Sunday 20 November 2011

Allotment news & Result of Pea Experiment

The allotment is still doing well, all of the crops planted over the last month or so, since summer crops had finished, are thriving.

The Onions are getting bigger the Garlic too, Cauliflowers planted recently have taken well.
The Cox's Orange Pippin Apple trees I put in just a week ago have new buds showing on main stem.

Some of the Leeks I planted on the 28th of July are ready to lift, just as well as they are needed for tonight's dinner, so I was glad they had grown so well, must have been the location, where the potatoes had been growing, the well dug over soil made it perfect for the Leeks.

If you remember my Pea Planting Experiment of Nov 2nd, where I planted peas in kitchen roll tubes cut in half.

Well as you can see they have sprouted and are quite tall already.

I'm glad it worked as its a good use of recycling materials.

A week later I planted some Broad Beans in toilet roll tubes, one seed in each tube, stood up vertically.

They too have done well and is almost 100% successful.

When they get a bit taller & stronger, we will plant out under Fleece, to protect them against frost, then hopefully we will have an early crop.

Same goes for the peas, they are a dwarf variety so won't need tall supports, but just twigs and thin branches collected over time.

Thanks for reading/returning. Ian

Thursday 17 November 2011

Busy few days on the Allotment

Well it's been over a week since my last Blog.
Been so busy with other things, but as its winter now, although you wouldn't think it as the temperature is still in double figures, there are very few crops to harvest but some clearing up do instead.

You can tell it's Autumn by the leafless trees in the background.

One of the jobs I put off for this time of year was to put in another Compost Bin (the middle one in pic) the old wooden ones put in 10yrs ago have finally rotted away, so needed replacing.
The patch in the foreground is where the Sweetcorn was growing, now that's finished I have dug the patch over & weeded it, ready for a dressing of Well Rotted Manure as I will be planting 1st Early Potatoes there in the spring.

Another important job was to plant out the 2 Cox's Orange Pippin trees we got from the Copella Apple drink offer via Thompson & Morgan.

They arrived safely packed & I followed the instructions closely, by planting each tree in a prepared hole with well rotted manure, secured to a stake and even pruned
back each branch to about 9" to an outward facing bud.

So hopefully will get a small crop next year, increasing each year to a bumper harvest in a few years.

Chicken News:
At this time of year your Chickens, ours too, will have slowed down laying, or even stopped. But it's important to still give them a good diet, so we give them a daily treat of mixed goodies, here is a bowl of chopped up Bread, Apples, Grapes & Mealworms.
Give them green leaves from Cabbage, Broccoli, Kale etc as well as Corn at the end of the day, to get them through the cold nights.
Thanks for Reading/Returning. Ian

Sunday 6 November 2011

Allotment & Chicken news in November

Another lovely day, it's hard to believe it's November.

I cleared the Kale away and will give the remnants to our Chickens.

So planted out some Cauliflowers in the space left. They were started at home in seed trays and were ready to plant out.

Despite the colder days we still managed to harvest some fruit, as you can see there are still some Raspberries, these are 'Joan J' an autumn fruiting variety.

Also harvested today:
Parsnips & Peppers.
The Parsnips along with Potatoes, Onions, Garlic & Carrots went into Dinner tonight as a Vegetable Hot Pot and was very tasty.

'Chicken News'
Our 'Girls' Hetty, Betty, Peggy & Maud, are seen here enjoying one of their treats, Cabbage, Bread & Cucumber, they just love mixed treats, almost anything goes, chopped Apple, Pasta, green leaves & meal worms all get scoffed at an alarming rate, but shows in the deep yellow yolks the eggs contain.

Just had to show you this photo:

Just look how attentive they are when a treat bowl is on it's way. They just know the sound of an arriving meal.

We have a special earthenware bowl that all mixed treats are served in and they cannily know the sound & look of it.

Thanks for reading/returning. Ian

Wednesday 2 November 2011

Pea Planting Experiment

Don't have much luck with direct sowing Peas. Instead of the usual way of starting them off in lengths of guttering, which I'm sure works well for most, but I'm going to try this idea I had.
Cutting kitchen paper tubes in half lengthways, place the cut tubes in a shallow tray (I used supermarket produce trays, recycle/reuse).

I'm planting 'Feltham First' a 1st early Dwarf Pea variety.

Next fill each tube with compost, mine is home produced, pressing down firmly.

Next place a Pea seed every 1-2", no need to press into the compost yet.
Next cover with a thin layer of compost & water well. They should germinate if kept in a frost free place, mine are in the Greenhouse.
I managed 6 per row, the instructions on the packet says 4-6" apart, but when they have started growing, just before planting out you can separate them by cutting the tube through the compost.
Thanks for reading/returning. Ian.