Sunday, February 27, 2005

Tidying Up

I spent a fair bit of time tidying up after the Blackberry today. In fact I had quite a good go at that whole area. The patch just beyond the nearest bed needs levelling. I might try and get rid of the mound in the corner (out of picture)into the dip. Posted by Hello

More Detail!

Looking at it from this angle it really looks quite a large space. I am seriously contemplating making this the main service area for the allotment. This would include compost bins, drying racks, maybe a cutting/washing area for vegetables etc. Posted by Hello

"Garden Claw Gold"

I used the claw to cultivate the Artichoke patch lightly. It also lifted the established grass which was encroaching on next door's plot with na' bother. In short, it is brilliant. Posted by Hello

Claw in Action

It really does shift that soil! I have come to the comclusion that the verb associated with the claw should be "twiddling", as in "I twiddled the Artichoke patch this afternoon".Posted by Hello

"Weed Wand"

I also got this "Weed Wand" at the Wyvale closing down sale. It was £3.99 reduced from £27.99. I started using it yesterday and had another go today. My daughter was pleasantly surprised when I told her we had aquired a flamethrower. Posted by Hello

Weed Wand Trial (1)

This is a patch of well established dandelions in the path . I treated them today and will monitor their condition. I am sceptical of the wand's effectiveness. Posted by Hello

Winter Sunshine

It was refreshing to be able to look at the allotment bathed in the warm glow of afternoon sunshine. Posted by Hello

Saturday, February 26, 2005

Onion Sets

Today I got a bag and a half of Red Baron onion sets in and covered them with fleece. There are a couple of rows of Garlic at this end of the bed, again sown today. I filled in the end of the bed with the overwintering onions in it with a bit more garlic today as well. The overwintering Garlic was a white variety from Robinsons, but today's pink from near Stannah.

I plan to plant some more onions in a week or so to see what difference if any it makes. I also have some shallots to get in soon. I will groundcover the far end of this bed and grow something through it as it has convolvulus in it at the far end that I can never quite get rid of. It comes from under the grouncover over the rasberries.

I had quite a job getting out the tubers of the Chinese Artichokes when I was cultivating this bed. Considering we never had a decent crop from them there seem to be a surprising number left in the soil! Posted by Hello

Left Hand Side

This shows the view along the left-hand side of my plot. The bed covered in plastic was "bastard trenched" in the Autumn in readiness for Pumpkins & Squashes when the time comes. The bed beyond that is next up for repair, after that the Broccoli etc., and the finally new bed in front of the table is just visible. Posted by Hello

Golden Garden Claw (Results)

The Wyvale Garden Centre near us was closing down today and I got a Golden Garden Claw (£39.99 on the box) for £5! This is the finish it gave to the soil in the new bed.... Posted by Hello

More of the same...

... and I cultivated the soil beneath the gooseberry bush for the first time in a long, long while. Posted by Hello

Rhubarb News

The Rhubarb is beginning to sprout. A year or two ago I put the remains of an old cold frame around one of the crowns, but it doesn't seem to have made any difference at all. Both the the crowns are very well protected from the elements by a hedge, though. Posted by Hello

Wednesday, February 23, 2005

Snow (Just)

We had an occasional very light snowfall today, as well as some bright spells (sometimes both together, as you can see). It was bitingly cold when the sun went in. It is probably a good thing that I didn't put the onions, shallots & garlic in earlier in the week. Posted by Hello

New Bed (Complete!)

At last its finished! I wonder how long I will be able to resist the temptation to put another layer of 6 by 2s on. Posted by Hello


Yes it really is pretty jolly level! Posted by Hello

Staples: Are they up to the job?

How's that for a neatly stapled seam? Actually, I wasn't too happy with the staples. They are rather instubstantial and are bound to rot away in a year or so. I will probably use roofing felt tacks next time. They should be more secure, longer-lasting and easier to fix. Posted by Hello

Running Repairs

I made some running repairs to a couple of the old beds by nailing spare bits of mill board to overlap the bottom section where soil was falling onto the path. The extra groundcover is folded up behind the board ready for tucking under when I get round to replacing this bed. You can see the join around a third of the way down from the top of the bed. I did the same to the bed on the other side before wacking a bag of wood-chip down. Posted by Hello

General view

This is the general view for comparison with yesterday (immediately below). Posted by Hello

Tuesday, February 22, 2005

Yet More on the new Bed

As you can see, I've been busy on the allotment again today. Posted by Hello

It's Nearly Finished!

The new bed is nearly finished. I've been trying to decide what to grow in it and I think I might cover it in groundcover and use it for Sweetcorn, possibly interplanted with squashes.
The theory is that the corn stems cast a mottled shade to help stop the squash wilting in the heat. In return, the squash leaves shade the roots of the corn. This is how the native Americans arrange things. I just wonder whether it would be simply too many holes in the groundcover. Posted by Hello


I tuck the groundcover from the paths underneath the beds to keep the weeds confined as much as possible. The final step here is to staple the top of the groundcover to the bed sides to stop soil falling down between the plastic and the plank and making its way onto the paths.
As things stand I still have to find the right staples for my staple gun. Posted by Hello

The Next Job?

This is probably the next bed for repair. I use the word repair in the sense that Stanley Holloway uses it in his monologue on the Tower of London:
"It's 'ad a new 'andle, and it's 'ad a new 'ead - but it's the same old original axe!"Posted by Hello

Unprotected Bean Seems OK

The lone unprotected bean looks ok..... Posted by Hello

Perky Garlic

.... and the garlic appears to be flourishing in the winter sunshine. Posted by Hello

Monday, February 21, 2005

Bed Renovation (Progress)

As you can see I've at last made some real progress on the new bed. It has taken several hours to get to this point but I'm nearly there.
I hope the first is the worst and that they will get easier. If anyone was doing a time and motion study on me they'd have given up and gone home. Check my progress here.Posted by Hello
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