Subscribe with Bloglines At last I've got my plot!

Monday, January 24, 2011

Final post on this blog

As I have almost given up the allotment entirely I have started a new blog where I will post about my gardening at home. It is called Lilymarlene's Edible Garden and can be found here
For those who followed me here, and commented, I would like to say thankyou.....and hope to see you at my new blog as and when it really gets going.

Thursday, July 01, 2010

Today's harvest

Here is today's harvest from my kitchen garden. We had the large broccoli head last week, but these little sprouts have come I picked them.
The cabbage hearts were solid so I cut them too. I left the stalks in the hopes of another picking of leaves later.

I thought it might be a good idea to look at the climbing beans carefully as I could see one bean hanging....what a surprise when I got all those green ones.....Climbing French Bean "Hunter". Always a reliable doer in the garden.

And the purple "Cosse Violette"....surprised to find them ready too. Not many yet, but they are only halfway up the arches at the moment.

And the very last of the peas. I would re-sow but have no suitable late ones.....! Better look at the seed catalogue....

I went briefly to the plot and harvested three whopping heads of broccoli "Marathon". I think I will have to freeze some of it as there is only so much that even greedy veg eaters like us can eat before they begin to go yellow!

I also picked the last of the broad beans (Sutton) that came from plants sown this spring. They had a bad case of blackfly (neglected by me as I didn't get there this last week...!)

I saw the plotter who is diagonally next door to me. She had heard that I am wanting to give up half of my plot and has now spoken for the lower half (next to the hedge, where the shed is at the moment) for her daughter who is coming home after doing some gardening courses. They won't want it yet, and I still have crops in there so we are all happy.
I will move the shed and the compost heap to the upper part of the plot (the less shady bit and the part where I have the fruit already, so was reluctant to let that bit go!)

So.....a productive day in more ways than one.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Progress at the plot

I took advantage of the shade this morning to at last get my carrots and beetroot sown. I also watered everything copiously, and harvested the broccoli.
I am mighty pleased with these. It is my first foray into growing them and I honestly thought they would be difficult. I don't have much luck with cauliflowers so thought this would be a similar story...but no!
I believe that I should get some shoots now I have harvested the tops. We'll see!
I noticed that one of the potato haulms was very yellow so decided to see what treasure lay underneath. I dug and dug and couldn't find anything. I was expecting either Foremost, or Charlotte....but couldn't see any spuds at all. I was mighty surprised as the tops were quite big. Then I noticed a little round stone...a bit bluish...picked it up. It was a spud....a dark blue one.
Now I didn't remember getting any blue seed potatoes, nor planting any. But I did notice that this plant had different coloured stems to the rest of them...they were purple...these were green (I think they were). I can only think this was a rogue that I didn't notice when I planted them out.
If I em ever tempted to buy some blue seed potatoes to grow I will remind myself how difficult they are to see against the soil when digging them up!
At home I gave the plants in the greenhouse a thorough going over...pinching out the excess branches on the tomatoes, and cutting off some of the lower leaves to enable the poor aubergines some light and room to grow. Any day now I will begin harvesting tomatoes as some are quite big already.
I trained the cucumber and melons.
I noticed that the Black Beauty Courgette in the tunnel is at last managing some female flowers....there are dozens of male ones but only one tiny female...with a 3 inch long courgette behind it. I don't think it likes being under cover.
The Parthenon courgette is producing daily.
the cucumber is laden with beautiful 6 inch fruits. These are perfect for us...a meal in one cucumber.
Now I have had enough of the sun and the heat and will sit in the shade knitting til it cools down later...
Posted by Picasa

Monday, June 21, 2010

Spud harvest

The spuds in the pots were flopping about so I decided to empty one pot to see what was going on. Basically I hadn't watered them enough as the soil at the bottom was solid. The pots have a reservoir in the bottom but I wasn't giving them enough to fill it!

