MAY…

…is here and it is rather chilly. All the same, work on the allotment is going on – building raised beds inside one of my net cages. I was lucky to be in the right place at the right time, got a nice lot of timber from the friendly builders next door and it took a few trips with my wheelbarrow to take it to the allotment.

The tomato plants were outside already so this wasn’t too much of a shock for them as they got planted here. I used some old flower pots, cut off the bottom and embedded them in the compost, that way the tomato plants will have more depth for their roots. In the empty spaces will be lettuce Webs wonderful.

The same goes for my sunflowers – they stood in one of the net cages for a week or so ; they’ll be fine planted here as they have a bit of protection from the greenhouse.

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Last but not least – I covered four of my strawberry beds, they are flowering very well and some small strawberries are already there. I just don’t want to share them with the birds.

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The mason bees are doing what they are supposed to do, it is wonderful to see that.

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THE END OF APRIL

I had a great day on the allotment today. The weather is good – so far –  and I managed to finish sowing my carrots, beetroot and parsnips. The rest of my leeks are also in the ground – last year I managed to grow just 3 leeks, all the others failed. I am more than making up this year.

Another first is my celeriac. I have only tried once in the past and failed. This year I think is the year where I’m determined to succeed.

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The tomatoes and aubergines are doing very well in the greenhouses….

…and strawberries and my fruit trees are in flower.

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Plenty to keep the mason bees happy.

ANOTHER PATH

This time I’m working on renovating a path between one of my plots and my neighbour’s plot. Dave hammered in some sturdy supports along the whole length of the path on his side – because our site is sloping down, there is a deep step between my plot and his. This path was always a bit problematic but I think we’ve sorted it out now. Dave has got some soil from his back garden at the back of his property so we’ve been taking it in wheelbarrows to the allotment. Fortunately he lives very near but all the same, it is quite tiring.

This will make our lives much easier from now.

DALEFOOT COMPOST

I needed to re-pot some of my tomato seedlings.  They were in pots with my new Dalefoot compost, the one called “double strength”. I was very pleasantly surprised how well the roots were formed.

 

These two tomato plants are now very happy in the greenhouse and many more will soon be ready to be moved. I’m delighted with the product and will be getting some more again.

POTATOES

At last! The weather seems fine – I know a change is coming and I hope it won’t be too great but I thought it was time to plant my potatoes.

The ground was prepared and it took just a few hours in the morning to get the job done.

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I didn’t buy any seed potatoes, just used my own from last year. They were really tasty so I shall have them again this year.

Also I sowed a number of lines of beetroot, one half the usual round ones and the other one the long cylindrical ones. That’s just a start, I shall continue in a few days with more beetroot. You can’t have too many!

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A GREAT DAY

A package with some mason bees cocoons arrived yesterday in the post – a red-letter day for me.

I took them to the allotment in the morning and installed them in their little home and now just have to wait. I shall have to go there in the morning, take them out (I had to put them inside the shed overnight) and put them back in their little house. Each evening they’ll go back inside and in the morning out….a nice little routine, just like having chickens perhaps…

Watch this space!

 

A NEW WAY OF GROWING

Last week we went to visit our eldest son in the Lakes. As usual I did a bit of gardening there, weeding and cutting down old dry viburnum tree and, as the highlight of my stay, visited a nearby farm. I did read about them and heard about their produce but seeing it for myself was something else.

The farm is Dalefoot, they are in Heltondale and produce a large range of compost.

 

This particular compost is very good for growing tomatoes so I transplanted my seedlings into that. It says that it needs much less watering and I don’t have to feed it anymore. It is a winner on all fronts.

PROJECT PATH

I have finished repairing the main paths on the allotment site, I’m happy.

It was in doubt for a while as I didn’t have enough wood for the edges and also we ran out of wood chip. All is well now – yesterday was the hard work – finding wood and fixing it in place

Today was the day to finish the job but the weather wasn’t kind to me. Never mind, it was only water – and the last path is done! I wanted to get it to this state because everybody can see through our gate and the first impression is important. Now our site is an example (I think ) of a working and well maintained site. Long may it continue!

SOME MORE

Thanks to my friend I have got more wood – a dismembered large pallet so I was able to continue with my path renewal.

 

However I shall have to stop for a while, I don’t have any more wood chip. Never mind, I could just prepare the sides and fill the path as and when I get some more.

At the same time I sorted out the raspberry patch and as I was finishing it started to rain. Perfect planning.