Allotment Blog January 2008

Week ending 06.01.08

Hi I have not been to the allotment so far this month as I have been getting this newer version of my website up and running, I hope to get going soon, next week if I am lucky

Week ending 13.01.08

view of allotment from the bottom end

Well it's Saturday and at last I have taken the plunge and visited the allotment on this nice bright and crisp morning. We had a day of continual rain on Friday making the ground rather waterlogged so digging was out. I had a good look round and inspected my brassica bed and picked a nice selection of vegetables. view of the allotment from the topAs you can see from these first two images of the allotment, the first image was taken from the bottom of plot two, looking up over fruit trees and across to the vegetables beds of plot one. The second image was taken from the top of plot one looking over the vegetable beds with some of the fruit trees on the left, showing that it was a nice bright morning. vegetables pickled for the weekendThe last image is of the vegetables I picked on Saturday ready for cooking at home, including brussels sprouts, romanesco, leeks, small cabbages and rhubarb.

Week ending 20.01.08

My first visit to the allotment this week was on Wednesday, It was just like a spring day sunny and when working quite warm. Because of all the rain we had on Tuesday it was too sticky to dig so I decided to prune my four apple trees.

This was done by cutting back any new growth by about a third, removing any broken branches and cutting out branches that had been rubbing against each other, always trying to keep an open shape to the trees.

I then cut out last years fruiting wood from my thornless blackberry and tied the new branches to the wire frame ready for next years fruit.

I finished up by picking some more rhubarb, another romanesco and some more small cabbages.

Week ending 27.01.08

pruned pear treeI visited the allotment on Tuesday, it was another bright day with very little wind, so I sprayed my trees with a winter wash. I then pruned out the middles of my pear and apple trees to produce a more open feel to the fruit trees. I gave the cut surfaces a brush with some healing paint to protect from infection.

On Wednesday I returned to the allotment and the first task was to clean out the greenhouse, removing last years pots, canes and other rubbish that had been placed in there for storage. I gave the greenhouse a good weed, there was signes of bind weed creeping under the greenhouse from out side so this was also dug out. I then dug the green house ready for adding compost later in the year. Last year I used bambo canes to support my "BigBoy" tomatoes but they were not strong anough, so I will use wooden stakes this year, so I put in what I had, and I need to purchase more ready to support my tomatoes for next year.

Sprouting Broccoli starting to flowerWhile picking some of my cabbages and romanesco, I noticed that my sprouting broccoli is starting to flower, so I will start picking that quite soon I hope. I then dug up some leeks and more rhubarb before returning home for lunch.

I have now completed my main seed order for 2008. I was lucky enough to received £25 worth of seed vouchers from Marshell seeds, so I have used them for my seeds this year. I will however still get my seed potatoes from Parkers in Frinton as it is local and I can inspect them before purchase. In the past I have shown my seed list in the diary section but now you will find it in the Tips and tricks section, under seed lists. Now I have completed my seed order I will now sort out my planting plans for this year as well, these can be found in the planting plans section.

I visited the local garden centre "Parkers in Frinton" and purchased some pressure treated steakes to support my outdoor and greenhouse tomatoes. I also purchased another couple of packs of greasebands for my fruit trees and hope to replace the old ones during next week.New grease band added to cherry tree I also collected my seed potatoes Duke of York for my early variety and Desiree main crop potatoes. I will make up my seed potatoes with my own saved potatoes from this year i.e. more Desiree Anya and King Edward.

Saturday was nice bright day so I visited the allotment and decided to renew my grease bands on my fruit trees, so I replaced any missing or damaged greesebands and regrease those that were in good condition. Old grease bands re greasedThis has been illustrated in the two pictures shown here.

I then gave my brassica bed a good clean up where I had cut and picked brassicas and left the stems and roots behind. I then went home for lunch.

Sunday I spent setting out my planting plans and they have been completed as far as crop names are concerned. I will add planting dates when I plant up the plots and the Harvest dates when I start to harvest each crop. The plans have been uploaded at the same time as this diary entry.