Sunday 27 January 2013

A quick look back

This is how far I got with the digging on the 12th, since then we have had snow, twice!
So today now the snow has gone, I spent another hour just digging.
I have dug up to the edge of the path now, but still have quite a bit to do. 
Next I will source some Horse Manure, a local stables offers it for Free so I will hopefully get plenty to cover the Potato patch :)
If you remember we re-homed four Ex-Battery hens, this photo was taken on that 1st day December 15th.  
This photo taken yesterday on Saturday 26th Jan, 6 weeks since the above photo, as you can see there is a marked difference, not only in the feathers, but the Comb & Wattle are a lot redder & the comb is erect. I'm not surprised they love being free now & certainly eat well !

Thanks for reading/returning. Ian 

Sunday 20 January 2013

Snowy Plot

Leeks, Musselburgh.
Onions, Radar White.
Not often we get snow, no work done today except to top up the Compost bins with Hen House manure & straw and to collect some greens for our Chickens.

Thanks for reading/returning. Ian.

Saturday 12 January 2013

More digging & harvesting

I have repeated a photo from last weekends digging, as an example.
So back to today. I managed in a hour or so to dig over & remove all trace of weeds, in an area of about 42 square feet (4 sq Mtrs). Needed to carry on as the temp is expected to drop to -1 tomorrow and into next week and the soil might be to hard to dig. I estimate I have now dug over a sixth of the area where I will be planting this years Potatoes.
So while I was there I also dug up a few Parsnips, they are growing across the patch set aside for Potatatoes (see above)
I also dug up some more Carrots, most have been small like the ones to the left of this photo but just one as you can see is Massive! 
These will be used in a stew with the Parsnips & Potatoes.

Thanks for reading/returning. Ian.

Thursday 10 January 2013

Some sowing and planting

Time to start planting some seed, here I have used toilet roll cardboard tubes, filled with compost.

I have put a Broad Bean seed in each tube and watered them well, the variety is 'Super Aquadulce' to give us an early crop.
Last year I started off some Peas 'Feltham First' in the green house, 1st I cut a kitchen roll tube in half down its length, to give me two 12" channels, well I cut two tubes to give me four channels. I filled each one with compost and pushed in a Pea every 2" and watered regularly. 
I planned to plant them out when about 4"-6" tall, but the Greenhouse wasn't cleared in time. 
They had got to about 12" so it was time I planted them out as the G/H was ready. Starting them off in the cardboard tubes makes transfer to the soil easy.
I used some sticks saved from when I pruned a shrub at home for them to climb up. I watered them in as well with plenty of diluted Comfrey Tea water.

Thanks for reading/returning. Ian.   

Sunday 6 January 2013

First proper work done on the New Year Plot

Due to the Weather and Christmas festivities we haven't been to the Allotment much over the last week or so...

First job was to clear the greenhouse completely and top up with compost made on the plot.
In the top photo you can see a wheelbarrow full of this dark crumbly compost that has been cooking in the bin for at least 2 years. We will be planting an early crop of Feltham First Peas here.

In this wheelbarrow is a load of well rotted Manure, it's the last of a load delivered 2 years ago so has broken down well, we planted Squashes and Pumpkins in the muck pile over summer, so has done its work. 
This is the Asparagus bed, Stewarts Purple, which we set up in 2011, we got a good crop last year and this year and following years will get better and better, but it needed a good weeding. 
So after the weeding was done, the manure was used to re-charge the soil  and top dress the dormant root stock.
I worked on weeding this patch today, started it last month but will need to carry on to remove all the invasive weeds, like Ground Elder, Bind Weed, Nettles and Dock. Oddly this year we have had an invasion of Dock, they have very long tapering roots, all has to be removed!  
But if like me you find a tangle of White roots, not dissimilar to the London Underground Map you have Ground Elder, if Yellow roots most likely Nettles! It all has to be removed too. I like to hand dig these out before I do the Rotovating because if any of these roots are chopped up, each piece will grow another plant, Horse tails/Rats tails do the same!
So sadly I only got a small part dug over, I still have all the rest, up to the Scarecrow to do, but it will be worth it. We will be growing this years Potatoes here and muck will need to be incorporated first!
Crop growing update:

Here are the White 'Radar' Onions I planted out October  14th 2012
I think most have sprouted.
Here you can see the Musselborough Leeks I planted out August 5th 2012
Here, if you ignore the few weeds, are the Garlic's, that were planted out October 14th 2012.
So all in all it was a good few hours spent today, so on every available dry day I will be down weeding the Potato patch.

Thanks for reading/returning. Ian. Oh and Happy New Year everyone X