Sunday, June 28, 2009

Feeling fruity and catching up.

Thursday the 18th the evening was so oppressive, weather-wise, that ended up dozing off after tea and went allotmenting around eight. Picked strawberries and raspberries, more raspberries than is decent from a few canes heeled in at random a few years ago, didn't touch the ones under netting and got two full nappy bags.
OK, yes, but I always have some nappy bags with me as they are the cheapest doggy tidying bag you can get.
Watered all my barrells, the sweetcorn and strawberries.Planted out five more sweetcorn I had found lurking at home and my last lot of Squash.
The previously planted Squash are now showing variable growth.The Butternut on the south edge are starting to voom and are nice & green, some of the others are not much different to when they were planted out. The soil is still nice and moist, not set but still showing rotovation effects being a crumby surface of at least an inch deep. Under my planting mulch of carpet the soil is moist all the way up to the carpet. I'm now hoping that with warmer nights the voom will VOOM.
Friday 19th was BSAGA committee meeting.
Saturday 20th was Rugby Club make do and mend day, spent most of it sanding external woodwork and re-fixing ariel cables. Did watch the Lions match, which was disappointing.
Sunday 21st picked yet more fruit and weeded a bit. Also dug the first new potatoes of this year, delicious.
Friday 26th much to the dogs annoyance was vaccination booster evening, followed by an early night, due to rain. The thunder skirted round us.
Saturday 27th despite the still oppressive weather I spent most of the day at the allotment, only left as it started to rain.
Hoed all open ground on Plot 18 and under one of the pigeon defences. Planted out 102 leeks, interrupted by fruit picking. Where my OH can now claim she has helped at the allotment this year, as when she brought me a cold drink and several large bowls, she then ventured under the netting with me to gather in over eight pounds of raspberries.
Did a lot of watering of various dryish looking plants, especially the lettuces and sweetcorn, which brought on the clouds overhead which started to spot.
So I harvested four potato plants, three lettuce, cos, frizzy and Little Gem and went home for tea.
Sunday 28th too hot, got up late and went for a long walk with the dog, then lay around in the shade.
Drat, forgot to water the greenhouse, so must go and do it now.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

They're Pinks, I'm Pink.

Well I'm actually puce from the sun.
Nice Pink's though, really heady rich scent from them as well.
So hot this weekend that my furry supervisor hid in the shade!

The blackbirds have been at my Redcurrents,

I wouldn't mind the odd missing current, but they always seem to pull the whole sprig off, then discard it and pull on another current.
So it was out with the net and over all the Raspberries, Currents and Gooseberries.
The Raspberry straining posts hold the net up over them
and cunning use of an old loft water tank and two Daleks holds it up over the Gooseberries and Currents.

The Climbing French Beans are between two and four feet up their supports now.

The first planting of Lettuces are looking good.

Plot 17 has been fully weeded, that was Saturday's main job.

CFB's hand weeded, Sweetcorn carefully crosshoed, Onions & Shallots ditto, everything else a combination of hoeing and trowel / hand weeding.
The fruit net was job two and I wound down by planting out twenty five more Sweetcorn and ten Sunflowers on the top of Plot 18.

Today was pigeon defence rebuilding and weeding the Brassicas, which had outgrown the Mk1 defences and were trying to push the wire skywards
For the front three rows on plot 18, Dwarf Curly Green Kale, Brussel Sprouts and Savoy Cabbage, I made some large goalposts of 2"x2" whacked into the ground with a 2"x1" crossbar and some "pond" netting at £29 for 20m, had to get if from Coopers of Stortford as the Allotment Society shop had completely sold out of netting.
For the next two rows I reused the chicken wire hoops from the Mk1 defences.
But used all of them, half down one side, half down the other, each with only one side in the ground, the other being interlaced into the opposite, like ( & ) but leaning in to touch at the top only.
The last two rows stayed untouched other than re-attaching the green netting to the Mk2 defences on the left.
Did some letting this weekend.
What a contrast between people, one made arrangemenst to view, did not keep them and then did not answer the phone or respond to voicemail messages, so moved on down the list.
The next came out today and is taking two and a half rod.
The last did eventually after some persuasion give me my arm back and look what he did to his two and a half rod jungle on Saturday and Sunday, right now he is out ther carefully burning that heap in the middle.

