Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Photograpic extravaganza!

A very busy weekend with photographs taken this evening.
Over Saturday and Sunday I weeded all of both plots, the onions were hoed between rows Saturday and then the whole lot gone over with an hand onion hoe on Sunday to get any weeds still alive and green. Also planted another 104 Piglet Willie Banana Shallots.
The Brassicas have avoided any feathered attention and seem to have established themselves and I planted a closely spaced row of Dahlias between the first wire cloche and the main path.
Some bindweed is appearing near where the watering cans are in this shot. I'll allow it to grow enough to be hand sprayed with glyphosate, either next weekend or the one after. This was where the hedging plants were heeled in so did not get sprayed previously.

The greenhouse is finally emptying out as about twenty assorted squash went into the carpeted squash bed. It was so hot on Sunday when I did the last ones that after re-arranging and cutting the carpet I had to retire to the shade before popping out into the sun again to plant them.
The Potatoes are doing well, after hoeing between the rows, I watered the plants through the top of the earthing up and then re-earthed, Monday night they got another can watering using the spout rather than the rose.
The herb patch is burgeoning with lush green growth, the Elecampane leaves waving over the top of it's sheep wire support.
One of this years disappointments, the Elephant Garlic, only two of the cloves came up. Mind you a local garden centre had Unwins EG cloves on sale at half marked price, £2.99 for two solitary cloves in a poncy perforated plastic bag
The coresponding ordinary Garlic is doing well in both barrells, the soil has settled quite a few inches from the brim, but the garlic seems happy, Fox has been persistently rootling in one of the Strawberry barrells.
Climbing French Beans have not yet started to romp up the supports, but are coyly twining round the base, apart from some which insist on throwing themselves across the paths.
Between the CFB and Potatoes, bounded by the slow moving Sugar Snap Peas I planted Tomatoes "Cherry Red", Ridge Cuccumbers, Sweet Pea on a cane cone and a dozen mixed Lettuce. Sweet Corn in the background.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Tiger Tiger!

Saturday was a rugby day, spent watching the Guinness Premiership Final at Twickenham, not a particularly technical game, but watchable and exciting, well done the Tigers.
Today, up late and did all my mowing, then checked my plots, left just as the rain restarted, so into the greenhouse for a tidy up.
Put all the Banana Shallot seedlings out to harden off and re-organised everything.
Planted out six Red Cherry Tomato's in the beds and six Carribbean Mix Chilli Peppers in two grow bags.
Attacked the Winter Jasmine, cutting out all the dead bits and then un-potted, root-pruned, and re-potted it, just visible to the left in this picture.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

A bit seedy.

Tuesday 12th May. Emptied the dog shed, some stuff to the bin, some to the kitchen (ex-caravan plastic bowls and steel cutlery), some to the shed, moved the shed and revived the whirlgig dryer. Had to prise the rusted off stub out of the ground socket, which is in a big lump of concrete, then cut the dodgy end bit off the assembly. Now have a whirligig that can take a T-shirt, but not a sheet.
In the greenhouse, I relocated the germinated Sweetpeas and Crown Prince Squash from the heated propagator to staging and sowed Sweetcorn and Futsu Squash in their place.
Pricked out more Dwarf Green Curly Kale, some Little Gen Lettuce given to me by John and some Cos Lettuce of my own sowing.
Sowed some more Cos Lettuce in a mini-plug module, I had tried some Little Gem earlier in the year without success, but believe that packet, from several years ago, had become "tired".
Did the regular watering, now have my four growbags for the floor, so when the allotment plants get planted out the staging "planks", [ section aluminim resting in an aluminium "angle-iron" frame, get lifted out to leave the frame and the growbags go underneath, using the frame to help hold the canes.
Need to rationalise the greenhouse beds as they are more than half covered with 3" pots in trays and a growbag greenhouse, so this weekend I'm looking to sort out the bit of garden between the path, end fence nd greenhouse.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Ahead of myself but behind my posts

