Monday, 18 May 2009

Spring cleaning

Went down to the allotment today, knowing it would be too wet to do any digging, but I just wanted to see how things were going.

All the weeds that were sprayed a couple of weeks ago are dying off, so it should be a lot easier for me to clear those parts of the plot.  The ground that I've dug already still looks quite weed-free, despite the constant rain we've been having.

While I was there, I decided to clean out the shed I inherited from the previous plotholder.  I found containers of chemicals made by ICI and a Cadbury's Marvel tin (don't know what that contained - can't have been Marvel after all this time!!!)  Talk about a blast from the past.  

I swept away some massive cobwebs and an unbelievable pile of I don't even know what from underneath a 1960's cupboard unit (which I'm keeping).  And who remembers those paraffin heaters?  Well, there was one of those in my shed too.  I'll have to find a scrapman to take that away!  Old wellies, a kettle, a saucepan (what did he do with them?), a couple of 13 amp fuses, a big battery (to fit those square torches) but no torches, old trainers.  It took me about 3 hours to empty, clean, and straighten up. 

So after a bit of TLC, now I feel like it's 'my shed' and 'my plot', not an abandoned shed on a neglected plot.   It's still been a worthwhile day, so I'm glad I went up after all - despite the fact that it was raining quite heavily this morning.

Anyway, I'm at work tomorrow so I'll have to go back up on Wednesday to get rid of the rubbish!!

Friday, 15 May 2009

Birmingham weather

Here is a log of the weather recently in Birmingham: 

any day I'm at work - perfect gardening weather;
any day I'm not at work - rain, rain, rain.

And my Gardening Hero (Ralph) in Lincolnshire hasn't had rain for weeks.


Monday, 4 May 2009

First plants in

Well my hero Ralph came and saved the day. We planted onions, lettuce, broccoli, beans, potatoes and cabbage. 
He thinks the next time I go up there I might walk past my plot because I won't recognise it. Very funny Ralph.  He says in a few years I might be able to dig and keep the soil level at the same time.  Guess I need to keep practising my digging technique.

Most of the centre of the plot has been planted, but I've still got room for carrots, peas and sweetcorn.

I can't plant them on Monday because my back and legs are killing me.  I don't think I can make it upstairs to bed.  Oh well, I chose to become a gardener, so I guess it's no pain, no gain. Tuesday I'll be at work, so I plan to go back down on Wednesday.

I think I'll put the sweetcorn in the empty patch to the right of the picture.

And now I'm off to bed.  Gardening's hard work.

Monday, 27 April 2009


Failing no 1

OK,  April's nearly over and I still haven't got the potatoes OR onions planted.

I'd made up my mind to go straight to the allotment after I'd taken the kids to school this morning, and guess what, it was pouring with rain.  In fact it's rained nearly all day. Tomorrow I'm at work, so nothing doing until Wednesday. 

Failing no 2

This is good news for me, but it is a bit of a cheat, so I'll class this as a confession too.  My mum's husband (the real gardener in the family) has sown some seeds for me, and they're going to bring the seedlings over in a few weeks.

End of admissions of my gardening failings for today.

On a more positive note, I've finally decided on a planting plan for this year; I'm now trying to add it to the blog.  Success!!   Click here to view my plan.

Tuesday, 7 April 2009

Seed potatoes have arrived

9.10am and there's a ring at the door - it's the parcel delivery man with a package from JBA Seed Potatoes. Now I've got something I can actually plant in the ground I've cleared already; some King Edwards, Caras and Pentland Dells, as well as 3 potato sacks (got to be ready for the harvest). I think the spare room will now be known as the chitting room. For a while anyway.