Monday, 26 March 2012

First of my Spring Updates

I really love this time of year on the allotment, people have turned the soil on there plots and there is the smell of spring in the air.  It's all about sowing seeds and looking after your seedlings for me at the moment, all the hard work I done to the allotment over the autumn and winter months, will start to pay off as the vegetables go in the ground and start to grow.

In the greenhouse, the potato bags have now been fill right up to the top, the leaves have come through the compost 4 times now, so I thought I'd just fill the bag to the top  instead of adding a little every couple of days. The seed potatoes have been in the bags just over four weeks so we look to be on target to get a crop in 12 weeks or less.

I potted on my tomato seedling and moved them into the greenhouse at the weekend, most were getting too big for there pots so they are now nice and snug in the blow-away, inside the greenhouse.

I've started hardening off some of the brassicas, I'll be putting them outside in the mornings (9.30ish) and as long as it stays fine, they'll stop out till tea time (5ish).
My Calabrese.
The cauliflowers are just getting their true leaves and the Brussels sprouts seedlings are ready to be pricked out into there own pots and taken to the greenhouse.

The first of the spring onions are through, I going to sow some more in a few weeks.

The spring onion seedlings. 

I hope to get the other greenhouse glazed this week ready for my peppers and cucumbers, I also want to get the beds ready where I'm going to grow my peas.

Thanks for reading, all the best :)

Tuesday, 20 March 2012

The first day of spring.... \o/ Hooray \o/

Spring has sprung at last and I spent the morning at the allotment. I only went up to put some onion sets in the same bed as I put the garlic in last week, but I ended up emptying the compost bin. As is usual for me, I set off to do one job and end up doing two or three lol.

Onion sets ready to plant. 
You can see there is a good root system already. 
This bed now full, I have another box of onion sets ready to go in as well. 
These bins and bags are full of the compost I got out of one dalek compost bin. I shall store the compost in the bins & bags until I'm ready plant my beans. 
Rhubarbs getting a spurt on now. 
It must be spring, we've set the big blow-away up and I'll soon have it full!!

Here's a few photos from Edible Garden Show at Stoneleigh

I didn't buy much apart from a few seeds and a new dibber. The tomatoes seeds are for the community garden that I volunteer at. The garden doesn't get funding from anywhere, so the volunteers buys seeds to grow into plants and sell them on to keep the garden open and pay the bills.

Saturday, 17 March 2012

Springs on its way

As I am writing this post, it's only 3 days to the start of spring, 20th of March, so I thought I would post some photos of what's growing in my allotments.

Last week my rhubarb looked like it was going to take an age to get going, its had a mulch of cow muck over the winter season and a good feed with a GrowOrganic so I was hoping for better. So I decided to force it a little.

Here it is a week later. All I did is put my upturned wheelbarrow over it to keep the light out and it's working a treat. One of the chaps on the allotment has given me two of the old plastic type dustbins, we used to have before wheelie bins were the norm.  They are too small to cover the crown, so I may split it at the end of the season.

I had to put some compost over our first early greenhouse potatoes (swift) as they're romping away (planted 25/02).

The garlic I planted out last week looks to be doing OK, only a row on each plot this year. If it does alright, then come autumn I'll even try some over winter onions as well as some hardneck garlic.

The gooseberry bushes that I were given last autumn have come into bud, I've also been offered some raspberry canes, but I'm not sure I'm going to take them yet, as I'm don't know where to put them. 

We're off to the Edible Garden Show at Stoneleigh tomorrow, It's an hour and a half drive for us, but it should be a good day out.

Thanks for reading, all the best :)

Wednesday, 14 March 2012

Allotment Update

Over last weekend and the beginning of this week the weather has been nice enough for me to get on my plots with the rotavator. I've been itching to get going but we've just had too much rain here in darkest north Derbyshire.

 Sunday 11th I rotavatored the full plot. 

Just need to give this new half a good raking ready for the potatoes in a week or so. 

This is where I'm going to try and grow my French beans, I say try because although I grow them every year I've never had a very good yield, so its fingers crossed as I'm not growing any runner beans as a safety net either this year.

I also anchored the greenhouse down by bolting posts to the four corners of the greenhouse base and concreted them into the ground.

My plot is quite exposed, so if I don't anchor it down it will probably end up on someone else's  garden, when the wind gets up.  

Monday 12th I rotavatored my small half plot.

Yesterday, Tuesday 13th, I was back on both plots planting my garlic. I put a row on each plot just to see if there's much difference come harvest time. The swift first early potatoes we started off in bags on Feb 25th, have come up, so I need to take some compost down to the greenhouse.  I also dug a path out in the greenhouse on the full plot, no photo's yet as my phone was acting up, I'll have to take the camera up and get some snaps.

Today I've sown some more leeks, this time they are Bluegreen autumn (Porbello) a free trial from DT Brown. I've also sown my Brussels Sprouts today. I'm trying Nelson F1 this year, a nice early sprout. I've also sown the first of my spring onions. Two varieties this year, red spring onions are Toga and the white spring onions are Kaigaro. I was going to sow some onion seeds, I have for pickled onions (silverskins) but I think I'll sow them next week now.

I took a big pallet to pieces and started to build the raised bed for the greenhouse, I'll post a pic when I fit it in the greenhouse, I need to do this before I can glaze it.

Thank you for reading, all the best  :o)

Sunday, 4 March 2012

Greenhouse Staging and Seedlings

It's been teeming down with rain here for most of the day, so I couldn't get on the plot. I decided when the rain had finally stopped, to go and build the new staging in the greenhouse, instead of building it at home and transporting it down there, (which is what I'd planned to do for some reason).

So the staging is up now, very easy to build only 8 nuts & bolts on the two tier & 4 nuts & bolts on the one tier. I took a few photos of how the seedling are getting on in the greenhouse afterwards..

I moved the seedlings out of the blow-away on to the staging to photograph.

Garlic coming along nicely.

I'm pleased my first sowing of Leeks they have made it through the freeze.

The Calabrese (Broccoli) are starting to grow there second true leaves.

Leggy Sweet-peas but I'm sure they'll be fine. 

Thank you for reading,

This Weeks Gardening

Not a lot to report from around the plots this week. I nipped on the half plot on Wednesday, just to make sure I still had a part used bag of cement I'd left in the shed. I thought we had some leftover from when we put the base for greenhouse down and I was right, so that's saved me from buying another bag. I just need to pick up some ballast to mix with the cement to make the concrete to hold the anchor posts on the new greenhouse in place.

This week I started volunteering at a Community Garden. The garden was created on an old derelict field by the locals. It is now a fully operational nursery, growing vegetables and plants for sale. It's run by volunteers and it has become a haven for wildlife, birds, butterflies, hedgehogs, wildfowl and pond life.  It’s situated about 4 miles from my house, so it’s not exactly local for me but its very short handed, underfunded and close to closing down, which would be a shame. I'll post some photos once I've got stuck in. This week I've been sowing seeds, this is something that I'm no stranger too but never on such a big scale.

Sown a few things at home too, set some Beetroot's going  (Alto F1 & Boltardy) and also set some Lettuces (Mizuna, Little Gem, & Iceberg). I may sow some cut and come again lettuce leaves next week in the big blow-away once I've put the cover on it.

Rain here today so swerving the allotment. We picked up some greenhouse staging on or travels this weekend so may build that instead.

Thank you for reading/retuning.