Sunday, 8 February 2015

The last week

A whole week off work!! It has gone rather fast, and has been rather busy, consisting of the gym, the plot, the car in the garage and school family bingo (two hours of my life I'm never going to get back!)

I went to the plot on Tuesday even with the sun out and it being 9:30 in the morning the car temperature said it was -2 (I'm not sure how much I believe that car temperature gauge),  I had to put the car in the garage so I walked to the plot from there, it's only about a mile.  I walked through the lodge local to there, even though it was cold, it was beautiful.

                                                      Tiny little waterfalls on the brook.

This old house (Arrowsmith House) is at one of the entrances to the lodge 

Blue frosty skies

Once I got to the plot after letting the hens out and putting the kettle on, the realisation set in, that actually there was not much I can do (other than take selfies with Martha Hen).

The ground was rock hard with the frost, great for walking on in trainers, but not for anything else!  I couldn't even do any weeding, but the girls had a good couple of hours out and I tided the shed a little bit.

Yesterday (Saturday) it was chilly but quite warm (if that makes sense?), the sun was shining and due to the plot being south facing it warmed up quite quickly, and the ground was cold but easier to work with.

I've planted some peas (variety: misty), they grow to a height of about 24" and I've planted them in the box that the carrots have been in the last couple of years.

I've planted 10 of this variety.  Allotment Nigel was on his plot too, and turned up with a plastic bag for me to cover my peas.  I'm sure he watches from afar wondering 'what is she doing now?' and then comes over with various bits of advice, he's great and really helpful, I've learnt a fair bit from him (and he's also given me lots of polythene for my greenhouse project).

Once the peas get going I'll make a frame for them.  I might also plant another variety of peas maybe one that grows higher, I'm not sure yet.....

I also did some work on one of the beds.  The beds have weed membrane on the bottom and have had for the last two years, it's been great to stop any weeds coming through but because the beds are only 6 inches high there's not much room for root growth.  So yesterday I started on the mammoth task of getting the weed membrane out from underneath the soil.  It was hard work! Shifting bits of soil each time and then dragging out the membrane.  I eventually did it and put it on top of the soil to warm it up a bit ready for planting.

The soil underneath is in really good condition and what with that and mixing in the surplus soil from the chicken coop (from a couple of weeks ago) I should get a good crop off this bed this year.

The ladies enjoyed a good dustbath in one of the empty beds.

I also noticed yesterday, the rhubarb is starting to make an appearance as well.

Today (Sunday) I've spent a couple of hours on the plot in the cold.  It was really foggy and nippy, to the point where I've been home for a couple of hours (at time of writing) and my hands are still freezing, and my fingers are hitting the wrong keys on the keyboard!  Even the hens weren't for staying out opting for being in the coop most of my couple hours there.

The unruly gooseberry bush has been tied back to the fence allowing better access down the path (up until now, it's been happily trying to tear the skin off your leg when you walk by)  it really does need pruning...

Now, last night about 1 o'clock in the morning I remembered, last year when I was moving things around on the plot I needed to move a compost bin and its contents.  I had nowhere to put said contents so I just shoved it into a bed threw lots of stuff on the top to make sure the wind couldn't blow off the sheeting and left it - and forgot about it, until last night.

TA-DA!!! Lovely jubbly compost!! I'm going to take half of (possibly even two thirds) this out put it into another bed and replace it with just top soil, I don't want the soil to be to rich.  But for now, I've just recovered it, again to keep it warm.

I've weeded and covered a second small bed too 

All these smaller beds are down the right hand side of the plot as you look at it. There are about 5 in total down the side and they're a great use of the space down the side.  I'm hoping to get all of these side beds up and running this year.


There's Papa O on the plot frankly driving me mad with his new found growing knowledge thanks to the Grow your Own Magazine subscription I got him for Christmas!  
It's like spending an hour with an amateur Monty Don!

I've set one bed aside and put it in the middle of the plot just to trial it being there, ideally  I want to make a small arch over it and try and vertically grow squash this year in this little bed.  (Papa O/Monty Don is not impressed by this idea, there is no mention of it in GYO so it can't be done!)

I've also started on chicken proofing the beds.  I found some wire on the plot that I'd taken down there a couple of weeks ago, and to be honest I think this works a treat, good old garden canes and chicken wire around the beds will keep the hens out and is low enough for me to step in.  I have more wire at home on the rabbit run that will be the greenhouse so I'll be tearing it all down and bringing it to the plot.

Finally,  I've brought all the panels from the old greenhouse home to make a start on the 'new' greenhouse!

A busy weekend all in all!!

This weeks plans;

  • Start new job 
  • Make a start on the greenhouse
  • Plant up some seeds in the propagators
  • Buy some bloomin potatoes to chit!!! 
  • More training for The Great Manchester Run in May!
      (You can read all about that here: )

Bye for now & Happy Planting!! 



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