On the allotment May 2015

I have been working hard on the allotment, along with J giving a hand with securing raised beds, creating bean frames and super fast digging like a machine (he gets through a bed in triple the time I can).  And I’ve been trying to raise lots of plants at home, bathroom is looking a bit overgrown currently.

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With the dry spell we had, the ground quickly went rock hard with mahooosive cracks in it, and so had to wait for a load of rain before I could really think about digging.

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I’m trying to beat the growing season and get the beds all dug and ready for planting before it gets totally over grown like last year (must learn from my mistakes)!  Last year I had been really busy with making new stock for the exhibition and so left the allotment for about 3 weeks….May really is the month where growing gets a real shift on and the grass was up to my waist in height.  I felt like I missed my time for putting seeds in, so this year I have grown more at home, ready to put the plants in, as well as sowing from seed outside this week onwards.  Below is a pick of some runner beans a fellow allotment gave me to chit (never chitted beans before).

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I recently went back to Surrey, my home county and went to visit my Dad’s allotment – of course he has put me to shame by having loads in the ground already in very neat rows.  He delighted in showing me how nice his soil was compared to my heavy clay at my allotment. (Thanks Dad)!  Picture of him below in his greenhouse.

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My Dad is a bit of an expert allotmenteer, being trained at a young age, in the home guard he grew veggies for the camp, owned his own nursery for a while, and quite recently getting a slot on the local radio giving advice to veg growers (very proud daughter).  He gave me some tomato plants and not many of mine came up, and a pepper plant too.

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Here’s a pic of Dads super straight rows of veg coming up (puts my wobbly lines to shame)!

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Last year at this time I was trying to get my hands on a rotivator.  We borrowed one, it didn’t really work, was promised another which fell through, then ended up hiring a man with a rotivator.  Although it did make the digging/beds a lot easier, I have been hoping to dig all the beds as there were so many weeds and dock plants, they just all got chopped up and came up with about a million new ones!  I have waged war on weeds on my plot this year, by trimming them down and using a weed killer on areas away from the growing beds.

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I bought and had delivered 3 and a half tonnes of top soil.  I decided that if I am to continue witht he allotment, I needed to make a bit of an investment in soil because of it being too heavy clay – need something to break it up.

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I won some seeds from watching Countryfile!  I just had to apply online and got them sent in the post so hoping these will look lovely on the plot this summer.

Jobs I’ve done:  Planted seed potatoes in old tyre homemade pots, planted onion sets and covered with netting, tidied up strawberries from weeds, weeded and dug beds ready for planting, kill weeds and keep them cut down,

Still to do:  Dig last 2 beds, add top soil to rest of beds, plant broad bean plants (bit worried I’m too late with this as they are flowering), harden off other seedlings, sow more seeds at home and on the plot (including the wild flower seeds), order more bean poles, created pea frames from twigs, make some sort of netted frame to go over beds (job for J).

That’s it for now on the allotment, more to follow.  Below is a spiders nest which hatched just as I arrived at the allotment, hope they don’t all decide to live in my shed!  Have a good day everyone, bye for now.

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