Sunday, June 07, 2009

Rain stopped play.

Saturday saw me faced by two soggy sticky allotment plots, can't even hoe them as the soil sticks to the hoe and the weeds just laugh as they re-root.
So, what to do then?
After rebuilding sons's rear bike wheel hub, clean and regrease bearings adjust tightness and ensure lock nuts actually lock rather than come undone, I set to manure collection, Robert had obtained seventeen bags fresh from the horses arse for me, so I collected them and stored them in three daleks, which I set up between the Climbing French Beans and the Lettuces. Mowed the main path and my side paths at the allotments, then the back lawn at home before delivering son to his friends house.
Sunday awoke to the sound of heavy rain, it cleared as I collected daughter from friends house, so I set to in the back garden, where I could work from the concrete path as I worked to weed, fork over, remove bricks, cultivate and plant up, the area between the path and the greenhouse.
The BumbleBees living under the path entertained me for most of the time, I had had to set up protection for their nest earlier in the week as the rain kept washing any loose soil down to block the entrance, some broken terracotta pot makes a nice wall and landing pad for the bees entrance lobby.
Did this V shaped bit first and planted two more Cucumbers, one clump of Chives, a dozen Piglet Willie Banana Shallots, five Pak Choi, and half a dozen Lettuces.
Relaid the three paving slabs.Relaid the one at the corner nearest to camera, then got another one from the allotment and laid it at the door.Cleared my way back from the Hazel tree to where I stood on the path to take this shot. dug up the rose from by the fence and planted it next to slab three, together with a bit of Lemon Balm I found amongst the weeds, planted my new Gorse just out of shot bottom left and to its left I planted a small Bamboo. All the bricks under the Hazel came from where the builders had loose laid them as a dumper truck runway, ending up about eight inches underground.
The greenhouse looks empty, but is very full, most of the shelving is out and the Tomatoes and Peppers are growing away, Tomatoes in the lead by quite a margin. Enjoyed a snack of fresh Sugar Snap Peas straight off the plant as I worked. Potted up some Mint I found in the weeds and both a Geranium and my succulent "Queen of the night" from the house.

Monday, June 01, 2009

Twice burnt...

Had Friday 29th May off to garden as son and I were going to watch the England Barbarians match on the 30th. It was so hot I did not get as much done as planned, but I did have a very pleasant day with the dog for company.
Fabricated more anti-pigeon defences and planted a full double row of Brassica's and another half row, bit of a mix, about a dozen Dwarf Green Curly Kale, a dozen Purple Sprouting Broccoli and the rest was Calabrese. The new defences adopted the previous last barrier nearest to the Squash plot, so weeded all thet it covered before setting out the new arrangement and underplanting.
Planted a very closely spaced line of Dahlias to separate the Brassica's from the Squash plot and also planted another Squash or two.
Cleared and cultivated the Cold Frame, added a bag of sieved topsoil and planted half up with my own plug-plant Cos Lettuces, the other half awaits some more Lettuces.
England let us down and we had to unpeel ourselves from our seats in the east stand, stuck down by sweat from the intense sunshine.
Sunday I pottered a bit, bought some string, watered the new plantings and David told me a pigeon had been strutting up and down INSIDE my new defences and that he had ushered it out. Removed various stuff from the greenhouse. which has become a bit too hot for some seedlings, watered everything in and next to it. went back to the allotment in the evening and fixed some more plastic netting over the sheep/pig wire that the pigeon must have walked through.
Oh yes, much to her disgust I washed the dog, ideal dog drying day.
Tonight, for entertainment, I went and watched the Allotment Committee of the Town Council.