Allotment Blog January 2007
Well I hope you all had as good a Christmas and New year as I did, quiet but very enjoyable.
I am back at the allotment this week to prune my fruit trees and bushes. It was a bright morning on Wednesday and Thursday when I visited the allotment to prune my trees and bushes, so it was a nice gentle job to get me back into the swing of things. As you can see from the first picture on the right I need to thin out some branches and then shorten the growing tips back. Firstly I removed any branches that were touching each other and any thin twiggy bits. By doing this I stop damage occurring which can cause disease. I then removed about a third of last year growth from the branch tips. This was done to the four apple trees and the dual pear tree. One of the finished apple trees is shown on the left. I then pruned my three black currant and two gooseberry bushes. I thought I was going to lose my black currant bushes as some of the wood looked dead. But with closer inspection I found some new buds growing. So I gave then quite a hard prune and hopefully they will be alright for at least another season. Tomorrow if the weathers fine I will give my trees and bushes a winter wash. I will let you know how I get on. Well its Sunday and I have not winter washed my trees yet. The main reason is that Saturday was a drizzly day and Sunday I finished off this weeks website update. So the trees will have to wait until next week.
It's Sunday today and it's the first time this week I was able to get to the allotment. Mainly due to the wet and windy weather. A nice bright sunny day on Sunday with very little wind so I was able to spray all my fruit trees with a winter wash which is another job to tick off the list.
I did some more picking of cabbage, leeks, brussels sprouts and broccoli. I was given some Spaghetti squash so I will sort out a recipe for it for next week.
I thought the TV programme "Grow your own Veg" with Carol Klein which is on BBC2 8.30 - 9.00pm on Fridays. and repeated on BBC2 7.30 - 8.00pm on Mondays is a very good programme for new vegetable growers, well worth 30min a week.
The Space Saving Gro- Sack Potato Kit from Marshalls
I also noticed in Marshalls catalogue " The Space Saving Gro Sack Potato Kit." The size of the bag is 18in high and 12in wide (40 litres of compost) and each bag taking 3 potatoes. It suggests starting your potatoes off early in the greenhouse and then when the weather warms up move the potatoes outside to finish growing. So next week I thought I would adapt this by planting up some potatoes in large pots and start them off in the green house and later on moving them out into the open to try and get an extra early crop of new potatoes. I will also use this method on carrots and some other vegetables yet to be decided.
I still haven't sorted out my seeds for 2007 so I need to get cracking, hopefully during this next week. If I have completed that task I will let you know what varieties I hope to grow in 2007.
Had a good day Monday I sat down and sorted out my seed list which I decided to get from the Kings Seeds Catalogue. see Tips and Tricks. I posted off the list and went to Parkers in Frinton. There I got my potting and seed compost and some sharp sand. Also the seed potatoes I will need for this year, again see the varieties in the Tips and Tricks section. I have also updated my beds with the plant names, so you can see what I hope to grow and where.
I returned to the allotment on Friday after the windy weather on Thursday, hardly any damage. I had some plastic sheeting blown around the allotment so I returned the plastic sheets to their normal home. My protection for my Brassicas needed straightening up, so with a few clouts with the mallet I put that right. I added a couple of barrow loads of horse manure to my compost bin, collected some large pots some guttering and some composted material ready to sow some potatoes, carrots and peas. Saturday I set out my potatoes for chitting and checked my stored onions for any rotten ones.
Well I had a quiet week this week not getting down to the allotment until Saturday, and that was only to pick some vegetables. These were Brussels Sprouts, Leeks, Cabbage, and Broccoli.
I had an email reminder of an update to a software programme that I have. It is from the V.G.A. The Allotment Gardeners Almanac.
This is an excellent piece of software, and its cheap, check it out.
I planted some seed potatoes "Swift" in pots in the greenhouse at home to get an early start for 2007, checkout how in the tips and tricks section.
I had a good morning at the allotment on Sunday. I added compost to all my eight Rhubarb plants and covered two of my Rhubarb crowns with bins to force an early crop. I then cut my Autumn Raspberry canes down to two inches above the ground.
Bins added to cover crowns and staked to prevent wind blowing bins away.