Monday, 1 July 2013

We have a greenhouse

1st July 2013

Finally got a greenhouse. Purchased from Ebay for £41.

Had a nightmare dismantling it as the guy i brought it off gave me duff info on the tools i needed to take it down then he cleared off and left Arleya & me to it. On top of that it heaved it down with rain and we got soaked.

I ended up having to bend and fold aluminium frame to ram it into my car. Also managing to pierce the vinyl on my car door and dashboard. grrrrr.

Starting to get lots of strawberries now, also harvested the rhubarb and made a crumble out of that.

Put the greenhouse up this weekend. Thankfully it went up a lot easier than it came down. I need to do something about the missing glass though. I will try to fill in most of the greenhouse gaps with plastic bottles.

Sprouts have been getting savaged by the pigeons so Ive now built a frame over them and netted that. Our old mate also trotted over with some cabbage plants so they have also gone in.

latest pictures

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Saturday, 1 June 2013

Bank Holiday Sunshine

Great weather this May bank holiday weekend has enabled us to have lots more time down the lotty. Good job really as I'm likely to face eviction if i don't get more digging done. Pity my dog cant dig down the lotty as much as it does in the garden.

26th May 2013

Went down Homebase and bought a few Herbs & some compost

First 4 herbs, forget their names

Red Onion & Corn

Blueberry Bush

27th May 2013

Did some more digging today. Dug out another bed and a half. Planted a rose bush and a climbing rose. Got them for £1 each from poundland

Also went over the whole plot with the strimmer. Arleya cleared loads of weeds from a variety of beds.
Poundland rose

Another bed dug. More potatoes added to this one

Climbing rose to grow over the frame i built

I've also dug over about of a third of the way up where the beige carpet is. Will have that whole patch dug over next visit.
1 June 2013

Dug another bed out today. So we now have beds all the way down to the frame on the left side now.

Cultivated plot?

New bed & biggest one we have. Another plot holder gave me these sprout plants today so we now have sprouts
What have we got growing?


Wont get much done over the next couple of weeks as I have a half Ironman event coming up next weekend so will be away. I should have done enough for now to satisfy the councils opinion as to what a cultivated plot should look like though. I guess we will see.


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Sunday, 26 May 2013

First harvest

First Harvest. 16th May 2013

Have pulled out all the Radishes now so ready to put another batch in. Ants had a good feast on a lot of the last ones. Will have to have a read up and how to reduce that.

20th May 2013

Got back from my triathlon (The Slateman) in Wales to find a letter from Norfolk County Council saying that i haven't been cultivating my plot enough. Especially the left hand side.
Pissed me off when i considered how much work had been done & how hard it had been so far digging out all the rubbish, in particular the deep rooted brambles etc.

Remember Ive only had the plot 9 months & we have had a awful long winter so in my opinion progress hasn't been too bad. Thankfully i have documented all the progress here with photos, which i forwarded on to the council. I haven't heard anything back. Perhaps they are writing similar letters to the councillor who owns the untouched plot three down from me (mmm, i wonder)

The letter stated there would be a further inspection in a month & i could potentially lose the plot if it dosent meet their criteria.Watch this space.

21st May 2013

As i was off last Tuesday following the weekends triathlon i was able to get down the plot. Have had to change my plans now & start digging over the left side just to satisfy the councils 'expert' opinion in what order i should be developing the plot. Dug out another 3m x 1.5m bed. Wife turned up to help as well, just has i was packing up, good timing there.

25th May 2013

Did a bit more development of the left side today. The plot holder opposite came over for a chat, which was rather long & did hold me up quite a bit. However, he is a really friendly old boy & gives some great advice so it's all good. Biggest shocker was what we thought were cauliflower were actually weeds, so that bed has now been dug over and lettuce planted.

He also inspected some of the other beds & identified seedlings that were veg, happy days. He showed me round his plot which looks fantastic & is immaculate.  gave me more tips on what to do. Everything was so neat and tidy in perfect rows. I offered to swap plots but unfortunately he wasn't interested.

Compare this to the below & tell me i haven't been cultivating it NCC!

Clearing this wasn't just a case of strimming it down. I have spent the best part of the last 9 months digging out the roots of brambles etc.
Planted Beetroot in the latest bed. Ran out of boarding so no raised beds for now

Planning to dig over the whole patch where the carpet is on Bank holiday Monday. Also turns out i have Artichokes growing between the two raised beds in the forefront of this picture.
Bank Holiday Monday job will be to dig out another bed & also give the plot a good strimming again. Keep the grass at bay. Will also get some weedkiller on the pathways now.



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Monday, 6 May 2013

Things are growing

Haven't done an update for a while, probably due to the fact nothing over exciting has happened down the allotment.
Most of the seeds i grew in the conservatory & planted out, died after getting caught out with the late frosts.

So, plan B. Chuck the seeds straight into the beds. Been a hassle and disappointment growing my own stuff from seed. May give it a go next year now I've built my cold frame down the allotment.

Bought some seedling peas  from Homebase and planted them straight in. A bit more expensive than seed but certainly a lot less agro.

Also built a frame type thing which i will cover in net to keep the birds off , plus covered one side with all the mesh stuff  that I'd dug up.  Peas can grow up this.

Cold frame & big frame thing cost nothing, all built from free cycle finds and junk left on the allotment.

Well, pictures tell the best story of progress so here you go.

With my best mate at the allotment

Wild flowers blooming

Family outing

My cold frame made from recycled items

Frame thing. I've got two Blackberry bushes & one Black current bush on the left hand side.
Peas planted on the right side

Should be ideal for the beans/peas to grow up

Man work. Hottest day of the year. My leg is bandaged up due to tendonites in my ankle from the London Marathon & 5k Swimathon.

