Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Potatoes in the news

I've just got back from planting some Maris Piper potatoes in rather an experimental way. I read somewhere recently that it helps keep the potatoes free from slugs (and we grow a lot of slugs) if you line the trench or hole with newspaper. So I've just put six nicely chitted seed potatoes into their bed with the travel section of last weekend's Guardian. I hope they don't decide to go off somewhere exotic.

Six potatoes may not seem many but there's another twelve waiting at home and the salad potatoes (Charlottes this year) are going into those large pop up bags or any other container I happen to have free. I started one bag off at the weekend and it will just sit in our tiny garden. The growing plants need more attention in containers, but they're also more likely to get it, being right outside the back door.

Happy gardening

Sunday, March 15, 2009

The Playpen

Well, here is J in his wonderful construction which we have immediately nicknamed the playpen (you can see why, can't you?) but it's really going to be a protective cage around the sweetcorn (that I wasn't going to bother with this year) I definitely will grow some now, if only to see how high badgers can jump. I'll have to stake the allotment out at night and watch out for the pesky varmints giving each other a leg up to climb over the top and get at our sweetcorn. This'll make it difficult anyway.

It's sort of recycled too because the wood came from a futon that Roo broke, although we bought the wire netting. Oddly enough it's the second futon that the dear boy's broken. Lovely lad, just a bit hard on futons.

It's the end of a fabulous day spent doing various gardening things, planting seeds at home this morning and thwacking great lumps of earth around with a spade this afternoon at the allotment. J even managed to get a balloon flight in this morning. Whoopee, I think it could be spring!

Happy Spring gardening (it'll probably snow again now!)

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Plan 2009

This image may not work - I'm not getting a preview of it on my page. If it works when I post it, this is the plan for the allotment this year. Maybe there's some kind of discrepancy between OpenOffice and Blogger because all I can see at the moment is six lines of weird code.

If the plan is visible, you should see a long, thin, (16ft by 100ft) plot with the various beds and permanent features marked on it. I'm pencilling in the veggies as I plant them. Actually, I've managed to get mud on it already too. Yesterday's additions were as many of my broad bean plants that I could carry to the allotment in three trips. It's now blowing a gale again so I'm worried that they'll have snapped their poor little stems. The plants from the second sowing will be ok, they're a sensible height but the first ones were put into pots on November 3rd and they were at least eight inches high and spindly. By the time I left they were wearing a fleece as protection (me too!) but it wasn't pegged down very well so I'll be up there again tomorrow to check on them. In my fleece, obviously. Lets hope the beans are still wearing theirs.

Happy gardening

Monday, March 9, 2009

The ongoing plan

Oh dear, such a long time since I wrote anything here and so much has been happening. In real life as well as on the allotment. However, this blog isn't about the complications of my life (thank goodness) so I'm just briefly going to record some projects we've got going.

1) The pond - part way through Febuary I noticed a rip in the black plastic and rather than heave all the occupants and plants out to replace the liner, we've done a stunning "mend" with off cuts of plastic, glue, waterproof tape and gaffer tape. Seems ok so far and we were just in time for the frogspawn. Whew. It meant I got round to having a bit of a pond clear out too which was never going to happen if it was just a job on a list

2) The plan. We've drawn up a neat little computerised A4 sheet showing all the beds and the idea is that I fill them in as I plant stuff. So far, onion sets and parsnips but I'm about to go shopping in a minute for red onion sets (red baron if possible) I haven't been able to source any locally yet.

3) More of the plan. I've divided most of my beds into four rough quarters and the intention is to plant in blocks this year and cover each block with netting. We've got wire netting to make a moveable cage (like a guinea pig run) and even bought some of that blue plastic plumbing hosepipe to make hoops. The first lot of hoops are on the sofa in the dining room at the moment as our first attempt yesterday to plant out and net off broad beans was a bit of a wash out. And a wind out. If I'd planted them yesterday they'd be half way to central Europe by now.

Happy gardening
So....not a lot of blogging, but thankfully a bit of time well spent.