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Showing posts from 2016

The Last Post

As my readers will already know I moved to a new house (bungalow) last year. Much work, updating, d. i. y. and a vast amount of gardening and landscaping needed doing to the property. Most of the gardening to the rear of the property has now been completed just as the Wintery weather begins to take hold. A good sized vegetable plot is one of the features in the back garden prepared and ready to be utilised starting with next Springs sowing and planting. With this in mind I spent a couple of weeks last month tidying up N1 plot before deciding to give it up just over a week ago. Due to the amount of work on the house and gardens this year my blog posts have been just about none existent. Over the past seven years I have enjoyed reading many other allotment/gardening blogs and meeting/talking to lots of other gardeners on the "net". I hope my blog has been of interest and some use too, to all who have spent their time looking in on it. Good luck and best wishes to all you love…

Rooko's August Top 10 Tips & Tryouts

1. If you have any veggies which have become overripe and unusable they may be prone to infestation by insects etc or become diseased, remove them from the vicinity of your other crops as soon as possible.

2. Add a couple of tablespoonsful of Epsom salts to your watering cans when watering plants to keep the magnesium & sulphate levels up.

3. Sow green manures into any areas of vacant ground that need nutritional improvement.

4. Keep hoeing around those still growing crops to keep weeds at bay, otherwise they will compete with your veggies for water & nutrients.

5. I very rarely thin out my carrots, take care not to damage their leaves/roots if you do, or the smell from damage/breakages may attract the dreaded carrot flies.

6. Don't forget to pinch out the growing tips from your runner beans and pick the beans regularly to promote more to grow.

7. Think about "companion planting" for next season maybe, if you have had any problems with diseases/insect damage/inf…

Too Long

Well here goes with my first blog post since April. No excuses for not blogging really, except for the fact that  if I was being paid for the gardening and D.I.Y. work over the past twelve months I'd be able to retire and live off the interest from the payments. Come to think of it, I am retired, well there's a surprise.
Since moving house, last October I have made infrequent visits to my plot. Due to the naff weather early this year and most of my gardening efforts being carried out in my back garden, down my plot the majority of the sowing/planting was late and not as prolific as previous years. The only crops I have growing this year are, garden peas, carrots, lettuce, runner beans, french climbing beans, onions and cucumbers. The peas should be ready for picking this coming week. The French climbing beans still need supports putting in place for them to cling to and are nowhere near maturity. The mixed lettuce has already been harvested several times so far this year but…

At Last

I was spurred into some gardening action down my plot the weekend before Easter, when the sunshine finaly made it through the clouds for approximately 3 and a half days. The soil on 1, 2 and the L-shaped beds was too wet and sticky to work but I managed to get a few minor tasks completed. First was the compost heap which was turned and tidied up again, followed by 2 years old compost being spread across the surface of No 2 bed on (N1 Plot). A start was made, weeding the flower bed, underneath the fruit trees situated on the drainage ditch bank at the lower end of N1 Plot, removing several strawberry plants a the same time. 3 large bags were filled with bluebell plants, lifted from this bed, which have since been re-planted into one of the flower borders, around the base of a recently planted buddleia tree, to the front of my bungalow. The strawberry plants were re-planted in their new, recently prepared bed in my back garden. So far this season, mainly due to regular overnight frosts…

Rooko's April Top 10 Tips & Tryouts

1. Clear away spent flower heads from spring flowering bulbs such as hyacinth & daffs. Don't cut away or discard the foliage as it will replace the bulbs energy for its next flowering.

2. If the weather in your area has been dry enough lately and your soil is not wet and heavy, now is the time for some rotavating/digging, adding compost/manure as required to the soil.

3. Air temperatures are still relatively unpredictable in my neck of the woods at present, it may be worth checking the germination temperatures of various seeds before sowing takes place.

4. Easter weekend was the traditional time for getting your potato tubers into the ground. Don't put them into wet soil and remember Easter weekend is early this year so another couple of weeks wait isn't a problem.

5. More overnight frosts have been happening in this part of the country recently, compared to the past few years. So if you are sowing planting this month keep cloches or other plant protection equipment a…

It's Got To Be A First

This little skipper flew into my kitchen today (25th Feb 2016)

There's Always Tomorrow!!

Rooko's February Top 10 Tips & Tryouts

1. If like me you haven't visited your plot for a while during the Winter it may be prudent to check things out there, to ensure this Winters weather hasn't caused any damage.

2. If you have any large perennial plants in your flower garden this month is a good time to divide/split and replant them, weather permitting.

3. Start chitting your seed potatoes this month.

4. Snip side shoots back to 1 or 2 buds and remove the tips of mature red and white currants this month, but beware if frost is likely.

5. Keep feeding the birds and in cold areas make sure they have un-frozen water to drink.

6. Check over your garden tools and repair any damaged ones. Ensure cutting tools are correctly sharpened. Any petrol left in petrol driven machinery is likely to have gone "stale" over Winter, making starting the machinery difficult or impossible.

7.  Ventilate greenhouses on warm February days?

8.  Put cloches/fleece over strawberry plants to aid earlier fruiting?

9.  Grapevines c…


I made the first visit to my plot this morning for about the past 2 months expecting it to be in a derelict state, after the wet and windy Winter weather conditions since November last. Surprisingly my plot was relatively tidy, mostly weed free and showing no signs of damage from the continuing high winds we've been experiencing here for many weeks now. Although the grass lawns around my bungalow have continued to grow considerably, over the Winter, due to the mainly mild temperatures, the grass paths & borders around my plot appeared to have died back, saving me the job of mowing them, which I had expected to have to do today.

My old runner bean plants were still entwined around their supporting canes on the L-shaped bed so I set about removing the dead foliage from the canes, dispatching it onto my nearby compost heap. Despite the deluges of rain since last Autumn No 1 bed was relatively dry with little stickiness of the soil. No 2 bed was wetter and the soil/clay claggy to…

Rooko's January Top 10 Tips & Tryouts!! (Not)

With the current Winter weather conditions here in U.K. being what they are, if anyone is outside doing any gardening they are either a true gardening fanatic, a paddy field owner or a few sandwiches short of a picnic. I've decided not to post my top 10 tips for January in sympathy with all the people currently affected by flooding in various parts of the country at the moment. My sympathy and best wishes for the new year go to them all.
 Christmas is already a long forgotten event, (in my book anyway), with time already seeming to be flying by, accompanied by the usual stream of seed catalogues and other gardening related literature popping through my letterbox. Many thanks to Sally Nex for sending me the free vegetable seeds she was advertising on her blog, a few weeks ago. Speaking of Christmas, a little while before it, I decided to buy myself an early present, consisting of one of those touch screen all in one computer thingies. My old "wind up" one, was well out…