Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Tomato clearance

Not at work, due to a private meeting this morning, so spent a couple of hours this afternoon clearing the tomato plants from the greenhouse. Got one last bowl of tom's for her indoors, annoyingly she posts any flawed ones down the dog.

Dug over the bed and moved the newer of my growbag planthouses into the middle of the greenhouse floor.

I have an un-subtle plan to make a house within a house by constructing a soil-warmed box with this little house on top of it.

Saturday, October 28, 2006

Plastic potatoes

Dug the three one-third rows covered by plastic. In my haste I overestimated how much the plastic covered, but on pacing it out today it was only just over one third length. Lower yield, but lower loss rate on these three. Left them in the greenhouse on racks to dry off, must remember to sack them by Monday night at the latest or they will be green. Moved the plastic across to the last three untouched rows, the bit I'm concentrating on at the moment gets less light (drying effect) as it is up-slope to the south and nearer the hedge.

Cleared the French Beans and put the canes away. Shelled a pound of almost dry beans and left the pods that were too alive in the greenhouse to dry off. Quite a high loss rate of the mature pods due to fungal attack, it's just too damp this year.

Dug some carrots and little parsnips for sunday lunch and cleared the last of the beetroot. Gave the beetroot to Iris and got a jar of homemade marmalade in return.

Cut down the sunflowers, birds had already cleaned alot of the seed, they were shading the leeks a bit.

Summary a soggy plot, quite lethally so up by the shed, almost greased in fact.

Friday, October 27, 2006

Wet, wet, wet, mices!

The weather has kept everything nice and wet, so nothing has happened on the plot. The plastic is still in place, so hopefully as we have now had a couple of days without rain, I may be able to get some more spuds up tomorrow.

I am having trouble with those I have dug up as they are not getting any drier than when they were dug up.

My tally of mice now stands at eight, all caught in the same square foot of the greenhouse.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Mouse and Potato Pie.

Thursday night caught a mouse.
Friday night caught two mice.
No more since. Yet!

Saturday, weeded where I temporarily had Alberts shed and planted thirty leeks from Gilbert. Where I had harvested the Garlic I planted a dozen Curly Kale, most green, some red. The soil is so sticky, had to keep peeling it off the trowel. Gave up in the end and went and watched the 1st IV score a convincing win over Guildford whilst downing a couple of pints.

Sunday, lifted the first two thirty foot rows of spuds, a little drier going today. Not sure what variety, as I have not found the label yet. Needless to say, about half will not keep, traces of blight and loads of holes. In fact the biggest and best, worth baking candidates, had the worst collection of holes. About one full sack of keepers (maybe) and one full sack of use quickly, plus a half sack of into the council composting bin. Left a big sheet of weighted down plastic covering three half rows of the remaining six thirties, perhaps it will make that bit easier if the forecast rain shows up during the week.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Shed and potato pie?

Well a very busy weekend has whizzed by.

Saturday I mowed the paths and put the shed up on Alberts plot.
Steve and Stan helped me move it down from my plot, quite easy really. We tipped it onto its roof on the main path then took a bottom edge and shuffled backwards, towing it along the grass on the apex of the roof curve.
Put another posthole next to the doorframe and used a bit of dexion and the last of the postcrete. Screwed the wooden sub-base onto the dexion. Used some odds and ends of wood and bricks to level it on the plot.
Finished off with a pallet inside and put all Alberts stuff in from where it was laid round about.

Sunday after the rhino's rugby training, interrupted by another boys broken wrist,I got stuck into potato harvesting. Oh boy, hard work, from about one o'clock to half past six. Eight eighteen foot rows at about twenty-five minutes per row, then some sorting time after each lot had dried off in the sun a bit. Overall a bit disappointing, but not surprising given this years weather pattern.

Dunbar Standard, a good sackful from two rows, but the usual (second year) infestation problem, every really decent baker had a hole in it with millipede thingys crawling about.
Just about to start the next lot when Albert hove into view, so took a short break to check he was Ok with the shed, oh yus he was very OK. Stan was working away opposite him and later on Stan told me I was "flavour of the month".
Arran Victory, could be potatoes by Maybellene of NYC, such a vivid lilac colour. Impressive yield, two rows, two sacks, lots of resurgent root growth despite the fully deceased foliage.
Nicola, two rows, no foliage left, disappointing yield visually when digging, much smaller than previous years, but some fair sized ones, once sacked at home still came to a full sack.

