Friday, 29 March 2013

Heavy digging and potatoes!

Today I got back down to my allotment and after a week and a half away on a course and a busy time at home.  I set to with a quick trowel over of the soils I had dug round the raspberries and rhubarb last time and found more weeds that I had missed last time.  I then de decided to start a new patch in order to prepare it for a crop of something later this year.  There was an old square shape about 2m x 2m so I decided that would be just right to dog with my new spade.  Just after I started I found a potato!  Then after another couple of spades of soil lots of potatoes!

 I decided to change to my fork to reduce the damage to them and over almost all the square I found bright red potatoes and then long finger sized potatoes. Does anyone know what variety they are?

 It was a nice surprise but I didn't get to use my new spade very much! but I managed to get the area dug at least.  Next time I will re-dig it and get the grass out of it.  I may even get it levelled and ready for planting something in it.

When I got home and had washed off the potatoes I got in the hot tub with hubby.  Now I feel completely relaxed and unable to to anything.  Indian takeaway for dinner tonight wit a glass of wine is all I'm up to!

Tuesday, 26 March 2013

I have at last sown my tomatoes!

Today at last I have got my tomatoes sown.  Mind you, with all this very cold weather it may be just as well that I have waited so long.  Our house had been in turmoil since we got back from India as the conservatory has been cleaned and oiled and then Hubby's office was re-roofed and then stripped and relined and decorated so at times I have not actually been able to get into the garden!  Now things are beginning to get back to normal and the moon calender says its a good time to sow them, they are in!

I have sown the wonderfully tasty but small Sungold, it's larger sister Sungella, the early cropping stripey Tigerella, a variety from the Heritage seed library called Joe Atkinson which produces large juicy fruit and lastly seeds from an envelope labelled " Tomato orange cookers 2009 Excellent"  so we shall see how they turn out!

I still haven't been able to get back to my allotment but hopefully I should be able to get there before the end of the weekend as I have a wonderful new bronze spade to try out but with all the snow and frozen ground I haven't been able to try it.

Come on Sun,  We need you.  Bye bye snow and freezing weather, its nearly Easter and spring hasn't started yet!

Sunday, 17 March 2013

The long slog has started

Today I went down to the allotment armed with a tape measure, a camera and gardening tools.  I measured the site at 9m x 11.5m and just after that it started raining.  Having got sorted I decided to continue with my plans to make headway on the big clear-up and started by removing all the seed heads of the weeds and old rotted crop stalks to make it slightly neater.  

Whilst doing so I discovered some Raspberry plants growing up near the Rhubarb that I had spied on my very first trip.  Not knowing if it was a summer or autumn variety I trimmed it by half and decided to wait and see!  I cleared all the couch grass, bindweed roots and nettle roots that I could find from around them and cleared a bit of the weeds from around the rhubarb but as it was sprouting I decided to leave full weeding around it till later in the season.  The soils is in really good condition, easyish to work even when water logged and in the rain and a lovely dark colour.

 I also managed to cover some of the soil with plastic sheeting that I had and also a tarpaulin that I was lent by a very friendly person on the site.  We chatted for ages whilst I pinned it down with cut up bamboo and I learnt a lot more about the site including the fact that the person who had had my plot before me had managed it organically!  This was excellent news as I was worried that I would have a chemical infested few years.

After four and a half hours of hard graft I headed back home to wash the mud from my tools and  a much needed shower.  I think a shed will be quite high on my list of acquisitions as taking very muddy tools home in my car is not ideal.  Looking forward to a bit of dry weather for next time I get down there.

Friday, 15 March 2013

Today I got an allotment!

Two years ago I felt that my small veg patch wasn't nearly enough to grow any amount of actual food for the table. Bar French beans, tomatoes and herbs there really isn't room for anything else. I thought I would ring up the council and take on an allotment. I was told that there was a minimum of 10 yrs wait!!! Well thankfully many of the people on the list have dropped out and I was offered an allotment last week.

Today, I went to choose which site I would like. One was in quite a lot of shade and the other was in full sun and relatively near the entrance. They are, to a person who has 4, 4'x8' beds absolutely huge! I was offered to have half a plot to start with which I agreed would be an excellent idea. The person who had it before had put in lots of rhubarb so it looks like we will be having loads of rhubarb this year!! On the other side is a very delapadated compost heap that apparently also has rats in it. I shall be removing this and spreading over the site and starting again. The whole site is covered with grass and nettles, at least showing it is fertile soil but will need digging over and weeding before I can even start to grow anything.

I may take my spade and make a start tomorrow if it stops raining. I will also take my camera and tape measure so I can do some planning. I'd also better start organising sowing some seeds soon else I will have nothing to plant when the weather warms up.

All this new space will leave my garden free to grow salad crops and herbs that I need instantly rather than trying to grow a tiny bit of everything in such a small space.

Come on sunshine, I need you so I can get out and make the most of my new plot.