Wednesday, May 16, 2007

first meal

Here is the first mouthful from the allotment! The cabbage still has a bit of space for growing but if I don't start picking now we will be eating cabbages all summer.

Sunday, May 13, 2007


Today I put the plants in their place! It was another monsoon moment down the allotment. The guys on the next field playing rugby looked less weathered than me. Now we need some sun!


Here are some of my broad bean plant residents. Number 1 is the black fly. I think this is gonna be an infestation! I have read that some soap spayed on helps but I am sceptical. There are ants crawling up and down the stems as well and I have heard that these guys defend the black fly so they count as enemy too.

The 2nd shot is an out of focus bean weavil. Darn camera! We have known each other for a while now and I have been tolerating the hungry blighters.

Not sure what photo 3 is. Nice or nasty? If anyone knows then please tell me.

On the positive side. There are some broad beans appearing where flowers used to be. Not many mind but after the battle they have had since being planted in the autumn, I am grateful for any success.

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Slug solution

Ok listen up everyone! I may be new to this but I have cracked the slug problem. I knew the slugs were eating the broad beans and I felt at one point that anything the weavils didnt get then the slugs would. What's the point I thought. I want to be organic and kind etc.... so I didn't want to use slug pellets. I tried garlic granuals as a barrier. At 9 quid a pot it was expensive and rather disappointing in that it had no effect whatsoever. Anyway, one night I had to walk the dog late so I wandered down the allotment out of curiosity to see what happens when I sleep. I counted 43 slugs on the broad beans alone! I was amazed!! Where the heck had they come from? I picked every last one off. Galvanised by slug rage I went down the next night and I found 20. The next night there was 10. Now if I go down I find 2 or 3. I have had to widen the search to all areas of the allotment and the surrounding path just to get more than 5.

This has to be the best slug defence. I am so pleased with myself that I am even kind to the slimey enemy. Any slugs I find get spared and relocated to the conservation area between my house and the allotment thus keeping the eco system happy.

In the mean time the beans are growing like mad. I was actually seeing the plants getting smaller before I started slug hunting and now they are thriving.

My first produce

This might look silly but I have found the first edible thing to come out of the allotment. It's a radish. It may be one small radish for a vegetable but it's a giant leap for vegetable kind. Of course it's small....don't knock it!

Rain at last! All systems go

Rain at last and the garden says thank you.

Monday, May 07, 2007

Spring view

Here is the allotment. The photo was taken yesterday.

Saturday, May 05, 2007

monster cabbages

And here are some monster cabbages. Prize winners me thinks! The pros down the allotment are well impressed!

Parsnip are erractic?

Parsnip are supposed to be "erratic germinators" whatever that might mean. These parsnips haven't taken long to show. 3 weeks maybe. I put a row of radish in between as markers. I then dug a hole and filled it with compost and planted 3 parsips in the middle of each. They all seem to have come up. As a kid I hated parsnip but I acually like it now. Maybe all parents need to do to get their kids eating veg, is to get them planting.


Sorry for not writing for a while. I have been back at work and working like a mad thing for a while but Bank holiday weekend is here and it's back to the veggies! Here are the spuds. I can't earth them up because the ground is really hard. Not sure I will ever be able to as it seems the rain has stopped for 2007!

Sunday, April 15, 2007

chili time!

That'll teach me to work too hard down the
allotment! I got sick over the holidays and I think it was my body
telling me to ease off with the digging in the heat! The girlfriend
thinks I am soft but I was ill man! Anyway, her family have also been
over from Germany. We took them to Kew which was nice. I was particularly impressed by the display of chili plants in the Lilly house. I am now endeavouring to recreate a chili display in the loft bedroom! Here are my starting seeds.

I am now limiting the amount of time I spend digging up roots and old bits of carpet. A bit everyday seems more realistic than a whole bed every time I go down there. Also, how are my seedlings supposed to germinate when the ground is dry as a bone? Should I be watering everything from potatoes to parsips? Hmmm ...I kinda think a bit of water from the watering can makes zip loads of difference anyway.

Thursday, April 05, 2007

hard work

Great news! The allotment boss came over yesterday and told me what a miraculous job I was doing. She then asked me if I wanted to take on the next door plot too. I said no. This plot is killing me as it is. My back is now grumbling and even the dog thinks I have gone mad. It is good to get a pat on the back though. Yesterday I turned a patch of earth that looked like this.....

into this......
Two patches of mud on a blog.....hmmm. I am only sharing this with you because I think the amount of work an allotment requires cannot be underestimated. The patch of mud is 6ft by 6ft and took most of the afternoon! I didn't realise digging would be this hard.

Cabbage watch

This might be a bit like over kill but I have gone to town with the cabbages! They found their way into the ground today. To give them a helping hand, I dug in a grow bag to improve the soil. My ground looks like a collection of brown clay like golf balls and one of the pros down the site suggested investing in extra soil. Next, I have surrounded them all with garlic organic slug barrier. It cost a bit so it had better work. After that, each cabbage was given its own little bit of carpet to sit on because I have read that this will stop flys laying eggs under them. Finally, I built a wire cage to fend off the rabbits.

The work took me all day and I realise that one can get a bit carried away.