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Showing posts from May, 2012

The Good The Bad & The Future

I have been deliberating how to construct this post for several days now, due to some of the content being off topic regarding allotmenteering, but nonetheless relevant to it, from my point of view.  This has been an extremely busy time of the year for me (as I know it has been for other gardeners) not only "down the plot" but also personally too with hospital and other medical appointments.. Suffice to say I am glad that I haven't booked a holiday this year, due to the way things are panning out.

Although I have achieved most of the sowing, planting & cultivation on my plots to date, despite the climatic extremes since March, flooding and several compressed vertebrae. After a recent medical test I was informed, (last Thursday), that I have heavy metal blood poisoning from a metal on metal hip replacement I had done several years ago. So it will be out with the old and in with the new very soon. That sounds like the same can be said for dealing with the contaminated…

Thursdays Top 10 Tryouts (Or Show Us Yer Tips 14)!!

1. Don't leave gardening tools, or other pieces of equipment, lying around the garden or around the plot whilst you are working. They can easily be accidentally trodden on or tripped over, causing serious injuries.

2. If you are planting out Sweet corn it should be planted in rectangular blocks at about 18 inches (46 cm) spacing to achieve correct wind pollination. (except for minipop). The soil should contain plenty of humus and several months of sunshine are required to fully ripen the cobs. Cross pollination can be a problem with some varieties.

3. Some tips to stop the spread of Tomato blight. Water plants in the morning, not in the evening. Keep the plants' leaves as dry as possible. Don't touch the plants' leaves with your fingers. PULL OFF a few of the lower leaves from each plant. Grow blight resistant varieties.

4.If your Turnips have gone to seed (bolted) before they have matured, one cause is that they have been sown/planted too early in the year. Other cau…

Thursdays Top 10 Tryouts (Or Show Us Yer Tips 13)!!

1. Many gardeners will be growing Potatoes this year, but remember the plant itself is poisonous. Do not eat the leaves, stems, flowers or seed. If any of the tubers are green or partly green do not eat them. Be safe.

2. If you are planting out Runner beans from pots try the following procedure. Water the beans well, in their pots about 30 minutes prior to planting. Meanwhile prepare the planting holes. Use a dibber to creates holes to about the depth of the pots, this keeps the soil slightly firmer than using a fork or trowel. Add a used tea bag to the bottom of each planting hole and add water to the hole, then firm each plant from its pot into the hole. Water all the plants again after planting is complete.

3. French climbing beans like a sunny sheltered growing area. They will require supports up to approximately 6 feet (1.8m). They make good companion plants for low growing vegetables that like shade, such as Lettuce, Cucumber, Radish.

4.Some plants that may deter Carrot fly. Co…

U.F.O. Sighted Over Somerset

The shining red disc in the sky was sighted this morning as it rose higher from the east, emitting a good deal of heat from it's core as it blasted away the remaining annoying clouds. Due to another week of full cloud cover and low night time temperatures it took me a while to remember that the last time I had seen this phenomena it was called the Sun (Not the newspaper).

I must apologize to everyone who follows my blog and to those whose blogs I follow, for my recent lack of posts and for not looking in on the blogs I follow. I have been struggling lately to resurrect my second plot after the flooding a few weeks ago. Due to several compressed vertebrae since the beginning of March, after a days' work down the plot I could hardly lift a cup of tea, let alone my computer mouse. The problem is not fixed yet but getting there. More physio tomorrow.

I managed a full days' work down the plot today enjoying the return of the welcome and much needed sunshine. Lots of the clay…

Thursdays Top 10 Tryouts (Or Show Us Yer Tips 12)!!

1. Tired of tying & pegging down netting to protect your plants, veggies & fruit, try the following method. Place garden canes/sticks around the perimeter of the plants you wish to protect. Place more canes/sticks across the planting area. Place an empty upturned plastic bottle over the top of each stick. Lay the netting over the top leaving an overlap all round. To hold down the netting use more plastic bottles filled with water placed over the overlapping netting. When you have finished with this method the water can be returned to your water butts/tanks for re-use.

2. Try planting beans alongside Sunflowers. The beans will benefit from the pollinators attracted by the Sunflowers.

3. If your Rhubarb has started to flower cut off the flower stalk immediately as allowing it to grow will weaken the plant.

4. A good method of weed control around your fruit trees is to plant strawberries.

5. Try planting Lemon Balm and Mint in pots. These can then be strategically placed and/or …

Level Playing Field

The Somerset Levels and Moors are now inundated with rainwater. For those of you who are unfamiliar with the area, The Levels and Moors are low lying wetlands in central Somerset, situated between the Mendip and Quantock Hills. Extra massive pumps have recently been brought in and installed at Curry Moor to pump millions of gallons of water off the Levels to protect them and their wildlife inhabitants. Pumping out at a rate of 1250 gallons per second, it is expected to take at least 2 weeks to complete the pumping, if further rain doesn't halt the pumping operations.

Back to the plots. Due to the continuing wet weather, apart from 2 afternoons, (Saturday & Sunday), last weekend was the only time I got to work down the plots for a few hours. The soil was to wet to work on when I arrived at the allotments, so I constructed a roof over my large manure bin, using old pallets. Covering the pallets with a pond liner which allowed rainwater to flow off  into a plastic water tank beh…

Thursdays Top 10 Tryouts (Or Show Us Yer Tips 11)!!

1. If your Tomato plants are still sitting in pots/trays & are looking in bad condition due to the recent cold, damp & lack of sunlight, try insulating the pots/trays to keep some warmth at soil/root level.

2. May/June is the time for planting out Brussels Sprouts (weather & ground conditions permitting). Use a dibber to make a hole for each plant. Keep plenty of soil around the roots of each plant and plant to the first set of leaves. Firm in well to avoid wind rock later. If the weather/soil is dry water in well.

3. Old Bar-B-Cue skewers are a good tool for catching slugs with, if you don't like handling slugs. (Who does)?

4. Lawn fertilizer (adults only) 1 can of beer, 1 cup of Epsom Salts, 1 cup of Ammonia, 2 cups of water. Mix together add to sprayer and spray the lawn.

5. Put seeds you are going to sow into the fridge or freezer (for 1 week) prior to sowing. This should speed up their germination time.

6. Mix equal amounts of cider vinegar and water together. S…

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

1. When sowing Peas into pots, half fill the pots with compost & water well. Fill up the pots with dry compost and sow the the seeds at half inch depth. The seeds should draw up enough water from the wet compost, and there is less chance of the seeds rotting. Other larger type seeds could also benefit from this method too.

2. Orange peelings (rinds) scattered around flower beds/planted areas may deter cats.

3. Leek rust is a fungal disease affecting Leeks, Garlic, Chives & Onions, accelerated by high Nitrogen & low potassium content in the soil. The effect shows as bright orange spots on leaves and can restrict growth if severe enough. Some control can be achieved by, not crowding plants, buying resistant varieties, disposing of affected leaves after harvesting.

4. Attract Tachinid flies into your garden/plot by planting, Aalyssum, Calendula, Dill & Fennel. These predatory flies will dispose of many garden pests for you.

5. If you have any plants that need thinning ou…