Monday, May 29, 2006

Great Bank Holiday Monday

Monday, 29 May 2006

The weather was dry today so we took the opportunity to go up the allotment to do a few jobs.

Under gardener volunteered to dig out the dreaded dock weeds that had sprung up around the fruit bushes by the fence – they really are hard to get out, even though we have had so much rain – as the roots are massive and you have to make sure that you do not leave a single bit or they just grow again.

He also decided to weed whilst he was there – and accidentally, when digging an edge to the grass path, went off line by about two feet and dug up the path I was creating. So we will have to jump up and down on it and re-sow with grass seed – no big deal.

The grass is germinating and a fringe of green is showing on the path that I sowed. It’s great when it finally grows, and I know that in a couple of months time I will have a lovely lawned pathway.

There are more flag irises in flower, and the rain really did perk things up. With the wind we have had though it has already dried out on top to make a hard crust.

I spent most of the time mowing the lawns – they really had got long, so I had to do them three times on different settings as the old mower kept stalling.

Mike and Pat were up there a short time, doing a bit of weeding and putting in some runner beans they got at a car boot sale.

As husband was digging where the fruit bushes were, I got him to dig up some autumn fruiting raspberry bushes for them. I only need three really, I have too much of most things – I just put them in to fill the space, so I can be more selective now that I have got the plot under control. They were very grateful for them and the others are growing rapidly. They should get fruit in the Autumn ones this year as I planted them last year, so they had put on a lot of growth, and when I pruned them early in the year, they each had several stems.

Adelaide, KoKKo and Ginger has laid four eggs between them again today, they have done that a few times lately. They really enjoy free-ranging over a big area, and just love digging in the flower borders. When I mowed the meadow, I thought that the girls would run or panic, but they did not bat an eyelid, in fact the reverse. They were really reluctant to move out of my way and spent the whole time right in front of the cutters pecking at the insects that the mowed grass must have been disturbing. I kept trying to shoo them, but they did not flinch at all. I had to resort the fencing them in one area whilst I cut the grass in the other area. They do make me laugh so. They are real characters.

I have just had to rush outside and shut the Bantams in as the skies went black and the rain fell down, and we had sheets of lightening.

Dilly and Freckles are still sitting tight on the nest, so I will leave them to it. The window cleaner hasn’t left me any pheasant eggs – but he does not live locally, so it is not a surprise.

Talking of pheasants and eggs; yesterday the pheasant up the allotments finally got off her nest and took eight little pheasants off into the woods. What a happy ending.

Yesterday I didn’t spend much time up the allotment as I gardened at home, so I did not notice that slugs had got to my netted raised seed beds and feasted on my mini cauliflower plants. It has only happened yesterday or the day before. So I am trying out an experiment. Someone mentioned that they heard on the radio that using rhubarb leaves was a good deterrent for slugs.

As I had cut some yesterday, I have used them around the dwarf bean plant and what’s left of the cauliflowers seedlings.

With the rhubarb stalks I decided to try another experiment with the oranges that were in the animal box.

So last night I chopped up the rhubarb, and shredded and equal weight of oranges, and added granulated sugar – (again the total combined weight of the fruit.) All of which were mixed together and left overnight.

This afternoon I added the juice of two lemons, gently brought it to boiling point and left it boiling until setting point.

We have just had some on home made wholemeal seeded bread and it really tastes nice. So much so that I might make another batch tomorrow – if I have enough oranges!

The rain had done wonders for the shallots

And Onions

And potatoes

At the bottom on the left is the trampled and chewed cardoon

As you can imagine, I am feeling rather tired now, so am spending what is left of the day relaxing.

I hope that you all had a good weekend too.


  1. Hi Lottie or do you prefer AL???
    There has been a lot of talk over here in Australia about using coffee as a deterrant to slugs and snails. Check this site out for more info
    The recipe is 1 part strong coffee (Expresso) to 10 parts water this is sprayed onto seedlings but needs to be reapplied after rain.
    We mainly have trouble with snails and a few slugs (its a bit dry here for them) while its raining so quite often hubby and I go out at night in the rain and squish as many as we can find but I guess this would be a bit hard on an allotment!! Passers by must think we are mad out at night with raincoats on and torches but it keeps the numbers of snails right down. We also do this (but not in the rain) to squish earwigs that attack our new seedlings in spring. Anyway thought this might be something to try (the coffee I mean) on your seedlings.
    Bye for now from chilly South Australia

  2. I was thinking of you when I was given some rhubarb plants today! A friend had some plants she wanted to thin out and rhubarb was one of them. No pictures yet but maybe in a week or so.

    I had also read about trying used coffee grounds or left over coffee. I did put some out around the lettuce & broccoli early on. They didn't get attacked, but I just figured they had other things to eat. I'll try again for something that is getting eaten now. I like the rhubarb leaf idea also.

  3. Thanks for your tips regarding using coffee grounds.

    I have heard it before, but unfortunately I only drink water and we are 15 miles from Norwich, where all the coffee bars are, otherwise I would definitely go down that route.

    It is tipping it down with rain today - so a day of rest - after I have been needled by the acupuncturist.

    Where abouts in Sth Australia do you live Scarecrow? I know it quite well as I have visited it quite a lot and have friends out there.

    Petunia Gardener - I will keep looking for those photos.

    Nice to hear from you both - really must dash now.

  4. the potato parch and onions look like the are doing real well, loved all the pictures. i saw some iris blooms and think you do a great job.

  5. that should say potato patch


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