Saturday, 27 April 2013

April's Allotment Garden Update

Hello stranger. It feels like a long time since I posted an update. Apart from the one I thought I'd posted weeks ago and had to post this evening. What am I like? Don't answer that. 


So here's what I've been up to on the new garden over the last month.

 So I got the old rotavator on the job. Tilled all that manure into the soil and levelled it off ready for the paving slabs. 

Had a little friend watching me with the tiller. Helped himself to a few worms.  

Path in front of the greenhouse. Sorted :o) 

Paths two & three no problem :oP

My back was so pleased when I'd finished!

The plot as the sun goes down. No need for raised beds but I may add gravel boards at some point.

Shallots and onions from seed. Brassicas top right and top middle.

Potted on my onions that I've grown from seed. These are going in the ground in about a weeks time.

I've made a new few videos for my youtube channel this month. I only started the channel so I could upload a few end of season slideshows. But I started to get a few subscribers so I thought I'd do a few more. Hope you like them :o)     

April 2013 Allotment Garden Update 


Potato planting 18-04-2013


Parsnip Seed Tape 21st of April 2013 


Thanks for taking the time to look/watch and read.

Till the next one. 

Raised Bed Plot Update

Oops I thought I'd posted this update weeks ago!

I need to bring some cow muck up for this rhubarb.

 Time to get the soil ready for planting. Being a fulltime Dad I use a rotavator
to speed this job up. 

My son's on half term break so he's helping his old dad on the allotment. His job is leveling the soil. And he's not doing a bad job!
It wasn't long before I got the.... 
When are we going home question! 

It was cold and my plot is quite exposed bless 

Dave putting his early potatoes in .
 Before I went home I ran my rotavator round his raised beds. He grows some fantastic veg and regularly helps me.

Just waiting for some sunshine now.

Thank You For Looking! ;oD

Tuesday, 2 April 2013

Has spring sprung? Err No.

So the clocks have gone forward and we're now on British Summertime. Can someone tell the weather that because I've tried and it ain't listening to me. Although, the people in the know say we're stuck with this cold weather for another fortnight.  I'm taking their forecast with a pinch of salt cos to me it's just a good guess. 

Anyway, here's a bit of what I've been doing on my allotments. 

Greenhouse #2 uncovered and dug over ready for the season ahead.

I then re-covered and put all my stuff back in there until I'm ready.

The two rows of garlic that I planted last October are looking ok. 

The three rows of Japanese onions which I planted at the same time
 as the garlic are not doing as well though.

The beds are looking tired now on this plot, but seeing as I'm leaving at the end of the season I'll just patch them up as I go. I've given the bottom half of the plot up so I'm expecting to see someone working it soon. 

The next day we woke to this.

The snow is not helping as I need to get some paths down asap.


Did a couple of videos in the snow, hope you like them.

 The link above opens a video in another window as I couldn't get it on this page, like the others.  
In the video there's a look at what's growing in the greenhouse. 


Hopefully by the end of this month at least I'll have my potatoes and onions in the ground.

Thanks for looking in :o)

Sunday, 17 March 2013

March New Plot Update

As I sat down to type, it's starting to snow again! We had a light dusting overnight and according to my nice new thermometer (which my lovely wife bought me) it got down to - 3.9 degrees C overnight in the allotment greenhouse. I've got seedling in the greenhouse now as I was running out of space on the windowsills.  So I've put up a blow-a-way inside the GH, same as I did last year (see below - last year). I've moved my onion and shallot seedlings down there, along with the cabbage and calabrese seedlings.

On the greenhouse bench, I've got my onion sets as well as the elephant garlic I started off indoors. This year I'm trying the old candle in a plant pot trick to stop the temp from getting too low. It worked well the first night, as it fell to below 0 degrees C Saturday night, but the temp in the greenhouse only went down to 1.6 degrees C. Last night though, it was windy too. And the greenhouse door was ajar about a inch and the temp got down to -3.9c, so I've got to do something about that this afternoon. More than likely before I post this so, this could be a late edit.


The farmer who I get my manure from, has finally been able to get onto the field where the rotted manure was kept, so I've had a load delivered.

