18. MAY

The lovely weather continues and I still have lots to do. The first job today was to cut the grass on the path – again! It feels the grass grows too quickly, we had no rain but it is rather warm, even during the night. When that was done I did another boring job, filling the water butts. With no rain the levels went down very fast so I did all of mine. That should keep me going for a while.

Actually that was all I managed to do in the morning but I came back after lunch and planted the leeks I bought a few days ago in a garden centre. My seeds didn’t germinate at all and these were just enough for me. I’m still using the garden vouchers that Kim gave me , a very generous gift that I appreciate greatly.

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After that I started hoeing the piece of ground where the courgettes and squashes will go. I cleared it some weeks ago but some weeds came back and it got a bit compacted so I made a start. I’ll be planting it all bit by bit.

The next job was to put some horse muck by the loops where the tromboncinos and butternut squashes will go. It has been in the corner in bags since last year and when we picked it it was already at least a year old so it is not going to burn the roots.

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As I was spreading the muck I put it around the beans already in the ground and by the new wigwams where I’m going to have more climbing beans,

There is a little square of land in the very back of my plot, it was just an overgrown patch, full of nettles. I think the previous gardener used it as a compost heap because when I eventually cleared all the nettles I found the soil lovely and rich. I had different vegetables there over the years until last year I planted an apple tree in the middle and grew some potatoes. I must’ve left some in the ground when I was harvesting them so I just earthed them up now and will have a bit more to harvest in the autumn. In the next few days I’ll plant some pumpkins there they’ll have enough room to run.WhatsApp Image 2023-05-18 at 17.52.07 (1)

I have also used three metal parts of an old trampoline my friend gave me, made a little wigwam and this will be for the butternut squashes.

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By the time they climb up it won’t be  too obvious what it was.

14. MAY

Yesterday and today were two wonderful sunny days, even though it took a bit longer yesterday for the sun to come from behind the clouds. But when it did it more than made up for lost time. Nowadays it is full speed ahead with planting. It was mainly tomatoes yesterday and while I was doing that I could see where else I had some space for other things. Next job was weeding – the garlic beds. It is wonderful what a drop of rain and some heat can do. Weeding is a job where I don’t have to think about it, my mind can wonder and plan other things.

I have four garlic beds and if they all do well we should have enough to last us in the winter.

The strawberries are flowering well and some of the fruit is turning pink. I will have to put some nets over before the birds discover them.

I will have to renew some of the plants, I’ve had them a few years now and they are beginning to show their age.

The last job yesterday was in the long greenhouse, I transplanted some of the iceberg lettuce seedling and finished organising the pots with my tomatoes. I don’t think I’ve ever had so many tomato plants but we like tomatoes and I bottle them in all different forms. I have used the last jar of pasta sauce only recently.

When I came home yesterday I was just too tired to write so I’m catching up today.

One more new piece of equipment on the plot, Wayne sorted out another water but for me so my long greenhouse catches water at each end.

Today was a day for planting out brassicas, cabbages, purple sprouting broccoli and black kale. The cabbages are in my new net tunnel and I’m sure they’ll do well there.

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The other one will have carrots and beetroot so it’ll be easier for next year, I will just swap what I grow in them.

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The rest of kale and purple sprouting broccoli is in the large net cage where I have my peas. I have got a little bit of room there and I’ll finish planting tomorrow.

The whole site is looking good, we are all growing different types of vegetables and as usual will exchange them later.

30. JANUARY

I was hoping for a good day and it turned out even better than yesterday. I went to the allotment soon after 9 in the morning and got digging. Because I was busy with the compost yesterday I only managed to dig a small strip of the last plot. I was hoping that I’d be able to finish it today. This is the plot where I have my latest greenhouse so I knew I could dig only so far. I wanted to leave a meter or two so that I can install the new water butt. 

The first bit of digging was a bit tough, it was the part where I had leeks and a number of sunflowers. Soon after that I was able to use my large hoe (the azada) and that was so much easier. This bit of land had potatoes so as I was harvesting them I already dug it over.

The new greenhouse is very long, they are actually two normal sized greenhouses bolted together in the middle. I have fixed a length of tubing in the guttering of the first one and put a large water butt under it, the second one has to wait because Wayne has to fit some more panes in before I position the other water butt on the corner. It is a different one, on a stand , with a tap. I’m trying to save as much rainwater as I can.

