Wednesday, 9 September 2009

Back in business!

Well, I now have more time to update on the plot! What with the summer hols, work etc....I just couldn't squeeze in time to blog...but that's not saying I was absent at my plot, nope...we now have a fine shed recently built!

Lots of hoo ha regarding allotment association and whom to join (the original allotmenteers in front of us, or start our very own?) and I have harvested some lovely carrots, runners, radishes, cabbages and beetroot! Very pleasing having only being our first six months.

Having a bit of trouble with caterpillars on my Brussels and cabbages at the moment and my tomatoes died :-(( Ken behind us said it was potato(?? or is it tomato??) blight, with the stems going black and the leaves dying and the tomatoes turning brown. Oh well, not just me in any case....most of us got it. Fingers crossed for next year.

My very latest planting was from Ken (it's great having knowledgeable AND kind neighbours!) who gave me some spring cabbages. So fingers crossed for them, must keep an eye on them and ward away the pests!

Monday, 8 June 2009

Steve and I went to the allotment for a couple of hours last night, managed to plant my Salad Rocket, Lollo Rosso lettuces, replaced some of the cabbages that were nibbled and the cucumber that disappeared! Sowed 2 rows of carrots (early nantes) and 2 Cherry tomato bushes. Caned the gardeners delight, which now has a few flowers and one very small green tomato!!! hooray!

The runners now look more healthy in colour and actually seem to be growing up the canes by themselves now, all is good!

My parents paid us a visit whilst we were up there, they and a few other friends/family like to see how it is coming along and quite often wonder on up to see how everything is growing. They were amused to see Steve on his hands and knees planting and being overly fussy with everything!!

On the home front, the gardener's delight are coming on well, as well as the lettuces and dwarf beans (which might actually be runners, I'm not sure, as they are outgrowing the canes!)
The mint I transplanted seems to be extraordinarily healthy and really filling the pot!!

Recently sowed and in our makeshift greenhouse - Greenshaft peas and more toms (can't get enough of them!!) and this morning I sowed Sweet Marjoram, Mint, and coriander and placed in my kitchen window sill, can't wait to see the first signs of life!!!

I'll upload some photos from my mobile soon xxx

Lovely soup recipe made tonight and which I hope to use when my very own butternut squash has grown!

Serves 4

1 tbsp olive oil
1 medium onion – peeled and diced
2 cloves garlic – peeled and crushed
15mlsp (1 tsp) ground cumin
300g (11oz) sweet potato – peeled weight and diced
250g (9 oz) butternut squash – peeled weight and diced
1 litre (1 ¾ pts) vegetable stock
2 x 15mlsp (2 tbsp) chopped fresh coriander

1. Heat oil in large saucepan, add onion, and garlic, cook until soft,

add ground cumin and cook a further minute.
2. Add sweet potato and butternut squash, stir and cook for 2

3. Add seasoning and stock, bring to the boil and reduce to a

simmer for 20 minutes or until the sweet potato is cooked.
4. Blend or process vegetable mixture until smooth, stir in the fresh

coriander, dilute with water if necessary.
5. Serve soup hot or cold.

Wednesday, 3 June 2009


This morning I got a letter from the council explaining that they have put two skips at the allotments for tenants to fill with the couch grass, instead of burning it and therefore setting ourselves up for complaints...
Trust me to get this news now, yesterday I spotted the skips and one of the tenants dumping the couch grass in them and they were virtually full already....I just assumed it was one of the tenants going to extremes and hiring a couple of skips for their rubbish!! So I'd better hurry and try to rid myself of the big pile of old grass this evening!

At the weekend, we attended the last day of the Bath & West show, at the end of the day the flower tent were selling the display plants, at giveaway prices...I came away with a HUGE potato plant, parsnip plant and some celery plants!! All for the pricely sum of £1.50! I have transplanted them all and crossing my fingers that the transplant will be successful.

Other progress - made a frame over the lettuces and brassicas and put net over the top to stop whatever it was from eating my cabbages!!
Also - planted a gardeners delight tomato plant and a sweet red pepper plant, and some french marigolds now reside beside them, hoping to ward away some naughtys!!

The next plan is for a fruit cage....I did plant some strawberries but now wondering if i should plant some in a big pot and place within future fruit cage....?

All these ideas....wish I knew what was right!! Practice makes perfect I suppose but such a shame I lost a cucumber plant and cabbages in the process :-(

Friday, 22 May 2009

Yesterday was such a good day for getting things done, in the the allotment, but I simply, frustratingly, lacked the time. I popped up at lunchtime after a quick google on slug deterrents and armed with a bag of raw oats, scattered them around the plot, lets hope they work!

Later on in the evening I took Callum up to the plot and whilst I wrapped some fleece around the runners, Callum - armed with a miniature watering can and junior shovel..watered the plants and had a go at digging the strawberry bed!! I have a little helper there! Unlike our two ten year old boys who relished it all at first but soon get bored now!

Wednesday, 20 May 2009

This afternoon I went up to the allotment for an hour and made the most of the dry weather until school beckoned and I went to pick the kiddies up from school ! I partially dug a bed for strawberries and planted the sprouting broccoli which was purchased at the allotment plant sale, and the cucumber plant given to me by John a fellow allotmenter from Frome (a friend).

Was disappointed to find the runners looking a little weedy so plan to take something up to wrap around them next time to protect them, being very new and in the middle of a country park, it makes it extremely open to all weathers and the runners are getting the brunt of it all.

On a good note, I earthed up a lettuce today and look forward to having it in a salad tomorrow! My very first produce from the allotment. I look forward to the seedlings maturing now and then planting some more seeds, the plugs will be finished within the fortnight!

(fresh out of the allotment, as you can tell!)

Here's hoping the bank holiday weekend will give us dry weather and plenty of opportunity for the allotment!

Monday, 18 May 2009

That darned rain!

We had all three children with us this weekend and the plan was to spend a bit of time down at the allotment digging more beds, taking the cooch grass out, replacing the dead runners (just two of them thankfully) and planting the strawberries and cucumber as well as building a bit of protection around the plot to stop the howling wind and rain destroying my climbing plants! (as it is so open up there at the moment)

...Instead, the good old british weather was at it's best and we dragged the boys around the garden centre instead, visited friends, had friends around...and did chores! Bah humbug!

Good bit of the weekend, I purchased this book @ the garden centre to go along with the rest of my growing collection:

Friday, 15 May 2009

Out with ruby.

Taking ruby for a walk in the rain.

Posted by ShoZu

Header Image from Bangbouh @ Flickr