Sunday, 22 February 2009

Hi Ho, Hi Ho, it's off to the plopment we go.....

Yesterday (Saturday 21 Feb), the weather was gorgeous. 12 degrees, Blue sky, tons of sunshine (enough, I reckon, to give a touch of sunburn - no kidding!), dry, so I decided that it was about time I did some more plot clearance as it's getting perilously close to sowing time. Mind you, having said that, I tend to keep my seedlings safe and toasty in the plastic-house in my garden at home until they're large enough to transfer to the plopment so I do have a bit of lee-way.

The site was pretty busy, about a quarter of the plots had someone working on them, all clearing and raking and generally enjoying the sunshine.

I decided it was high time the stumps of the red cabbages and all the Brussel Sprouts should come out, as well as the totally useless Winter Spinach that we hadn't eaten any of and which were now just withered stalks (won't bother with that again). So stuff was dug up and discarded and weeding done along the way. Weeding is, this year, so much easier than last year - seemingly at the minute it's just forget-me-not, some other stuff I don't recognise but which has shallow roots and some rogue couch grass. The soil is loose and not much more than damp so removal is really easy. I do, though, have virgin ground at the top end of the plot that needs digging over and that'll be hard work but I'll get round to it eventually.

I decided to leave in the Purple Sprouting Broccoli as it's still being cropped, and the Savoy Cabbages, although terribly wee, are still trying their hardest so they can remain. Also the Kale still looks good. But everything else has come out, including the cabbage plants that the pigeons got to and some overwintering red cabbage seedlings that haven't grown at all.

The cleared spaces were then scattered with Growmore and raked flattish. So that was that.

I'd taken my camera with me but decided that I wasn't going to take boring old standard photos of what the plants looked like. So I wandered around and got interesting and arty instead. I'm not going to tell you what any of these are - some are obvious, some you'll have to guess (don't forget - clicky for biggy):

Thursday, 12 February 2009

Is winter over yet?

I'm looking out my jewellery workshop window and seeing a beautiful day - blue sky, sunshine, a slight haze on the horizon, hardly any clouds - but the ground is still frozen. Seems the cold weather is not yet over. The snow took over a week to melt completely although I can still see a small pile between the bins on the pavement over the road. This means that it's still too cold to do decent work at the allotment today.

However I did manage to get some seed potatoes yesterday from Secrett's Garden Centre in Milford. I've decided to grow spuds again this year and have chosen Maris Peer as Second Earlies and Desirees as Maincrop. I've made a list month-by-month of what I can start sowing and things really kick off next month, March. I've also scanned in the plot plan for this coming season as you can see. The entire plot has still not been totally dug over and there's uncultivated land at the top of the plot which currently has fruit on it. I may fill in the gaps at the top with more french beans, and I'll probably grow lettuce in the gaps between the rows. I've decided to grow more herbs at home (where they're closer to the kitchen) rather than at the plopment.

The plan's mostly self-explanatory but the three oddly-shaped circles (I couldn't get them even) labelled 'BB' are blueberry bushes. At the bottom, along from the shed there are unlabelled shapes. These are; circle nearest the shed = dalek compost bin; square = horse poo corrall; circle on the far right = weed pile. Don't forget you can click on all the pictures to make them bigger:

Monday, 2 February 2009

Blimey - they weren't kidding!

Snow storms from Russia were predicted - and snow storms from Russia is what happened! I am so pleased I did go to the allotment a couple of days ago, because (as you can see from the pictures - which are of my garden, incidentally) everything is under at least a foot of snow and there's apparently more on the way this afternoon!

Needless to say everything in this country's ground to a halt - trains and flights cancelled, roads untreated. But it is very pretty, nonetheless! This is the largest snowfall the south of England has had since 1991 (which I remember).

The Husband ventured out to the nearest cornershop to pick up milk and bread (no chance of doing a big shop in Sainsburys today) and said there was a real fun atmosphere out on the streets - kids building snowmen and having snowball fights, being pulled around on toboggans. The cats are thoroughly bemused (the snow's deeper than they are and they won't venture out) - we're trying to reintroduce them to a litter tray but they're seriously unimpressed with everything.

I managed to get out to clear the snow from the bird feeders - as you can see, they were waiting for me.

Anyway, I'm off to put the kettle on, so keep warm everyone and don't forget to check on your elderly neighbours.