Allotment Blog March 2013

Wednesday 6th

Seedling developing in the GreenhouseWhat a wonderful day it's very sunny and quite warm, so I was able to work in just my T shirt. The main task was to break down the clod sizes in the three SFG raised beds to a nice fine tilth. I managed to do quite well manually using a " crome" tool which looks like a 45 degree bent fork. Tomorrow I hope to borrow a very small tiller just to run over the beds to finish off ready to rake in some compost. My Potatoes are chitting well as you can see from the picture on the left, and I intend to sow my first earlies later in the month. My seedlings that were sown earlier in the year are still doing well in the greenhouse. As soon as I finish the first SFG raised bed I will get my garlic in the ground, as you can see from the picture on the right they are certainly ready to be planted.

Thursday 7th

Raised Beds ready to add compostAlthough we had some showers this morning I still managed to get to the allotment, after visiting the swimming pool for aqua aerobics. I did a bit more raking and levelling, and then using a small Honda tiller which I borrowed from another allotment holder I managed to till the three raised SFG beds. I then used a marker pen to mark out the one foot sections. each bed gives me 15 x 4 (60) 1 foot sections plus 4 x 1ft x 8in sections. If the weather holds up tomorrow I will add compost to finish off the raised beds ready for sowing and planting.

Friday 8th

Compost added to my raised bedsA rather wet and very foggy morning for my visit to the allotment today. I purchased some multipurpose compost last night and this morning I managed to spread it over the three SFG raised beds. With the light drizzle we are having today, the compost should mix into the ground quite nicely. I added 250lt of compost to each raised bed. Once I got home I potted up my tomatoes, and peppers into larger pots.

Wednesday 13th

After plenty of snow sleet and rain I managed to get to the allotment this afternoon. I have decided to add two more SFG raised beds to my plot, this will make all my growing area into SFG raised beds. Other than my permanent crops already planted like Rhubarb, Raspberries and Asparagus. I managed to mark out where the new raised beds are to go and added soil from one path area to the bed. The weather then changed and I was covered with plenty of hailstones. I watered the greenhouse then went home. I ordered the timber from the local timber merchant, and it will be delivered pre cut on Saturday, so lets hope the weather improves. I hope to finish preparing the area before the timber arrives.

Thursday 14th

Getting ground ready for the last two raised bedsBack to the allotment this morning it was quite warm in the sun although we had a heavy frost this morning. I managed to complete the marking out and levelling the ground for the last two SFG raised beds. I then checked the greenhouse seedlings, and potatoes chitting, all are still doing OK.

Saturday 16th

My last two beds builtTimber due to arrive at the allotment this morning for my SFG raised beds, so I went to the allotment to wait for its arrival. The timber arrived on time, and the delivery chap helped me carry the timber to my plot, which was much appreciated. As the timber was pre cut to size all I had to do was to join the large lengths together, position them on the plot and screw the 4ft widths to the lengths and voila! my beds are ready for levelling and composting, which I will do on my next visit. As it was very windy and starting to rain, I called it a day and went home for a nice cup of tea.

Monday 18th

Staples added to side of rased bed.A nice bright day today, so this afternoon I visited the allotment. The main job was to crome the last two SFG raised beds. I spent some time doing this but it was far too wet, so I will have to leave for another day. I did manage to rake and level my first three raised beds. I then decided to insert wire staples around the edge of two of my raised beds 1 foot apart. I will then thread some wire through them which will mark out my 1 foot square planting areas ready to start planting and sowing..

Wednesday 20th

Marked out Bed 2 into one foot squaresNot a bad day today, so I went to the allotment and my first task was to mark out the SFG bed two, into square foot sections, this I achieved by threading wire between the staples I fitted to the frame on Monday. The next task was to plant my garlic which had been growing in modules in the greenhouse and finally I planted some lettuce into the greenhouse SFG bed. This has been recorded on video and can be viewed in the video section under "From The Allotment Shed" "planting garlic"

Thursday 21st

Rhubarb ready for pickingNot a bad day again today, so after aqua aerobics I went to the allotment to just tidy up a little. I finally cut up my Brassica stems and placed them in the compost bin. I have ordered some new compost bins from the council which should be arriving soon. I removed some rubbish and took it home for our dustman. I then picked my first crop of forced rhubarb, and took it home for our lunch. I will bake it and eat it with ice cream. See my recipe for baked rhubarb. the picture on the right shows my first crop of rhubarb ready for picking.

Wednesday 27th

New compost binsWhat terrible weather we have had over the last few days, snow, very windy and cold. It brightened up today so I visited the allotment. I had four new compost bins delivered yesterday from the council. I decided to go for these plastic type as they do not rot, so they will last for a long time and can be moved around easily, once empty, if required. So I took them to the allotment and moved the compost from my old compost pile into one and a half of the new compost bins. Although it looked bright my hands where freezing, even with good gloves on my hands, so I just positioned the rest of my compost bins and went home for a nice cup of tea.

Thursday 28th

Strawberry Plants

Apart from the wind it was quite a nice day today. My Strawberry plants arrived this morning. I purchased a bare root strawberry collection from J Parkers. There were three varieties of 25 plants of each, which were,"Honeoye" an early variety, " Cambridge Favourite" a mid season variety and "Florence" a late variety. After lunch my wife and I went to the allotment and planted the strawberries into one of my S. F. Beds. I covered them with fleece which I will keep on until the weather warms up a bit. to give them a chance to settle in. Picture illustrates strawberry plants laid out ready for watering and planting. I am in the process of uploading a video on planting strawberries in the SFG planting section.

Friday 28th

Onion Sets ready for plantingA nice bright day today so I popped up the allotment to take my first grass cuttings of the year and placed them in my new compost bins. I then planted my red onion sets. I did sow two different lots of red onions from seed, without success this year so I purchased the sets. My white onions that I grow from seed are doing OK I will sow them when they have a little more root development. The next task was to crome my raised bed where I will plant my potatoes this year. I will most probably plant my early potatoes next week. Finally I watered my strawberries, garlic, onion plants, and the greenhouse. I added fertilizer to my rhubarb, raspberry canes and asparagus. Then went home for a nice cup of tea