Anyway, although not an amazing yield I was delighted to get a sizeable haul from the pot. From 4 seed potatoes (about 200g total) I got 1.5kg of spuds. Charlotte. They are various sizes with the tiny ones being the size of my thumbnail. If I had watered properly they would also have mke a huge crop.

I have three more of the self-watering pots and have given them a good soaking today hoping that the spuds grow a bit more before we need them.

These were an experiment to see if I could transfer much of the spud growing to my garden here at home. I am pleased with these results and the knowledge gained.

Onion Harvest

Radar! Also a good haul. This is only half of the harvest. I sowed the sets fairly close as we don't need big onions (only two of us) but some are still very big.
Some of these sent up flower spikes which I removed. These will not store well so will be used first.
These were sown last Autumn, weeded regularly, and watered copiously this spring.
I used to grow all my onions at the plot, but I got White Rot one year (as did almost everyone else) so I just do them at home now and don't seem to suffer with it now.

At the end of the row are two sets of "Shallot Grise" which I dug up to see if they are ready. They seem very titchy to me so I will leave the rest until I the tops are even deader than they are now. They were at the edge of the bed which could account for the small size but I am still loth to dig the rest up if they could put on a bit more growth. (Perhaps I planted these a bit close, but I did follow the recommendation on the pack.)
Posted by Picasa

Garlic Harvest

Well I must say I am pleased with these! For comparison I have put a purchased garlic bulb at the bottom of the picture. Over 60% of mine are bigger!!!!!
These are "Albigensian Wight". I bought the bulbs at The Garlic Farm here on the Isle of Wight and although my results are not as big as theirs I reckon they are not bad for a home harvest.....!
They were planted last Autumn, weeded a few times, and watered a lot this spring. Some are a bit over blown and will have to be used soon, but on the whole I am very satisfied with my haul!
Posted by Picasa

BTW the photo is clickable if you want to inspect the picture more closely!!!!!

Sunday, May 23, 2010

What a Difference a Day Makes!!!

When I went to my plot yesterday for the first time for two weeks (!!!) this was the sight that greeted me. Weeds flourishing in the beds and the paths grown over. The path between my plot and the neighbouring one, was 18" high in grass, and it was a job to get in the shed.
I spent hours weeding the spuds and earthing them up, weeding the cabbages, weeding and tilling the bed for the squashes and pumpkins, weeding and tilling the bed for the carrots and beets. When I had done all that it looked better but not pretty.
Then I heard John, a friendly man who spends a lot of time helping different plotholders, strimming. He seemed to be going from one to another. Aha! I thought. My husband is not well enough for the strimmer at the moment, and I can't start the bally thing, so I asked John if he'd do mine as well for a consideration. He said he would....for a very nominal price (hubby has told me to give him more when I do pay him) but that he couldn't do it until today as he hadn't enough petrol.
I went to the plot after lunch for some rhubarb for gifts, and this is what I saw. An immaculate job. I raked up the worst of it, pulled the rhubarb and am now home to sit in the shade. Very happy with my plot after having been so disappointed yesterday and worried that I'd never catch up.
I think I'll be giving up half or even all of the plot this autumn. It is getting too much for me to do as well as the garden at home. But I don't really have enough by just gardening at home. So sharing the plot might work. We are not allowed to sub-let, but the council are turning over the plots to the Parish Council and I am hoping that they will allow me to just keep a half, and supply someone else to have the other half.
Posted by Picasa

Friday, May 21, 2010

My Little Bit of Paradise

I have spent a lot of time in the Kitchen Garden these last few weeks and thought it time to show it off. There is still a mountain to do but it has come a long way already.
Posted by Picasa

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Picture that won't come out in my earlier post

Posted by Picasa

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Update on the allotment.

