Friday 27 January 2012

Friday Forecast....week 4.....27/01/12

Well this will be the last January 2012 weather posting...can you believe that it will be February next week?? The thing about the weeks going by so quick is that the days are getting lighter and Spring is getting closer!!

So the the weather!

Well the winds have been pretty mild this last week, nothing over 35m.p.h.

The temperatures have varied...never freezing much but staying in the single digits night and day.

We have had a few 'sleety' showers and plenty of rain but no snow as of yet.

A couple of days over the past week have had some bright sunny spells which lull you into a false sense of security just before the heavy clouds again roll over the horizon and dump on us.

The combination of sun and rain has caused for a couple of spectacular rainbows, though, unfortunately I have no pictures to show you.

I could go and take a picture for this post right now....but the sun set a couple of hours ago and it's raining and cold so it wouldn't be a fun picture to take or show.

Here's hoping the weather soon get's warmer.....can't complain has been a very mild winter so far...and at least there is new life showing coming through the ground with the snowdrops again.

Have a good weekend!!


Thursday 26 January 2012

Nothing about the allotment!!!! this is going to be a short and sweet post that has nothing to do with the allotment.

It's not that I don't have posts about the allotment that need writing because I have plenty but I want to introduce you to...well 'something' I suppose.

I would like all my readers to meet the newest member of our family!!

crested gecko
Mistletoe, a.k.a. Misty.

That's right....I have a new pet. I don't know exactly what sex it is but I refer to her as a 'she'. Misty is a Crested Gecko...only a baby at present but with a big personality and spoilt rotten. I love her to bits. Misty was a Christmas gift from my parents and Sister and Brother-in-law for Christmas and ever since I got her I have been meaning to introduce her to you all.

Mu Hubby isn't keen on her and won't have her near him but doesn't mind her hanging out in the lounge in her vivarium.

That's all for now...hope you all enjoyed meeting Misty and if you have any questions about her please don't hesitate to ask!!


Tuesday 24 January 2012

Interviews for allotments4you

I was recently (well when I say recently I probably mean to say a LONG time ago!) contacted by someone about being interviewed for a post on their site.

Ever cautious I asked a few questions first and checked out the site before agreeing to view the questions which I would have to answer.

The questions were mainly about cooking whilst camping which is a little off base to my main site but I was happy to answer the questions and give my personal (because it is definitely not a professional one!) opinion on what I think and would cook if I went camping....and also what I would consider a camping trip.

I'd love for you to all take a wander over to see what you think of my answers to the questions....but if you do go and check them out please remember that I answered them in accordance with a good old fashioned camping trip. So cooking meals over a fire and sleeping in a tent or under the stars....maybe hiking and carrying your backpack at the same time. None of this new age posh camper van stuff...that's not my idea of idea of camping is going back to basics and making your own fire and having fun connecting with nature.

I know that isn't everyone's 'cup of tea', but that's my take on camping so please remember that as you read through my interview.

Anyway you can check out the site and my interview here;
Camp cooking interview with Allotments 4 you
Hope you enjoy my ramblings.

What would be your idea of camping??

Do you prefer to go back to nature or take as many comforts from home as possible??


Sunday 22 January 2012

Oh Strawberry patch....where should you go??? I have no intentions of going down to the is VERY windy and those winds have a nasty bite to them so I am planning things ready for a turn in the weather and for this one i would like the help of my readers!

I have always had strawberries off Kate's patch as she has a huge amount of plants in the ground which are way too many for her and her partner to eat alone so I have always had some wonderful pickings off them. Anyway this year Kate has decided to reduce the size of her patch as she would like to get a shed and salad patch going. This will be a great idea for her but it also means that IF I want strawberries I will have to plant my own. Now it's STRAWBERRIES can any sane person go a season without them so of course I want some...and Kate has even said I can have runners from her so I will be eating the same delicious strawberries.

So why do I need your help??

Basically I'm not sure the best place to plant them!! I have narrowed it down to two locations but can't decide which might be for the best....So if you all let me know what you think and maybe a reason might help me to make a final decision.

top end of the allotment for strawberry patch??
Ok, so I have narrowed it down to this side of the allotment. As you know I have the shed and fruit bushes at the top end and below are the raspberry canes which are planted at the bottom end. What I don't know is which end to put in the strawberries. I think there are probably pro's and cons to each side so a little input on my readers thoughts might really help here.

bottom end of allotment for strawberry patch??

