Sunday, 5 April 2020

Another busy week isolating from Covid-19

Saturday: Potato planting time, as you can see they have 'chitted' well,  I started them back in February, so now is the time to start planting them.
So thats two rows of 'International Kidney' aka Jersey Royals & three rows of Charlotte 2nd early planted. 

I'll plant the Main crop spuds over the next few weeks to stagger harvesting.
Earlier in the week: I put new edging in along the fruit area and the next soil area, as the old edging had rotted away! 
It's made from 2nd hand decking so I put 3 coats of wood stain on, hopefully will last a bit longer.
While I was busy planting Spuds and doing D.I.Y. Jo got busy sowing seed in some raised beds, so we now have lots to come up. 
This raised bed has some that Jo sowed earlier and they have started coming up, salads etc.
Today (Sunday): Jo planted out some Tomatoes & a Cucumber in the Greenhouse, the up turned bottles are for watering, they have a spike with holes in screwed into the top, but now pushed into the soil, so gets the water to the roots.
Friday: Jo sowed some Parsnips & more Carrots, in this patch by my Carrot experiment, no sign of them yet, but as its now warmer hope it wont be much longer.
Thursday: I've been planning this for ages, a narrow path at the end of the large area wher this years spuds will be, it will protect the Apple tree roots and stop weeds coming up there too.
Sunday: Another D.I.Y job! Check my next blog to see what it is. 
The good thing is I made it from left over timber 
So a very productive week, I think we only stayed home one day!
But its the perfect way to isolate, we do see other folk on their plots, but they are so far away, there is no threat to our health.

Thanks for reading/returning. Ian & Jo

Saturday, 28 March 2020

A week of self isolating

But first, just look at the Stockbridge Arrow Rhubarb, a slightly later variety, won't be long now, maybe just a week or two before this years first Rhubarb Crumble. 
Anyway, back to this weeks CV isolation, I got busy making a new raised bed for Asparagus and a new Strawberry planter/box. 
See below for the finished area.
The good weather has helped the Apple Trees, they are covered in buds and the blossom is waiting to pop out. 

The Frog Spawn in the pond is still there, no sign of our Frogs though.
Jo dug up some Leeks so its Leek & Potato soup for lunch. 
Very nice it was too with home-made Cheese & Chive scones, Chives from the allotment.

The new Asparagus bed is partly filled, we returned today (Saturday) to top it up with manure & top soil, the Strawberry box is to the left, over 7ft long, 12" wide, 6"deep and I extended the patio by 3ft.
Even this Covid-19 virus can't keep us away from our Allotment a 10 min walk away from home, its counted as our once a day exercise and 5 hours isolation, just me & Jo!

Plus our neighbors a good 2 mtrs away over the fence. 

Thanks for reading/returning. Ian & Jo.

Sunday, 22 March 2020

Self isolating on the plot

Trying an experiment with Carrot growing.

This round container was a rain barrel that sprung a leak at the bottom, so I cut the bottom off. 
I have sown Carrot seed in it onto sifted soil, in the hope the 24" height will stop root flies!
Jo got busy over the last few days, weeded this bed and sowed some Lettuce seed then cleared the Rhubarb patch behind & the border along the back.
This patch looks alot better after Rotovating it last weekend. 
The patio extension is finished, next a new raised bed to be installed for Asparagus arriving in May and a Strawberry box.
We both got busy on this patch and dug it over ready for our spring crops to go in, Peas, Beans. and anything else we can fit in.
We decided to plant more Potatoes 'King Edwards' so Jo has been busy clearing a space, I will mix in some manure on our next visit. 
Great news: In the pond we spotted loads of Frog spawn, Jo also spotted a few frogs mating the other day, so thats why.

During the clearing & weeding operation Jo dug up these Swedes, so we will have them with one of our meals soon.

Thanks for reading/returning. Ian & Jo.

Monday, 16 March 2020

Rotovating our plot

Planning to get the first early Potatoes 'International Kidney' and 2nd early 'Charlotte' in end of this month so got busy preparing the ground.
Jo has been busy too, clearing & removing weeds from the raised beds, ready for spring sowing. 
This raised bed has: 
Spring Onions, 

Also some bee friendly flowers.  
So this is the Potato patch I got my Rotovator out of the garage, cleaned it up, put fresh fuel in, cleaned the spark plug, a squirt of WD40 into the cylinder & it started 1st time.

