Saturday, 24 March 2007

Allotmenticity - Spud Day!

Back again after a short break. What with the snow and a trip down to Epsom with Alvin and a big band gig, I've been pretty busy, but the day has finally arrived. Spud Day! The chaps have been "chitting" away and were ready and waiting. I've given them a comfortable bed of grass mowings and then a spadeful of compost to make them feel good and now it's up to them. The first earlies are Arran Pilot.
I've made another raised bed up by "Compost Corner" and I'm going to sow Lettuce, Spring Onions and salady stuff.
It was a lovely morning for digging, cool enough so you weren't too hot. I had the company of a Wren who has to have the loudest song I've heard. He's too quick for the camera though, as is the Hawk who still manages to avoid the lens. And have you seen the size of the Bumble Bees?
I found a small branch by the side of the road which I managed to get in the car and that's become one end of the herb & fruit bed. Waste not, Want not has to be the Allotment gardeners motto.
I'm still awaiting delivery of my kitchen compost crock. Yet another courier who can't find where I live! Also the cloche clips haven't arrived yet which is a nuisance as I want to get them on the seed beds.
Thanks to the "Frog Princess" for the comment and all the suggestions about the name for the Fork. Trouble is Churchill is a bit obvious. Come on guys let's have a bit of originality.
I'm thinking along the lines of "Sue-Ellen" or "Miss Ellie". Are you getting where I'm coming from?
Well that's about it for now. Man U are still there at the top and look pretty unstoppable right now so that's good news.
The Captain.

Sunday, 11 March 2007

Allotmenticity 11-03-07

Sunday morning and lovely weather again. I've finished the first raised seed bed and filled it with some lovely stuff from "Compost Corner"(Above). Managed a good couple of hours before lunch. I've been searching for clips that make cloches from glass or even clear plstic sheets. I've found some on the internet but garden centres don't seem to stock them. Does anyone have any ideas? It's going to be a busy week so I probably won't get much chance until next weekend. Hopefully I can sow some brassicas then and maybe the first earlies.
I've had a suggestion from Darren that the fork be called Churchill which is out front at the moment.
Until the next time,
The Captain.

Saturday, 10 March 2007

Allotmenticity 10-03-07

Had a good blast this morning and finished the space for the seed bed. The plan is to put some boards I found around the edge and fill it with the compost from "compost corner". I can get some cabbage and brocolli seed in then.I'm going to make anothet raised bed infront of the plastic compost bins and get some onions and shallots in aswell.
Was reading my online Times gardening supplement this morning and noticed an article by Celia Brooks Brown a vegetarian chef and keen gardener who has an allotment in London. So I sent her a mail to check out The Captain and received a really nice reply.
Thanks Celia, now if I can get you to check out the Rhythmism site who knows what can happen! That's my awesome 12 piece Big Band.
Could soon be time for the "Earlies" to go in. The Arran Pilots are "chitting" nicely so I think any time now.
The Old Boots had to go! I went down to the local garden centre and treated myself to a very comfortable pair of boots. Luxury!!! Also Growmore £4.99 BOGOF (Buy 1 get 1 free)
It's Man U in the cup tonight so I'm off to get my seat.
That's all for now,
The Captain.

Friday, 9 March 2007

The Seed Bed Cometh!

Yet another lovely morning today. Whilst all around me suffered I decided some fresh air was the best cure! I made a start down the shed end to establish a Pea & Bean trench and also make a space for a raised seed bed. I've made a good start and it shouldn't take too much longer before I can set out the sides. I moved another grass and sods bin round the back of the shed midst the tangle of twigs and old brambles. I think a good burn-up is coming soon. I had a dig in the old compost heap which looks like it has been there for years and it's great stuff. I'm going to use it for the seed bed and also to earth up the spuds which should also help build up the soil level, which seems to have sunk over the years.
There's a Hawk which hovers around, but I haven't been able to get a photo of it yet. I think it's camera-shy because just as I get the camera focused it flies off and lands on the pylon nearby. I also had a visit from a friendly Robin with the loudest birdsong I've heard. I'll keep the trusty Nikon handy next time.
I'm on the search for a Kitchen Compost container. I've seen a great one made from Stainless Steel which is very cool and would match my pedal-bin. Trouble is it's only available in the States and they won't send it here. There is another one which is Ceramic and would look good and I've managed to find a site which sells it over here. Does anybody else know of a good looking container? I don't fancy the green plastic ones even though they are cheap.
Well that's all for now, I may get some more time in tomorrow weather permitting.
The Captain.

