Tuesday, 11 June 2019

An old Update..

Well this is going to be a majorly quick post as I am really tired tonight and spent for too long writing a post for the bee blog!!

These photos were actually taken a few weeks ago and I have to say i was very pleased then with my progress!!

One side.....

and then the other!

Looking very neat and tidy.

The Broads!!

Runner Beans




Brassicas and squash

So as you can see everything was planted up well and tidy...needless to say it doesn't quite look like this now.

Everything has started sprouting except the callaloo which I'm really not sure about...I think I will give it one more go next year regardless but probably sow it in the greenhouse first!

Since the planting the weather has been changeable to say the least and with this weeks monsoon weather I'm sure its not only adding height to my crops but also the many weeds that have sprouted everywhere. I was really hoping to get some weeding done over the weekend but it has been far too wet. The weather is promising a dry spell over the weekend so hopefully I will get some weeding don then...there are plenty to go at but I know the wont take too long to clear if the weather will cooperate!!

Well that is all for now but I will try to catch up with everyone over the week and take some more up to date photos...give you a lowdown on the crops I'm growing and also an update on the bees...yes I do still have those too.

Don't get too wet!!

Sunday, 19 May 2019

About those tomatoes....

Firstly I would like to thanks everyone who left comments on the post about my tomato plants....I really was gutted when I went to the greenhouse to be confronted with that!

I read through all of the comments and ten by deduction came up with a conclusion.

I know it wasn't cheap compost...I always purchase from the allotment shop and it is of a very good quality and the other seedling were planted up in compost from the same bag.

I know it wasn't cold...although I don't have a heated greenhouse I do have fleece and only uncover when the weather is warm enough...in the evenings they are often double fleeced!

I thought at first maybe it was something that had gotten into the compost...ants or some other sort of bug...but no...everything was clear.

So this left me with just one option...over watering...and it was the conclusion many people came too....so how did this happen??

Well, an allotment friend went away and asked me to water for them which I was happy to do. On their return they rang and thanked me and asked if I would like them to water for a couple of days which I thought would give me a little more time and so gratefully accepted.

Now my error was not giving for instructions on how I plant and water...my trays have no holes so excess can't drain away and this was where we then had the issue. Just one of those things I guess but maybe from now on I'll just water myself.

Anyway I did go through
the toms, weedle out the best ones and re-potted them all....and guess what???

Tomatoes ready to be transplanted!
They have bounced back beautifully! There aren't as many as I started out with but that's okay as I wouldn't have kept all of them anyway...I have plenty of each variety and I am happy with how they are looking. Some have tomatoes much bigger than mine...but I'm not worried...they all catch up in the end!

Have a great Sunday.

Friday, 17 May 2019

It's not as bad as I thought.....

the length of time is what I'm talking about....it really does seem like an age since I wrote and I have no excuses apart from I have just been sooooooo busy...bee course practicals...helping out other beekeepers...some appointments to attend...extra hours at work.....having said all that I have found time to get down the allotment and at times I have even remembered to take the camera...and a few of the times I had the camera I even remembered to use it!!!

Long and the short of it...I am still ecstatically happy with where I am right now with this years progress...I have not wavered at all....okay...maybe a teensy bit but that was only with the mowing!!

So much so that I have been told how good my allotment is looking this year....now don't get me wrong...I highly doubt I'm in the running for winning 'Best Kept Allotment' but I am content and not feeling at all rushed this year.

So, what I am going to do right now is put up the photos that I have taken the last few weeks with a few captions for you to look at...maybe you'll see things progressing...who knows what's on there!!

then at the beginning of next week I will be able to give you an update of where everything is now....I am a truly reformed character this year...I mean who knew I could actually get my butt into gear before it got kicked!!!

Meet 'Sully' He is my cat and often comes and
keeps me company down the allotment...
he's great and rat catching too!
So things are  mostly progressing nicely in
the greenhouse....

weirdly it's the dwarf beans that don't
seem to be germinating???

however the mustard is going great!!
 I am quite pleased with germination overall this year...things that normally go great guns have stumped me a little however...mainly courgettes and dwarf beans. Had a bumper crop of spaghetti squash through though...at this point of course was still waiting for the peppers to appear...they really are lazy little things!!

I have to admit that a lot of my success this year is
because I often have a helper with me..this is not
slave labour however...just working and
growing together!

With the strawberries all moved I could
get this sorted good and proper!

Even managed to repair the guttering
on the shed!

So as you can see...above and below...

a few bits still to be sorted but...

When you take a few steps back....

Even that looks pretty good!!

