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Showing posts from 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.

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 …

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 mi…

Rooko's December Top 10 Tips & Tryouts

1 to 10.

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

There's Always Tomorrow!!!

2015 Re-designed Plots N1 & N2 Plots

There's Always Tomorrow!!

Another Overcast Week

With just 2 visits to my plots this week again, today and last Monday. Only a little tidying up needed doing and a few weeds required pulling and disposing of, onto the compost heap, so things are moving slowly. I may get around to the 2 main tasks I have left over this year, some time next week, those of repairing my poly tunnel vents and replacing several water butt taps which have worked loose. The plots are mainly damp and looking very Autumnal, although the soil is still workable, (using walking boards), any remaining preparation can now wait until early Spring next year, as I am taking a few well earned breaks from most gardening tasks until then.
 In one of my earlier posts I remarked that I thought this coming Winter would bring some extremely bad weather. When I visited my plots last Monday I found beds 3 and 4 already had approximately 6 inches of standing rainwater across their lowest ends. Despite some heavy overnight rain and daytime showery rain this week, the water had…


With outdoor temperatures dropping somewhat this week compared to ones of 20 degrees C last week, I've only made a couple of visits to my plots on last Monday and Tuesday. Both days were pleasant enough with some weak sunshine during the late mornings to mid-afternoons. This allowed me to rid a couple of areas of N1 Plot of annual weeds and fallen leaves which were added to my compost heaps. Tuesday was spent harvesting my remaining marrows and squashes from No1 bed On N1 Plot, before any expected frosts take hold. The squash and marrow plants, along with some sparse weeds also being consigned to the compost heaps.
No1 bed was then partially forked over, adjacent to my fruit cage, and then the heaps of nitrogen rich mud I had recently cleared from the drainage ditch, situated at the southern end of my plots, was broken down and spread across the bed, in lieu of animal manure. Later in the afternoon the remnants of my tomato and cucumber plants were removed from my poly tunnel and…

Rooko's November Top 10 Tips & Tryouts

1. With the warm sunny weather still continuing in most of U.K. there is still time to plant /sow the following: Lambs lettuce, chard, chicory, lettuce, oriental greens, winter hardy spring onions, spring cabbage, asparagus crowns, bedding plants and from seeds, overwintering peas and beans. Keep fleece or cloches handy in case of unexpected frosty weather appearing.

2. If your house plants start to shed leaves as Winter approaches, try moving them near to a window or warmer position which benefits from some direct sunlight.

3. When potting up bulbs for Spring flowering use a cheap compost in their pots to save money. Add feed later as the bulbs start to flower.

4. Remove any rotting fruit and vegetation from your plot/garden, keep lawns as free as possible from fallen leaves to help stop the spread of diseases. If the weather is mild then grass is likely to keep growing, so mowing it will also make the job of removing leaves easier utilizing the mower to do so.

5. Make regular check…

Been & Gone

With a general lack of my blog posts for a while now, I thought it may be a good time to re-cap on the past 12 months down my plots. I've been busy doing D.I.Y. tasks at home for several days now, mainly due to the murky, damp and rainy weather and lack of major gardening tasks at this time of the year. Pumpkins and squashes are still growing and developing in No 1 bed on N1 Plot and I have plenty of well developed brassicas and lettuce growing to last me for a few months yet. Leeks are currently of a good size growing on N2 Plot. With late sown carrots doing well, along with over wintering onions, Winter hardy spring onions and lambs lettuce producing a good crop and even a few strawberries in evidence, the next round of sowing and planting will be for next season. I ventured down to my plots this afternoon, not expecting to achieve much, after torrential rain for most of last night. Although the soil was quite sticky, I managed to fork over the final patch of ground on No 4 bed…


With frequent mentions, in the media lately, of the driest September on record for the U.K. in general, it got me thinking of the weather in my area so far this year. If my memory serves me correctly, with approximately 3 and a half days of some patchy rain in Taunton, since the deluges and floods of last Winter, then that must be a record also. Although surrounding local areas here have had more rain and a few thunder storms since last Spring, in general they have bypassed Taunton. The recent t.v. weather forecasts have been correct and as predicted, last night saw the first heavy downpours of rain and high winds this Autumn. I liked the terminology in one forecast which mentioned persistent rain, rather than heavy or torrential. I was hoping to visit my plots this morning but the persistent overnight rain has put paid to that idea.

With only a handful of tasks to complete down the plots before Winter, such as some repairs to my poly tunnel and part of 1 growing bed plus the L-shape…

Rooko's October Top 10 Tips & Tryouts

1. Many squashes and pumpkins should be mature enough to harvest this month. If the skins cannot be punctured using your finger nail they should be ready to harvest. Cut the vine/stalk (away from yourself) about an inch or two above the pumpkin/squash.

2. Keep your lawns, borders and growing areas free from falling leaves to alleviate the spread of diseases. Leaves could be left in heaps in sheltered places as a place for hibernating animals to use, during the Winter.

3. Cuttings can be taken from Currant, Blueberry and Gooseberry bushes this month.

4. Check and maintain any equipment you may need to use over the Winter months such as greenhouse heaters. Remember, if you have petrol driven machinery stored away for the Winter, such as a rotorvator, unleaded petrol will start to "go off" after about 3 months, possibly giving starting problems later.

5. Although the weather here in U.K. is still sunny and warm at the end of September this year, it may well change to wet and c…

The Plot Thickens

With most of my Summer crops harvested, used, languishing in my freezer or better still in their final stages of development, it was time, last week, to take on the mammoth task of clearing the drainage ditch bank of vegetation before the Winter rains?? set in. The drainage ditch runs past the lower end of my plots with a large hedgerow well established on the opposite bank. This area behind my fruit trees gets overgrown with many wild plants and weeds. Some of the annoying ones being, brambles, bindweed, couch grass, dandelions, creeping clover, docks and nettles. Left to their own devices a combination of these "weeds" would quickly invade the lower reaches of my plots. Although the drainage ditch is almost devoid of water at present, when it is flowing it runs from west to east along the ditch. At present another invasive plant is making its way towards my plots, following the same direction as the water would, and will soon become a problem if not kept in check, (the dr…

Septembers Spuddling

A relatively slow, quiet and relaxing month so far down my plots, apart from harvesting a variety of different vegetables, some for immediate use, with others prepped and crammed into my freezer. Due to potato blight still rearing its ugly head around the allotments, the mountain of potatoes stored in plastic trays in my garage have been checked regularly for it. Any potatoes showing signs of blight have been disposed of because if they were to come into contact with other tubers they would quickly pass the blight on, another reason the potatoes are stored in trays this year rather than in bags or sacks, less contact between tubers and the ease of being able to spot any disease at a glance. My early sowing of runner beans this year were not up to their usual standard but a second later sowing is now producing an excellent crop due to the much improved weather conditions of the past fortnight or so. With temperatures just short of 30 degrees C in my poly tunnel today, tomatoes and cuc…