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8. OCTOBER

Another nice day today, a real Indian summer so more clearing on the allotment. It is just one long job. Yesterday I hoed over the old potato patch, today was dead-heading roses and taking the old sweetcorn plants on the pile where I put everything else that doesn’t go in the composter bins. As I was going up and down on the path I noticed a couple of strawberries – I don’t think I have had them this late before.

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I  need to trim the grass on the paths so I’m charging the strimmer battery. I had to cut the huge comfrey plant before I do that so this time I will make some feed out of the leaves. Very simple – just chop the leaves and put in a bucket, or in my case, a water butt. This one is right at the back of the plot as the mix will smell quite badly as it rots.

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I only had time to have a short break and sitting in the greenhouse I noticed some lovely tomatoes. These are Speckled Roman and they did very well, must have them next year again.

After a very long wait I finally have some chillies on one of the Biquinho plants. I’m looking forward to tasting it.

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31. JULY

There was some rain during the night but not enough. The soil in the back garden looked damp but when I got to the allotment everything there looked parched, no difference from previous days. I wasn’t going to do a lot as the afternoon turned quite hot, just watering the greenhouses and perhaps filling the water butts as the level in them is rather low.

I wasn’t expecting this kind of harvest though – everything has slowed right down. Not this lot

The plums are from our communal fruit trees, there are quite a few so I took only some. Tomorrow morning will be devoted to manufacturing – I think I’ll make some more bean, courgette and tomato pasta sauce and the rest of the beans I’ll steam to have for lunch. It is a mix of different climbing beans, runner beans and purple french climbing beans. They are delicious quickly steamed with some butter and herbs.

The cucumbers are excellent, I pick a few every time I go there. I eat them instead of fruit, they are very refreshing

19. APRIL

The leeks are done so today I finished a job that I started on Sunday morning. My tomatoes are amazing this year, every seed I put in the pots must have germinated, I have got dozens of plants. Very carefully labelled varieties including Yellow pear. That one is prolific and produces lots of small sweet tomatoes, very late into the autumn.

I have managed to fill two of my greenhouses on the allotment – I need four more plants to finish altogether. I have even put some tomatoes in the big pots I have rescued from the canabis farm and still I had a lot left. I mentioned it to my neighbour’s daughter and she took 12 of them. Now it looks quite normal, I’ll put the rest in some more big pots and perhaps inside one of my net cages when the weather warms up.

Both greenhouses were thoroughly watered and I moved on to the next task. When my third greenhouse was erected it left a narrow strip of land between the old and the new one. I put a water butt at each end, collecting rainwater from the gutters. Unfortunately it closed the access to the piece of land so weeds grew quite well there. I was always going to sort it out, never had enough time until today. Of course I had to empty one of the butts so I chose the one with the tap as it stood on a structure made of bricks and would be easier to move. It wasn’t very full, I used the water on the sprouting peas in the net cage and the raspberries, then heaved it on the path and started clearing the weeds.

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I’m pleased with the result, I’ll have just enough space to plant my competition sunflowers there, they will be sheltered from both sides.

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The water butt is perfect in the new position, it is even easier to draw the water.

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JOB FINISHED

At last!

Yesterday I managed to line the new greenhouse with bubble plastic, started one bed and filled it with horse muck and some soil improver. Today was the day to finish the job – created another bed and a little one at the back of the greenhouse and placed two barrels under the little down pipes to catch the rainwater.

They are already working, I found out that placing them at the back wasn’t working so I had to move them to the front.

Job done and I’m happy. Can’t wait for spring to come!

 

 

 

 

 

IT GOES ON…

…the digging I mean. I’ve finished digging the part of the plot right up to the greenhouse (not mine) and started clearing the other end of the plot, close to the main path. There is an ideal place to put a little chair, to sit, have lunch and admire the plot.

There was a water-butt in the corner, only full of rubbish. Very nice crown of rhubarb beside it – the result is that the rubbish is gone and the water-butt is upside down covering the rhubarb. You can’t have enough young tasty rhubarb.

The guy who left this plot didn’t leave in a friendly fashion – he cut his fruit trees down, the same with the large lavender bush – he just didn’t behave the way a true gardener would. His loss!

Digging will continue on Saturday. I already managed to replace the dead lavender bush – I had one at home in a pot and it was rather pot-bound. It’ll do well there.

Another water-butt was on this plot. I moved it and while I was doing that I found that it had a tap, it was working so now it stands elevated a little and I’ve got an easy supply of water at this end of the plot.