And a bit of blossom makes everyone happy!
So these photos were actually taken a couple of weeks ago and loads more has been accomplished since then....and I've not even mentioned the bee plot yet....yes I do still have it....but I will save that for tomorrow or sunday otherwise I'll have nothing to share with you again for ages!!

Hope the gardening is going well for everyone else!!

Tuesday, 16 April 2019

What's wrong with the tomatoes???

I can't believe I've left it so long since I last posted...I've been very busy and I'm still on top of things but more about that in the next few posts...for now its a bit of a cry for help.

I went up the allotment yesterday and when I went in the greenhouse I was confronted with these sorry specimens...

Sorry they aren't great pictures but they were taken n my phone as it was the only thing I had handy but you can clearly see that they aren't looking there best. These were taken Monday...they were fine when I was at the allotment on Saturday so it happened in a couple of days....Any ideas??

The chilli and aubergine are looking a little the same bu everything else seem fine.

I have pricked out the better plants and re-potted them in the hopes that they recover so fingers crossed but in the meantime anyone who could give me some clues I would be very grateful too.

Thursday, 28 March 2019

Eat, Sleep, Weed, Repeat.....

Well I was half way through writing this post when blogger decided to clear the lot...this makes me very unhappy as I now have to start again.....grrr...

So it as been an extremely busy week for me...not just on the allotment but also in the garden and at work too...sowing, planting, weeding, digging...it's all been going on and I think I can honestly say that in all my years of having the allotment I have never felt so on tops of things and organised...of course there is time for everything to go wrong but right now the weather is cooperating and things are in a happy place!!

So lets start in the greenhouse!

You an just see the seedlings starting
to poke through.

The bottom shelf is slower but the compost
is moving as the seeds sprout!
As you can see I have lots going on in the greenhouse.
I will go through what I have sown....

Top Shelf.

Black Kale, Greyhound Cabbage, Golden Cabbage.
Calabrese, P.S.B., Cauliflower.
Popcorn Fiesta, Spaghetti Squash.
Golden Tomatoes, Cherry Tomatoes, Gardeners Delight.
Mustard, Quinoa, Celeriac.
Aubergine, Chilli Peppers, Bell Peppers.
Back Cumin, Black Mint, Mexican Tarragon.

Bottom Shelf.

Runner Beans.
Ying Yang Beans, Climbing Blue Lake, Mange Tout Broad Beans.
Cucumber, Marrow, Pumpkin.
Larger Pumpkin, Courgette, Butternut Squash, More Cucumbers.

So I think that's about it for the sowing...oh...I do have a big tray at the back which I have sown some 'Beef & Onion Plant' seeds in...never grown these before and as yet they haven't germinated so I'll keep you posted on that one!

Weedy and strawberry plants still
to be transplanted.
As you can see this was quite a lot to tackle...didn't manage to get the whole half sorted at the weekend but....
The potatoes are in the ground!! 

I haven't grown potatoes the last few years but decided to go for it again this year and after weeding, digging, raking, covering they are all in.

I have two rows of new potatoes and three rows of main crop. I have gone for my much loved 'Nicolas' for my new potatoes and...errmmm...I'l get back to you on the main crop as the name escapes me although it's not a variety that I have grown before but it said they were great for roasting, chipping and mashing!!

Going  over that old strawberry patch was tough going as it hasn't been dug for so many years...hard work but incredibly satisfying!!

So what else....

The other half of the allotment.
Well this is the other half...a few weeds coming through here and there but not too bad at all and I will be getting those sorted ver the next week or so before it gets too bad...under the netting are brassicas from last year nut they didn't do too well though I think that is as much due to bad management as last years weather.

I also got other bits done but right now I am running out of time so I will get back to you all with the other things that have been going on in a few days....right now the sky is clear..the sun is shining...and I have to go and do some shopping though I would much rather go and spend some more time down the allotment!!

Have a great day everyone!!

Saturday, 23 March 2019

A bit of a back log!!

Well I finally got all the photos Ive taken since I started spending some time down the allotment and rather than eke it out I thought I'd bring everyone up to speed in a quick post....this was going to go up earlier tin the week but the laptop battery died and then the rest of the week ranaway with work and chores....so what was I up to over the last few weeks???

Well there was plenty of rubbish to be sorted out so I had one of these!!

I love a good bonfire.
I don't think you can beat a good bonfire...I love to watch the flames and of course all that ash can be dug back int the ground...I compost a lot of stuff but when it comes to woody cuttings this is a much quicker method and warmer too!!

The shed had started to disappear among the brambles at the top of the plot so they had to be tamed....

Not only were they taking over the shed they were also swamping the pond area....which is just a plastic sandpit boat sunk into the ground and filled with water but it works and is a welcome drink for the wildlife.