So there you have it,,,this is my present quandary which I really would like some help with....I'm not really bothered why you pick a side...just pick one and let me know....maybe it could end up going to a vote. I just know that January will soon draw to a close and I have to make a decision so that I can get the ground prepared before Kate starts digging up those wonderful plants!!


Saturday 21 January 2012

Friday Forecast...week 3....21/01/12

Well again i ma a day late with the forecast....but in the large scheme of life I don't think a day is too bad.

The week started off cold and still with plenty of sunshine.

Saturday through Monday saw no let up on the freeze day or night and temperatures ranged from -5 - 0 degrees Celsius.

Tuesday the weather warmed up just a little and we saw sunshine again until Wednesday evening with temperatures between 1 and 6 degrees.

The Wednesday evening the rain started with a vengeance and didn't cease until today.

Everywhere is wet and the overcast skies have made us all feel a little 'bleh'

So that's has been a mixture of sun and rain but with some nasty winds mixed in gusting up to 60 m.p.h. which has made the mild temperatures of 10 degrees seem much colder...the winds according to the forecast are here to stay for a while...I'm hoping that they are wrong!!

So that's our weather....hope yours is a little better....enjoy the rest of your weekend!!


Thursday 19 January 2012

Mucking good fun!!!

I struggled with a name for this post...and then when I first thought of this title I was worried that people might miss-read it but I thought just go for it...I hope it's catchy enough to get your attention!!

So what's it all about?? A manure or 'muck' fork. I decided when I was down the plot that I needed one to make lighter work of spreading the manure as a garden forks prongs are quite thick so it makes digging into the heap quite hard.

Anyway after a lot of searching I found one on amazon for a bargain price of just £12.03. I was a little dubious as some of them go for around £60 but it had received good reviews so this is what I decided to go for.

Well It arrived by courier yesterday...It was very well well it took me nearly half an hour to open it. I had a friend visiting who was in absolute hysterics watching me and immediately got the camera out!!

manure fork
The photos are a little blurry...I don't think I was moving at warp speed...I think Annie perhaps couldn't keep her hand still she was laughing so much!

The handles was wrapped and taped in plastic which was a major feat in itself to open...but then this self sticking plastic was wrapped around the blades.

manure fork
I unwound FOREVER...and then realized my mistake...I had wound off the prongs and onto me....another set of giggles from Annie!!

manure fork
But fianlly all was well and I had a manure fork stood proud in my kitchen. In total it's 5ft tall which is taller than me but it's nice and sturdy and I can't wait to try it out at the weekend. Needless to say on the packaging feedback for Amazon I only gave them 1star for ease of opening!

burning garden rubbish
Finally just a couple of shots of my fire burning brightly on Sunday afternoon....

burning garden rubbish
It took much longer than I anticipated to burn down and even though we have fire's in incinerators bins only we still aren't allowed to leave them i was there after sunset but kept toasty round the fire!


Sunday 15 January 2012

Sun, warmth and allotments!

Well I managed to get up the allotment again yesterday for a few hours and again had a lovely time.

The sun shone brightly all day and although the temperature didn't get above freezing I was nice and toasty as I burnt all the old rubbish from last year.

Glorious sunny day.

As well as burning all the old canes and bits of string i managed to finally get the dried out runner beans cut down and also the raspberry canes which added to the fire and kept the flames going a bit longer.

raspberry canes
Raspberry canes now in order and ready for new growth.

I also got a little bit of weeding done and some more tidying and sorting out. In all it was a great few hours either spent hauling, standing by the fire, or having a little rest in the greenhouse in the warmth of the winter sun...heaven!!


My lovely chair in my lovely tidy greenhouse!!

Hopefully i will manage to get down the allotment again today....just a few more bits left to burn and then I will be rubbish free for the spring!!


Saturday 14 January 2012

Spinach Beet Blues!!

I Love Spinach!!

I guess it's an acquired taste although I do find more often that people don't pull faces at me these days when I mention it so maybe people are trying to branch out in the 'greens' department a little.

Anyway I decided I wanted to grow some spinach on the allotment as it's quite pricey to but and we do eat a lot of it so off to the shop I went and bought myself some seed.

I bought Spinach Beet...this in itself was probably a mistake and I realise it now but I guess this is how you learn what you do and don't want to eat and grow.

Firstly...spinach beet isn't actually spinach and wasn't so good once the plants got established for eating raw. Secondly it bolted very quickly and a lot of time was spent keeping it in check so that it wouldn't seed all over and also a lot would have been wasted as it got thick stems and tough leaves very quickly. This all added to work load on the plot.

