Monday, 22 March 2010

Digging, raking, building, weeding, sowing

As I understand it, it was the first day of Spring this weekend. Lucky for me then as Sunday was the first day of me sowing some seeds at the allotment :)

First things first though...

During the week, my friend Nick has been busy sorting out some palettes, breaking them up and lining the beds. He'd actually only meant to be coming with me in my car to pick them up after work on Tuesday. However, I got a message before I got home he'd already taken 4 palettes to my allotment - avoiding race traffic (Gold Cup week). Fair dos, thanks Nick. :) The next day I was due to go out with some friends to the cinema, as I usually do on Wednesdays. Nick sent me a message to say he knew I was busy but was off to the allotment to break up the 4 palettes and line the beds! Well, he did that too. Very kind of him. Thank you so much, Nick! :D When I arrived on Sunday, this is how the 1st of the new beds looked...

Very nice! Having a bit o' wood around the beds makes them much more smart. This should mean I won't have to keep edging them every now and then.

I also bought a new rake and put it to good use, thwacking the spade-dug soil and raking through the lumps to finish the 2 beds Nick and I sorted out last weekend. The soil is in really good condition so it was relatively easy (and theraputic!).

I also fashioned a seedling area using a big pane of glass and the props left over from the broken palettes. This still needs some work. You can see the row of compost bins we sorted last time, with the newly raked bed in front of one. The bed to its left is my spring flowers/garlic/onion bed. There is a bit of wood ready to line this one next.

Next I tackled the little bed in front of the shed. This has some lovely Pulmonarias in it which were in full flower when I took the lottie over last April. They look full of buds....

There is just one crocus left in flower there now. But what a stunner!

Next I constructed a support for my peas. I think I'll plant either side of this little trellis with the same variety, then do the same sort of thing with the different types I've got. It might be a teeny bit too short but I can wind the peas around the frame. I've not planted any yet.

Then I built some supports for my sunflowers. I'd planned to grow them next to the shed, and I have planted some 'Black Magic' in there, but I didn't want to block out too much light from the window, so I popped them in the next bed over. I'm hoping the bamboo will be enough support. If not, I can tie them onto the post.

I put a few 'Black Magic' in here and some of the mixed ones.

The garlic I put in before Xmas is going great guns and now you can just about make out the onions breaking through the soil. Beyond them are the 3 tree onions.

This bit all looks very unimpressive, but most of the bulbs I planted here are starting to come through, with the tulips doing particularly well (to the left of the flowerpot).

The larger of the two new beds was also kindly wood-lined by Nick and I raked over 2/3rds of this before I got too tired to do it anymore. And LOOK...

The daffs are finally out :)

The goosberry is starting to show signs of Spring.

As is the blackcurrant.

The blueberry is in bud.

And so are the raspberries.

Unfortunately, this is how the 'road end' currently looks. Messy! Well, it actually isn't too bad. The beds either end were dug over last year so they just need some light work. However the section in the middle might need the attention of a certain someone and his trusty spade...! I am thinking of having two or three thinner beds here. Eventually I want all the beds wood-lined.

In contrast to the messy 'road end', the 'shed end' is really coming along. I am proud of how it is shaping up :)

Speaking of mess though, this is the sorry state of John's plot next door. This is where his 2 sheds were, the contents of which are still lying about. I wonder why he's given up...? See the hammer on the blue water butt in the front? That's Nick's. He left it. Doh!

When I was digging the little shed bed I spotted this pulmonaria that had sprung up seperately from the 2 main plants. I know my mum wanted one of these so I have potted it up for her garden. I shall try to keep it alive until Easter...!

Finally, here's a better look at the seed bed with its glass cover, and the sunflower stakes.

I hope you had a good weekend. We had loads of rain Saturday but Sunday was lovely :)


Anonymous said...

Wow ! Lots of photos. You're very organized, with the sunflower canes etc and I'm going to pinch your idea of trellis for the peas, as I hadn't thought of that.

I'm Elizabeth, by the way, and this is my 5th or 6th year of allotmenting.

Bye for now !

Jo said...

You've done lots of work and it's really showing, you're putting me to shame. It's lovely to see everything springing to life again. My daffodils are only just poking through the soil, no blooms here yet. I love your pea trellis idea, I saw some trellis in the pound shop the other day so I might copy you.

Steph said...

Thanks Elizabeth for visitng my humble blog :) Yes, lots of photos - makes for a good record for me; a diary of sorts.

Jo - I got my trellis from the pound shop too. Makes for cheap, easy-to-erect fencing. Will see if it works ok. It is all trial & error :) And YOU are putting ME to shame with all your seedlings!