So having spent the week at work looking out of the window at the lovely blue sky, come the weekend it typically turns cold and windy. However, undeterred we were up at the plot by 8.3- wishing we had a coat or bodywarmer to combat the strong NE wind straight off the North Sea, but soon warming up as we began the four hours of planting out of everything we have that needed to be done at the moment.
First in were our main crop spuds-MArkies which we had great success with last year. This year decided to double the amount to see if instead of running out about Feb time we can become year round self sufficient. However, this seemed like less of a good idea as I proceeded to injure my back somehow with literally the first turn of the spade! Normally I have no problems digging, but this time was different and it still hurts a bit now but as we had some much to do I heroically continued!
Other things planted include out first peas-Early Onwards and loads of sweet peas.
on the right a new variety of Brussel Sprout for us-Brigette which apparently begin cropping as early as Sept and on the left White Excel caulis-also another variety not tried before so be interesting to see how they get on.
Also planted the clematis-
and the passion flower-
on opposite sides of our new arch.
Finally my plum tree is out in blossom-
Had an incredible crop last year so hopefully the cold weather isn’t putting the bees off and they’ll be busy pollinating for me.
Our allotments got a visit from Storm Katie last night and she left a large wake of destruction in her path. Got a call about 10.30 to say we’d been affected and got up there to find our lovely new greenhouse missing six glazing panels and its door! Luckily I managed to fix most of the damage but we’re missing one complete roof panel and the door was ripped clean off bending and breaking the metal frame in the process. So not good, but not as bad as some. One of our neighbours greenhouse was reduced to a few random pieces of aluminium and their shed was on its roof, whilst I could see sheds and greenhouses totally wrecked across the whole site! Very upsetting really, but have ordered the new roof panel which we’ll have in a day or two, then just need to get a new door bit and we’ll be back to normal. Hopefully no more severe storms to come for a while.
Yesterday I went to beer festival, but being the dedicated chap I am I limited myself to a sensible amount so I could get up nice and early and make the most of what looked like only a limited dry period this morning.
Got my reward by seeing this- our new peach tree just coming into blossom
Hopefully before too long its protective fleece can come off and we can enjoy the beautiful colour. Today though it’s staying firmly on as although perfectly dry its incredibly windy again and from a direction the plot is badly exposed to.
Other tasks completed today- the planting of our first earlies- Maris Bard-
A bit of a wonky trench, but it’ll do the job. When we first took over our plot the chap opposite reckoned I was wasting my time using the entrenching method, but as our crop amounts are far bigger and healthier than his place on the ground then bury method its a technique I’ll continue to use! Growing spuds is probably my favourite thing to do as although it sounds silly I find it a magical experience digging them for the first time and wondering what yield awaits.
Also put up the canes for the dwarf French and runner beans. Hopefully this wind won’t blow them down!
Out of sight now, each hole is packed full of lovely rotted manure and compost, which should be just right to plant directly into in a little while.
Elsewhere dug out an enormous root, genuinely about 4 feet long and very deep from something unidentified. Whatever it was won’t be bothering us this year.
Then came back home for a well earned rest after a tiring morning’s work.
Its been a while since i last posted anything on here, not that we’ve not been doing anything, but the little maintenance tasks don’t really translate into anything worth taking a picture of. But something that does is our new greenhouse which after a few weekends thwarted by the weather- wind, not rain, is now up and beautifully level. Here’s a few pics of it-
Look forward to putting it to use now.
Sadly our little Yuzu has died having been eaten by something, but all our other new trees are doing fine and starting to show the very first signs of spring buds appearing. we’ll be getting another Yuzu later on and hoping for better luck with that one.
Elsewhere our fruit cage has taken a hammering over the winter. The structure is still fine but the netting has been decimated by the wind. Our plot is so exposed to the southwesterly winds that it’s just been shredded. So next task is to re-net that before the fruit bushes start attracting any hungry birds. Then can get back onto the best bit of beginning to plant out the potatoes and asparagus. Lots to do!
So today we finished off all our various jobs before having our winter break. However the weather is anything but wintry. It’s been so mild that our daffodils are coming through already!! Just hoping that they go dormant shortly. Also luckily here we’ve been pretty dry so means can get out onto the ground and dig, compost, manure etc without damaging it too much.
Tasks completed today:
Burnt our huge bonfire pile, though not on our plot, but helped out the site manager with his where he’s busy clearing a derelict plot for a new tenant. His fire wasn’t really doing too well until we added our stuff to it. It was still blazing away when we left.
Finished off all our digging over, raking etc, before sheeting up.
When we first started the majority of our plot was covered. Now the majority is still under cultivation, so didn’t take too long to do. Typically though, as per usual, as soon as any netting or sheeting is attempted the wind picks up to gale force and we’re in danger of disappearing over the hedge whilst hanging on to it! Still it;s all down and secured, so pleased with that.
Also mulched up all the fruit bushes and trees
Finally have almost completed our central pathway. Only about 6 more feet to go. Could’ve done it today but it was such heavy work today and so relentlessly windy that called it a day and came home to the warm instead.
So as this is my final blog of the year it just leaves me to wish all my fellow allotmenters, gardeners and bloggers a very happy Christmas and I look forward to reading what you’ve all been up to and relaying our exploits in the New Year.