Monday, 2 May 2016

When the Wind Blows... the right direction we can hear Hungerford Town Football Club from the allotment. I rather like hearing the occasional whoop, whistle and boo! Our Marsh Lane site was the location of the first football ground for Hungerford - those poor players with all our stones! Here's a map from 1898 - from the excellent
Today we heard cheers and when we got home we saw that Hungerford had won the play-off and as a result are promoted to the Southern League South, just 5 steps away from the Premier League :) CONGRATULATIONS!!

We actually got to the plot before the rain arrived and Jamie spent time adding lime to Plot3, where the cabbages are going to be grown this year. It may help against the horsetail.. We'll see...
Mangetout seedlings
Then we both ended up sheltering from the rain and gales in the greenhouse. 
The following have now been sowed:
  Radish Rats Tails 
  Apache spring onions
  Little Gem lettuce
  Salad leaf
  Asparagus Pea
  Paris Silverskin onions
  Common Valerian
  Benchmaster runner beans
So that's a mix of flowers and veg. Some are in the greenhouse, some are in raised beds and some are at home under the grow-lamp.
We left in pouring rain. Perhaps May isn't quite as bright as I thought yesterday! But, it is bluebell time! Hooray!

Sunday, 1 May 2016

A Little Bit of This... A Little Bit of That

Hooray! It's May! And it's been a bright, warm(-ish) day on the allotment with lots of other plotholders on the site. Jamie spent the whole time digging Plot3 but I couldn't face that, so I did lots of different jobs...mostly involving the compost. Not a very interesting picture...
But look at the animated version! The bins are alive with woodlice and worms - both very welcome in the compost to help breakdown the plant material. You have to be quick to see them though, they scatter as soon as the lid is opened.
I pulled up and composted last year's Brussels Sprouts plants. They've been re-growing so I chopped the new growth up but the stalks were too thick so they'll go in the green bin at home. I added some dried out weeds, a wheelbarrow of manure and a pile of shredded household bills - that's the best place for them, if not in the potato trench!
I potted on the petunias. They'll appreciate the extra-growing power from that multi-purpose compost. Their next move will be into tubs and baskets.
I even managed to sow a row of radish into our protected little raised bed on Plot3. (Hungerford Town and Manor have taken away lots of the stones to shore-up the river. Hopefully lots of slugs were taken away too!)
And finally I helped Jamie with a bit of digging, but I did an easy bit with no horrible grass and roots.
Aah, I like May Day.

Saturday, 30 April 2016

All about the Colours

The last day of April and I wonder if it'll be the last day of this crazy weather. Sun, snow, hail, thunder and everything else in between - it's been rather exciting!
Jamie re-potted the grafted bell pepper plants. They're looking good at the moment. Britney, the red one, is in the lead. Orange, Milena, is next with the yellow, Chelsea, not far behind.
The greenhouse is getting interesting. That's the Rondo florence fennel. The mangetout I sowed a couple of weeks ago are just emerging - the yellow-podded are Golden Sweet and the purple-podded are Shiraz. But this is the Boltardy beetroot.
Jamie has sowed the Durango Bee marigolds. They're in the hallway under a grow-light. They'll go to the greenhouse once they've developed. We didn't make it to the plot today (hence the over-dramatised post) because the weather stopped us, but we bought some multi-purpose compost and seed trays so I think a bit more shelf-space will be needed in the greenhouse by the end of the long weekend!

Tuesday, 26 April 2016

Looking (Straight) Ahead

I've said it before, I don't do straight! These two rows of  'Masterpiece Green Longpod' broad beans (plus 3 spares) weren't meant to be parallel or equally spaced. They'll look fine when the plants bush out a bit.
They were going to be about 20cm apart and some of them are...
They had outgrown their modules and had strong roots. A few leaves had been nibbled by slugs but now they're planted out (on a pile of organic matter - this was dug in after it rotted away over the Winter) and have slug pellet protection and the bed is surrounded by netting to stop birds (and children) eating the plants or pellets.
October 2015
We've had some news about alternative allotment sites which the Council (and allotment association) is looking into. An area of the Triangle Field - a Council-owned piece of land, which is currently used by local clubs including rugby, football and theatre. The second possibility is of a new permanent site being created as part of the new housing development plan at the top of town (actually the South). Both these options sound hopeful as they aren't rented from private landlords, with housing development interest...
Not sure where the £100 figure came from - we have at least 50 unallocated poles currently
Well, decisions need to be made and I'm sure this is going to run on for a good while yet :-( You can see from the map that there are very few green spaces around Hungerford!!
Marsh Lane is marked by the peg at top left of map

Saturday, 23 April 2016

St Georges Day Digging

It's our (English) patron saint day - we don't celebrate it. I don't think anyone does - apart from putting the England flag up. At least this year some of us got the day off work (well, it is Saturday!)
We spent the afternoon digging. Plot 3 really is hard work. So much grass and roots to dig through. Most of the time it's a hands-and-knees job, rather than just being able to get a fork into the ground :-(
At least it's looking a bit better now. Our pot raspberry is in position, but it's also going to be caged in, to protect the precious fruit from the birds.

Seedlings are popping up in most of the modules in the greenhouse, but too small to be transplanting them yet. I sowed some purple and some yellow mangetout last weekend - no sign of them yet though.
That's the inside of one of the tulips, so pretty (super-macro unfortunately didn't quite get the stigma in focus). They close up at night and I think they'll be quite short-lived.
And here's a bee tucking into the rosemary nectar. A couple more photos (but no id) on the Wildlife blog -