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.