Tuesday, 15 April 2014

A Hand Bag?!

Here are our leeks we picked today - some real whoppers! Looking forward to having them in a cheesy sauce, with Quorn, topped with lovely mash - yum!
Oh, yes, and it's a gratuitous shot of my iridescent handbag, which I love :)

Sunday, 13 April 2014

Time to Get On

We had a great weekend, particularly today - 5 hours on the site in the lovely warm sunshine. 
As soon as we arrived on site Tanya offered us a box of red onion sets. We were resigned to not growing any this year because Thompson & Morgan couldn't deliver our Santero sets. So that was much appreciated - I popped 14 in Plot 8 and the rest of the box went up to the allotment spares table in the communal area on site. Finally, some planting!
Plot 8 is looking loved again, with newly barked paths and dug beds and a weed-suppressed area for the seed house.
The raspberries are covered in fresh green leaves and buds. 
Jamie cleared last year's rotten potato patch and tidied the edges and I mixed some lime and a bit of fertiliser into the bed for the broad beans next week. So, we actually feel like we're getting somewhere now!

Sunday, 30 March 2014

OK Slugs - it's War!

The clocks have gone forward an hour to British Summer Time so we should get a few evenings up the plot quite soon! This weekend was a good start, with warm temperatures and no rain.
We bought our potatoes yesterday: Chopin and Desiree. We may get a few more but had decided to be a bit more selective this year.
So, today, Jamie watered in the nematodes which have been waiting in our fridge for three weeks. We had enough to share between our potatoes, onions and the raised bed. That should protect the ground (by killing slugs) for 6 weeks and then a second lot will be delivered and a final delivery will complete the programme. Let's see if that does the trick...
Plenty of nematodes to go round!
There were a lot of butterflies (mostly tortoiseshells) around today and I found a good deal of millipedes whilst I was digging a bit more of the legume quarter - still pulling handfuls of roots; we think it's tree roots!
Here's a pretty pied shield bug that Jamie spotted on the earth - it looks like an adult, but I'm no expert (unlike these people!)

Sunday, 23 March 2014

Two weekends for the price of one!

This weekend we were planning to buy our potatoes but that still hasn't happened! We were expecting the weather to be worse than it was, though we had a few very heavy wintry showers. We did manage to visit the plot and replenished the raised bed by adding 125l of multi-purpose compost and a generous sprinkling of vegetable fertiliser - my florence fennel should enjoy that!
The grape hyacinths are providing a welcome splash of colour. So pretty and fragrant, so the bees and butterflies love them too.

Last weekend was perfect as a HAHA Working weekend: Blue sky and sunshine always help the volunteers - as do the refreshments! So now we have a reasonably tidy-looking allotment site and a water supply with no leaks - thanks to our Water Boys!
Partying after the work!
Apart from the work party Jamie and I managed to get more of the plot dug for onions, broad beans and potatoes. Jamie finished working on the potato plot during the sunny days during the week too so we're certainly not feeling so far behind now, though there's plenty more to do. This is Plot 8B ready and waiting for potatoes and onions (and nematodes).

Wednesday, 12 March 2014

Celeriac a-no-go

The fog cleared, as forecast, as I made my way home for an afternoon at the plot. We got a few hours of warm sunshine to work in. It's so great when the weather people get it right!
I'm still mainly clearing and Jamie's digging. I pulled all the salsify and celeriac. We could have eaten some of the salsify, or kept it in the ground to produce pretty flowers (apparently), but the area is needed for the spuds so it got chopped up and put in the new compost bin on top of all the dry strawberry cuttings from last weekend.
This is the reason I'm not bothering with celeriac this year. A poor show. When I cut into these they were brown but they'd never looked appetising because the root didn't bulb up nicely. 
Jamie's having another try at growing celery this year - in containers so we can keep it good and wet (there's not going to be a drought, is there?!)
The birds are in full song at the moment, including this redwing. More bird visitors on my wildlife blog.