Sunday, 29 April 2007

Allotmenticity - Sunday 29th April

It's great that in such a short time the patch has changed from the image on the top to the one below. Ok it's taken some hard work, but always enjoyable and it has to be the cheapest gym in the world with fantastic rewards. Fresh air, exercise and the bonus of an end product which you can eat.
I had a fantastic morning today. I was invited over to a friends parent's allotment in Shard End. It's a small site surrounded by houses and is a most wonderful oasis of produce and chickens. Nick and Lynn are from Cyprus and have the most fantastic plot with chickens, a grape-vine all sorts of fruit trees and a wide range of vegetables. I was intrigued by a kind of Spinach called Kalalou (Spelling!!!). It was featured on a cookery programme with Neneh Cherry and my friend Nedge had told me ages ago how his Dad grew it. There would appear to be one sort from Jamaica and another from Cyprus and I have returned with a small selection of both thanks to their kind generosity. (Fortunately I wasn't stopped and searched by the Police as the small plastic bags of suspicious "Stuff" would have taken some explaining!!!) Watch this space as my attempts to grow it are recorded.
I also met their friend Helen who shares my birthday tomorrow and who also has a great plot lovingly tended.
I had to get back and get something done so I spent a while with Progress the Rake and we worked over the Cabbage patch ready for the transplanting. I also gave the spuds a good drenching and the Arran Pilots are already breaking surface.
So all in all a great day and coupled with Man U's great win yesterday and my birthday tomorrow I leave you with a smile on "The Captain's face.
Get well soon Vonny!
The Captain.

Saturday, 21 April 2007

Allotmenticity - Friday 20th April

Yet another fabulous day down on plot 87. We were blessed with a visit from "Her Cissyness" complete with refreshments which was a rare luxury. She donned the funky boots and attacked the weeds with gusto!
I finally received the cloche clips and put them straight into action on the new raised bed up by the fig tree. They certainly do the job and are quite robust. I've sown a row of Lakeland Lettuce and a row of Parsley which I've cloched-up. I've also sown a row of Maris Pipers in the spud patch. Next week I'll put in a row of Kerr Pinks and alternate them so hopefully there'll be a choice later on.
All the seedlings are through and I've been busy thinning them out. I'm going to have to try and sow less as it's a terrible waste when you have to discard so many.
The rear corporate entertainment area is taking shape. I've unearthed more slabs and transferred them around the back. The "Gazeebo" has arrived courtesy of Mrs Moose and looks the business. I'll have to defer the trial run though as I'm off to sunny Skegness with "The Legend that is Alvin Stardust" today. We're playing at The Motorcycle News Weekend, so it's on with the leathers and "Rock n'Roll".
I'll hopefully get down to water the gang tomorrow afternoon when I get back.
It looks like we'll get some rain next week which will be great as everything is drying out and it saves having to use the hosepipe.
That's all for now,
Regards to all my friends,
The Captain.

Tuesday, 17 April 2007

Allotmenticity - Monday 16th April

The blast of fine weather over the weekend has triggered the mystery tree into action and it's a FIG! So that's solved that problem and now I'll have to read up on how to look after it.
I could certainly help it by weeding around the base as it's quite dense there.
Also seeing the first sign of new potato shoots emerging, so it's time to earth them up.
The brassica seedlings need to be thinned now and I need to fork in the lime spread over their bed.
The Captain.

Monday, 16 April 2007

Allotmenticity - Sunday 15th April

It's as if summer has arrived already! Down on Plot 87 it's more like weather for sunbathing than spud planting. Still I managed to get 2 rows of King Edwards in along with putting up some pea nets ready for the peas. The water is on again so I managed to hook up the hosepipe and give everything a good soak. All the seeds are coming up as can be seen in the picture along with the new rake which has joined Winston and the still to be named fork. I think I'll call it Progress!
I spent a day last week liming the brassica bed. One of my neighbours advised me that there is Club Root on the site so I checked out a few forums for advice. One suggested liming before transplanting and also a good handfull of lime in each hole so I think it's worth a try. One also suggested a piece of rhubarb stalk in each hole, which would help with the acidity I suppose.
Man U are flying again which is a bonus! Come On You Reds!!!
I'm getting up the energy to demolish the old shed at the top. It's falling down and useless for storage, so it may as well make way for a parking space. I can also use the wood for some more raised beds and various other jobs.
Got a great pair of binoculars from Lidl at the weekend. 10x50 for &4.99! Brilliant quality for next to nothing. I can look at all the bird life a little closer now.
I'm still waiting for the cloche clips to be delivered. Come On Guys!
Well time to get on,
Until the next time,
The Captain.

Sunday, 8 April 2007

Allotmenticity - Easter Sunday

Happy Easter! It's a glorious morning and I'm down here for a bit of digging and fresh air. Her Cissyness & I played in the club last night which was great, and what better way to clear the lungs than a couple of hours down on plot 87. The photo at the top is a little friend who visits regularly and has a very loud song. I'm not sure what he is.
It's fantastic that in just 7 days we've cleared the back from the picture at the top to the one below ready for our gazeebo. Lots of bags of rotten wood down the local tip later we have a fantastic open space ready for the BBQ! I found some old doors and have got them down to use as a boundary fence. Not the most subtle but just as effective.
Also in just 7 days the first row of lettuce has appeared. I really think the raised beds full of compost is the best way. I'm just awaiting the others to show. I'm working my way to finish the brassicas bed which should be a couple of sessions and by that time I'll be ready to plant the next row of spuds. The King Edwards are looking good.
The Gooseberry has buds and the Raspberry canes are coming on well. Also the mystery tree is coming into bud so it's exciting to find out what it is.
The only depressing news was that Man U got beat!
However "The Bethling" is coming down to visit this week so there'll be another pair of boots around.
It's great talking to my neighbours. They all have stories about characters on the plots and handy tips. I was thinking at one time about keeping some chickens, but evidently there's a 3 legged fox around so I don't think I'll bother. It also explains the paw prints across the beds.
Well it's approaching Dinner so time to finish.
Don't eat too much chocolate.
Until next time,
The Captain.

Sunday, 1 April 2007

Allotmenticity -Sunday 1st April

Welcome back. It's been a fabulous weekend apart from a huge thunderstorm on Saturday. At least it gave everything a good soaking. I've been hard at it getting the raised seed beds ready and Saturday I sowed Cabbage (Greyhound, January King & Hispi) Calabrese (Alan Titchmarsh Organic) Purple Sprouting Brocolli and a row of Early Nantes Carrots. In the salad bed I sowed Perpetual Spinach, Cos Lettuce and Spring Onions, and 2 rows each of Mangetout and Peas, with an extra row of Spinach in between. (I like Spinach!) In the centre bed I 've put in the Onion sets and an extra row of Spinach!!
To the right I've got a bed ready for the Brassicas. I finished the herb and fruit bed up the top end and last week Her Cissyness and I spent an afternoon making an attack on the back section which seems to have been used as a general dump. There's loads of rotten wood which has to go to the dump and all sorts of plastic bags, an old picket fence and BRAMBLES! Still we've made huge progress as the photo shows and another good day tomorrow should see a space developing for "The Gazeebo"!!!! Well we have to be ready for the BBQ season.
I've been getting stuck into "Compost Corner" and dug it into the Pea bed and I'll use it to earth up the spuds once they show their shoots.
I got my Ceramic Kitchen Compost Crock which is great. No smell at all and very stylish. Check it out at:'m hoping to get my cloche clips this week and I'll post my thoughts as and when I can use them.
So there we are, more soon, "Come On You Reds"
The Captain.