Herb sowings at Easter

16 April 2017

Sowed basil: mixed Mediterranean and sweet.

Sowed broccoli: autumn calabrese.

Sowed cucumber: Marketmore.


First sowing of 2017

16 April 2017

Sowed some broad beans today.


Update 14 March 2014

14 March 2015

Sad news that we’ve experienced another round of thefts from sheds.

Meanwhile, I’ve dug about one-third of the plot and started to warm up the earth in preparation for planting out onion sets. (And, garlic, once the bulbs arrive.)

I’ve got potatoes ready to go, but I’m a bit concerned that frost is still a risk so will wait another couple of weeks before plating.


Plot update

11 March 2015

Photos from last week, but already an improvement…

More photos as digging and preparing continues.


Before photos

1 March 2015

Here’s some photos I took on 25 October 2014, the weekend I took over plot 96 at Spital Farm allotments.

You can see that the plot is overgrown with ground cover. There’s a few rows of old broad beans. Generally it was in good shape for a plot that hadn’t been regularly tended for a year or so.

Later in the week, I’ll post more photos showing how far I’ve come clearing the site.


Newspaper plant pots

28 February 2015

The move from Devon to Oxfordshire was minus lots of plastic pots and other gardening paraphernalia. All replaceable, was my thinking. Anyway, the removers strictly speaking wouldn’t take pots or other “soiled” contents as we were going in to store.

At this end, I’d thought make my own pots. After seeing the price of those fancy plant pot makers, thoughts turned to papier mache or using flour and water glue.

To my great surprise today, Google came up with the excellent YouTube tutorial above on turning newspaper into biodegradable pots, ideal for seedlings.

This afternoon I turned out 20 or so. Unfortunately, all those Saturday papers I’d save had been binned by the other half.  So, today’s travel sections was sacrificed and the sports section will follow once I’ve had a chance to read it.

tomato plants

I’ve started out with two varieties of tomato – Sweet Million and Zuckertraube. I’ll save Gardeners’ Delight and Moneymaker for the football and rugby pages. (Notice the recycled in trays from our office move.)

Broad beans

Meanwhile, I’ve sown Masterpiece Green Longpod broad beans. As this is my first year in the new allotment, I’m not sure how broad bean and other legume seeds survive if direct sown. Back in Devon, direct sown might as well have been fed direct to mice.

 


I heart my allotment…

10 June 2013

2013 05 23_buckland_0009

From my allotment…

You can see the sea. Or, at least the Bristol Channel.

On a clear day, Exmoor is visible to the east. Pop your head over the hedge and there’s a view of Dartmoor.

It’s a peaceful place. Many days, I’m a lone allotmenteer. My accompaniment is singing blackbirds, swooping swallows, the odd pheasant and occasional high flying buzzard.

Sometimes, there is the interruption of tractors, motorcycles or cars. But, we’re without the constant drone of traffic.

More disruptive are strimmers and other lazy people’s tools.

Me? I’m hardcore. All done by hand. Digging, weeding and cutting: all back, shoulders and ibuprofen.

And, when I have company it’s great to down tools for ten minutes or so to discuss your uncooperative onions, composting tips or whatever’s going on in the village.

For a couple of months, frozen ground or Atlantic storms mean Sunday is spent on the sofa rather then hacking away at clay. Come spring, whenever Mother Nature decides that might be, my crooked wheelbarrow can be heard rumbling through the village up to my plot.

The fresh veg is nice. But, the time to think, the fresh air, the gossip. In equal measure these mean I heart my allotment.