Took them all home by barrow and plastic two-handled bucket, re-sorted into sacks and into the dogshed. Need to recheck them this weekend in case of ; damp, blight missed damaged ones.

That means eight by thirty foot rows still to harvest and it's rained hard since the weekend.

Also rebaited all the traps I had set all round the greenhouse during the week, to get my now resident (green)house-mouse. Came out and watched me doing the floor a couple of weeks ago.

Tonight I checked and I'd got one, no bait left on any other traps, so there must be more. Re-baited again.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Eeek, I've been distracted from blogging.

For rather longer than I had realised.
Shall I just say "things are a bit interesting at work" and leave it at that for now.

Well lets play catch up.

Cleared the squash plot, the plants were dying off and the recent very wet weather had me worried about rot and slugs. Got another dozen or so good sized Crown Prince. A lacklustre assortment of Butternuts, some un-ripe. A reasonable showing of Vegetable Spagetti. On clearing the vegetation I found two rotted squash and several good ones had grown inside a pallet, between the boards, fortunately it was an old softening one so I did my jailbreak bit on them.
Dug some nice carrots, cut some nice sunflowers.
Found some overlooked sweetcorn cobs and managed to get a respectable bag of kernels off the cobs, not too sure about drying then properly, last time I used the airing cupboard and a month into storage in a jar the whole lot went mouldy, oven this time I think.

Have tidied the onions after they dried out nicely on the greenhouse staging, the tidied ones arte still there, the soft leafy ones went in the recycling bin and some that had a bit too much mould under the discarded skin layers went in the "ready-use" locker.
The greenhouse and swing seat are covered with squashes.

Aside from being a drying and squash curing area not much vegetable stuff has gone on in here. Tidied the staging of flowering pot plants, "survivor" material to overwinter indoors.
I have however in a burst of activity on Saturday 30th Sept paved half the floor space. (That is non-bed area.) This took four square municipal sized paving slabs with a ten inch concrete border under the staging. I have used sleeper off cuts to make a step up to the other half, which has all the "tut" on it at the moment. Maybe this weekend that half will get done, with all the forecast rain its going to be odds on. Then I'll need some more slabs to get from my concrete path to the door!

Just too much rain recently to dig either for cultivation or to harvest my spuds. But I'll have to dig the spuds before long, rain or no rain.
Found that I do actually have some Kale seedlings, the rampant Fat Hen was hiding them and Gilbert has gifted me some large Leek seedlings. This warm wet September has seen an absolute explosion of weeds. The summer was easy for weeds, so dry they did not germinate. I even have some of my herb patch autumn volunteers flowering, Sweet Cicely I think.
Need to order some manure.

Should have fifteen rod vacant soon, due to non-cultivation.
Probably just dip the waiting list, seems as thought two come on the list for every one who gets a plot. Mowed all the paths on Wednesday 27th, now growing back very quick and lush.

Managed to see Albert on the 27th, quite embarrassing in a way, never seen him so surprised or choked up before. Did rather spring it on him, I came up to mow the paths and he was digging away, stopped for a chat and said, come along with me, I've got something to show you. I shot off and was unlocking the door when he caught up, said "What do you think of that then?", "Very nice" replied Albert, "Well it's yours Albert" I said.
Could have knocked him over with a puff of air I reckon.
Went back to his plot and agreed which way round to put it.

First two Squash, potato, carrot and whatever meat we have soups have been done. Bacon, smoked, mmmmmmm. Chicken, carcass, ok.
Rhino-mark bakeries produced, Cheese-n-onion pasties, I don't like cooked cheese, but his granny scoffed them and Bakewell tarts which were delicious and too few in number.

Other Stuff
The rhino had its first game in the local RFU club league, they did not play well, but managed to win, just. I did not see the game after the first fifteen minutes as I got a terrible pain in my side and had to be ferried home by my OH, throwing up en-route. Turns out I have a kidney stone a-wandering.