Then of course there is the third and final...I cut it all off at the floor at the end of last year and yet still it grows...I guess the 'Beet' on the packet should have given me a clue but nope....tunnel vision on that day I didn't want to be in town ...get in, buy stuff, get out (if you haven't guessed it...i loathe shopping!!)

So I spent an hour yesterday digging enormous tubers at the ground and I now have a wheelbarrow full of stuff which isn't suitable for the compost heap...I love it when I have a blonde moment...NOT!!!

spinach beet fodder

Wheelbarrow full of Spinach beet!

Needless to say I will be growing spinach again....just not this kind. Anyone out there ever grown spinach?? Got any good suggestions on variety? I think to be honest I have already purchased one...problem is I have obviously put my seeds in a VERY safe place...just can't quite remember where!!

Digging the Spinach up wasn't the only thing I did yesterday...I spent a good amount of time sorting out the greenhouse and the shed so I know what tools I have and also putting them in more appropriate and easy to hand places so I am all set for the new season. I also sorted out the shed guttering which had a little wind damage too.

The weather although cold was clear and bright and it felt so good to be out in the sun...the forecast is the same again for Saturday so I have plans to get some more work done and replenish my vitamin D at the same time!!

Wishing you all a good weekend.


Friday 13 January 2012

Computer is working again!!!!!....Forecast Friday....week 2......13/1/12....and the wind damage.

Well the computer is all fixed and now running smoothly...don't get me wrong I'm no techie and certainly don't spend my time glued to the thing but I sure do miss it when it's not around!!

The weather this last week has been much more pleasant.

Temperatures on the warm side between 6 and 10 degrees in the day and 2 and 0 at night apart from last night when we did have a bit of a frost.

Not much rain really and much nicer winds at between 3 and 15 m.p.h. with gusts up to 30m.p.h. (and for the area in which I live that's like not having any winds!!)

Although the temperatures have been mild and we have been pretty much wind and rainless we haven't seen much sun. The days are slowly getting longer but so many of them have been heavily overcast i think I am really starting to have some serious sunlight deficiencies. I think this is probably taking it's toll on a lot of pepole as it does everyone this time of year.....I can handle the winter if only we get a few days where the sky is clear and i can feel the sunlight on my face.

The light disappeared over the horizon last night and twilight hit at 5 o'clock...won't be too long now before I am coming home from work in daylight!!

As for the wind damage...I was quite lucky and only lost six panes of greenhouse glass. I think one of them got broke by debris blowing about in the wind and then the others were broken from the wind getting inside and blowing some stuff about. Thankfully someone who dismantled a greenhouse had put the glass down near our allotment container so i didn't have to purchase any new glass as it was free to people who needed it. Overall our allotments fared pretty well in the winds thought one net tunnel looks pretty badly damaged structurally so I hope that repairs for that tenant are easy and not too expensive.

I'm sure there is more to tell but my mind has gone blank so I will leave it for another post!!


Saturday 7 January 2012

Friday Forecast....week 1.....7/1/12....and yes it's a day late!!

Well this is my first post of a new year and already I'm running late. I had already decided to change my weather updates to a Friday but then computer problems made things a little problematic.

Anyway I am writing this on the laptop which I'm not so familiar with and doesn't have the same facilites as the main computer so please bare with me until we get our main system fixed.

There may be a few spelling errors and I'm not sure I know how to get photos on but I will try on my next post.

So enough of the excuses...lets get on with the weather!

Well 2012 was certainly seen in with a bang this week as storms swept across the UK....I'm in the east midlands and we actually saw the lowest gusts...but living through them I can tell you they were in excess of 80m.p.h. ......even though they weren't given as being that. With that came the torrential rain and hail stones. These lasted for three days and nights but I am glad to say that for now they have abated and the rain has held off for a couple of days to leave us relatively calm days of gusts up to 30 m.p.h. Temperatures throughout the week have been changeable with the days between 10 and 4 degrees and the evenings between -1 and 9 degrees.

Fortunately the winter solstice came and went before the new year and we are seeing later sunsets...the light disappeared over the horizon tonight at nearly 5pm this evening.

Luckily we came through the winds unscathed although there were lots of trees down and many people suffered damage in our area. Great damage was suffered in Scotland and there were many casualties and a few deaths due to accidents and falling trees/debris. My heart goes out to all those who weren't as lucky as us.

I have no idea if I had any damage on the allotment as I haven't managed to get down there since the winds subsided...hopefully I will get the chance tomorrow.

That'a all for right now. Wishing you all a calm week of weather to come.