Bit sceptical if these are going to turn out to be cauliflower.

Garlic is buzzing

Raspberries going well

Wont be short of strawberries this year. These have all been donated by fellow plot holders. I think there is a random bit of rhubarb in here as well

More strawberries, Radish & Beetroot in these two

Arleya made signs for everything

Frame thing. Just need to get some netting to cover it now
Next jobs then.

I have enough wood to do one more raised bed.
We also have a bunch of spuds to go in once they shoot.
Clear a bit more space for our sitting area
Dig out some more nettles and remaining brambles
Prepare the area behind my frame read for a greenhouse/pollytunnel
Hopefully eating some produce :-)



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Monday, 1 April 2013

Easter time at the allotment

24th February 2013

Popped down to burn some of the rubbish I'd dragged out previously. Whilst that was burning I cleared a spot for some more wild flowers which i planted. Also started clearing an area between the new wild flower bed and Elderberry tree for us to sit in the summer and marvel at our allotment.

Pulled out some monster bramble and nettle roots. So, despite burning loads i now have a similar sized pile of rubbish again

2 March 2013

Couple of hours down the lotty today. Little bit done. Burnt off some more crap.

Start clearing bed number 8 and dug out another batch of brambles around that. Not far to go before one half of the plot has been cleared now.

Met the other plot neighbours yesterday. About the same age as us, maybe a few years younger. They kindly offered me a bunch of Strawberry plant runners which i happily took off their hands so they are now in.

Been trying to get a greenhouse off ebay, missed out on one for under £40 because i was out on Friday when the auction ended. Not desperate for one but will try to stay on the ball with ebay & freecycle to acquire a bargain.

Need to do something about the fencing as well because most of the wooden stakes have rotted away and i've got wood propping up most of the corregated steel stuff now.

Pics from today

Strawberry Plants

1st April 2013
Nearly a month since i last got down the allotment. Getting difficult now as the Ironman training intensifies, not to mention the increase in weekend run distance ready for the London Marathon in three weeks time. Still, I have a week off for Easter so plan too get down there two or three times this week.
I have started off quite a few seeds in the conservatory and have a good batch of stuff ready to go in. Weather has been grim though which has held up planting out, we are still getting snow in the UK.
Good progress down there today. Arleya planted out the Basil in the herb bed. She also moved a load more garlic over to our garlic bed.
Arleya planting the Basil

Seem to have more cauliflower coming through now from the first bed and seeds we planted. Helps that i can now recognise what it should look like. Also planted the Radish seedlings out. I'll probably just chuck the seeds straight in for the next batch now i know what the seedlings look like.
Also planted my first load of tomato seedlings, not sure how they are going to do with the current cold but we will see what happens, i have covered them & they have been outside a few times to harden them up.
I also started work on my recycled plastic bottle cold frame which is currently being built over the tomato's. Pleased with how thats going although i ran out of bottles before being able to finish half the bed which was a shame. If anyone has any empty 2 litre plastic bottles they would be appreciated.
Cold frame construction out of recycled two litre plastic bottles
Also fixed the fence in a few places by digging in some hefty wooden posts that were lying about.Glad to get that done as the corregated iron that kept falling down was starting to wind me up.
So. all in all a very productive day.
Have some more stuff to plant out later on in the week. Carrots & Beetroot next. I also have another tray of tomato's, some onion & pepper seedlings that are nearly ready to go out.
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Friday, 22 February 2013

Latest developments

Not updated the blog in a while, but things have been a bit slow down the lotty over winter. Anyway, back with a vengeance now.

9th February 2013

Got down the allotment for the first time in a while. Dug over the existing beds again and continued to extract roots and weeds.

Soil was really sticky and clay like, not surprising though considering the amount of rain we have had.

Mini greenhouse now set up in the conservatory & i bought potting compost and trays today. Will get a bunch of seeds started off tomorrow.

16th February 2013

Got down the allotment again for a couple of hours. Bit better progress today as the ground was a lot dryer.

Dug out bed number seven but couldn't build the edging as no daughter with me help lift it into place. Couldn't strip out the brambles down the back of the latest section either due to my gloves being in the car, with my wife.

Still, the hard work was done & can do the rest next week. Off work Thursday& Friday so hoping to get lots of digging done.

Found a lot of garlic in the bit i dug out today so scooped that up and planted it into a mini bed i quickly dug out. May do a few small beds for wilds flowers and herbs in them.

Bed number seven


Conservatory Greenhouse. Bought a bag of potting compost that i thought would be enough to fill my 10 trays. Bit of a disappointment when it only filled three of them.
Planted some Cress, Tomato's & Basil. Will buy some more stuff this week and plant some more.

I'm not actually going to sow anything directly outside as i find it hard to tell what is a weed and what is not.

22nd February 2013

Dug a 1.5 metre square bed today for wife's planned herb garden. Council had dropped off loads of wood chippings so i wheel barrowed  loads over and put it down between the existing beds.

Was pretty cold today, even started snowing a few times. Arleya spent 3 hours just sat in the shed with a face like a slapped arse. Soon warms up if you do some work!!

Be back down there tomorrow to burn off some of the crap i cleared out today, forgot to take a lighter.
Not many brambles left & doesn't seem daunting at all now, although there will still be plenty of weeding to going forward but at least it will be manageable now.

Next job is also to clear round the Elderberry tree for a sitting area & also clear a few more brambles for another wild flower bed.

Photos - re posted July's pics when i first took on the plot

Today's pictures

Be glad when i get the beds all planted now. See some reward for the hard digging work



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