These two photos show the state of play at the allotment at the moment.
The second photo (starting from the back of the plot) shows the broccoli bed...under the net, flanked by broad beans...planted out two weeks ago and doing well.
Then the leek bed...still producing, although they are beginning to get that hard rib through the middle.
The next bed nearer to us is the one with the autumn planted cabbages. A lot of these are running to seed, and none have hearted up yet.....!
In the foreground is the new brassica bed started two weeks ago. I was a bit miffed to find that some had already been eaten because I forgot to net them. I have now so hope the rest will be safe.
Over against the fence the gooseberry is doing well, as are the Autumn Bliss raspberries and the rhubarb. See the other photo too for these.
There is still a lot to do at the plot.....maincrop carrots and beets to sow next week when I have cleared some more ground. And later all the pumpkins and squashes and courgettes will go in the beds at the top of the plot.
Posted by Picasa

State of play in the Kitchen Garden cont

I also turned the compost "Daleks" into one another, and whilst it was empty I netted the bottom of the left hand one that I use for peelings etc. I am fed up with the rat interest here so this should stop that.
I must recommend this incinerator to anyone considering buying one. It disposed of a 4 ft pile of branches and twigs in 3/4 hour yesterday....and most of it was green!

State of play in the Polytunnel

The new beds I bought for the polytunnel (actually DH bought them as my anniversary present last September...38 years!) are wonderful. They take an awful lot of filling ....! This one is a little over half full, and will have another layer next winter.
The tomato plants are happy here...I fleece them every night at the moment, although I believe we don't need to for the next week as the nighttime temps won't be so bad. I have also planted aubergines and peppers in this bed....with french marigolds to keep away the pesky insects.
You can see that I have part installed a dripper ystem. Must get on with the installation.
The staging in the middle holds all the plants for the archways over the garden paths....beans, peas etc. Also all the plants for the other tunnel bed are here....cucumbers, courgettes, babysweetcorn etc. These will soon be planted out. I started the melons indoors this week.
I am thinking of getting gravel for the floor.
Posted by Picasa

State of play n the Kitchen Garden

Look at this lovely find! I have been looking at Rhubarb forcing pots online and balking at paying £60 plus carriage (exhorbitant to the Isle of Wight) and when I went to our local Thompson's Garden centre yesterday I was delighted to find they had a special ofer. £29.99. I had to have one.
I also got two rhubarb plants to have here at home. I may be giving up my plot this autumn if I feel that I haven't done it justice this year, so I will need to have more fruit here at home. I have already planted some raspberries in the bed near the fence on the opposite side of the garden, but now I have ensured the rhubarb supply too.
I am assuming that it is possible to force each rhubarb plant on alternate years without exhausting the plant....hence my purchase of two. They are both Victoria.
Around the rhubarb are various salad plantings....making the most of the space before the rhubarb crowds them out.
Here you can see my asparagus bed. I have had three nice handfuls so far this season and feel sure there will be many more.
Behind them you can see some of the spuds in bags and pots that I am trying out this year.
Here are 4 of my deep beds. At the back you can see the broad beans. Flowering madly, and still no blackfly. These were autumn sown in a bed that ius very shady all winter, so I am grateful that they are as good as they arew. Variety Sutton, so I have not staked them.
The bed in front of that is empty....waiting for the sweetcorn and some french beans.
The bed in front of that is my shallot, garlic oniuon bad also planted up with sets last autumn. I have almost 100% survival in this bed even through the nasty winter we have had. They look very healthy and I keep them weeded.
The first bed has some brassicas and various squares of seeds. Not much coming up yet so I may have to resow.
These other deep beds are (from front to back of the photo) srawberries....three varieties, the earliest are already flowering.
The second bed has the last PSB plant and awaits other veg.
The third bed is more onions....Radar and Red Baron (?).
The fourth bed is all spuds...Vales Emerald.
Behind that against the fence are four new raspberry plants, the old vine along the fence, and in the corner are two younegr vines.

This time last year I was laid up with a very bad back. This year I have slowly done the work, taking care not to repeat last year, and have got on top of it early. Now the weather is warming up I should soon start to see the seeds germinating....
Posted by Picasa

Thursday, April 08, 2010

A lovely afternoon.

