Subscribe with Bloglines At last I've got my plot!: March 2008

Sunday, March 30, 2008

At last.....!!!

At last the weather and the opportunity coincided. Today was glorious weather, sunny and windless, and I managed to grab a couple of hours this afternoon (after walking the dogs for miles along the beaches) to finish off tidying the front garden. Now that is out of the way I can get my mind fully involved in Allotment planning.

Tomorrow morning I must sow some tomato seeds....before 11 am according to my moon calendar. Some of the ones I sowed the other week haven't germinated, so I'll try again. Also the Gardener's delight for growing outdoors need to be started off. Then on Tuesday I shall put in the rest of the spuds at the plot as that is the perfect moon day for planting them.

Wednesday will be a full day at the permitting.

Thursday I will be otherwise engaged, but Friday will be all I want is for the weather to play ball.

The row of Kestrel second early spuds that I planted in the polytunnel are up already. I am hoping for an extra early harvest of them.

Saturday, March 29, 2008


I am getting very frustrated with the weather. The sun only seems to come out when I can't get to the plot. When I set aside time for it the rain arrives. Take today for example.......the afternoon it rains. I have done a bit of potting on in the polytunnel here at home but otherwise nothing.

After I got rid of the chest infection I have only once been to the plot....and harvested rhubarb and broccoli. I had a good look round and other than a bit of weed removal it looks OK. The early spuds are not showing yet, but otherwise everything is as normal.

In the tunnel I have a lot of seeds germinating, and with a little warmer weather I will be able to pot them on, or harden them off ready to go outside. The peas have germinated well. These will go into beds at home....hopefully next week.

During the school holidays I have three teen aged boys coming to stay. These are great fun to have around, but I shan't get much done at the plot that week so must get ahead during this coming week. Hoping for some good weather!

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Feeling much better!

Thanks everyone for your good wishes. I am almost back to normal although DH won't let me do any gardening except for watering the tunnel) or any dog walking as it is still very chilly and windy here. I haven't been near the plot for two weeks plus now, and know the broccoli needs picking desperately. Hope it hasn't gone to seed!!!

When I will next get round to doing any outside work is rather dependent on the weather. It looks like two more awful days on Monday and Tuesday, then a gradual climb up to the 50s it looks like later this week before anything serious gets done. As I must fit in a visit to Kent on Monday and Tuesday that looks like a plan!!

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Still feeling really lousy.

I am still laid up with this awful chest/sinus/ear/throat bug. I have awful headaches, hot and cold flushes, and bring back all the medicines I try to take. Pretty miserable.
Not been to plot for over a week. Hope it is still there!!!

Monday, March 10, 2008

Lewis had a plot!!!

Just watched last night's "Lewis", and was delighted to see that he took on an allotment. But by the end of the programme he'd given it up again.
Shame....I was looking forward to seeing him develop it....!

Today's awful weather and my very sore throat/chest have conspired to keep me at home. So I have no idea whether my shed is still standing at the plot. The tunnel at home has stood up to the winds, and the plastic garden furniture didn't move an inch. There were dustbins all over the road down in the village (bin day!) though.

Sunday, March 09, 2008

Fruit sowing day

The last moon planting fruit day for a week or so, so I sowed my tomatoes for the tunnel, and a couple of courgettes for the tunnel.

The tomato seeds were.
Sunbelle...a yellow plum shaped mini tomato. We had this last year and loved them. (2 jiffy 7's)
Salt Spring Sunrise....from the Heritage Seed Library
Auntie Madge's....ditto
Broad Ripple Yellow Currant....ditto.
I must admit I chose my allocation of seeds this year by their names...the more evocative the better.

I also started two jiffys of Courgette "Early Gem".

These are all on the sun room windowsill in a propagator.

I had intended to do a full afternoon getting further forward at the plot, but I have a really nasty sore throat and hubby won't let me........!


More digging

On Friday afternoon I finally got to the plot after a drizzly morning start. It was diggable so I concentrated on cleaning up the bed where the courgettes and squashes will go this year, the farthest bed from the shed. I also spread some of the new manure over it. I shan't be planting the bed up 'til middle to late May so the worms have time to deal with it.

Yesterday was also drizzly so it was a no show day. This week's weather looks like being impossible for most of it. High winds are forecast for early in the week so I have postponed a trip to Kent til the next week now. I don't fancy motorway driving in high winds and driving rain.

Tomorrow, Sunday, is a "fruit" day so time to start off my tomatoes indoors. I'll also do a couple of courgettes to grow on in the tunnel. Last time I did this I got hardly any actual courgettes from it, but I have since read that indoor cucurbits often need a hand with I'm trying again....! A few early courgettes would be very welcome.

