Saturday, 19 March 2016

Heavy weeds

Spent the day in the allotment digging today. Last winter we used fresh pony manure spread on the surface of the soil. The rich nutrients soon turned the allotment into a verdant field. I have been trying to clean this up today.

I found the best way to dig it was what I call the turf cutting method. Mark a strip of soil with a spade and cut into manageable chunks. turn the clod over and cut the soil back to expose the roots from beneath.

Dispose of  the weed's into your wheel barrow. And then dig the clean weed free soil with a fork. This method works when the soil is full of grass and nettle's.

Take it slow and get them all out. At this time of year as things are starting to grow again its best to dig out IE. Remove the weed's. In winter you would dig the weed's in. Happy allotmenting!

Saturday, 19 May 2012

Spot The difference

Spot The difference

So far we have 
  • removed the tree
  • put up the second shed
  • cleaned out the lean to and filled it with compost
  • dug 75% and weeded
  • transplanted fruit bushes from the old plot
  • planted 4 rows of potatoes
  • transplanted some bushes from root cuttings
  • built a cage to stop the rabbits
  • planted runner beans
  • planted and relocated rhubarb
In the next few days we need to plant 
  • Broad beans
  • Onions sets
  • carrots on a tape
  • Beetroot on a tape
  • Move the leeks from the old plot

We have left 3 old leeks and the fruit bushes that were on the site already. They are going to be the hardest work as they have nettles and ivy growing between them.

And lastly I have noticed that there are a lot of Russian people and other non English speaking people who are reading this blog I've had over 200 hits now. So I have now added Google translator so that you can read this in your own language. You can also now recieve updates via Email. Just fill in your details in the box at the top left of the page.

Thursday, 17 May 2012

Photos of my kids working in the allotment

Just found some photos of the kids working on the allotment (On my wife's Facebook) the day that we moved the shed thought I'd share them here.

Wednesday, 16 May 2012

Potato's Grubs and Hail stones

Grubs from the ground.

Do any of you know what this grub is? I think its called a The garden chafer is the larval stage of the May Bug. They eat roots such as potatoes. If you find them as you are digging they need to be destroyed. If you like the squashing method make sure that you keep your eyes away as they squirt everywhere. I found this one in the ground, judging by its size I would say that this one is approx 3-4 years old and would  probably pupate this autumn.

John has been so busy this last few days. As you can see from this picture he has moved all the fruit trees from our old patch. So the first one in the bottom left is the blackcurrant then more gooseberries to the right of those are the blackberry canes. the wire mesh at  the top left is the rhubarb which is being attacked by rabbits at the moment. at the top centre of the picture John has erected some canes for runner beans. there are normally boards creating an isle but we planted some potatoes today so we have borrowed them but I'll come to that in a bit.

Here is John going for our 4th row of potatoes. I am so glad that we changed plot. This soil has been worked so well that it is like digging on a beach. look how straight we got the rows this time (compare original plot here). How do you plant your potato rows? We dig a trench, add some well rotted manure. Plant the Potatoes then use a rake to steeple the soil back over the potatoes. I had to leave John at this point but I went back later.

So I got back to the allotment. Got the tools out and down came the hail. So most of the hour I had spare  was spent in the shed with a nice warm coffee. This picture was taken from the wooden shed. We moved it from the old plot on Sunday. The whole family got involved which is the first time everyone has got down there. I don't know why I went in that one the plastic shed has a lovely roof light. loads of deck chairs and the rest of the coffee but the windows are frosted so I would not have had a good view of the hail stones.

Friday, 11 May 2012

Gooseberries woo who

We Have Fruit...
This is the first of the gooseberries. I was just taking a break from sorting out the base ready to move the shed from the old location, when I spotted gooseberries. there are lots of them all underneath the foliage.

Monday, 7 May 2012

Out with the old.

This is the stump. as you can see the guy who cut it down did a very clean job

I arrived at the allotment to discover that the cherry tree had disappeared. All that was left was the stump. I started to dig the soil but kept hitting roots. So I started to dig up the stump. It took about 2 hours but the results seen to be worth it.

The old site might be free of water but the soil that we dug (2 spades deep) is the consistency of quick sand. The chap from the next plot stepped into our old patch and lost both of his boots

I took a photo inside the shed of the neighbour. As you can see all of his tools are floating in the water. thankfully our shed was high enough not to get wet inside from the river however the rain did come in through the wooden slats of the walls so everything inside was wet.

I have noticed that the old leaks on my new site have been eaten quite badly.

Thursday, 3 May 2012

We have Moved

Having been flooded out of our plot we have moved from no. 21 to no. 10 instead of a triangular shape this allotment is nice and square.
In the middle we have a cherry tree . There is a plastic shed and a lean too already on sight. The guy who used to own the plot has looked after it very well up till now but he has moved out of the area which is why he has left the shed etc..

There is a nice row of Leaks. John thinks that they are past it but I was reading that it is only in the second year that leaks flower and bare seed

There was also some asparagus which I am really looking forward to eating next year. too late for this season I'm afraid

There are Gooseberries and some cane's that John thinks are white berries. We will have to see what comes up. We will need to build a fruit cage to stop the birds getting to them. There is a lot of flowers on them at the moment so we are hoping that we will get a good crop this year. All in all that's a result as on the old plot we wouldn't have had anything till next year

 The shed is really nice inside. Not only does it have carpet it also has shelves and  comes complete with pesticide spray tubs. We are going to move the other shed across to face door to door. one will be to keep the dirty stuff in the other will be for the gas stove and coffee. I said that John could use it as his other office for preparing his sermons. He wasn't as enthusiastic as me about that one.

We have a lot of work to do to move across all that we had planted in the other site across. I think that we were very lucky to get a plot so quickly this time. We first put our name down for an allotment in 2007 and had to wait for nearly 5 years for one to come up. It appears as if Newport Pagnell council have split all the old allotments in two doubling the amount of plots that are available. The other half of our plot has 2 lovely mature rhubarb plants. it would have been nice to have them but I like this site better further away from the river.

So Jobs that will have to be done are
1) dig site
2) move stock from old plot (onions, leaks, rhubarb, Black currents, Red currents, Gooseberries and some potatoes)
3) move Manure heap from old plot
4) move shed from old plot (then we will have 2)
5) prune Cherry tree

Oh man its gonna take a while but it will be worth it.