Monday, April 28, 2008

Slug Slamming...

Ahh, another weekend trip at the lotty. This is such a regular thing now! We're very good this year!!
Beds have been raked over, tomatoes and courgettes are in the ground, potatoes are in and raised, bed prepared for leeks, my salad is popping up and mange tout has also sprouted in the greenhouse. Whoopie!!
Our slug traps are also doing VERY well! I must have tipped out about 50+ slugs per cider pot that Dave placed in our trenches. We are getting small ones too so it's obviously getting them young!
We have also tried picking them off a pallet on the grass too and we usually get at least 20 each time so we're doing well in keeping the population down. :D
I did pick off the slugs and slam them hard with some thick wood but they just exploded and I got slug guts over my front. Yuck! I'll use some sort of plastic barrier next time as it's a bit disgusting but very effective.
I know - it's revolting but the boys won't touch them without gloves or kill them.

Mange Tout? Carrots and Courgettes in here
Tomatoes under plastic
Rusty bin moved away from greenhouse door. Next stop - the skip!
Leek bed
Tomato cover
Small slugs that have drunk themselves to peril. Cider really works!!

Monday, April 21, 2008

Tidying up

We finally fixed the greenhouse with extra screws to be double sure it was secure and water tight. We were going to use a sealant but decided that the polycarbonate would be secure enough as they were a fairly tight fit. It looks very good now and we're rather proud. :)
Me and Dave managed to shift the awful metal and glass frames which have littered the plot for years to the bottom of the allotments for scrap metal. There's a lot of smashed glass around unfortunately but we'll clear that eventually. We also nicked some amazing bits of wood from a skip round the corner and bought some slug pellets and poles whilst the shop was still open.
Dave planted 30 potatoes and finished off the posts for his tomato frame.
I cleared the front patch by the greenhouse for carrots and my mange tout and we cleared even more mares tail by the first potato patch to get as many spuds in as possible. We're just sticking them in and praying that the mares tail is weakened enough so that they grow okay. Fingers crossed!
In the patch that Karl was digging - he accidentally hit a rather large egg! We do have some ducks, geese and swans nearby but we couldn't tell what type it was? It looked fairly large with a blue/green ish colour. We think a fox might have stolen it and buried it to eat later. Unless birds have started laying eggs under soil???! If you know - please post!!

We have a dry greenhouse again!! Yeay!
Dave putting in the final screw
The sun setting and reflecting inside the greenhouse.
Mystery, goose, swan, other?
The size of the egg compared to my feet. (I'm a size 3!)
Potato patch
New Potatoes in crate

Home Planting

I've got tomatoes, aubergines, leeks, mange tout, mixed salad, sweet peppers, sweetcorn and (as of this week) climbing french beans planted at the house until they are transported. They're all along my windowsill in neat little containers so that they are warm and sunny plus I have more in my mini-greenhouse. :)
Tomatoes are on their second set of leaves, leeks are about 2 inches tall, mange tout has germinated (I had to dig and have a look - naughty I know!). It's all coming along nicely and we should be able to start planting out soon.
Tomatoes (cherry)

Take-away salad boxes are great for heating up aubergines!
Newspaper pots - I find a paperclip or two helps to keep them secure until you plant out
Mini greenhouse
Must remember to sort out chives!!

Monday, April 14, 2008

le weekend!

We just about managed to get a couple of sunny afternoons in at the lottie with the odd splatter of rain and hail but it was generally, very nice. :)
Both Dave and Karl got very excited over a new saw. (They were cutting up everything!!) and Dave drank wine all afternoon. We all dug the back of the plot until it got very boring but we observed our land, talked about how much we loved to grow stuff and generally felt very productive.
Or in Dave's case, tiddly!

Dave drinking wine
Dave drinking wine amongst our fabulous boxed plantations!
Never-ending digging at the back of the plot. Buckets of mares tail to contend with!
Traditional 'blog' view
Foxes and cats have destroyed the asparagus....again!
Spiked wood will hopefully stop the buggers crapping and digging there.
Apple & Rhubarb crumble...Mmmmm!
It's like a scene out of Last of the Summer Wine!
My tripod for the group shot below! 2 wheelbarrows, 2 box lids and a plank!
Group shot. (Jeez I need a hair cut!!)

Dave drinks more wine...
Dave digging with wine!!

Newspaper Pots

I've been hunting for a decent newspaper pot tutorial for ages. Lots of them seem to use jars of varying sizes which to me just looks a bit fiddly. I also don't like the idea of 'crushing' the bases as this will probably make the pots a bit wonky when standing up.
I have found an excellent solution tho. I'm a bit of a fan of origami so this tutorial was just brilliant.
The tutorial is modified from a box-origami template so it's very well made and secure. (I've just made one tested out of A4 paper and it works well!) I think I'll be busy with old newspapers this evening!!

EDIT: (21st April 08): Have some paperclips handy to keep the flaps down on the sides until you plant out. Just a bit of extra strength on the sides!

Friday, April 04, 2008

Potato patch

Karl, Dave and me went up the plot last night as the day was probably the best we've had all year so far! Possibly temperatures close to the 20's and gorgeous sun all day. It was fabulous but we were all in work until the afternoon so we had a small amount of time to sort out the potato ground.
We dug part of the back of the plot and lifted up many perennial weeds which were lurking beneath. We decided not to attempt to remove all weeds but get the ground ready for potatoes which can cope with a bit of weed better than most plants. They compete quite well.
We discussed the greenhouse and we will fix it when we know we can get hold of some plastic. It may be a cost but the greenhouse is in a bit of a poor state at the moment. :(
Dave has managed to create walls around the beds with the pallets I left on the plot so slugs have a harder job getting to the beds. I've got more to take up today. :)
The plot is looking the best ever for this time of year and it's nice to have a selection of beds to plant in!
Let's just hope we have a successful harvest!

Dave examines his onions
Dave pointing...
The sorry state of the greenhouse with 3 panes smashed.
Perennial weed hunting

Not bad for an afternoon's work!
Karl and Dave caught red-handed slacking off and drinking. :D
"I love digging!"