Sunday, 21 February 2021

Allotment digging

Well one week of February left & we have lots of seeds started, potatoes chitting too. 

Check back next week to see our 'chitting' potatoes

Our heated propagators are working overtime with tomatoes & peppers that are already sprouting.

So while Jo was busy cleaning the greenhouse glass & rescuing plants, that were in danger of being thrown out with the weeds by me!  
I got busy digging over more of last years Brassica patch.
We also noticed a Frog in our pond, so we hope to see frogspawn soon, last year it was late March.
So as I said, we have been busy now its a tad warmer. 
I could not visit our plot for 10 days, but didnt matter as it was so cold anyway, I believe the ground was frozen hard!
Look at these healthy buds on the Blackcurrants, we did a hard prune over winter and it hasn't harmed them at all.
We hope to return often and get it fully prepared for planting. 

This year is marching on & as I've said before during these hard times an Allotment is a safe place and ideal isolation.

Thanks for reading/returning. Ian & Jo


Sunday, 7 February 2021

February lockdown & even more digging & weeding!

At the end of January I started digging over this patch. 

Last year we had Peas, Beans, Carrots, Parsnips, Beetroot and some other crops growing here.

This week I finished the digging, removed lots of weeds and grass, its now ready for Potatoes, hopefully they will arrive soon and I can 'chit' them ready for planting around Easter.
I dug over this patch where we had Brassicas last year, the tunnel to the left still has Kale growing. 
While I have been digging, the Robins have been active and picking up any worms I had disturbed.

This one looks well fed!

The area round the back of the Rhubarb bed always gets weedy, so I dug it over and got all the Ground Elder & Nettle roots out, I will put weed suppressant fabric down and some paving slabs & gravel, to hopefully keep the weeds suppressed!
Today, Sunday 7th, there was snow in the forecast, so we only stayed for a an hour or so. A few flakes of snow did flutter down, but nothing like a blizzard. 

Jo tidied up the fruit area, by weeding around the Raspberries, Currants, Blueberries, Blackberries & the Strawberries too.

Thanks for reading/returning. Ian & Jo

Thursday, 28 January 2021

More lock-down digging

Monday 25th Jan:

Jo & I came down for a few hours as it was a dry day. 

Last week the water level was just below soil level so no digging could be done.

So as the water table had dropped, we both dug over this patch, where some of our potatoes were last year. 

Now ready for other crops this year.

So while digging I dug up the last of the Parsnips, might make wine or if not enough we will roast them for dinner! 

Also dug up more Leeks for more winter soup. 

Wednesday 27th:

I went down to dig over this patch where we had Peas & Beans. Probably put Potatoes in here. 

Did a bit more today, Thurs 28th.

But still have all this to do, weather isn't to bad, except its getting colder again, over the weekend. 

So I hope to do as much as I can tomorrow (Friday), as this will be our main Potato patch it needs clearing & muck added as soon as possible.

Anyway, the lock-down has helped us again as we can get down more often, its perfect isolation, with added exercise and it's great to be outside in the fresh air along with nature.

Thanks for reading/returning. Ian & Jo 

Sunday, 17 January 2021

More clearing and harvesting

We spent just over 2 hours today. 

Was still cold, but didn't stop us.

But first a splash of colour during these grey times. 

Some red chard.

I finished digging over this patch, I started last week. 

Found a few spuds I must have missed while digging up before & after Xmas!

Jo found a few plants that had survived winter and moved them to the edges, oxeye dasies & foxgloves mainly.

I dug up a few parsnips & the last of the swedes, we had them in a veg stew for dinner, with added potatoes (from our allotment), carrots, onions & butter beans and it was tasty.
So as I said we only stayed a few hours, but still got quite a lot done. 

Its nice having extra time and perfect isolation too.

Thanks for reading/returning.

Ian & Jo


Sunday, 10 January 2021

Early Feb & still clearing.

But first, just look at these fab Sprouts, still looking good.

I dug up the last of the King Edward spuds, they are great potatoes, but not many large ones, still good for mash & chips.
So while I was digging spuds, Jo cleared a couple of raised beds, the one you can see, now empty will need new edges making first though, as the current edges have rotted.
Now these Picasso potatoes are a better size, perfect for jacket spuds, mash, roasted & chips of course. 

So Jacket spuds for dinner tonight.

This basketfull was the last 2.5 rows, I'll weigh them when dried & will store them in a hessian sack in cold dark place.

Sprouts picked & a few parsnips too, ready for a lovely meal soon,
It wasn't as cold today, but digging all those spuds up kept me warm. 

We hope to do more next week.

Thanks for reading/returning. Ian & Jo

Sunday, 3 January 2021

December into the New Year 2021

We visited the plot on Dec 28th just to dig up more King Edward spuds & some leeks, mainly for leek & potato soup. 

You can't beat home made soup and so nice on these cold winter days.

Next visit (today) 3rd of January.

HAPPY NEW YEAR everyone.

Had to dig up yet more King Edward's, we ate most of the ones dug up a week ago! 

Not just for soup, but roasted, boiled & for chips too. 

While there today, we also cleared some patches of dry material, cut back some raspberries, blackberries & dismatled more cane wig-wams etc. 

A good start to the new year, getting ready for planting in the spring.

Thanks for reading/returning. Ian & Jo 

Sunday, 6 December 2020

Apple Pruning in December

Yes best to prune apple trees between Nov and Feb so now is an ideal time, trim each branch by a third to an outward facing bud, cut any branches that overlap, to reduce rubbing and cut out all old & deseased branches.
The peas in the green house are doing well & its still much warmer inside than out!
And a nice little harvest:

Swede, Leeks & Parsnip.

We had Leek & Potato* soup for lunch, then had the Swede mashed with carrot & roasted Parsnip & Potatoes* with our Sunday dinner. 

Can't get fresher than that.

*Potatoes dug up a few weeks ago. 

Thanks for reading/returning. Ian & Jo