The "Boots" have arrived!

Thursday 8th March. Her Cissyness has been down today as can be seen by the boots in the photo. We had a good few hours taking the surface grass off the fruit and herb patch. It needs hoeing over and a bit of attention and it will be fine. There's Sage, Thyme, Oregano and Fennel in now.
I've filled 2 compost heaps using the plastic tubing that was here already and I'm going to start a new one around the back of the shed. It's a bit of a wilderness, but with an incinerator made from an old dustbin we should be able to get rid of most of the twigs and dried stuff which has just been piled up. We're giving serious thought to demolishing the top shed. It's in pretty bad condition and the space would be better used as a pull in for the car. That's for the future though. I'm looking to make a seed bed for the brassicas using the soil thats piled up in the old compost heap. It'll need sieving but apart from that looks good. So an early start and I should get plenty done.
Bye for now,
The Captain.

Wednesday, 7 March 2007

Wednesday 7th March 2007

What a fantastic day today! The weather was perfect for digging, and The Captain and his trusty aide Winston did the business. The spud patch is now finished. We had a visit from the flying squad. Obviously they could see the great progress we were making! That's Winston there posing in front of the patch, and not wanting to be left out there's the new fork (as yet un-named) showing off the two new compost frames which are rapidly filling up with the surface grass sods.
It was great to see more folks down today starting to get their own plots back up to scratch. They're a really friendly bunch of people down here, always ready to have a chat and offer advice and show you round their own plots.
I think the next plan will be to clear around the bean poles by the shed and hopefully get some peas and french beans in. Also we're planning a herb section by the top shed. I've already got Sage, and Fennel but I'd like some Mint, Thyme and Rosemary aswell. A small Bay would be good too.
The odd stalks of what are hopefully fruit bushes are starting to develop buds, so we should soon learn what they are.
Any ideas for a name for the fork would be gratefully received. Winston awaits a partner!
It's a hot shower tonight as the bones are aching a bit now, and Man U are playing tonight. Come on you Reds!
Back tomorrow,
The Captain.

Tuesday, 6 March 2007

Monday 5th March 2007

Hey, it's Monday morning and I'm just grabbing a couple of hours before the weather changes and we have MORE RAIN! Winston & I have had a good session and I've done about a quarter of the next row in the spud bed. I found what looks like another small gooseberry so I've transplanted it up in the fruit area. It should be interesting when it all starts to come out and I find exactly what is in there.
Saturday night was a hoot with Alvin. Butlins never fails to rock and to stand on stage and see in front of you Darth Vader dancing with Scooby Doo, 2 glamorous Sheila's Wheels girls complete with blond beehives except they were blokes and have dinner with Fred Flintstone defies commonsense. It's a surreal peoplescape! (Good title for a book, or even a song) I think it will be a couple of days before the next visit but hopefully the weather will be OK. It's amazing how quickly you can fill a compost bin! I'm going to use the existing heap to earth up the spuds and hopefully build up the soil level, but in the meantime I'm just piling up the grass and clumps I've taken out of the patch I'm digging.
Onwards and upwards,
That's all for now,
The Captain.

Friday, 2 March 2007

Well it's Friday and a lovely day for getting the last section of the spud patch dug. I need to do this today as the weekend is looking grim weatherwise and also I'm off to sunny Skeggy with the "legend" that is Alvin Stardust. We're playing at the 70s weekend which is always a laugh. A far cry from the peace and quiet of Plot 87!
As the picture shows I've completed my first section for the spuds. I think it's so important to take your time and don't overdo it, otherwise you end up knackered and then nothing gets done! That section took me 4 sessions of digging, then the rest of the time doing other jobs like sorting out the steps down to the shed, pruning back overgrown bushes and carting paving stones off the plot.
we came down and cleared out the shed the other day. It's a bit like emptying a house after someone's died. Lots of old clothes, boots and stuff. But that's all gone down the tip and her Cissyness is happy with the accomodation now. (Although I think some new nets are in order!!!)
We've also got a funky black compost bin which I've just filled with the surface grass from the spud patch. Need another one now!
So next week sees the start of phase 2 of the spud patch. Watch this space.
Thanks to Vonny and The Frog Princess for your comments. It's amazing to know that somewhere out in the Ether someone actually reads this!
The Captain