Sunday 24 November 2013

Best time of the year to get some building done & preparation for next year

Over the last few days I have been busy collecting Horse Manure from a local stable, here you can see some collected earlier in the year, well rotted & spread all over the Rhubarb. 
In the corner you can see the start of some construction of a new Manure container, from Pallets, as I have collected 15 sacks of fresh manure that needs to be broken down.
I also collected some other Pallets, the Blue ones from a local Stove shop who were glad for me to take them, I got 5 and they are so heavy they will make a very good manure store. The other pallets you can see will make a new boundary fence, the blue line just visible on the left, I put in so I get the fence straight and in the right place.
We haven't taken the Hens down to the plot for some time, so today I fenced off the patch where the Peas, Leeks, Cabbage, Kale & Spinach are growing and let them peck around, they only pecked at the kale a little as they preferred scratching around the rest of the patch. 
We will certainly bring them back over the winter so they can finish the job! 
So it's been a good week very cold but with only a month until Xmas its no wonder. 
So glad today warmed up a bit (still in single figures) daytime has been around 4 to 5 degrees but over night temps get to Zero! 

Thanks for reading/returning. Ian

Tuesday 19 November 2013

Where there's Muck there's Veg

Well I was right about the temp, its dropped to near zero, 4 degrees today actually, so to keep warm I decided to collect a few bags of Horse Manure from local stables. 

As you can see it's a huge pile of poo! 

I didn't take it all, but just what I could fit in the car and it's FREE.
So here it is all 14 bags full on the Allotment.

Will leave it for a while to break down in the bags, then will spread some of it onto the soil where hungry crops will go, Potatoes for example.

Thanks for reading/returning. Ian

Sunday 17 November 2013

Weekend of Potato digging & yield results.

This weekend I have dug up all the remaining Potatoes.

Here you can see the Picasso main crop, I estimate about 60lbs (27kgs) but will have to dry & remove as much soil before final weighing.
Stored in Hessian sacks they will store over winter if kept cool and in a dark place.

You can see the row marking labels I make are now sack labels.

2 sacks of Picasso, 1 sack of Valour (both main crop) and 1 smaller sack of Anya (salad).
I also dug up the last of the Charlotte (2nd early) there's about 12lbs (5.4 kgs) here. I have kept a record of all the weights as we dug them up, so check out my final yields below. 
So as you can see a very productive weekend, all the Potatoes dug up, weeds removed and a bonfire too.

Lovely weather for digging too, quite mild but dry. But the forecast said the temperature will drop next week which is why I decided to take this opportunity to get digging! 
So the final weigh in:

Foremost (1st early) 25 lbs (11.3 kgs)
Charlotte (2nd early) 22 lbs (10 kgs)
Anya (salad) 23 lbs (10.5 kgs)
Valour (main crop) 82 lbs (37 kgs)
Picasso (main crop) 80 lbs (36 kgs)

Considering I bought about 3kgs of each as seed spuds (15 kgs in total) I think a total yield of 105 kgs is very good.

In this photo you can see my Joseph Bentley Potato Fork, I would highly recommend you get one, as it's name suggests it digs Potatoes perfectly, the flat/blunt tines make digging easy, without damaging too many spuds. I dug up all those and only speared about 6. 
It's so good I use it for most of my digging tasks.

Thanks for reading/returning. Ian

Tuesday 12 November 2013

Lovely day for a spot of digging

One job I've been waiting to do for a few weeks, was to clear this patch. 

It's where we had Dwarf Beans, Broad Beans, Butternut Squashes & flowers growing. 

The flowers were enjoyed by us & the Bees.
Just after a few hours digging and its all cleared, hardly looks like the same patch. We still have Leeks, Chard & Potatoes growing here, which is why I put in the blue rope edging so I didn't accidentally dig up anything important.
As I said it was a lovely blue sky day, the sun was out, it was dry, but a little chilly when the wind blew, but I kept warm digging.

Had a bonfire too, just out of shot on the right!

Thanks for reading/returning. Ian.

Sunday 3 November 2013

Strong winds but little damage

 Yes the last few days and last night was the worst, we had gale force winds and driving rain, hail too!
But as you can see my shed survived, needs a coat of paint though :(
Musselburgh Leeks: 

We have had mixed results this year, some very thin ones, but most about an inch thick which is fine.
But this is an impressive one, so thought you might like to see it.
Another crop doing well, the Onions I planted out recently. No wind damage, but that might be because they are sheltered behind the Runner Bean frame. 
Only one casualty from the strong wind, Wendy Worzel scarecrow.

Sadly the broom handle spine snapped! 

Her hair is a bit muddy too :(

Thanks for reading/returning. Ian.