This blog shows my activities and other people's initiatives. There are also articles that have been contributed.
Sunday, 31 March 2013
On the Plot and the Rest
Scenes from early 2017
Many entries have been erased as I have found that the page can't hold so many entries
A Happy New Year and may you have great success in 'growing your own'. I have made a few Resolutions for the New Gardening Year. I have assisted a number of people on their allotments. Particularly people with less experience. Due to my enthusiasm I endered up digging their plots for them. This year I will ask people to demonstrate their technique and I will then show what I do if I feel there is a need. I will cotinue to visit and provide further advice if there the person feels a need.
photos from other years The two Brassicae cages above don't exist anymore. I fount them too flimsy. A new one is being built from wood by a friend and fellow plotholder whos DIY skills are better than mine.
The one on the right was distorted under the weight of snow. The companies response that you take off the net in winter. That doesn't make sense if you still have brassicae over winter. I took the one on the right down as that too was flimsy but more so due to poor growth . I think it was due to the net providing to much shade but only a thoery.
Greenhouse on the top plot . Lots of Germination. First Early potatoes planted
3rd January 2018
I did some seed sowing . It is quite early however I can alway plant inside if i sturdy plants. Sowed tomato, onions (given to me by a Japanese Plotholder., Cauliflower - all year round ., Aubergine. Lit the Paraffin heater.
5th January 2018.
Worke mainly in the greenhouse. Transplanted some salad stuff ; lettuce , pakchoy to the back. A bit risky as the plant can go into shock and droop. Generally it works for me. I tarnsplant quickly leaving soil clinging to the roots. I added a bit of manure to the vacated patch in the green house . I intend plantin Melons there on mounds.
I moved the frame (which I will use to cover vulnerable crops) to the top of the top plot. I rotavated the top plot and on the lower plot around the back of the polytunnel and inside the brassica cage (yet to be completed. I took out the remainde rof the crops that were left in there as they had been chewed by birds. chopped the roots off the brassicae planrs and put the tops in the compost box.
14th January 2018
Yeterday I sowed some Basil. The lettuce i sowed in a tray is germinating. I only have one paraffin heater going. emptied some more compost on the top plot.
16th January 2018
Rather a quiet time now. I was on site yesterday really to check. This morning I sowed some Tomato seed at home. Seed I had taken from purchased tomatos and dried. I have one this before successfully. This is more for fun as I am 'itching to sow'. This and tray of sal are in a propogator . I also have a sweet potato in jar held up by tooth picks with it's tip in the water. I want to try and get 'slips' from it. i haven't one this before.
17th January 2018
Transferred the remining salad leaf (in the greenhouse) into a long deep pot . I dug out the soil in the be and replced it with new with an underlay of manure. On the lower pot i gapped up the winter onions . By gapping up I mean reemoving from rows where growth wa sporadic and replanted the onions in other rows that had gaps.
23rd January 2018
I put in extra staging in the greenfhouse. On the lower plot i reconstructed what was left of the frame (which had been on the upper plotl ) behind The ptunnels.
29th January 2018
I felt despite previous attempts I would try and light the main fire area as it has become sizeable . I managed to burn some of it this time. I repotted some of the larger red cabbage red cabbage into lrger pots . I also potted up some cauliflower seedlings into pot I took a risk and have planted out some onion sets as few were sprouting. I have covered the rows with a net to stop birds peckng at them . I will remove the net when they come through.
2 February 2018.
I covered the onions sets I sowed really early with a layer of chippings . Thi is an experiment and I recommend to normally sow sets in March.. I dug out the first section of the communal compost bo and loaded the mature compost into wheelbarrows for people to take. I placed some larger Red Cabbage plants in a cold frame to aclimatise .
4 February 2018.
Topped up my wifes raised bed. Sowed aubergine in the greenhouse (which is heated ) and at home. I sowed radish and Pak Choy in one of the polytunnel. In the gardening magazines temperatures for germination are mentioned . They are higher than what I have even in the greenhouse which is heated shows that things will germinate at lower temperatures. Tried lighting the pile in the fire area without success.
6th Februrary 2018
sowed two more trays of Aubergine. May attempt to grow ome outdoors later in the law. Nice to see new growth in the polytunnels. despite cold weather . put fleece over
9th February 2018
Potted up some Red Cauliflower (seeds of Italy) .Sowed other seed such as a tropical aubergine , tomato etc.,. Took two wheelbarrows of compost down to bottom post
15th February 2018
I haven't had time lately to add to the log.Yesterday received 14 ton of compost made from recycled waste for all of the plotholders to use. Rather a frustrating morning as the driver could not manage to monouever the vehicle. he ended up backing in. Other drivers manage to do it. I had to ask neighbour to move her vehicle outside. She wasn't too pleased and mentione the smell from the compost . As a result I am trying to get the committee to buy a tarpauline . Even if it isn't a real answer it gives the impression that something is being done and keeps the compost dry. The tarpaulin can then keep the fire area dry.
I have been on site regularly bringing the leftover 'wet' compost to raise the level of the first plot.. I have placed re cabbage seedlings in a cold frame to acclimatise.