Wooah, just realised I have a whole week, including a Bank Holiday to catch up on.
Saturday 2nd May County did not get out of the pool, Sunday 3rd May Club A's did not get out of the pool, so son rather disappointed, though the B's did make the semi-final for the club.
Monday 4th May slept late and did the garden tidying when I got up, so the only thing left lurking in the garden is the dog shed!
Just don't look at what is between the two sheds.
Tuesday night I planted out my French Beans, one double row of about thirty-six plants.
Saturday 9th May, raked, trod down, re-raked the path end of Plot 18, then planted a short row of Dwarf Curly Green Kale, a full row of Brussels Sprouts and a full row of Savoy Cabbages. Constructed pigeon shields from sheep wire and chicken wire before taking son on Rugby Club social outing at 12:30 to go Zorbing at Westmill Farm , Zorbing or Sphering consists of being strapped inside a plastic sphere with a friend opposite you, the sphere is held within a larger sphere by many many webbing straps and the inter-sphere gap is inflated. Once inside the sphere is pushed down a hill. An alternative is unstrapped, three occupants, five buckets of water and the access hole plugged up. Son managed both.
Returned to the allotments and planted a full row of Purple Sprouting Broccoli and a full row of Calabrese, also constructed further pigeon protection and watered everything. Rejoined adult sociability for a drink or dozen....
Sunday, off to BSAGA allotment shop for four growbags and another bag of Humax MP compost. Then to the tip to dispose of the rubbish from last weekends garden clearance.
Up to the allotments around midday where I did a lot of hoeing, all of Plot 17 bar the fruit terrace, some weeding in the fruit terrace and herb patch, where the Elecampane is beginning to fill its support enclosure. The new Quince top right is looking good.
Finished off by prong hoeing and raking the path end of Plot 17 that was not planted before planting two rows of Kelsae exhibition onion seedlings, about sixty plants, the a single row of Piglet Willie Banana Shallot seedlings.
Daughter brought me a cold drink and stayed to help, she did a lot of stone picking and watering. During a nice sunny break from our labours lying on our backs with the dog in the sunshine and chatting the swifts came wheeling into our view, like bold black scimitars slicing through the pale blue sky as they twisted after insects, daughter counted ten with her young eyes.
This is a close up shot of last years seed crop of Piglet Willie Banana Shallots which survived the winter and are already set to flower.

Friday, May 01, 2009

Smashing, NOT.

When I said some mindless little oick I did not think it would look eight years old.
But if the one Steve has seen chucking stones and following a dog walker round the park yelling abuse at the chap, is the one responsible for stoning my coldframe, then that is what it looks like.
Anyway the last pane of glass was smashed Wednesday night and the grass path and the front of Carl's plot were both strewn with stones up to mug size. Picked up all the glass and used all available plastic sheeting for the sides, with the three leftovers and some plastic netting to cover the roof, together with some strategically placed chickenwire. The best bit is a sheet from a BT phonebox which got slung, or blown, over the fence a few years ago, it is incredibly strong and barring the etched BT logo is clear.
Planted pea seeds on the rest of the pea frame to come after the early seedlings.
Had the day off work as I was helping with a Rugby festival tomorrow and son is playing for his club in a Tens Festival on Sunday. Found out during the day, poor timing and communication, that son is actually playing for the County on Saturday, looks like he was second choice and first couldn't make it, so my schedule has changed.
So being an opportunist, I buttonholed John as he walked past my door, to check if he was actually going to do anything with his plot or just give it up, he says he is going to work it, I'll reserve judgement as he has done nothing at all to date this year.
Dog and I went and looked at the allotments and decided that they were damp enough for me to end up wearing them on my boots if we did anything, so one of us chased a ball that the other threw a number of times before I did some shed stuff while the sun dried the surface.
It's relevant, in my workshop shed I built an open fronted cupboard in the back right corner, sized so some plastic storage boxes I have fit neatly on top, two, one on t'other. Painted the chipboard in the area before building the cupboard, and afterwards completely tidied and re-arranged the contents of the entire shed, including Slicen-dice who now attempts to poke entrants with his handlebars.
Went up the allotment before school out time, planted out all twentyfive sweetcorn, then lurked for a bit as school out was prime suspect for stone throwing, but no chuckers.
Came home and cut all the yellow Winter Jasmine that was shading the front of the greenhouse, ruddy stuff had grown behind the glazing clips and I lost two removing it. So had to burrow in the garage to find the box of spare clips. One day I'll have all my "stuff" organised and available without having to move any of it to reach any other bits.
The tidier shed made room for more "stuff" including the spare greenhouse glass which was on the path leaning against the "dog-shed" on the lawn.
Just a pile of construction timber and some oddments to remove from the path and a few slabs to lay before I can walk on paving from the back door into the greenhouse.