The weather was absolutely perfect for gardening today...and I made the most of it for as long as my back lasted out.

Tesco's had some good raspberry canes for sale yesterday. So I bought 4 of Glen Cova and after soaking them as per the instructions I planted them along the fence in the kitchen garden at home. The aspect is west facing, exactly like my plot raspberries, so I should get a harvest. They are a summer fruiting variety, so no fruit this year....but I can wait.
I have undersown them with Limnanthes Douglassii(?) "Poached Egg Plant".

I also dug up the last of the leeks at home and clared that bed apart from one PSB plant which is still going strong.

In the Sq Ft bed I have plnted out some Calabrese "Mammoth" plants, also some Cabbage "Grand Duchy". Between these I plnted out the modules of beetroot, with calendula seeds, and sowed some more Parmex carrots (the trial ones from Wilkinsons) and scattered some Nigella "Love in a Mist" seeds around them. (Alys Fowler recommends this combination.)

Also sowed nasturtiums, some Cup and Saucer Plant seeds (I have a feeling these should have been in warmth, but the seed packet had no instructions. If they fail to germinate I will try again!)

I also sowed chives along the path, and pot marigold, and sage.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Spuds in....well some of them!

A little late I managed to get the first earlies (Foremost) and my salad potatoes (Charlotte) into the ground. It was rather claggy and shouldn't really have been dug etc but I stood on some boards to minimise compaction of the soil.
I will leave the Desiree maincrop 'til the traditional planting day...Good Friday.
The photo shows how much spring digging I still have to do. Actually I don't dig any more as these are deep beds but a bit of tidying up is called for. Usually I use a hoe, with a fork for the big weeds, although most of them just slip out without a lot of resistance. I pulled up 18" long dandelion roots with just a little bit of twisting last week.

I must say I've had enough of the rain now. I really enjoyed last week's sunshine but it seems to have gone away. The long range forecast for this part of the UK gives SLEET for next well as rain most other days......sigh!
Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Allotment progress.

A truly beautiful morning spent at the plot.
First I harvested the Brussels sprouts and pulled up the plants. There were lots of small ones still on them but I wasn't sure they would come to anything. Bed now cleared and ready for something else.

Picked and tidied the PSB. Weeded all round it, re-netted it.

Dug up some leeks, tidied the bed.

Manured the raspberry bushes.

My back feels like it is snapping so I have come home for a sit!!!

More seed sowing

Sowed these yesterday
Courgette "Black Beauty"
" "Midnight" for the plot
" "Soleil" for the plot
" "Black Forest" (a climber for my new experiment
" "Parthenon" (doesn't need pollinating so trying these in the tunnel for an early experiment)

Cucumber "Sunsweet"
" "Bush Champion"
" "Burpless Tasty Green" for the arches.
" "Crystal Lemon"

All are in the propagator on the sunroom windowsill.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Busy morning

It was very warm and sunny so I felt it was a good opportunity to get some big jobs done in the kitchen garden. These arches have been cluttering up the sun room for months but today they have finally been installed.
They run more or less East to West so the beds on the left in the photo will be quite shady once the various produce grows up and over the arches, so I must make sure to only put the sun lovers on the right!

These arches are my latest experiment for the climbing crops such as beans, sweet peas, tomatoes etc. I find wigwams less than satisfactory because I can't get at the stuff in the middle....

Planned crops for this year on these arches are
Borlotti beans
Runner beans
Climbing french beans
Sweet peas
Outdoor cucumbers
I will report on my success/failure....!

I have also filled the shallower of the two tunnel beds with a compost/vermiculite/John Innes 3 mix. I covered it all over with the empty bags to dissuade Scooby from using it as a toilet.
I took the photo during a dullish moment. The sun is out again now so I'm going back out!
Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

This morning..