I borrowed the metal frame I purchased for my wife's raised bed and placed it on the top plot. I now have thick polythene which I will use as a cover. I will probbly sow peas underneath. Many seeds are germinating in the greenhouse which is only heated by a paraffin heater . It shows that they can germinate on less heat than proscribed in the literature. This year my plan is to have more criops available in January/Feb such as Kale and salad in the polytunnels.
17th February 2018
Both yesterday and today moved compost to an adjacent plotholders plot in orer to help her. I dug over some of her plot. No point laying compot without clearing weeds.
I sowed more tomato seeds in the greenhouse and three rows of peas under the low tunnel I recently erected. Gaped up the Broad Beans as there were .
20th February 2018
Reorganised the shelving by adding plastic shelving. Rearranged the trays and pots. Sowed cucumber seed.
I moved the natural pond as I felt it could be i a better position.
Planted first early potatoes today and put some Oca in pots to encourage growth. Wheelbarrowed some compost.
8th March 2018
Due to personal matters i have not updated the blog. I have been busy on the plots. Seeds are now beginning to show in the greenhouse and i noticed signs of germination outside under a polythene cover. In the greenhouse I sowed Armenian long Cucumber and transplanted onion seedlings into pots and of course there are the regular tasks. I collected some red cabbage plants grown from seed...... moved a frame that had been covered with polythene to protect the peas. I set it up in the Brassica cage (to be completed. Took seedlings down to the new polytunnel 11the March 2018 Sowed more Pak Choy in the poly tunnel . Partially filled up one of the raised beds at the bottom of the site. The raised beds are meant for people with medical difficulties.
17th March 2018
Despite not writing I have been busy sowing and already a lot of germination . Move the pond yet again because I have put in a request to the committee to build another less elaborate polytunnel to house equipment and use for growing. I rotavated the area I plan to use. I have ordered some asparagus crowns to plant and sweet corn and cucamelon seed. I am still heating the greenhouse.
Apart from voluntary work at the school seems like I may be advising and assisting a vegetable gardening group at the synagogue within the complex.
20th MARCH 2018
Yesterday sowed Aubergine seed in tray as original Italian variety wouldn't germinate! Otherwise a lot is germinating. Sowed some red Brussels Sprouts.
24th March 2018
Brussels Sprouts seed have been sown perhaps a bit early. I want big plants so to give time for them to develop. Seems like some more Red Cabbage will be able to planted out subject to the completion of the veg cage . Today I filled up bags of compost made from recycled wasteto take to the synagogue for their vegetable patch, I offloaded it at home.
I straightened up a plank of wood which is holding the soil. Planted out strawberry plants .
There were spinach plants from last year bunched . I split them into smaller plants and planted them either side of the Broad Beans. A bunch of leak seedlings have gone outside in one place.
onion xseedlings have been moved to new tunnel. Turned the water on for the site
The Brassica cage has not yet been covered . Fellow plot holder who is more knowledgeable on these things is due to complete it . I covered the top in a makeshift fashion as I had more Red cabbage to plant . In fact I have over and above what I need in Brassicae plants . I dug over the area . The spade sliced through the dark soil like butter. Something i wouldn't normally bother to do .
Though a bit smaller I potted up some tomato plants to see how they fare when potted up earlier.
Gave some Red Cabbage Seedlings to a plotholder and teacher at the school where I now occasionally do voluntary work. I shall be going there soon to repair their Drip irrigation system which was damaged by people working in the garden and other. I may install an overhead watering system their greenhouse which I put together at home. The problem could be the pressure as it's the end of the line
I have been to the school repaired broken connections to the drip pipes and installed an overhead system in the greenhouse which I couldn't test because the timer wasn't working. Water seeped into the mechanism plus the stopcocck through which water is supplied wasn't working (it was later repaired . Sowed seed today and transplanted. Took some brassica down to the polytunnel . Built a make shift shelter to grow tomatoes as an experiment
11th April 2018
The enclosure i built with a polythene cover had collapsed due to the weight of the rain on the cover. I have dismantled it Pricked out cabbage into small pots . Placed a small raised bed on the lower plot with the intention of using it as a nursery bed for brassica seedlings, will cover it with polythene or a cold frame for now. 15th April 2018 Carrots have been sown on the area behind the polytunnels. I have sowed chard and lettuce on the upper plot. Rearranged trays in the greenhouse and removed a heated leaving one 19th March 2018. Removed the heater from the greenhouse and removed some staging. Sowed some more celeriac. removed some broadbean plants sown in the winter from the top plot as they were niot doing well and we are not so keen on broadbeans . On the lower plot cut back some overhanging prickly branches. I 'gapped up' (replanted some onions that were sown in the winter. I was surprised to find self sets (potatoes from last year) in the ground near the new brassicae cage as I was sure I got them all out. A learning for me . Perhaps I will sow more onion sets or the onion seedlings I have in the polytunnel as a follow on crop. 20th March 2018 More onion sets sown . I covered with a net to stop birds pecking at the sets . I also planted some onion seedlings . Brought chippings down to put around the small natural pond. I did spray roundup on the slabs around the raised beds as people are not dealing with the weeds or find it too difficult. I helped my wife clear weeds on her raised bed . I removed the drip irrigation not wanted by some people with raised beds . I installed overhead water irrigation in the greenhouse to cool down the atmosphere during this hot period > I also think the trays and pots need more water. Brought canes up for climbing Beans.