Monday, March 21, 2011

Allotment Diary Me:15hrs He:15hrs

Today was a cold dull day - just perfect for working up the allotment

I went over this area that I have previously rotorvated, using my little Mantis Tiller
Then dug out trenches with my (Azada which you can see below)

Each trench was filled with a well rotted mix of pig and horse manure, and I planted my first early potatoes - Rocket, which were covered with yet more manure before being earthed up.
 Only one bag of these this year, as I am having to cut down on the workload, not got the power or energy of a  youngster any more!  Still there are 35 potatoes which will produce and very healthy plot and certainly feed us during the summer

Oh dear looking at the rows this way, they do look a  bit sinister don't they!

No sign of any broad beans on the left yet.

Still, again using my little Mantis to turn the soil into a nice tilth, I created some pathways between the blocks of broad bean rows.

Then I planted two blocks of onions - Stuttgart and Sturon

I might get some red onion sets too - lots of space to fill

Mr Lottie worked hard on sorting out where the winter bonfires have been

I just need to rake this all over, rotorvate it and get it ready for the rest of the potatoes

I think the only thing that gets him up the allotment is the thought of having a bonfire!

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Confined to barracks!

Mr Lottie was playing golf a couple of mornings last week, so I took the opportunity to do a spot of garden maintenance

The woodland borders needed weeding, and plants needed thinning

And there was a lot of cutting back of dead foliage and collection of leaves to be done.

As usual the chooks were great company, getting under my feet - and almost under the fork.
There is a least one chook in every photo, but they camouflage so easily it's hard to spot them.

As fast as I was digging over the beds etc, and sweeping up the debris off the grass, the lovely little tinkers were going crazy at the abundance of disturbed insects etc and in their manic scratching of the damp soil they were throwing it back onto the lawn

So as a temporary measure, I put down the thick 'lumps' of wood - ex dismantled pergola to keep the soil where it should be. 
Bluebell and Daisy are doing their innocent 'not me' act!

 They are such wonderful company 'talking' away to each other and to me when I talk to them!
Mind you, it does delay me, as I just have to stop to look.
I am working my way around the garden - next job the salad bed needs seeing too.

The chickens are confined to barracks now - only three more days to go - it's just whilst they are  on their worming medicated meals - a precautionary measure when you keep chickens - to ensure that they stay happy and healthy and haven't picked up any parasites from wild birds.  They are so used to freeranging from morning until dusk, they do complain bitterly if they happen to see us!  They have a big roomy run, so are not deprived - but try telling them that!

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Allotment Diary Me:11.5hrs He:11.5hrs

Well it looks like it's going to be another weekend like last - bright and sunny today and rain forecast for tomorrow.

For those new to my blog, these posts are just really for my own reference so that I can keep a record on how many hours I work up the allotment each year, where I plant the different crops, and just to see it evolving really.

So we made the most of today........
I spent all my time up the allotment putting wire through the top of chicken wire fencing to make it tight across the top and adding a few more posts.

I rotovated this bed, and raked off the stones and any grass or weeds I pulled up.
A back breaking task.

Mr Lottie helped me lay the rubber paths - it makes it easier to manage the plot and deters the rabbits from digging under.

I'll be making a gate for this too and getting rid of the temporary metal one.

It also gives me an easy and moveable path in the other bed too  - and less weeding!

In the fruit cage it was lovely to see that the leaves are opening on the  bushes

The sure sign of a healthy gooseberry bush is the lichen growing on the stems.

No sign of the broad beans  yet.  The next job I want to do up here is to take down the fence that separates this plot from the new one I have fenced off, and remove the makeshift 'gate'

We laid a rubber path all the way along this side of the plot right down past the fruit cage to our gate into our huge allotment area.
My lucky neighbour on the left get's his son, who works on a farm to come and plough up his plot every year.  In one fell swoop, all the weeds, and rubbish disappear - magic!