This morning was the first time for ages when weather and opportunity coincided and I was able to get to the plot. The raspberries needed pruning and clearing round so a good hour was spent on that, Tomorrow I will go and spread some of my well rotted manure around them and then just wait for the harvest!
I also pruned the gooseberry. This was very fruitful last year and I am hoping for another good year.

Here are also some photos of the Kitchen Garden at home. These show that the beds are ready for the off....some are already full(onions, garlic, shallots and broadbeans, and some are just finishing with last year's broccoli and leeks. The strawberries, salad bed and the asparagus bed are all cleaned now. I also sprinkled a good dose of pelleted poultry manure on the relevant beds.

Still lots of tidying to do, and the bean and sweet pea arches are half built and need installing....but on the whole I am up to date out here.

Still plenty to do at the plot. The soil is wonderfully workable at the moment, but it is still too cold there to sow and expect reliable germination.
Posted by Picasa

Friday, February 26, 2010

More seeds sown

Not a very interesting post....more for my own records than for entertainment...

Seeds sown today....
In propagator on sunroom windowsill
Celery "Greensleeves"
Celery "Giant Red"
Celeriac "Prinz"
Petunia "Duo" Mixed
Coreopsis "Quills and Thrills" Mixed
Carnation "Chabaud Giant Mixed"
Aster "Spider Chrysanthemum Mixed"
Marigold "Spanish Brocade"
Marigold "Safari Bolero"
Marigold "Bonita Mixed"
French Marigold "Orange Flame"
Fr Marigold "Glowing Embers Mixed"

Stevia Rebaudiana

And in modules in the tunnel
Beetroot "Boltardy"
Beetroot "Chioggia"

Also Sweet Peas "Fragrantissima"

It was very pleasant out there as it is very sunny today, and the chilly wind (which is drying the soil at last) put me off being outside. So a lot was done but I didn't get cold!

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Some seed sowing done....

We are undergoing quite a rainstorm at the moment so it was with great pleasure that I retreated to the polytunnel to start sowing the seeds that don't need heat. The noise of the rain on the taut plastic was pretty loud, but otherwise it was OK out there.....dry and windfree!

I sowed 2 rootrainer sets of Broad Bean "Sutton". (Does anyone else feel that these could be made of better quality plastic. I won't be buying any more of these as the inserts only last a couple of seasons before they become brittle and crack. They cost enough to buy, and the materials can only be a small part of their production costs. I might write and moan at them!)

Also sown.....
Celeriac "Monarch" in modules. I think I might bring them indoors onto a windowsill as I think they need it a bit warmer than the tunnel.
Shallot "Matador" seeds. Hoping to produce my own sets!
Cabbage "Earliest of All"
Brussels Sprout "Evesham Special".
------ditto-----"Red Rubine".
Also some Sweet Peas...."Mixed Spencer"
and "Wiltshire Ripple"

The seed sowing didn't take long, but the hunting for all the stuff that usually lives on the staging....(pencils, dibbers, scissors, pots, etc etc etc that I had tidied away in ordewr to re-organise the tunnel) seemed to take forever...

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Ready to go.....

This morning I was at last able to install the new Link-a-bord beds that have been sitting in our hallway since I was given them for our Anniversary (38th) last September. Don't they look good.

Yesterday I had help to level the ground in the tunnel, and lay the weedstop fabric (Gardman....bought on special offer at Wisley last year.) I also laid (with help) some excess carpet down the middle to help prevent wear on the weedstop fabric. (I laid the carpet upside down as I think I'll be able to sweep the back of it. Happily it is white and the reflection should help the plants thrive. Unhappily it is so bright in there that I have to either squint or wear sunglasses!!!!)

The staging has all been washed and returned to the tunnel and I am ready to go now with this season's seed sowing. I will be getting some fresh potting compost this afternoon and will start on the seeds tomorrow.

The new beds need filling and I'm mulling over the options.
Option some compost at £35 a bag (huge builders bag) from the council and add my own compost to it.

Option in bags ready made "compost" from the garden centre.

