Friday, 25 July 2008

Allotmenticity 25-07-08

I don't believe it's 2 months since my last missive.
Ah well, no excuses for not keeping up to date other than gigs with "The Legend" and Her Cissyness, and general being busy as you can see from the pictures at the top.

My idea of a fruit cage changed to a cold frame and as I acquired some decent wood I got stuck in and it's doing really well as can be seen. The bricks are holding down the strips of weed suppressing material. A bit OTT I know but I'll eventually get round to another solution. I've sown lettuce, basil, pak choi, rocket, spinach and parsley. The filing cabinet drawers on the right have coriander in. I've had a bit of a problem with it going to seed pretty quickly. Not sure why.

The corporate entertainment area is currently under construction. As can be seen I've covered the area with black polythene and staked out the blocks which will be filled with rubble then topped off with a layer of concrete. That's going to be fun!

The grape vine is flourishing at the back of the shed and has loads of tiny fruit on it. I'll have to read up on how to maintain it though.

I harvested the Isle of Wight garlic last week. Its a fabulous tasting garlic which I ordered from Ironically we're playing at the I-O-W Garlic Festival with "The Legend" on 16th August so I might take some over to display.

I received a great compliment the other day from a couple of my neighbours. They commented how wonderful my spuds looked and on the quality of the growth, and wondered what my secret was. From a couple of seasoned allotmenteers that's really cool. Acceptance into the ranks! I know it might be a little over-indulgent, but I always put lawn mowings in the bottom of the trench, then a layer of compost, the seed potato then another layer of compost which fills up the trench, and then I use the soil I've dug out as the mound and don't really bother earthing up any more. Well, it works for me! I've had some really delicious Arran Pilots so far.

My curly kale is going well. It's strange that the birds don't seem too bothered about it. They had a right go at my other brassica seedlings which set them back a bit. I've constructed some frames with netting to give them some protection but It's a continual pain though. I must try to get a proper solution thats easier to use. Weeding is always difficult. Maybe a mulch of compost would be a solution. At least with the amount of compost I use it's putting goodness back into the plot. I think the price of proper farmyard manure is a bit steep. £45 for a load. I tried some pelleted stuff which seems to have worked on the spuds. (Thinks...maybe thats why they're so good!!!)

My strawberry tasted fabulous. I took the runners from a tray I bought from B&Q last year and planted them in an old sink. I'm in the running for an old bath which I intend to make into my strawberry plot. Just have to go to Malvern to get it.
I did a spot of Skip Surfing the other week and nabbed some 4x2 timber which I've used as the new raised beds. They're much more substantial now.

I'm going to have another go at some onions. Ken my neighbour suggested to try Japanese onion sets which over-winter the same as garlic, so I might give it a go. Anyone else tried them. Suttons advertise them in their catalogue.
Previously my sets just rotted. Any advice anyone. I'm sure Matron can give me some pointers.

Lewis Hamilton is "AWESOME". Finally someone who can overtake! Go Lewis........

Well it's sunny Skegness on Saturday (actually Chapel St Leonards) with "The Legend" then Gt Yarmouth next week.

The dog in the picture is Huxley, a wonderful Red Setter who belongs to The Country Bumpkin. He paid a visit to No 87 recently along with Her Cissyness.

Well that's all for now. I'll have to make more of an effort to keep up, but until the next time

Keep on Rockin'

The Captain.