It came on a 3 ton trailer so there must be almost 3 ton. I'm told its around 48 wheelbarrows full. I've covered the plot with half of it and the rest has filled my pallet compost bin. (which you'll see it the photos and videos).

 It took me almost the full day to move. 

Just need some dry weather now so I can get on with the rotavator. Then I can get on with path laying to mark my beds out.

This mornings snowfall has set me back a little though. But I'm sure I'll catch up.


Finally got a screen door made up for the greenhouse. Only been going to make one for two years. One of the committee chaps must have got fed up with hearing me go on about making one because he made me the frame.

And another chap gave me the fly screen material to cover the frame. I'm pleased how its turned out. I can now leave the door open in the summer with out cats and other animals getting in.  

A view of the allotment from the highest point.

Quick look round the new plot now the snow's gone 23-02-13


Didn't get round to posting this what I meant to but I did nip back to the plot and fix the greenhouse door by moving the lock over a little. (see pic)

Cold night last night, got down to -3.5c in the greenhouse even with the candle going. Its a good job got everything's covered in fleece in the greenhouse.

Nice this morning though (12/03/12) Lots of sunshine.

Thanks for reading.

Saturday, 2 February 2013

February Allotment Update

Well it's been a couple of weeks since my last update so I thought I'd post what I've been doing gardening wise since then. 

I've still been going to the allotments even when its been snowing (hardcore). I like to see where the fox has been, clear the snow off the greenhouse and just take a walk round while it's quiet. Anyway, I took some video footage of the plot covered in snow...

I've finally lost patience with the old suitcase type of gas burner I had in the shed. The gas pressure dropped too much after only a couple of uses of the cartridge so I dug my other camping stove out and I'm now using that on the lottie for teas and coffees and sometimes cooking my dinner on busy days down there.

Every year I say I going to grow some elephant garlic and for one reason or another I haven't gotten round to it. But this year I have managed to get some elephant garlic cloves. I ordered them from wilkos online and had them delivered at our local shop so there wasn't any P&P.

So yesterday, I potted the six elephant garlic cloves up in the greenhouse, as well as some sturon onion sets I got from a pound shop and also some silver moon onion sets, I'd pick up in town the same day. I've covered them all with garden fleece along with leeks I set going a few weeks ago.

The onions I started from seed at the same time as the leeks, are coming along nice and steady. I've took them off the heat now as I want to get cracking with some more seed sowing and I need the propagator space.  

Last Saturday was potato day. So even though there was over a foot of snow on the ground I walked into our local town to pick my seed potato order up (Charlotte  Kestrel and Saxon.) Saxon is a new one for me this year so we'll see how we go with them. I usually do alright with the others unless we get flooded out like last spring. The onion sets in the small bags are Jet Set (new for me) and good old Sturon.

My seeds from have finally arrived. I ordered them the same day as my other seeds but they took weeks and weeks and weeks to come. I emailed them and got a snotty email back but two days later the seeds arrived. Needless to say that's the last seed order they get from me.  

We were in B&Q the other day to get some compost for home and we spotted the Pest & Weed Expert on offer for £3:49. Its a book and I've been wanting it for a while, so couldn't miss it at that price. But the funny thing was I'd just took a photo of the book and was tweeting that I'd found this bargain, when I received a tweet from   saying I'd won a copy of  Dr Hessayon's Vegetable & Herb Expert, and it will be on its way to me shortly. I sent them my addy so hopefully I should be getting that great book soon. 

Thanks as always for looking in :)

Thursday, 17 January 2013

Winter has arrived!

So glad I got the plot dug over before the snow fell. We haven't had that much but it was followed by hard frosts and now the allotment looks pretty wintry.

Cold Frame came with the plot. Just need to cut some glass for the lids.

 I've only been there a couple of times since the snow fell to check things over and to install a stove with a gas bottle in the shed. I did have one of the suitcase type camping stoves but I found that when the cartridge was half used the pressure fell too much and took an age to boil the kettle.

The snow, frost and ice will help to break down the clods of soil and I can level the plot and add my paths in the spring.

I've started pricking out the onion seedlings, most seeds took 4 days to germinate and this photo was taken after 10 days, when I started to prick them out into their own little plots. No movement in the leek seeding box yet but they're in the unheated greenhouse on the allotment.

