Thursday, 23 October 2014

Allotment Update - October 19th

My primary focus for this sunday's session at the allotment was do some digging to help re-define a path between my allotment and the one further up the hill as none of the allotments around me have been worked for at least a year or so and the paths have just disappeared. Im hoping that the three surrounding allotments will all be given new owners next year so I wanted to get this bit of work done long before anyone new turns up so that there are no potential issues over the definition of it.

Here are the before pictures:

And here is the newly re-discovered path (set to the same width as all the other paths between the other allotments):

Admittedly not the most exciting bit of work Ive ever done but was still quite pleased with the outcome.

I had a bit of help from my Dad again and he was carrying on his work with fitting out the metal shed with some storage. Im not 100% sure what his plans are, and he has taken away some of the wood to chop up and build at home, but here are a couple of work in progress pictures:

Earlier on in the week I finished off building a couple of planters to go in front of this shed that will each have a blueberry bush in them. I managed to get them both in position but I ran out of ericaceous compost so I only got one of the blueberry bushes planted this time

My garlic and winter onions are starting to come through nicely now, they all have a few weeds coming through as well though so I'll have to take care of that in the near future

The green manure I have planted in several of the beds is looking quite impressive at the moment:

My potatoes are not looking so good though :-( 

Finally, the base I laid for the new shed has turned out pretty well and the shed is now on order and due for delivery at the end of October, right about the time of my birthday so its basically a birthday present to mysel :-)

Monday, 13 October 2014

Allotment Update - October 11th/12th

This weekend I decided I really had to get stuck in to getting all the paving slabs down to the plot and finally laying a nice solid base for my main shed to go on in a few weeks.

The first job was to actually get all the 600x600mm slabs wheelbarrowed from my back garden, I managed to get the last of these done on saturday evening and was pretty shattered after 6 trips with the bloody things (Im lead to believe they weigh over 40kgs each!). Here is how the stack of slabs looked on saturday morning, by this point Id also carried down 4 long bits of wood to make a frame to contain the slabs:

It may not look all that impressive but getting this stack in place at the plot was probably the single most tiring bit of work Id done here so far.

This is how the site looked before work commenced:

The next step was to screw the frame together, Id pre built some of it back at the house, and then to dig some holes for the posts:

Yet more wheelbarrowing ensued after this to bring down the following: 6 bags of sand, 2 bags of concrete and 2 bags of postcrete. I was getting very tired by this point and rather bored of the walk to and from my house, I was very keen to get it finished though so I pressed on.

All four corner posts fixed in with postcrete and starting to level the surface with sand:

I wasnt really taking too many pictures by this point, but its not the most exciting thing to photograph anyway. After the picture above I mixed in the cement and the laid and levelled each slab, I wasnt particularly bothered about doing the most amazing job ever as most of this is just going to sit underneath a shed. 

For the final step I brushed some ready mixed mortar that I had kicking around into the gaps between the slabs and the I watered the whole thing to hopefully let the dry mix of mortar that I had made underneath bond to the slabs and then start to harden. This probably isnt the correct way to do something like this but it seems to work for me and I thought that adding in the cement, rather than just simply using sand, should help with the longevity of the whole base and help to make it more rigid (particularly in damp conditions).

Thursday, 9 October 2014

Potato Problem - Looking for some advice please

I've never actually grown potatoes so if anyone out there can assist with my current issue then please comment below as it would be much appreciated. Basically, I spotted a bit of a problem last night with a couple of leaves not looking very healthy (it was raining heavily at the time so I didnt stay for long) and when I went back tonight for another look they seem to be in a much worse state. It has been suggested to me that it could be potato blight but I really dont have any idea what the looks like so if anyone can see from the photos below what the problem is, if indeed there is a problem, then please let me.

Tuesday, 7 October 2014

Allotment Update - October 4th

I didnt have much time to spare for this particular allotment session so I opted for tidying up a few of the beds, rather than getting in to any of the more ambitious jobs that currently need doing (of which a rather long list is starting to pile up)

This is the state of the plot at the start of the session

The bed with the leeks in was in desparate need of some weeding, unfortunately my weeding companion Kirsty hasnt been able to spare the time to come down and help for quite a few weeks now

After a spot of weeding, this is what it looked like

I decided it was time to clear out all the tomato plants as they were getting a bit out of control and had never really produced much due to how late I put them in. I also decided to pull up the beetroot and carrots as well so that I could start again with the bed they were in

And after a clearout and a bit of weeding this is what they looked like

I dont think I got time to blog about it just before I went on holiday but my garlic and winter onion sets arrived so I got all of those planted, unfortunately though they seem to have attracted the attention of some local wildlife (I suspect birds) and the onions keep getting pulled up. To try and help with the situation I have placed some netting over the beds and even stolen a couple of my daughter's windmill things to hopefully act as bird scarers

Thats about it for now really, Im hoping to get on over the next week or two with ferrying all my remaining paving slabs down to the plot so that I can start laying the base for the main shed. The 600mm x 600mm paving slabs are bloody heavy though so its slow going wheel barrowing them all the way from the house. I also want to look at building some storage in the metal shed as its kind of been a bit abandoned recently and is already very messy, might see if I can get my Dad to come down and assist with that at some point soon. Id also like to do some work defining the path between myself and the allotment slightly higher up the hill as its never been worked in the time Ive been there and the path has pretty much disappeared, ideally Id like to get that sorted before a new tennant ever takes it over so there are no issues with it. Oh yeah, and the main path at the side of the allotment needs all the dead nettle roots digging out so thats going to be another big job that needs sorting soon.

Lots and lots still to do, watch this space....