Sunday, May 29, 2011

Allotment Diary Me:40hrs He:36hrs

Over the last couple of weeks I have spent 8 hours up the allotment
The early potatoes are growing, despite there being no rain

The broad beans are really behind due to the drought

So too the climbing Italian yellow beans

I weeded the potato bed which was full of thistles

I also earthed them up yet more

It's looking quite nice even if I do say so myself

Today the broad beans are in flower although still stunted

 Blackcurrents - they need a big dose of rain to plump them up.
The same applies to the gooseberries - not as good a crop as last year

Have you seen these before?

I haven't had to use these for years

But with the dire weather conditions I got them out.
They are a ring of plastic - not thick - which has sections fused which creates tubes
You fill the tubes with water and place over a plant - in this case pumpkins.  Because it is so windy here, I have taken precautions and put stakes inside them to stop them blowing away.
The idea is that the water warms up in any sunshine which creates a microclimate - a little greenhouse effect.
It is open at the top so that it's easy to water the plant - and lets the rain in.  It protects fragile plants from rabbits and muntjac and other critters.
When the plant gets established you just lift off the ring!  They are easy to store - about the size of a carrier bag.
This view almost breaks my heart. It is the view over my bottom fence and the part of my allotment I gave up to a very keen couple who were desperate for an allotment.
It was my favourite and best laid out of my plot.  The very bottom (which you can't see) I sowed an organic meadow - and I used to have three hybrid chickens living there - and they had free range of the whole quarter of an acre (which is the size of the whole plot).

The plot you can see, I split up in to six beds that ran horizontally and sowed organic 'bowling green' flat wide paths in between each bed.

The top bed had mixed perennial flowers in and was a lovely sight.
The next bed has asparagus - and I used the rest for different vegetables.
The next had the most magnificent rhubarb plant - which you can see has the tall yellow spears of flowers as it has gone to seed.

The other long beds were used for crop rotation veggies, and the nearest one to the fence had fruit bushes, more asparagus, and a well rotted manure compost area.

It's now full of tall weeds, thistles, stinging nettles, dock weeds gone to seed and many more.
It's such a shame  to see - but I shouldn't get upset about it as I gave it up!
We have a new old door on our pig hut shed.  The other one was in bad shape and was falling to bits.   Our nice neighbouring plot holder offered to fit this one for us - we did a bit of bartering - and I have it three coats of wood stain today - it was very windy so there are drips on the floor!  They'll wash off.  I'll give it a few more coats over the summer - lets hope it lasts until I decide to give up my plot.


  1. You have been busy!

    Everything is looking as good as can be with the given conditions. Our broad beans are doing quite well, no flowers yet though.

    Fingers crossed for some more rain too.

    Those water tube things are such a good idea!!!

    Have a great evening,

    Martin :)

  2. I love reading about your allotment and gardening Lottie - it's such an interesting life! I had no idea it was so dry in Norfolk... too busy worrying my life away!!
    Where we went fishing last week, is also a rare breeds poultry centre - Youldon Waters. That's the first time I saw huge chickens, called Jersey Royals, which are an American breeds. The cockerel is so heavy and "randy" that the hens also wear saddles.
    Hope to see you at summer camp - yay!!

  3. I.m with Rosie, I love reading about your allotment and have lots of catching up to do. I am intrigued by the gooseberries and currants. Wonder if they would work here in sunny (not so much this year) California.

  4. You have been a busy bee! I expect my allotment is feeling quite neglected at the mo - half term holidays are never very productive! Must get out there soon :-) Love 'n' hugs, Mel xx

  5. So sad about the piece of your plot that you gave up. I guess that young couple found out that gardening involved a lot more work than had appeared. I would love an asparagus patch but I can't seem to get one to "take". I've been planting for years, but never get more than a handful of spears.


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