Thanks for looking in :)

Wednesday, 9 January 2013

First sowing of the year...

Yesterday I sowed my first seeds of the new year, Lincoln F1 Leeks. They're the same leeks as last year as we were very happy with them (How I Sow My Leeks). I also started some onions from seed too. I usually just buy sets but I was sent a trial pack (Centro F1 info) from Shelly's seeds with my veg seed order so I thought I'd give them a go.

Not much more to add at the moment. The ground is still to wet to work on properly but I've been digging the plot over anyway. I stand on old scaffold boards so not to compact the soil too much. Not the ideal way to turn the soil over but needs must.

As usual thanks for looking in.

Tuesday, 1 January 2013

A New Year Plot Update:

Happy New Year! I hope you all had a good Christmas. I had a nice quiet one with my loved ones, just the way I like it.

This year I'm hoping for a drier spring and summer, I've got my fingers crossed and I'm touching wood *pats head*.

So what's been happening on the allotments since I last posted, I hear you all cry!!

Well if you read my last post, you'll know I've swapped my small plot for one that's roughly 100% if not 150% bigger than the one I had on the same site.

So even though its been over two months since my last post in my growing journal, I haven't forgot to take some photos as I work on the plots.

At the beginning of November we had the annual bonfire. My son was allowed to have the honour of lighting the bonfire again this year. 

 Then it was the task of clearing my old plot. I sold the shed to the lady who's having the plot. But I wanted the slabs for a project on the new plot.  

 Last look at the old plot. I winter dug the bottom of the plot just after this photo was taken. Lovely soil but being under the trees it just didn't get enough sun.

My plot is one of the highest on this side of the allotments, so to stop my soil falling over the low path I decided to edge the plot with the slabs I had. So this is the project I wanted the slabs for. I dug a 16" deep trench the length of the plot. And dropped a line down as a guide. The slabs are really heavy and as I was working on my own I wasn't too hung up on them being dead level. So as long as they were something like, I was OK with that.

 The first of the slabs went down really easily.  

The way the slabs were going down, I thought I'd get the job done before the weekend. But I twisted with the last slab of the day and put my back out for 4 days.

As soon as my back was alright I was back at it. 

 I wanted to get the job finished in case the weather turned really bad.

 When the edging is finished the path is getting 6" of top soil just to bring the level up a little.

The allotment was given the back off an old box van One of the plot holders is a painter so he gave it a lick of green paint.  It was white when we got it and it stuck out like a sore thumb causing complaint's from neighbouring houses within half an hour of its arrival! 

We hired a local farmer to help us move the cabin into place with his fork lift.

To be honest, the cabin went in a lot easer than we had anticipated.

 Now we have somewhere to work on the mower's when the weather's bad.

Edging finished and top soil on the path to level it off.

 Looking down the plot from the shed. I'm happy how the edging has turned out. Had my leg pulled about it a bit from some of the old chaps on the committee. Going to level and straighten the paving slab path at some point this year.

I've also added guttering and water barrels to the shed. I've have some water barrels for the greenhouse and they will be added when I get around to it. The water bosh is at the bottom of my plot, so there's no rush at the moment. 

As I said my plot is quite high up, unlike the one opposite. 

As I've been really busy on the new plot the old one's been a little neglected.

I've dug the beds over ready for the spring. I still have leeks growing in one of the beds and I have onions and garlic in the small beds at the front of the plot. 

 This month is when we pay the rent on the two half plots on this site. We've decided to only rent one of the plots this year. We'll rent the half that has the greenhouse and shed on it for another year, but now I have a good size plot only 5 minutes from home. I'm going to give it up altogether at some point in the future. As you can see it floods and I just don't have the time to do it. Even though I'm giving this half up, I dug it over anyway so it's in better condition than when I took it over in 2011.

I was sent the Leeks to trial by DT Browns. We look forward to trying them.

 It's the first time I've bothered with over winter onions. But they seem to be doing alright.

Not sure if you can see the garlic properly in this pic but I can assure you there is garlic in this bed.

Bit of work to be done here in the spring. Not sure what I'll be growing on the plot yet. Something to ponder over the next couple of months.

Thanks again for reading and all the best for the New Year. 

As usual please feel free to ask questions and comment.