Saturday, March 13, 2010

Transparent really.

Friday 12th March.
Another day off work to garden, but this time with sufficient showers to prevent allotment digging, well not prevent exactly, but enough to have made me soggy, muddy and fed up.

So I did the greenhouse spring clean, scrubbed all glass inside and out with Jeyes Fluid solution administered via a 2.5L Hozelock pump sprayer. A long and tedious job on and 8' x 12' glasshouse.

Removed one broken pane, that had a missing corner, the replacement broke in the same way about two minutes after I put the clips in. Then I worked out that this was due to the glass in that section all being skewed slightly leaving the corner unsupported, after adjusting all the panes and clips the second replacement is still OK. Another couple of panes had slipped past their clips leaving a narrow slit, adjusted the clips with a couple of pairs of pliers and moved the glass a little before reinserting the clips.

During the week I had bought a "Stewart" heated propagator from Wilkinsons, a two standard seed tray size for £28, it and my original single tray size are now sat happily warming a variety of freshly sown seed on top of a large sheet of polystyrene on the greenhouse bench. I also bought a set of RooTrainers, a single cage, which have had Parsnips sown in them.

Saturday 13th March.
Went compost shopping and bought three 120L general purpose compost bales and "four for three" 25L bags of topsoil . The topsoil was delivered straight to the allotment, where it was later used to top up my bluebin retaining wall, hopefully to grow nice carrots as opposed to the strange ones that my clay topsoil produces.
Also bought some bags of Charlotte, Desiree and King Edward seed potatoes, which are now chitting in the frost-free shed.
Rounded off the day by, clearing the herb cum bee patch of dead growth, digging up the rest of the Jerusulem Artichokes, starting another eight foot strip of digging and then having a bonfire as all the dry waste was in the way of the digging strip.

Sunday, March 07, 2010

More nice weather today.

So after watching my son's team crash out of the Herts U16 Rugby Cup 13-12 in the first round I spent the afternoon on the allotment.
The lighter coloured bit in front of me is what I dug on Thursday and Friday all the way across.
More people on site today, I'd missed the morning rush and they were all doing the Sunday afternoon post lunch nap.
They were the loosers I think as the sun was very warm and I dug with my back to it today.
The darker hillocks of Horse's doin's is what I did today, with an hours help from my son at the end, where he got in the way for the last four feet of digging and was very useful with the wheelbarrow to distribute the manure.
Damm black plastic bags do not last on the plot for storage purposes, a bird peck or fox investigation pierce the skin and you try to pick it up and the hole just runs round the bag, leaving you up to at least your ankles in it holding an empty black plastic rag.
My furry supervisor has become too accustomed to central heating over the winter and despite me following up her Thursday and Friday shivering by putting on the thicker of her two doggie coats she still sat and shivered in my direction.
So I wore an old fleece sweatshirt as a reverse bumbag back warmer and lent her my thick padded sleeveless workmand jacket, sticking her head out one armhole.
Finally a warm and contented furry supervisor, who tucked her head towards her bum and went to sleep.

Saturday, March 06, 2010

At last...

Some sunny days when I've not been at work and the ground has not been a quagmire.
Thursday 4th March, sorted out the plot numbered posts the council had bashed in on each plot. Funny I count thus, 17, 18, 19, 20, they count 17, 18, 18, 18, 20 and omitted some divided plots, so spent a couple of hours wandering round with a sledgehammer, then rang up for some exta numbered posts. Dug and manured halfway across plot 17 on an eight foot strip. Talked to Alan about topping off a thorn tree in the boundary fence at the top of his plot.
Friday 5th March, found the extra posts in a pile, so bashed them in, then Alan arrived, so we dealt with the tree, amazing how much light a fifteen foot high thorn tree can block out. The public footpath outside the sence no longer has a tree elbow poking into it, Alan has more light and won't impale himself on thorns as he clears the old compost hillocks at the top of his plot.
Then finished my eight foot strip, all bar the last ten feet was relatively easy digging as it was potatoes last year and I leave the ground rough from harvest. The last ten feet had had shallots in it and was solid greasy stick to the spade clay.
In fact at various points across the plot, mostly in the dip between last years rows of potatoes the tip of the american style spade would bring up yellow chalky clay!
I gues double-digging would greatly improve my plot, but I'm not up for that, except in the bean trench, so it will be a long process.