Check out my YouTube video all about Rotovating the plot, link below 

Thanks for reading/returning. Ian & Jo

Sunday, 1 March 2020

St Davids Day/1st day of Spring on the plot

We arrived early today, Jo cleared this raised bed next to the greenhouse, found some Garlic with good roots, amongst the weeds so re-planted at the far end.
While Jo was busy, I carried on sorting the recently cleared patch, we are going to put in a new raised bed for Asparagus due in May, an extended patio & Strawberry box. 
More Rhubarb has broken through, this Stockbridge Arrow is a prolific producer of thick stalks.
All in all a good days work, we stopped for lunch, but still got loads done, shattered now!

Thanks for reading/returning. Ian & Jo

Sunday, 23 February 2020

February update

Signs of life. 
The Stockbridge Arrow Rhubarb, the 1st leaf emerging from a bud. 
Also the Shallots & Elephant Garlic are looking good.
We've finished digging over this patch, where we had 2 Strawberry beds and an Asparagus patch, the Comfrey was here too, but was over run with ground elder & nettles, so had to be dug out! 
So keep checking back to see what we do with this area.
We harvested the last of the Kale tips, washed it in salt water (to remove any bugs) took out the stalks and chopped up ready for the freezer. It will be good for stir-fry's & to make Pesto. 
We gave the rest to our neighbor who has chickens, they will love it.
Got my spuds, so 'chitting' them. 
Charlotte, 2nd early. 
Picasso, main crop. 
Maris Piper, main crop. 
And some International Kidney aka Jersey Royals, 1st early.
Luckily our greenhouse survived both Ciera & Dennis storms. 
But sadly the fruit cage didn't, its now 11yrs since I built it, so it's comming down!
So all in all we've managed to get down in between the wind & rain, need to get the plot ready for spring planting. 

Thanks for reading/returning. Ian & Jo.

Monday, 27 January 2020

Another fine day for digging

 Jo & I decided to visit the plot today, so I carried on digging over this patch, where we have had a few bonfires, but grass had taken over in patches so had to dig it all out!
While I was busy, Jo carried on digging over this patch where the Comfrey and two Strawberry beds are. 
We plan to dig it all out and start again, as its never produced much. So keep checking back to see what we do here.
All that digging has made a pile of roots, as well as the grass, it's mainly Ground Elder & Nettle roots! 
So leaving it raised up on a pallet to dry out so we can burn it & return the ash to the soil.
But during our lunch break, I noticed one of our nest boxes that hasn't be visited for a while needed investigating. 
So I looked inside and found a Wasp Nest that had been abandoned, but what a structure and so clever of it, as its made of paper and so light.
So all in all a very productive day, a very satisfying feeling that we have made a good start on this years plans.

Thanks for reading/returning. Ian & Jo

Monday, 13 January 2020

Monday plot working

We decided to come early, as storm conditions were imminent. 

So I did a bit more clearing of this patch, getting it ready for Potatoes to go in around Easter time. 
There are still a few weeds waiting to be burnt.
Jo got busy digging over this area where the Comfrey was, it needs totally clearing as nettles have also taken hold! 

This whole area will be dug over to remove as much of the perenial weeds & nettles! As we have plans for it, so watch this space.
Well the strong winds and rain arrived around lunchtime, so we only stayed about 3 hours, but glad we did as we got lots done.

We did visit yesterday (Sunday) inbetween the showers so only topped up compost bins with veg waste from home & to take some rubbish away.

Thanks for reading/returning. Ian & Jo

Sunday, 5 January 2020

1st Sunday of 2020

So many weeds, roots, grass clumps dug out and branches pruned, so its time for a bonfire! 

As our site is surrounded by farmland it doesn't cause any problems having bonfires & the ash gets dug back in. 
But at least I finished this patch at the end. 

All the roots dug out and now on the bonfire.
All in all a good few hours work, 10:30 to 3pm. 
Jo dug out more weeds too & saved a few Comfrey & Borage roots to re-plant later.

Thanks for reading/returning. Jo & Ian

Wednesday, 1 January 2020

First Blog of 2020

Happy New Year all. 

We said we would return, so we came down at about 10:30 after a bit of a lie-in. 

I dug over a bit more of this patch I started 2 days ago, will return Sunday to finish it.
So while I was busy, Jo pruned the Gooseberry bushes, by removing old wood & removing some inner branches to make a bowl shape, this helps airflow and lessens the risk of a disease taking hold.

Jo did the same pruning to the Black & Red Currants, so will help to give a bigger crop.
So after 3 hours we were a bit shattered, we were out until 2:30am at a new years party! 

But managed to harvest some Parsnips & Kale, for dinner.

Thanks for reading/returning. Ian & Jo