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

A "flower" planting day.

Today was a "flower" day so I started off some Limnanthes Douglassii, marigolds, tagetes and sunflowers in the tunnel in modules.
After that I felt it was time to plant out the strawberries along the edge of the path in the tunnel.
Then it seemed a good idea to try out the irrigation system. I thought one of the hoses might be blocked because there was no noticeable flow when I turned on the water butt tap. The mains worked a treat, but then I realised that the drip hose on the LH bed was unholed for the first 10 feet......doh! So I found a brand new seep hose in the shed and installed that. It works fine. Now it is rigged up again to the back roof water butt and when it next rains all the water from the back roof will end up in the tunnel. (I checked the downpipe fitment that routes the water into the butt and it was partially blocked.....that explained the lack of water to the tunnel when it rained the other night.)

Also in the shed was another downpipe fixture which I'll install on the pipe that takes the water from the front roof. I have a spare water butt to rig up under that one and will join that into the system too. I really don't want to be using mains water if I can help it.

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Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Spuds in!

The sun is shining so the wind, although very cold and fierce, wasn't so bad as I feared it would be. So, as it is the last "root" day (moon planting) until next week, I decided to do the Second Early Spud planting whilst the going was good. So Kestrel are planted. I'll give them more manure around each spud in a week or two. It was too cold to muck about with muck today!

I still have Charlotte, and Desire to do, so that'll be my big job on the 11th. I kept back (and planted) 6 tubers of Kestrel for the tunnel as an see how much quicker they produce a crop inside.
I also sowed two short (3'6") rows of "Early Nantes" carrots. These will have to be "Environmeshed" before they get very big as I don't want a repeat of last year's carrot fly decimation of my later carrots. For some reason the earlier ones were OK, but the later ones suffered. I'm not risking any of them this year.

Indoors I sowed 20 celeriac into jiffy 7 modules. These are on the sun room windowsill. It doesn't get so cold as the tunnel at night. And, I sowed six spare pellets with Parsnips, to fill up the tray. As there are only two of us to cook for (unless we are entertaining) I am trying to sow little amounts of a large variety of veg, rather than acres of a few. However I believe that that is not enough parsnips even for us, but it will do until I can get some sown into the soil down at the plot.


Monday, March 03, 2008

A disappointing day!

I had been looking forward to today for days as I knew I could spend all day at the plot.....bliss! But the weather wasn't playing ball.

I went this morning for an hour and a half and hoed all round. All the weeds you can see in these photos are done. I also tidied up the manure in its compost bay (photo 3) and feel much better about the plot now. And you can't really see it but I trimmed the path edge with shears on my knees!

After lunch I went back to prepare the beds for the roots I wish to plant and sow tomorrow...the last root day for a while according to the moon calendar. I did the bed for the first earlies, but the wind was fearsome. My nose, ears and fingers were frozen. I don't usually feel the cold while gardening, but my nose was dripping and I felt pretty miserable.

Determined to finish what I set out to do I started on the first of the carrot/beetroot/parsnip beds (second picture), but this bed is right in the wind tunnel caused by the shed and the fence. And then it started spitting....big sleety dollops. I'm afraid I'd had enough long before I'd done enough for tomorrow's needs. Hopefully the weather will be better tomorrow and I'll catch up.

Alternately, if it is just as cold I might delay all the root planting until the next moon day...the 11th and be happy in the knowledge that usually later planted stuff catches up anyway.

I came home and fell asleep in the chair until the dogs pestered for their walk. We didn't go far as I was too stiff for a long walk in the wind.

So...all in all a disappointing day. Firstly because I really didn't enjoy it at all.....usually I love every minute of being there. Secondly because I didn't get much done with my whole day for the plot.
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Pumpkin "Pink Banana"

I just want to give a plug for a Pumpkin I grew last year called Pink Banana. I got the seeds from Sarah Raven.

We cut up and cooked the last one yesterday....March 1st. It was perfect! It had been kept on the windowsill in our N facing sunroom (actually it gets the sun early and late which suits me fine!) since October last year.....four months!! (It was very decorative too!?)

I shall certainly grow these again this year. The bigger orange pumpkins may be showy, but I put off cutting into them because there is far too much flesh for me to use up when only one of us eats it! We had company yesterday; and this was just perfect for 6.
PS This is not my photo....I lifted it off the web. I actually didn't give mine any support last year, but I will this time.
PS 2. I scooped out the seeds and roasted them.....not a success. They exploded all over the oven! I don't know whether this was because they were old, or because the seeds from this one don't roast well. I'll try again this year and see. (We love roasted pumpkin easy to do and so scrummy to eat!)