ANOTHER STEP

It was another reasonable day, I knew I wanted to do a lot so I started – after breakfast and a nice strong cup of coffee – by going to my local B&Q to get some potting compost. Us oldies get 10% off on Tuesday, only on gardening things though. I got two huge 125 l bags and took them to the allotment.

When I got home there was the small matter of cutting down the rushes in the pond. I have been putting it off but today was the day. Job done, I’m happy.

I have got two greenhouses on the allotment and the work was done in the older one of the two. I put two of the grow bags on the bench there and started filling them up with the compost. To make sure I have got enough I also used a bag of horse muck in each grow bag, to enrich it. These will be used for growing tomatoes – the whole greenhouse will be just tomatoes, the peppers will be in the half of the poly tunnel I am sharing with Simon.

In order to give each tomato plant the best conditions I put some flowerpots with the bottoms cut off in the bed and filled them with the compost too, just to give the tomatoes exactly what they like – deep soil to develop healthy roots.

Also the greenhouse in the back garden is ready, the same arrangement is there.

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If everything grows this year like it did last year I’ll be happy….

GROW BAGS

I have had these grow bags in the garden greenhouse for about 8 years. They are much better than the standard plastic tomato grow bags – much deeper and very environment-friendly. I just add some fresh compost at the end of the growing year and on it continues. I couldn’t remember where I got them from so I just randomly put a name of a seed company in and – bingo! Found them and ordered some more. Marshalls seed company has them. All I have to do now is wait. The growing rings I have bought years ago at a garden show and they work very well, they sit in the soil and have a ring around the main part, a water reservoir so the water goes directly to the roots.

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GETTING THERE

The weather is still fine so I was able to continue with my winter dig. Most of one of my plots is almost done, there is only a small patch left. When I felt tired after digging I started another job – greenhouse washing. I did the inside the other day when rain stopped play and I finished the job today. The days are getting longer, I was able to stay on the allotment till just after four in the afternoon.

AN AFTERNOON’S WORK

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.

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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.

3.OCTOBER

My plots were judged for the second time early in September, the usual in the city allotment competition. Now I can try and forget all about it as we won’t find out the result for some time. Today was one day that we didn’t have rain so I went down the allotment, just to see if there is anything else I could harvest. There always is!

My beetroot is just amazing – I can’t remember what I did to prepare the ground but it  worked. This is certainly the best harvest I have had in all my years growing veg there.

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Not just the beetroot, it is everything else – the last of the sweetcorn, runner beans, giant carrots and the best of all – raspberries! These are the autumn fruiting variety and they keep on giving.

Getting the second greenhouse certainly was worth it – another generous picking of tomatoes.

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You can’t beat a home-made tomato soup!

ANOTHER FIRST

As I have two greenhouses on the allotment and one in the back garden I decided to grow aubergines from seed and hope for a good harvest. I use the garden greenhouse as a nursery and an overflow; that is why I have a grand specimen in a huge pot it here.

I have been feeding them with the diluted liquid from my wormery; the ones on the allotment are a bit behind but not much, they’ll soon catch up. All this is very encouraging and I have a plan for next year already – bigger pots and one greenhouse for tomatoes and the other for aubergines and cucumbers.

THERE’S MORE

During my daily visit I managed to pick some more tomatoes, some cucumbers and put more lids and suchlike under the growing pumpkins and squashes. Needless to say I had to keep up with the weeds – if everything grew as well as the weeds….

I’m delighted with the cucumbers, they are very tasty and it looks the plant will keep on producing. The long shiny peppers will turn red eventually, they are the long sweet variety. Another first for me in the greenhouse. I must be doing something right….

JUST WAITING…

….for the spring to start. The new greenhouse is ready, everything in place so now I shall just close the door and try to be patient.

Perhaps I might get a new thermometer just to be perfect….

The grow rings are in place and this time the motto is – more is less. Last year the old greenhouse resembled a jungle as I tried to cram in as many tomato plants as I could. They grew ever so well – perhaps too well, they got leggy and in the end I didn’t have any more fruit anyway. Well, we learn by mistakes….

 

 

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!

 

 

 

 

 

GREENHOUSE

Last autumn I was lucky to get a second-hand greenhouse. It is a very nice one, 8ft x 6ft. My friend’s colleague from work was selling it and because Stevie knew I was looking for a greenhouse, she told me about it. She also went with me to get it – one morning’s work and it was dismantled. Amazing how quickly we took it apart! We saved all the screws, clips and rubber seals and then put the metal pieces in one pile and the glass panes in another on my plot on the allotment.

So far so good.

I kept looking at it thinking I should get on and start putting it together. I leveled the ground and selected the four pieces for the base – and that’s as far as I got. With dread I realised that I might have bitten more than I could chew.

Fortunately I have a very good friend there who casually said – I’ll give you a hand with that greenhouse. I thought, well it’ll need more than just giving me a hand and said that much to him. But Dave thought that it’ll be quite easy. It is, when you know what to do. And he did.

To cut a long story short, the new/old greenhouse is finished, I just went today to get two panes of glass I managed to break, put them in (by now I know how to do that) and I am a proud owner of a super structure.

Now I have got time to sort out the inside of it, create two beds, fill them with extra soil and well-rotted manure and all is ready for growing an amazing crop of tomatoes.