Yearly Archives: 2013

Allotment

Continued to dig over the first brassica patch; three quarters now done.

Finished weeding the rhubarb patch; ‘gross’ weeding of potatoes.

Strimmed around the new trees, and some of the paths.

Applied glyphosate to weeds by the shed, the bindweed around the compost heap, the ‘leek end’ of the brassica patch and a little under the oak tree too.

Peach tree continues to have no leaves, I’m convincing myself that the buds are still growing, though…

Weed Suppressing Fabric

Allotment 2013May7-0480

Pete faces a constant battle with grass over at the allotment. No sooner has he strimmed and weeded it all away so he can focus once again on the tasks of actually growing things for our own consumption than it has asserted itself once again. The petrol-powered strimmer he bought last year makes this immeasurably easier, though it still feels like a losing battle.

pf-Allotment 2013May7-0481 Allotment 2013May7-0483

So we’ve decided to give ourselves a small helping hand by covering those areas in which we neither want grass nor crops to grow (beneath the fruit trees and bushes) with heavy duty weed suppressing fabric.

This 50 metre roll cost about £50, so it wasn’t cheap, though it does feel far sturdier than thinner, cheaper weed suppressing sheets we’ve used in the past. The metal tent pegs Pete’s using to secure it to the ground are a bargain though – £1 for a pack of 10 from Poundland, and we’ve purchased several!

Slow Progress

But progress nonetheless!

I managed to get all the early potatoes in the ground before the end of April (just!), along with onions and beetroot.

In the greenhouse, the tomatoes are settling into their growbags and I’m rushing around trying to find enough containers to take all the chillies, peppers, aubergines and cucumbers that have all germinated with impressive success and are just waiting to escape their windowsill pots.

There’s blossom on most of our trees, the raspberries are waking up nicely and the currants and gooseberries are dripping with flowers too.

If I can just keep the weeds under some vague control, this year is shaping up to be a great one!

Is Spring Here Yet?

It’s been very quiet around here, both on the blog and outside. Winter was quite cold and spring has started fairly wet, so the amount of work I’ve managed to do has been limited. This is my feeble excuse for such a lack of posts!

That said, the allotment is looking better than ever before at this time of year; the grass is under control, the paths are trimmed and a growing area has been properly dug over. Even the fruit bushes are looking fairly tidy, although the trees have remained fairly unpruned as I seem to have misplaced my pruning saw.

In the garden, the greenhouse has been cleared out and filled with chitting potatoes and the beds, while not exactly weed-free, aren’t looking too bad at all.

The weather is still bitterly cold, which means very little actual planting can start yet. However, the things destined for the greenhouse are now cooking in the propagator – tomatoes, peppers (both sweet and hot), aubergines and cape gooseberries.

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The tomatoes are a mix of ones we’ve had success with before – Sungold and Tigerella – along with a couple that failed to grow last year – Black Krim and Black Russian.

I still had a few ageing Orange Bell sweet pepper seeds, and a couple of hot peppers too – Chocolate Habanero and some freebies from Wahaca.

The last two – Black Beauty aubergines and cape gooseberries – are seeds I’ve tried before and never really got to germinate and grow into functioning plants. Fingers crossed this year!