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.