Mr Lottie filled up two trugs and half filled 6 sacks of well rotted horse manure for me to bring home -it's brilliant for potting up, and saves me a fortune.

Friday, March 18, 2011

I get by with a little help from my friends

It's nice to have some help in the garden with the weeding isn't it

Yes Dolly - I said it's nice to have some help in the garden - stop watchine what I am doing and get on with it!

That's it girls, get all those sprouting seedlings, after all they are the bits of corn you missed in your run!

Thanks for keeping an eye on them Snowy

They'll have it finished in no time!

Next we'll tackle a bit more of the garden

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Didn't we have a luverly time the day we went to Cromer!

Well the sun was out on Sunday and as we had worked so hard up the allotment on Friday and Saturday, we decided to treat our old  bones to a rest and spend time at Cromer.
An hour after leaving home, it decided to rain!

Still, it didn't stop us walking along the sea front, getting windswept and soaking wet; it certainly blew the cobwebs away!

I love to see the waves crashing on the shore and all the different colour shades of a wild sea.

A lot of the properties are being renovated along the higher promenade, and are looking really nice  - what wonderful views they have!

Rather windswept and damp  - I was asking my husband to get a photo of a boat out at sea! 
As you can see, he took a rather unflattering photo of me!  It was a waste of time blow-drying my hair before we set out wasn't it - it didn't take long for it to be flat and plastered to my head!
We were walking off a rather large lunch of fabulous fish and chips at our favourite fish restaurant, and the high promenade offered protection from the worst of the rain belatedly

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Allotment hours total - Me:8 He:8

Yesterday and today we have spent a total of 7 hours up the allotment.  Burning up the 'winter' waste that wouldn't compost - this area is designated for my potato patch this year.

We dug up and took down the fencing too - that's earmarked for somewhere else.

The fencing has gone - just a few bits of 'stubborn' wood to burn then I'll rake over the ashes, rotorvate it all and add manure in readiness for my potatoes

I rotorvated the remainer of this bed and dug out the weeds along the edges.
Early potatoes are going in on the right hand side, and onions on part of the left hand side beside what will be the broad beans in the foreground - yet to sprout.

I made a start on digging this over, then decided to crack on and build a fence..

Mr Lottie dug out the trenches, and I attached the wire to the fence posts and we both hammered them in   - a bit wonky in places at the moment - but not bad

I have to dig the rest of this over, add some paths, and tidy up a bit and build a proper gate.

I have to go to all these lengths to keep out the rabbits and deer!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Beautiful, blustery, day!

It's been a beautiful blustery day.
The banties didn't waste any time getting out into the early sunshine

The lawn up this end of the garden was covered in debris - leaves blown over from neighbours trees etc.  Pat said it looked fine - but I mowed it anyway as you can see

The chooks were exceedinly happy as there are always insects to catch

Seeds they have missed

And other goodies. 
The missing girls were arguing in the run of Peckingham Palace over who was to get the nest box.
It went on quite a while over the day - but they did lay 6 eggs for me!

I made a huge rhubarb and raspberry crumble with jumbo oats, bran, brown sugar and some butter.
The fruit I grew last summer and froze and it truly tastes yummy with a big dollop of organic yoghurt!

Saturday, March 05, 2011

Another allotment year - another diary.

Allotment Diary - Me 1 hour - He 1 hour

Well we all have to start somewhere - and as I am still nowhere near back to full strength yet - and the fact that rain stopped play - I felt pretty good that I achieved an hour today.

The blue sky disappeared soon after we arrived at the site

The pig farm is no more - all gone - wiped from the face of the earth
Eventually 5 homes will be built on this land - how things change!

The plot has fared the winter well, but I have so much to do!

It's not much I know - but I have made a start and planted almost 100 broad bean seeds
that wore me out!  Not the spring chicken I used to be!
Talking of which.......

Dolly was in the run out of the rain and tucked up under 'her' flower pot concentrating on a laying an egg!

I have spent the afternoon, in the warm, indoors, reading.

Thanks for popping by