Monday, April 24, 2006

The first post of the year....very late!!!!!!

Firstly, apologies for not updating things sooner, life has been busy and many things have moved on since last year.

Also it was a busy winter weather wise, harder and colder compared to more recent winters but we have fed very well from the allotments. I say allotments with reason as I have decided this blog should cover both of my plots as now the second plot is firmly ensconced in my allotmenteering life.

The recent weekend saw lots of activity and the first harvests of the new season and the start of the harvest for last season…………. and the weather nearly behaved itself!

Hmmm, a pretty busy weekend one way and another.

Saturday saw me at the plot for a couple of hours. Job one was fixing up two new water butts on the shed and lean too. That should hold about a further 400litres of water. I also had to make a top for an old water butt to meet health and safety regulations.

Next job was to thoroughly weed the onions and garlic beds and the last few leeks. The sets have been over wintered and have got away to a decent start this year so far. I will be giving them a top dressing of potash soon once I have had a bonfire.

I also slipped the peas in from their guttering, now under wire to keep the pigeons at bay!

Then it was grass cutting of the paths and edging the beds. The grass has finally got around to growing a little now after a slow start. The damp conditions should mean this will accelerate over the next few weeks but I need the grass for the compost bins as they are lacking in a bit of green material and they will come in handy to mulch the potatoes and runner beans.

Talking of spuds, the first earlies, (Mimi and Foremost), are just a few days away from breaking the surface of the soil.

The final big job for the day was erecting one of my walkin 6 by 4 plastic greenhouses. I have a couple of these and have decided to place on on my second plot this year. To facilitate watering in the summer I have installed a water butt inside and this will have a drip irrigation system attached to it to water the tomatoes, cucumber and aubergines that will be grown inside.

At the moment it is acting as home to a selection of stuff being hardened off and some early spuds in pots for a catch crop. The water butt inside will alo act to some degree as a heat sump.

Then all that remained for Saturday was to pick some salad leaves from a cold frame and head home for a barbeque that evening as it was such a glorious day.

Sunday started early with me on the plot for 7am. It was very dull and damp and as I parked the car the first spots of rain fell………………..

But I finished all this years digging and sowed a row of carrots, Early Nantes, and a row of parsnips, Tender and True. The root bed is all ready for the rest of the carrots and parsnips which will go in over the next month.

I also popped in the over spill sweet pea plants, I grow most of these at home for ease of cutting but had about 20 plants over, mainly Liz Taylor, Blue Velvet, Galaxy Mixed and Kings High Scent.

Before heading home for breakfast with the kids there was time to pick some rhubarb and flowers, Tulips and Anemone’s for the wife.

As the drizzle set in for most of the day I spent 30 mins or so in the greenhouse potting on dahlias, Echinacea and Delphiniums.

The before lunch out with the kids as oldest was in the St Georges Day Scout parade.

Evening was spent slumped in front of the tellie!

Busy but good fun and exercise!