Option peat, vermiculite and manure (processed and clean) from the garden centre. I know this uses peat, and will be expensive, but it is the mix recommended by Mel Bartholomew in Square Foot Gardening.

I favour option 3, and will price it up this afternoon. No hurry to do it as I have nothing ready yet to go into the beds.
Posted by Picasa

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Seeds sown.

Had a very productive afternoon indoors yesterday as the weather didn't live up to its promise.

I now have tomatoes, aubergines, peppers and chillis sown. Also some parsnip seeds are pre-germinating on tissue paper (I have read that doing this, then putting the shoots into modules, does away with the uncertainty of parsnip germination and ensures a full row first time......we'll see!)

I also washed and bleached all my old plant labels....this saves buying them again!

And I sat and planned the beds for this coming year.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Gardeners' Chat Shed

This is a useful on-line resource with just over 100 members so far. The members have been asked to recruit more how about it?

Thursday, February 18, 2010

The Year Begins!

Yesterday was lovely weather here on the Isle of Wight and I snatched an hour and a half to start on some of the deep beds in my kitchen garden.

I dug up the last of the Xmas spuds (Charlotte.....planted last July). Four plants worth of spuds. A useful harvest of a quarter bucket. Not fantastic but enough to justify the experiment.

I also pulled the carrots (little round ones...Early French Frame) sown last July. These will be a welcome addition to our dinner tonight. They overwintered well.

There were beets too, and some Mooli radishes. I think they might be bullets now but I believe they stand longer than other radishes so I'll wait to pass judgement til after I have tried them at lunch today.

I tidied both beds and have left them til planting and sowing starts in earnest later in the Spring. I won't start too early as it usually disappoints.

On my afternoon dog walk I strolled through the allotments. There was one very keen plotter taking advantage of the sun to dig. My plot was too soggy but I will soon be able to get on with it. The weeds are beginning to appear so sowing time can't be far off.

My spuds (from Alan Romans) are chitting nicely on the windowsill and I'll put them in at the plot when the chits are an inch long and sturdy.

I also intend to do some in bags again to see if I can master that technique. DH wants me to give up my allotment and just concentrate on the kitchen garden here, but I don't really have enough room for spuds, or fruit, here and am loath to act too soon on his suggestions. If I can master the bag technique then I could have quite a few lined up along the alleyway round the house and satisfy my need to grow them here. We could also put the fruit bushes in with the flower beds.....

There is a new series starting in March on BBC2, fronted by Alys Fowler, on "Edible Gardening". She will be showing how she gardens with veg and flowers together and manages a meal a day from that method. It will be an interesting watch and I'm sure would help me to downsize without really giving up any crops. A new challenge which will require ingenuity but perhaps be more manageable as I get older....

And some may remember me mentioning how thrilled I was to discover that there would be a new show starting this year....called the Edible Garden Show, at Stoneleigh, from 19-21 March. I bought tickets for two days, and booked a non-refundable hotel room, and started getting excited. Then two weeks ago I got an e-mail to say that it has been postponed 'til next year. Major disappointment! As I can't get a refund on the hotel. I will go anyway and visit Ryton Organic Gardens instead. On the way up from here I will also go and explore some of the countryside just north of Bicester where Flora Thompson grew up (that she based "Lark Rise to Candleford" on). These are things I have long wanted to do, so I am not so disappointed about the show.

They said that stallholders were reluctant to come forward due to the recession. I thought that now would have been a very good time for such a Show as almost everyone is talking about growing some vegetables....

I promise to take some photos soon!

Monday, December 28, 2009

Sorry everyone

I have had to add word verification to my blog as I am getting so much spam. Hope it won't bother you too much....

Friday, December 25, 2009

The snow has gone but....

