Thursday, 13 March 2014

13 Mar 2014 - The boring tidy-up session

Since there's not much planting going on, I've been popping down to the allotment to do some tidying between work shifts.  Apparently my shifts are annoying, but you gotta play the system!

I had a vague idea of what I wanted to do, but all the fun stuff was either a WIP, or waiting for timber, so I was just pottering.  Luckily, two guys I know were also there, we'll call it a hot date, cos the sun was out and we had lunch together!

Also joined by the resident ducks, who were trying to nick the nails from one guy.  I helped hold the wood down so he could saw (on his knees!) a bit faster, without it moving around like a spinning wheel!  He thought it was taking up my own allotment time, but I turned it into a coffee break!

My own work was a little less interesting - you could tell, the ducks weren't being nosey.  But I did manage to weed 4 beds (well, nearly finished the last one, but had to go and get ready for work).

The first bed did have Red Popping Corn, Onions & Garlic in, now just Onions and Garlic.
The second bed had Potatoes, Leeks and a tray of unplanted Leeks (which have been transplanted into spaces in the first bed).
The third bed had Brussel Sprouts, Sprouting Brocolli and Leeks (or Onions & Garlic).  I kinda ordered too many Onions and Garlic last year!
3rd bed nearest you!
1st bed nearest you (can't see it)

Tidied up - 1st nearest you!
In the before photo of the 4th bed I got to, which is my failed Munty's Bean's contraption, it's across the path from the tyres bed, with all the bottles stored in it.  There isn't a closer pic, but I can tell you there was a fair bit of nettle and dock in there!

I know it seems a waste to leave just that little bit not done, but I really do need to get to work clean and tidy, and I'd pushed it far enough doing the 3.5 hours work! 

I'll be back another day (soon as I get my rota) and weed that bit, turn it over to make sure I got the dock out properly and I've got some mushroom compost to go in there.  One guy has got donkey manure, so we're doing a bit of a study of that one (as you do!).

Sunday, 9 March 2014

9 Mar 2014 - Wormery update

Exciting times, introducing the significant other to the Wormery.  Honestly, his life was not complete till then!  (It was on the same day as the fruitcage work, I'm not that bad!)

excitedly pointing a worms!
I've been very diligently keeping our food scraps and wondering what a worm might like best, so if you've got one, please let me know how it's going.  I don't even know when to put the next layer tub on, but will research that too.

life's never dull round here, another worm!

some worm-wee!

9 Mar 2014 - The Fruit Cage Continues!

I had tried really, really, really, really, really hard to do this on my own.  I had bought the 6ft posts and sledgehammered them all in only to be beaten by two staplers!  Go figure!  Could I get them to work?  Could I buggery.

I called on my faithful assistant who suggested we buy new netting for the job, so it wasn't patchy and we could do it in one go - he's not just a pretty face!  Because I had been trying to do this myself, he said he'd just hold the netting for me and be the third hand (after he tried fixing the staplers, threw one away & found the correct staples for the other one DOH!).

Well I still couldn't manage to press down the stapler with it above my head (which isn't fair, cos I can sledgehammer higher above my head!!!), so in true allotment fashion....I delegated!

After 2 hours of us both working (the netting was doubled over on the roll), we both had to admit that anyone with less than 3 arms would have struggled on their own!  We decided on the doorway and I need to get one more post for that.  Then we sort out the doorway, but at least the netting is up before the raspberries get too big!  I've still got half a bed to play with, not sure what's going in there yet, and the pathway down the middle to tidy up.  We ripped up the edging for the second bed because it's changing shape slightly and I need to nail the boards to the outside of the netting to stop longtails coming in.

I know I would have come home a baldycoot if I'd not had help, either tearing my hair out, or having it stuck in the netting!!!

Anyway, in my last fruitcage blog, I'd mentioned that I moved the canes that had appeared in the pathway because basically, they were in the way and if they lived that was fab, and if they didn't, then they weren't any use to us where they were!  All 8 have survived and got new growth on already!

There will be a further update - need to finish doorway and then put a roof on!

Tuesday, 4 March 2014

We have inherited a Wormery!

At our local seed swap the main raffle prize has been a Wormery and we've always lucked out on winning it.  Luckily for us, some friends decided that they didn't use theirs enough (and beekeeping is much more fun!) so they donated it to us! 
How cool is that?!?!?! (You have permission to be a little less excited than me)

I picked it up in the evening of 2 March and in between work shifts  on Monday (I had a spare 1.5 hours) I quickly drove to the allotment, tied my trousers up in a really classy fashion, set it up, made sure there were some worms in there and gave them a few of their treats, before legging it back to work!  

They are safely tucked away next to the tool boxes and a nice sturdy tyre on top, making sure they aren't being blown away!  There's another two levels I can put on, but need to read the instructions first, just really wanted to get them "home" instead of leaving them in the back of the car! 
I've even sorted out their very own feed bucket, aren't they lucky! (it's one of those green one's all cleaned up nicely - will have to find something else for the nettle compost/fertilizer to go into now!)