Anyway...I got very brutal with the brambles and where I cut the back as I couldn't get all the routes out and where I had to cut them back I prayed the fresh cuts in the hopes taht I can kill them off....Brambles are great for the fruit but only if they are in the right area....after about an hour and a half and many cuts and splinters (even through my heavy duty gloves!) things were looking much better.

Not quite finished in this one
but you can see where
the brambles got round
the guttering.
The pond is much clearer for
the wildlife now.

This is how we are looking now, the pond could do
with a clean out but will have to wait until later
in the year as I don't want to disturb anything
at this time of year.
You can see that I have to sort out the guttering but overall it was time well spent...there is still plenty of tidying to do that end but I am certainly on the right track.

I also got some weeding done on the allotment.

It has been cleared up to the pathway you can see in the middle....the ground wasn't too bad to be honest...beyond the path is the worst but as it has the old strawberry patch there but one step at a time!

And finally I had a good tidy up in the greenhouse.

Tidy greenhouse...ready for the
growing season!
So the greenhouse is all ready for the seeds to go in and looking very tidy!!

I do have a few things already in the ground which went in the back end of last year and they have germinated well.


Broad Beans

So all these photos were actually taken a couple of weeks ago...things have moved on since then but that's for another post!

Saturday, 9 March 2019

Well how bad do I feel?????

The simple answer to that is....really, really, really, really bad!!
Well after my last post I was right back out of the swing of things again...it was one thing after another....blah,blah,blah....won't bore you with the details...but here we are...now into the third month of 2019 and I thought to myself...right...I'm going on blogger...only to find all these wonderful comments from people that I had neither published or replied to.

So I would like to start off thanking everyone for not deserting me...apologising for not acknowledging the fact that you had not deserted me...and for also not blaming you if you thought...well sod her then...and never come back again!!

However...having said that...I would miss you all should you decide not to visit anmore!

So without and more grovelling I will get on with a post.

Last years weather just meant that the allotment nor the bees amounted too much. Little rain meant little nectar which meant little honey and practically no swarms so I did not get to replenish my numbers after winter losses...it's a shame but that's just how it goes sometimes. I am going into this summer with currently one active hive...not where I wanted to be so I think this may be the year (and the first since I started out) that I buy a colony of bees as I really want more bees around to pollinate the crops....the two other beekeepers who were on the allotments no longer have bees for one reason or another so now more than ever we want to keep the numbers up!

I was hoping to post some allotment pictures in this post but unfortunately they don't appear to be on the sd card I have just inserted into the computer so instead right now I will share with you the newest member of the family.....
This is Linnaeus...albino corn snake,
2 years old
Yes, I got a snake....currently only 2 foot long but beautiful...though the Hubby would totally disagree....it really gives him the creeps nad has to say totally out of the way when he is home!

Well we had a lovely spell of weather in February which gave me chance to get on top of a few thigs at the allotment...mainly tidying and weeding stuff but it was nice to get out and enjoy some sunshine after the short dreary days.

Consequently at this moment in time I am feeling optimistic for the coming year...last year I got very little harvest due to the lack of water....hopefully this year will be a little better...my fruit did really well though and as always the Markhams shared there abundant plum tomato harvest with me so I still have plenty of preserved fruit and tomatoes which should just about see us through until we start harvesting fresh again....lets cut to another picture or two...

Some tomatoes were sliced, dehydrated and
ground to powder

Whilst others were peeled and then used for
soups and sauces!!
My raspberries always seem to do well no matter what the weather and so I got plenty of this last year....
You can't beat homemade raspberry syrup
and jelly!!
The garlic did nothing....I usually put it in around october but didn't get it in in 2017 so planted it in the late spring but with the weather nothing came of it...too warm to quick and too dry...I got a few onions but not much so this is what I was left with for the year....

I am used to this being full of
onion powder!
I know it doesn't look much like onion but the only way I can add onion to my dishes with out the hubby moaning is to dehydrate them and grind them to dust...it doesn't lose any of its flavour and is greta added to any dish or even just used as a rub...I do this with my tomatoes too!

Believe it or not I have had those photos since last year and just never got around to posting...the thing is...I don't really know why....I enjoy the blog...I like writing and telling my stories...I enjoy see what is going well for others....it just didn't happen...I think I need to be a little less disconnected and keep at this...after all I use it like my personal diary and I now dont have one for 2018.

Anyway..like I said...I have been busy but I will leave that and some other news for another post...and I am going to write this time...I have some exciting newbies to try so its important I keep a good succession of writing up this year...
Well I opened with a pet so feel I should close with one...have a good weekend!

Polly and Sully...gotta love em!