot seeds (a good crop for beginners) outside in drills, water the drills before sowing. Allow the water to soak in & sow 2 inches (5cm apart) 3/4 inch (2cm) deep. Each seed is actually a cluster. Thin out to 4 inches (10cm) apart. Do not sow Beetroot on freshly manured ground.

2. A few vegetables to sow now if the weather in your area is mild enough. Beetroot, Broad Beans, Peas, Brussels Sprouts (earlies), Kohl-Rabi, Leeks, Lettuce, Radish, Parsnips, Turnips. Asparagus crowns can be planted as well as, Onions, Shallots & Early Potatoes.

3. If you are running out of ground space for growing plants don't forget areas where you can grow things, sheds, fences, walls can have planters attached to them or use window boxes on outside windowsills. Windowsills indoors can be utilized  to grow herbs & other plants in various containers, as can patios & flat roofs. Trees in your garden or on your plot provide a place for hanging baskets.

4. Chamomi…

Old Master Unearthed

As one of the objectives of this blog is to keep a record of my sowing & planting activities I ventured into the world of drawing yesterday. Using Googles' Docs I created a plan of my 2nd allotment plot. Well, I expect Leonardo Da Vinci had to start somewhere & I don't suppose he had the advantage of such a sophisticated piece of software as Google supplies???????



The green areas are grass paths. All areas are planted except for Runner Beans and Sweetcorn. One row of Lettuce & 1 row of Beetroot has been sown at the top end of the Sweetcorn area today. The plot width is 10 metres. Length is 30 metres. Oddly enough the plan is not to scale!!

Going to Seed

O.K. so having trawled through hours of information on the internet, read dozens of gardening books & catalogues,  I've come to 2 conclusions about vegetable gardening.

1. The answers lie in the soil.
2. The weather controls almost everything, especially the gardener.

Well maybe 3, if it feels like the right thing to do at the time then do it. Easter Weekend is the traditional time, or so it's said for planting Potatoes. Well this season I'm going with the weather if I can estimate what its going to do from one day to the next. Can't complain so far this year as the following seed sowing "calendar" will show.












January: Mainly mild up until the end of the month.
 (Got my back & front gardens into shape after the Winter & actually mowed the 2 lawns, first time ever in early January) Planted a couple of shrubs & trimmed back various hedging.

DOWN THE PLOT:

9th January - Parsnips (Gladiator) sown, 1 x 15 foot row.  They are currently 2 inches (5cm)…

Thursdays Top 10 Tryouts (Or Show Us Yer Tips)!! 4

1. Many plot holders on my allotments are currently busy using rotavators & strimmers on their plots, but how many of them wear sturdy footwear & eye protection whilst doing so??

2. When sowing seeds remember the 3 basic rules, don't sow too early, don't sow too deeply and don't sow too thickly.

3. To prevent slugs getting into your pots/containers, smear vaseline onto the outside of the pots/containers.

4. Start thinking about making plant collars before its time to plant out your seedlings.

5.Here's another "organic" spray recipe against insects attacking your plants. Although it is not harmful to your health it will kill beneficial insects as well as the baddies. 10 garlic cloves, 10 small chillies, 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil, 1 litre of water, 1 teaspoon of washing up liquid. Blend, liquidize & strain. Add the liquid to a spray bottle to use.

6. Apart from the fact that the Marigold is a beautiful flower, why plant it in your garden or dow…

Thursdays Top 10 Tryouts (Or Show us Yer Tips)!! 3

1. Now is the time of year to mulch & feed your fruit trees/bushes to promote healthy growth.

2.  If you have any plants suffering from Downy Mildew try the following remedy - mix 1 part milk with 9 parts water and spray the stems and tops of leaves with the solution. Reapply after rain. 

3. Although Tomatoes will flourish in most soil types, they will fare better in soil which has had well decomposed organic material added to it. Also add Tomato feed during the growing season.

4. When Planting Beans DO NOT plant close to any of the following, as they may have adverse growing effects: Chives, Fennel, Garlic, Leeks.

5. Got the space, but don't want the extra work, try planting a few perennials such as: Globe Artichokes, Asparagus, Jerusalem Artichokes, Welsh Onions, Radicchio (Biennial).

6.  When planting out your Brassicas add a small cube cut from a Rhubarb stalk to the bottom of the planting hole, this is said to protect against club root.

7.  If your Brassicas are being …

Waiting for Oca

Last week the weather looked liked it would give us a glorious warm & sunny March. How things have changed in 48 hours. Shrouded in mist & fog for the last 2 days with the temperatures well down on last week, a visit to the plot yesterday was curtailed.
After sowing a few Runner beans & Sweetcorn seeds into modules & pots inside my shed, the cold, dampness in the air, wouldn't allow my fingers (and toes) to warm up so I left for home about 1-30pm. Several of my fellow plot holders were in attendance during the late morning, doing various tasks on their plots but most of them left early too.



For the last couple of weeks, up until yesterday, I have been busy sowing various seeds both outside & into various containers in my sheds & greenhouse. The lettuce I sowed outside a couple of weeks ago have already made an appearance. I sowed 50% under cloches & 50% in the open. Both rows germinated on the same day so in future, unless the weather is seriously cold…

A Thought From The Cree

Only after the last tree has been cut down
Only after the last river has been poisoned
Only after the last fish has been caught
Only then will you understand that money cannot be eaten


Thursdays Top 10 Tryouts (Or Show Us Yer Tips)!! (2)

1. Save your used tea bags/leaves & coffee grounds & add them to your Strawberry patch as a feed.

2. When its time to cut your Cabbages, make a X shaped cut in the end of the remaining stalk, this should re-grow giving you some extra greens.

3. If you use Hens eggs keep them in a container in the kitchen, they will keep longer than in the fridge.

4. To test an eggs freshness put it into a container of cold water, if it floats its gone off.

5. Try spraying plants infected with aphids, with sugar spray to attract Ladybirds but don't spray the Ladybirds.

6. When your Tomato plants have grown to about 4 inches (10cm) in height remove a couple of their lower leaves near the ground to prevent mould/fungus.

7. Plant outdoor Cucumbers in amongst your Sweetcorn plants.

8. An easy way to make a "drill" or "furrow" for sowing seeds or planting is to put a strong stick or metal tool handle along the ground and make a dent by pressing it down into the soil with yo…

A BIG Thank You

Due to the overnight & this mornings' heavy rain and cold winds, I spent the day indoors rather than risking getting soaked down the plot. At about 4 pm I received a phone call from my Allotment Representative, who informed me that my shed & several others had been broken into overnight. I went down to my plot to inspect the damage. I was lucky on this occasion, only a slightly bent metal fastening on my shed door was apparent. Three or four other sheds had been damaged and their padlocks forced off. One of my fellow plot holders poly tunnel was badly damaged where it had been slashed open. Luckily the thieves were disturbed by one of our plot owners who lives nearby, before they could cause anymore damage or theft.

I would just like to say thank you, to these spineless scum, who sneak around in the darkness damaging & stealing other peoples' property. Whether they think so or not, they have NO right or justification for taking or damaging other peoples property. …