Allotment Blog February 2012

Wednesday 1st February

Had a short visit to the allotment today. It was a very bright day, but it was windy with the wind coming from the north east. I managed to check my soil pH and it does not need any Lime, so all is well. I then pruned back my new raspberry canes to about 2in from the ground. In December of 2011 I composted my three asparagus beds, so I just gave them some general fertiliser today. I also setup my new stove and tried the new kettle out, That was the best bit of the morning. I set out the rest of my potatoes to chit moving them all from the shed to the greenhouse. As it is quite cold and there is plenty of talk about a cold spell, I have decided to give the garlic a better start by potting them up in the greenhouse and a little later once they have started growing I will plant them out in the ground. As I have no potting compost at the allotment I have brought garlic home to pot-up, I will place them in the Allotment greenhouse on my next visit.

Thursday 9th February

Snow on AllotmentMy first visit to the allotment this week mainly due to the snow that arrived Saturday evening. As you can see from the picture the snow is still laying on the ground and its Thursday. I had a quick look at my potatoes chitting, they are fine. During the week I had sorted out my seeds into which month they will be sown. The next step is to update my " To Do List" with my planned dates for sowing. The seeds also need to be sorted as to whether I will sow the seed directly in the ground or in pots in the greenhouse.

Tuesday 14th February

The snow has now gone from the allotment so I purchased some Seed and General Purpose compost, and took it down to the allotment. I also took my seed trays and pots, ready for the planting season. I sorted out the old wood from the clearing out process, getting it ready to burn when the right time arrives. I placed my garlic in the greenhouse to allow it to germinate. I had a good old chat with one of the allotment holders, putting the world to rights, and then came home.

Wednesday 15th February

Old Rubbish to be burntManaged to get to the allotment this afternoon. The wind was coming from the North West so I was able to burn the old wood that was left from the clear out at the end of January.
It took almost three hours to get it burnt and leave the fire in a safe state. The picture shows about a third of the amount of wood that was to be burnt. So all my beds are now clear ready for the sowing season.

Monday 20th February

Had a very productive morning at the allotment. The first job was to check the remnants of the fire I had last Wednesday, there was just a fine layer of ash. Checked how the garlic was doing sprouting nicely. Will plant out in March. I then decided to mark out and compost the potato beds in the bottom plot. So I marked out 10 rows, ( 2 for each variety, see planting plan for details). Once marked out I added compost to each of the rows ready to rotavate next month. This cleared out one of my compost bins. Potato Bed Marked and CompostedThe next job was to tidy my strawberry beds. I did this by removing any dead leaves and connecting runners from the main plants. I then replaced any gaps with the new runners that were made from last season. Then I removed any runners that I did not require, or that were in the wrong place. Finally I removed any weeds and gave the two strawberry beds a good hoe, I will compost and feed in March. The last job was to rake out the ash from the fire over my brassica beds.

Wednesday 22nd February

Compostbin EmptyWent to the allotment this morning, to rebuild my empty compost bin. I removed any old wire netting and refitted it on to metal frame. I then cut up some old wooden doors to line the iron frame. I could not complete the job as I needed my drill to fix wood to frame. I intend to complete the task by Friday.

Thursday 23rd February

Repaired CompostbinHad a very good couple of hours at the allotment today, in the fantastic sun just in my shirt. I managed to complete the compost bin, by securing the wood to the iron frame and then lined the outer edges with plastic sheeting. If the weather is fine tomorrow I will empty the compost bin with last years compost, into the compost bin I have just rebuilt.. Then I can rebuild the bin I have just emptied.

Friday 24th February

Compost bin filled

Another good morning at the allotment. I added last year's compost (that's on the left in the above picture), into the repaired bin. The compost that is ready for use that I will use this year, has been checked, and any dry non composted material has also been added to the repaired bin. I will continue adding compost to this bin during the year until it is full. On my next visit I will repair the next compost bin in the same way as I repaired the first one.

Saturday 25th February

Great Weather so went to the allotment and continued working on the compost bins, lined second bin with wood, I will add the plastic sheeting when I am ready to fill the bin with composting material. Had a chat with a couple of allotment holders and then returned home for lunch.