Today was another lovely day, there was work to be done so I had an early start.Yesterday I managed to pollard the ancient willow – well, three of the stumps and there were another three waiting. Also I had a very useful find in the very back of the plot where it just looked like another compost heap. The two guys who had the plot before me were equally untidy and instead of taking their plastic pots and bits of netting home to throw away they just dumped it there and covered with soil. Amongst all this lot I discovered a ladder – one of the old-fashioned ones, a wooden one and that came very handy yesterday and especially today. I was able to climb high up and trim one more of the stumps and then Frank came to help and finished it all.
Not only the tree is done but also I gained another growing area. There was so much good soil along the fence that I took a number of wheelbarrows off and put in on another part of the plot where the soil is a bit heavy. This has left a nice border, one end has got a palette to keep the soil in and along the path is a low fence. I shall grow squashes and a pumpkin there next year, they’ll have enough room to run.
I shall dig it over to find more rubbish and some unwanted nettle roots but otherwise it is ready.
Yesterday and today was maintenance time – trimming the back hedge. Amazing what can be done with just one bow saw and long-handled clippers!
I have so much more light on the plot now. It is the ideal time to do this job now as we’re ready to have a huge bonfire. Some of the cut branches fell between the fence and the hedge, an ideal habitat for the hedgehogs!
I went to my ‘farm’ today first thing in the morning as the forecast said rain. As it happened, it was quite correct but I managed to do everything I wanted. It started to rain as I was going home.
First of all I put three bags of horse manure on each of my freshly dug pieces of land – I plan to grow sweetcorn there next year and then I harvested some veg for my friend next door.
The soil is great, hardly any weeds.
I also managed to dig in my new little orchard where I grew all squashes and pumpkins so that land is ready for next year too. I have to decide what to grow there next year.
Each time I pull some carrots and parsnips I wonder how I managed to grow them so big. I have been on the allotment for 10 years now and this is just about the best result!
It was a lovely afternoon after a gloomy morning, I divided my day quite well. In the morning I went to my local B&Q to get some more soil/compost to fill the new beds in my two greenhouses. After all, today’s Wednesday and us oldies still get 10% off on garden things. Loaded the car with five 50l sacks of peat-free compost, drove to the allotment and put two of them by the new greenhouse and the other three by the other one. Enough hard graft for one morning so it was time to go home and get lunch. Fortunately the sun came out and sky was blue – a perfect afternoon for a spot of digging.
The greenhouse was an easy task, I just had to empty the two bags of soil and it is all ready for next year’s growing.
Next came a bit more serious work – digging over the ground in my new orchard. The new trees have settled well and the ground was full of squashes and courgettes. Those were harvested earlier and today was just right time to tidy it all up.
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.
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.
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.
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.
I can confidentially say that I’m an expert on path renovation. I found another two pieces of wood and mended another path.
I just need a steady supply of scaffolding planks
The back hedge was half done yesterday – our two workers had to stop because our hedge is beside a road leading from a primary school, health and safety and all that.
I went for a walk after lunch today and there they were, finishing the job, sweeping and making everything neat.
Wayne Allen and his mate did a fantastic job! The hedge has never looked better and thanks to their effort we have a nice mountain of wood chip and I have already used some.
I’ve got a few more paths waiting for the same treatment.
My work will resume tomorrow, the weather forecast is good.