Two trips to the allotment today

I had a day off work today. It had been planned since last week, since the forecast for the rain had finished. Thursday promised to be a better day out of these days for this week. It didn’t disappoint! It was a hot sunny day.

The main aim was to clear up the allotment which had started to grow quite a lot of weeds. They had started to take over the beetroot patches, and at the far end of the plot where I had started to grow lavender plants the weeds and started to sprout up there also. It all needed to be thinned out.

I had a hat on and my sunglasses. Flask of tea. A plastic bag for the weeds. That was it I was ready to start. It took about two hours to clear both sides of the plot of bind weed and large Dandelion plants that started to sprouts up everywhere.

Once it was finished it was a lot clearer.

Tayberries, tub, carrots

The tayberry plant is amazing. There are hundreds growing and ripening. As I walk down by the side of the plot all I could see were red dots everywhere. But I’d forgotten to bring my plastic tub and so I couldn’t really collect any. That was the reason for the second visit in the afternoon.

The second visit I had helpers. We picked a tub full of tayberries and pulled out handful of carrots on that quick visit.

I’ve been a very successful day today.

The first 🥇 carrot 🥕

The first stubby carrot from the tub was picked. That was quick, because I only planted them a few months ago.

It’s Sunday evening and we’ve all come to the allotment to do the watering. Two helpers this evening! While the watering was getting done I helped a little to fix the water pipe which seemed to be running a little slowly.

Elvis arrived and had a really nice relaxing time, getting stroked and plenty of attention from everybody, relaxing in the warm evening. Sitting around in the communal plot area … Even getting fed a little, but she wasn’t very hungry. She did have some blood on her claws, and at first we thought she had injured herself, but she was ok, so it looks like she had already caught her dinner. I’m secretly hoping it was The Scourge that was dinner.

The first stubby tub carrot

When the watering was finished we packed up and headed for the main gate. It was still really warm when we left, it will be a nice evening for Elvis the garden cat.

Potato lines get a cover-up!

Sunday, the 25th of April 7:15 at night. Once again I’ve just finished covering up down at the allotment, getting meowed at by the garden cat, and walking back to the car on my own while the sheep are out by the main house.

Elvis relaxing in the sunshine. Rolling around in the dust!

Are a few people there tonight and I stayed for a short talk with the chairman. There might be some spots on the allotment association committee, coming up soon, but I don’t think I will be able to take any of them up. I have plenty of work to do with my own work.

Most of the covering up today was just a usual. Putting the fleece over the top of the carrots in the pots, putting a closh over the lines of carrots that were planted in the ground. And finally a new one! Covering up the potatoes with some more soil because some of them are starting to come through. Not some of them, quite a few of them!

Spud lines covered up

So today’s picture is a view of the potato lines which are on the second half of my plot! These lines needed a slight cover-up as the potato plants started to poke through. The temperature tonight will be dropping again to around -1° C as the frost risk rises again due to clear skies.

Just to be sure! Make sure everything is protected and covered up. Now, to head home and do the same for the seedlings which have been sat outside in the Sun all day. These need to be taken into the garage to protect them overnight.

Uncovering the seedlings and cutting the border

Sunday, the 18th of April 2021, about 1 o’clock in the afternoon and the weekend is in full swing! It’s been scorching couple of days followed by some seriously cold nights with frost in the morning. But a very good couple of days.

I haven’t done much down at the allotment apart from uncover and recover the carrot seedlings every morning and evening. Just to make sure they were protected. And it was a good job too because the weather was -1° C and frosty in the mornings, and during the days it was sunny and very warm.

I’ve just uncovered the seedlings for today and while I was there broke out the strimmer to straighten the edges of the grass around my plot. These were looking about as fluffy as my hair before it was cut last week!

Straighter borders

Now everything is looking quite neat and ready for the summer.

The seedlings at home are getting put away every evening and brought out every day. They are are in preparation for getting planted! I can’t wait until this cold snap in the mornings has blown away. Then all of my seedlings will go in and the proper growing season will be properly started.

Planting all the beetroot at the semi lockdown allotments

It’s Easter Sunday, the 4th of April 2021 and another fantastic sunny day. I was in bed until late, but finally getting up and making an effort to come down to the plot. The Sun was shining and the temperature was rising. What was my excuse!?

I cleared the bottom end of the plot and got it ready for the beans and peas which I have at home waiting. They are not going in just yet because of the risk of frost over the next week, but there are other plants that I can put in that should be hard enough to whether any frost and cold temperatures going below freezing.

Beetroot patch and raised beds preparation

In particular I am thinking about the beetroot. Two lots of beetroot of gone in today. Pablo and Golden are the varieties added to the bottom end on my allotment. Pablo are the usual purple beetroot colour, and the golden ones are as you would imagine, golden in colour. They have both gone into a small patch at the bottom corner of my allotment. Probably the coldest area of my allotment actually, and with the frost coming over the next few days, definitely the coldest area! Let’s see how they fair.

The rest of the plot at the bottom end was prepared. The wooden frames are usually use for lettuce et cetera, usually protecting them with slug gel on the ward, I am going to use those as small raised beds for things like beans and peas. But they will not go in just yet. I’ve just prepared the ground.

