Sunday, 29 May 2011

Better late than never?

Have managed to clear a bit of the new 1/2 plot I've taken on - that's a lot closer to us than the other allotment.  Took it on last Sunday (22/05/11):

View from the front of it (South end)

View looking back down it, from under the tree above (looking South)
Turning around, there's a shed and the plot tapers to a point on the left.
Huge Japanese Knotweed problem though.
By Thursday I'd cleared enough ground to plant the potatoes given to me by the allotment site (thanks!) as they had surplus stock.  I'd also erected a (wonky) bean frame, a bit more stable than the others on the other plot made out of canes using some wood that was used as battens after stripping a room that we're converting into a playroom for Seren + the one on the way!

Spuds in!
Bean frame ("Munty Frame" - from a users' idea on some allotment forums).
The idea is the beans grow up the string, then up across the top of the frame with the beans all hanging down for you to pick.  There's 4 courgettes planted underneath currently - a couple more may go in.
The beans planted are Borlotto beans - growing them for the dried beans.  I've also got a load of others ready to go out, Blue Lake, Roquefort, Tendergreen, Yellow Tepee, Ying Yang, Ruth Bible.. I think that's it.  All in all about 200 plants..  A few will be grown for the beans inside, to be used in cooking (and saved to regrow next year), other as green beans.

Must say, being the only person on the allotment trying "new" ideas causes much discussion and whispering!  I've found that out on both allotments now!  

That's all for now as I'm off down the allotment for a good clearing session!

Wednesday, 18 May 2011

Thanks, April!

...and the start of May... Thank you for some amazing weather. Not only was the weather great when we went away to Cornwall over my Birthday, but it continued to be warm and sunny throughout the first two weeks of May. In turn this has meant plants have put on good growth, such as the strawberries we inherited on our allotment. Each visit since we've been back - I've come home with a handful, and just tonight, I ran out of hands whilst picking them.. The next best thing was holding up my tshirt. Thankfully no one was around to question my sexuality.

Picking your own is great fun, the strawberry bed is infested with weeds (the slugs are loving that!), so it's almost like an Easter egg hunt!

Comparing this free harvest to organic strawberries, we'd have had to pay £4.56 (going by Tesco selling them at £8.30/kg - and the harvest roughly 550g)! Owt fer nowt is good in my books ;-)

The gooseberries on the plot (again inherited) are also coming along nicely:

Also the transplanted peas that I started off in modules seem to be doing ok, with another row direct down to the left of them:

Meanwhile... Back at home in the garden we've some apples fattening up nicely, currants fruiting (can't remember if they're red or white- the blackcurrants don't seem to be doing much again), blackberries just showing some flower buds and something I'm looking forward to personally this year is what looks to be a pretty good blueberry harvest (compared to the single berry last year):

The tomatoes are just about showing some flower buds too:

Which is great because they seem to have slowed down recently, probably due to the cold weather we've had, but at least they're still growing (I was a bit concerned the compost I'd put them in was no good).

I've also pinched out some armpits, which are sitting in water (a few in compost in the greenhouse too) - hoping to get a couple more plants for free (just as well really, as the sungold tomatoes that I'm growing this year are quite expensive):

Back to the boring real life stuff... We've recent decorated our bedroom, just about done and already Ellie is eyeing up the next room to do. We've an integral garage in our house, that's been converted into a room prior to us buying it, it's currently just really a dumping ground, but now it's set to become a games/xbox/big telly roomplayroom. Best get off now, I've just heard the whip crack!