Just wanted to post a photo of my winter pots by the front door.
Posted by Picasa

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Marina di Chioggia

Have compared my long storing pumpkin with my seed packets and decided that it was this one.
Marina di Chioggia. I got the seeds at Wisley but Franci seeds are available in lots of places.
Googling these found this info on the seed (My packet is in Italian so not much info on there)

"Very old, rustic pumpkin from near Venice. Thick, knobbly skin and sweet yellow/orange flesh. Rich in Vitamin A which helps keep eyes and skin healthy. Also contains mineral salts (Calcium & Phosphorous). @9. Sow Mar-end Jun and harvest till the end of November."
Another site has a picture
And another describes it here as very long storing picture shows a more warty pumpkin than mine was.

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

This is hard to believe....

These were the sum total of the squashes I harvested from the big compost pile on the bank, under the tree, where I sowed the pumpkin plant given me by a friend earlier in the year. He didn't know the name of the variety. They are 6 inches diameter....not large, but they were under the giant beech tree that borders my plot and cuts out light and water from half of it so I wasn't actually expecting much. Next year I'm moving the compost bays to this site....!
This, however, is what I am finding hard to believe...! This is one I grew last year in one of the deep beds on the plot, I had it on the windowsill in the sun room all year. This faces north so only gets sun morning and evening (suits me as I hate too much sun). The windowsill is a good place for plants, warm and bright but not too hot. I took this photo five minutes ago. I'm amazed at how well it has kept....a whole year on the windowsill with only an occasional dusting. I thought it was about time we ate it!
So, I cut it through expecting it to be like concrete....but not so. It cut very easily and inside was still beautiful! (See next picture). I will eat this over the next week or two. DH doesn't like pumpkin, which is why it just hasn't been used up to now.
I wish I could remember which variety it is. (It is 11 inches diameter). If I could I'd choose to grow it again forever as its keeping qualities are wonderful. And I am sure it will still taste good.

The ones on the windowsill from this year's poor harvest have soggy stems already so I know they won't keep. I will likely have to freeze the flesh withinn the next few days.

No action at the plot today as I have a bad head, and it is intermittently raining.
Posted by Picasa

Monday, November 02, 2009

A truly beautiful morning

Too nice today to hang about indoors, especially as the weather is due to deteriorate tomorrow til who knows when. So I went early to the plot to start on the spud beds for next year. Whilst there I thought a lot about the layout of my plot and have decided that over this winter I will re-organise it somewhat.

Firstly I am going to site the shed at the N end of the plot. I get so little sun in winter on my plot that I must maximise what does come. The hedge and the shed being on the S edge of the plot makes it very gloomy for most of the winter in the part of the plot that should get the most sun.
So...I will move the shed to the top of the plot, and cut the hedge to 3ft high, and move the compost bays to the bank....under the tree where nothing will grow.

I will also take away the path down the middle of the plot. I will still have the long 3'6" wide beds running across the plot...but they will now be 18ft long instead of being in two halves. I shall re-instate the historical path down the RH side of the plot...between the long beds and the bank. This path was obliterated by the previous plotholders but I can soon tread in a new one.
I spent an hour or so weeding out the docks and other pernicious weeds that were in the path between the two beds that will be the spud beds and forked through the two beds on either side to find the bindweed roots that were beginning to take over the bed. When I took over the plot I deep dug the whole site and dug out a mountain of white roots. It has lasted well.
The soil was so soft it was a dream to dig today. The beds (where I never tread) were so soft that no foot pressure is needed now to dig. On the bit between the beds that was path for the last 3 years just required a bit of foot pressure on the fork to free the roots of the docks etc. Truly a "knife through butter" day on my plot.
This bed will have manure spread in the spring and spuds will go in in March.
I noticed that the Brussels at the top of the plot were ready so I picked half a carrier bag from 6 plants, and tidied up the lower yellow leaves to the compost heap. I also picked a cabbage.

My husband also came to the plot for half an hour and strimmed the paths. I raked up a lot of grass and strewed a lot of it over the spud beds to keep light away from any tubers near the top of the soil.
I'm glad I have a plan to get the sun back onto my plot. Now I have to find the energy to do it.
Posted by Picasa