I’ve done a lot today, and I’ve nearly spent six hours down at the plot getting the ground ready. I’ve taken my time, it’s been a lovely sunny day, I had a flask of tea, there were no people around and it was quite quiet. I got on with it. I tried to get a little helper to come down and feed the garden cat, but no luck! Even with no Internet at home, I didn’t seem to be any hope of bringing her down with some cat food for Elvis. Sorry Elvis! You’re going hungry for the second day on the run. I promise to remember something for you tomorrow!

Protecting the seedlings

It’s late in the evening when I come down to the allotment to protect the seedlings. I’ve been doing this for a few days now because of the threat of frost. Late in the evening to cover up and early in the morning to remove the covers.

Green fleece and poly tunnel

I’ve used a sheet of green fleece to cover the pots and a poly tunnel to cover the lines of carrot seedlings.

Because of the frost risk the carrots are being protected. Last night there was a heavy frost, the roof of the neighbours house was white! It was a good job I covered up all the seedlings.

Planting the first lot of carrots 🥕 in semi-lockdown 🔒 allotment

Good Friday, the 2nd of April 2021, the country is slowly coming out of lockdown which we’ve been in for most of this year. Today I’m on holiday from work and it is the most beautiful sunny blue sky day we’ve seen this year!

What a day to come down to the allotment and plant all of my carrots (I’ve been planning this since last week).

I’ve been at the plot for nearly 4 hours, but it’s Sunday seem like it!

Three large tubs full of carrots, and two long lines

There are now three large tubs which are full of carrots. The soil has been filtered on top to remove the stones, and I intend to take very good care of these carrots! They are are the first carrots I will have planted (that I can remember).

On the ground next to them in two long lines are the remainder of the carrots which did not fit in the three large tubs. These ground-based carrots will be my control group. Although I will look after them in the same way, they are on the ground and I did not filter the soil to remove the stones. Both will be looked after equally, but we will see whether raising the carrots of the ground level into tubs makes any difference at all to the final crop. I am suspecting carrot fly…

A few more spuds went in, these were large baking potatoes which had been sprouting in the kitchen at home. They now have a new home in the ground at the allotment. Best place for them!

That’s it for today. I had a bit of a sit down after I’d cleared up and had a cup of tea. In the sunshine! Underneath the apple tree!

There are quite a few people around today. As expected really, it’s a bank holiday weekend and people have time and the weather is lovely. What’s the excuse for not visiting the plot on a day like this?! Surely there can’t be any?!

Most of the people weren’t really digging the plants over though, they were mostly sat around in the sunshine enjoying being outside. Who can blame them?

I picked up some of the hard plastics on the way out of the allotment. We have a recycle point now, although it seems to be more of a dumping ground at the moment. I ordered all the groups of materials into piles: metal, hard-plastics and plastic sheeting. I picked up a crate of hard plastics on the way out and I’ll stick it with the rest of the recycle things in the garage and organise a trip to the tip eventually. At least it won’t be dug out of one hole and dropped into another (land-fill) hole! The stuff will get recycled.

The weather report for the next few days says that it will go cold. Possibly snowing, maybe by Sunday or Monday. I need to call in at the garden centre on the way home to pick up some fleece material to use as a blanket on the carrots in the tubs. I already have something for the long lines, I just need to make sure the frost doesn’t come and hit them. Special care this year! I need the allotment to be a good place for 2021.

Rhubarb giveaway at the lockdown allotment

Sunday, the 28th of March 2021. The time is now 1645 in the afternoon and I’ve been at the allotment since around about 2 pm.

Today’s job was supposed to be to plant the carrots! The ones I bought yesterday and this morning from the garden centre. However I forgot to put holes in the big tubs, and so I decided that I would just bring the carrots back home and plant them next weekend.

Rhubarb giveaway

Next weekend is Easter bank holiday, so there are two days plus the weekend. Let’s hope the weather holds!

Today I planted nothing apart from some daffodils. But I did a lot of work clearing up the portion of land that was the builders yard. That is now gone and the stones and gravel that I filtered out of the soil over the past year and a half have now been used to make small area for storing things. This area is just about 1m wide and not very big, but it is enough to keep things out of the way.

I put some black sheeting down on the soil, and then edged the part of the land with some of the larger stones. Then I dropped in all the gravel that I had filtered out into bags which had been sitting around on my plot waiting to get used or taken away. I decided not to take it away to the tip, since they were my stones from my plot.

So the majority of the time today was spent with me making a small patio area! Not something I expected today, but another job ticked off my list successfully!

The tub like plan for the carrots, something to do next weekend

Today was the day I also gave away my rhubarb which I had been trying to kill for the past two years, without success. So I gave it away to some of the new plot holders who had come in today to tend to the new areas.

So! All in all, today was a good day. Things have been tidied up, rhubarb is being given away, tubs have been made ready for next weekend, planting will begin just in time for the Easter bank holiday!

Last on the list before I leave the allotments is to pick up some of the plastic sheeting that has been dumped in the recycle area. The recycle area doesn’t look very neat, so I thought I would take some with me.