Wednesday, 26 February 2014

26 Feb 2014 - Raspberries & Fruit Cage

We've had a bumper crop of raspberries a couple of years ago, and then last year a plank (or two) of wood fell on some of them and we didn't do quite so well last year (obviously!), so I decided to spoil them and build a fruit cage for them.  This was planned last year some time, but the weather's not been so good and we couldn't do anything while there were fruit on them, so it had to wait until after December.

The "weather v my time off" has been less than hospitable, but I finally started getting down to the allotment in the last couple of weeks.  I enjoyed my time with the sledgehammer, although I've been doing a lot of swimming this week, so my arms are about to drop off, but I did get the 6 posts I bought put up. 

I failed miserably with both staplers when I tried to put the netting up, but maybe that's a good thing, cos we think the netting is not quite right.  Now that I think about it, I *may* have used the office stapler on my last project, but we'll just keep that to ourselves!! haha!

Here's a few pics, it's 2.5 hours work - I cleared some of the weeds (until the stinging nettles got me), bashed in 6 posts, turned over a new bit of bed (basically, the fruit cage will cover both beds, and there's a new bit of bed at the end, making it a U shape), dug up about 8 new canes that had appeared in the pathway and transplanted them in the spaces and new bit.  I'm quite pleased with myself!




Proof that I'm not theonly mad one!

Sunday, 23 February 2014

23 Feb 2014 - Seed Swap

The 3rd annual seed swap was today and this time, I'm determined not to lose my goodies!

Bumped into some old friends I hadn't seen for a few years, had a catch up with people from other allotments, and even from our allotment, which is odd, but I work shifts and sometimes have the whole place to myself!

I remember the first Seed Swap, it was very "Island-ish and Traa de loor", some signed in, everyone just threw their packets of seeds in a heap on the table and went to catch up with people they haven't seen for years/ages/days, grabbed a drink and finally got round to looking at the seeds!  These days, it's a bit more organised, althought last year I did notice that we may not have paid much attention to whether we'd put our seeds in the right boxes, because I remember someone checking the goodies and announcing that something wasn't a brassica and then sorting out all the'll notice that the unknowns either go into a "Random" box, or just put on the table to sort themselves out!  It's laid back and works well for us!

my friends ran away from the camera!
a runaway, still hiding!

Me & Jan, hadn't seen her for about 3 years!

This year I was organised ......... I even had a mental list of things wanted/needed, told my significant other to make sure I didn't come back with too much, a bag that I wasn't going to lose and raffle prizes brought along!

It doesn't take Sherlock Holmes to work out that my plan went out the window!   To start with, there were no strawberries and I think I got the only bag of potatoes.  But there were some herbs and tomatoes, but then I got carried away with the exotics!
I'm not sure all these herbs were on the list....

Only the potatoes & tomatoes on my list!

I got carried away with "interesting"

and these were just plain bizarre!

splashed out on some new gloves too!
I'm fascinated with what a brussel sprout/kale plant looks like & then what it tastes like too!  Then there's the other thing which "tastes like Cumin or Salty Roast Beef" ..... fair enough, but what does it look like!!!

Well, as they say, curiousity kills the cat!

Wednesday, 19 February 2014

19 Feb 2014 - Checking out the storm damage!

You may or may not have heard about the recent storms we've had......  here's some pics of the wave damage!

5min walk from my home
5 min walk from my home

And this was from the second high tide, we had worse in January!  So you can imagine what I was thinking when I finally got the combination of time off + nice weather and was able to get to the allotment.  I decided that I would accept whatever happened and just fix one thing at a time.

I was pleasantly surprised to see that my fence (I put that up myself, made from my mate's old shed & a lot of sledgehammer work!) survived quite well.  One panel down (now held up with the help of net curtain wire!) and one panel on a bit of a lean (now supported by a tyre).

Apart from that, we did quite well, so I could get on with just weeding!  This is the Three Sisters bed, which I think I'll keep as that.  I've decided that as there are 3 different crops working together, crop rotation doesn't really make sense.
after, with compost

I also got a nice surprise of goodies growing and ready to take away.  The potatoes (you won't be surprised to hear) were all taken from a bed that didn't have potatoes planted in last year!  If you're interested in the apple tree, I got it at our local farmer's market, but here's the website.  I very proudly dug out a 3 litre bottle's worth of mares tail roots (hahaha, prehistoric monster.....take that!)
garlic & onions growing
Manx Codlin tree

As usual, wildlife just rushes up to greet me, or in one case, I got chased to the car by a herd of chickens & a cockerel shouting at me!

I've got a bit of work to do, but most of the beds are covered up, the wind has had a field-day with the bottles I hadn't managed to tie to the tree out the back and there's a bit of pruning of fruit trees to do.  I'd forgotten how happy I am at the allotment, so I'm looking forward to it!
Main plot, back section
Main plot, front section

Second plot, from the back
Second plot, from the front

And here's some rubbish - one's a pile of compost (doing quite well) and the other what survived from a 2012 Christmas present (obviously a gardeners glove, not allotmenteer!)

Happier than a pig in poo!