Wednesday, 6 May 2009


See you in three weeks! Off to Hong Kong tomorrow for a stop over then onto a tour of New Zealand!! Still seems terribly surreal. Hope my helpers keep my plants going whilst I am away. Good luck allotmenting. Catch up with you in June :P

Photo borrowed from flickr account: msdstefan

Monday, 4 May 2009

Busy bank holiday weekend

From this (taken when I got the allotment - 08APR09)... this :) - click the photo to see what's where.

Hooray!! It's starting to look like a proper allotment now! Must say a MASSIVE thankyou to my mum and dad for helping me do all we did in 3 days. We got so much sorted and all my plants are now in the ground/re-potted in the shed as well as a lot of tidying up. So, here's a tour of what we did...

...the above photo shows runner beans planted in the 'empty' cane row, garden peas (feltham first) planted at the other end of the row. Sweet peas planted on 3 tripods on the left, a vine on the far right tripod. Charlotte potatoes planted in the top left of the bed, red onions (red baron) in a single row next to them, next to that broccoli and cauliflower (both netted).

This is the same bed from the opposite corner. Netting not perfect but hopefully it will protect the brassicas until they are properly established then I'll redo it. Again, click the pic to see what's where.

We also got another much smaller bed dug. This one's about 1.5 x 4m. It's directly infront of the shed/waterbutts/seat and is going to be my herb and flower bed. Lots went in here. More herbs to go in eventually. Click the pic for another what's what.

You can see the flower & herb bed outside the shed window. I put the tomato plants (money maker) in a grow bag (to be pruned when they grow bigger) and mum potted on 4 aubergine plants (money maker), 4 basil seedlings and 3 delphiniums. These will all stay in the shed for now. Here are a couple of closer pics...

money maker tomatoes

aubergine, basil, delphiniums

I also had a quick hackback behind the shed. I needed somewhere to put the wheelbarrow and better access to the 2nd compost bin there (black one). The pond needs some light too. I'll get onto clearing that out more sometime. This is what behind the shed looked like before...

...and here is the same space now. Seems so much bigger. :)

More surprises around the front of the shed too. This, we think, is a kiwi vine. Not sure if it will bear fruit...

...however, mum and I trained the vine around the shed after removing some of the junk on the shed (a plastic planter and some wall hanging baskets). There were also a lot of tree shoots to remove which must be growing from the roots of the tree above the seat/shed. They are going to be annoying!

Got some swiss chard planted too - bright lights. Just enough space for this between the asparagus and spring onions already in. Looks a little limp as this pic was taken just after we planted it.

And finally, my super duper helpers clearing the strawberries and soft fruit of pesky couch grass. Bless their cottons. :)

We all have earned a bloody good rest now!

Upside-down tomatoes

I forgot to take photos of all our hard work down the allotment yesterday so photos will have to wait until tonight of all the bank holiday weekend's work.

I have just been browsing round t'internet and stumbled on upside-down tomato growing. It looks amazing! I won't be doing this - a bit ambitious and requires some serious work but I thought I'd share the link with you if you've not seen it before, like me.

Saturday, 2 May 2009

Making progress

Hours of digging, turning over, raking, building and I'm proud to say I've finally planted something! Garden peas (feltham first) on the cane row (runner beans to go on another joined-on row of canes to the left), as well as a tripod of sweet peas. 2 or 3 more tripods to go in. I ran out of canes! I LOVE sweet peas :) Nice to see the plants where they should be, not trailing about everywhere! It's looking like a proper allotment now :)

Also got my hands on a strimmer to chop down the pesky dandelions. Only managed to roughly attack them but my first go with the strimmer was fun... including covering myself in chopped plant bits!! Next-door-neighbour John loaned me his. :) Need to get him some petrol for it tomorrow.

Mum and Dad were invaluable company, though I think Dad overdid the digging. Alas, he's not a young whippersnapper anymore!

More allotment antics tomorrow.

Oh, a couple of discoveries today - rhubarb growing in with the soft fruit and a watersource right next to my allotment! Huzzah!! I thought the trough belonged to my neighbour but it seems they are refilled on a float system (like a loo) and there are a few around the place - been going around with my eyes closed it seems! Is a bit of a result as it will be great for the 'road end' and I can use the waterbutts for the 'shed end' :)

Bank holiday begins & Bob Flowerdew

Finally it's here - a long weekend - AND the weather's meant to be pretty good! Got lots planned, mainly planting out and building frames and cages. Hopefully all will go swimmingly. Wish me luck :) What are you up to?

My folks brought me a gift, along with their help, which I'm very greatful for - the help, though the book too, of course! It's Bob Flowerdew's "The N0-work Garden". Anything that makes life easier eh! I liked this review of it. It's also where I got the post photo from - my book's cover is a bit different.