Thursday, 31 July 2014


Excuse me while I whoop in delight that finally after losing so many cucamelon plants to the bliddy slugs and snails I have one healthy plant and a fruit forming. I'm beyond excited about'd need to be a gardener to understand that fact. To those non gardeners out there I'm just sad heehee

Thursday, 3 July 2014

9 Days - Won't Be Doing That Again

For various reasons I didn't go to the allotment for 9 whole days and goodness me did I know about it. 

Why can't fruit and veg grow at the rate weeds do? From absolutely nothing when we left it last Sunday to a couple of feet high yesterday. 9 days! 

Thistles galore but they are easily dealt with.  

Bindweed by the bucketful is a different ball game. I've stuck some canes in where that horrible evil stuff is growing for it to grow up and then I'm going to strike with a nasty potion once it is in a false sense of security that I am allowing it to grow. I've heard vinegar spray is good as a weed killer. There is one hell of a mother ship hiding under my plot. 

The Californian poppies are growing well. Hopefully they will self seed and I'll have them again. 

I'm not quite sure what this orange beauty is. I can't remember what I sowed but it is a lovely plant regardless

Growing well are the Echium Pink Fountain I grew from seed last autumn. I planted them out a couple of months ago and the foliage growth has been quite rapid. I'm looking forward to the flower spikes forming. 

I also harvested some onions. Chuffed to bits with these I planted in the autumn. We do have mice hiding on the plot and around a third of the sets survived their nibbling. Lesson learnt to net them this autumn and hopefully more will grow instead of being pinched. Used the red ones last night and they were lovely. 

Wednesday, 18 June 2014

When Is The Right Time To Dig?

I really don't know. I know it's not today and probably not tomorrow after trying this morning. The very top is dry but the underneath is too wet. As I put my foot down and felt the resistance the fork was giving I knew if I carried on the fork would  break. I pulled it out and the marks told me no don't do it. 

So when exactly is the right time? I'll be blowed if I know but I hope that time comes soon. If it doesn't then I'm back to covering the weeds on the undug areas. Sigh....and so the adventure continues. 

Sunday, 15 June 2014

It's War - Slug v Human - The Sheep Wool Episode

The little buggers have eaten just about everything I've planted. I've seriously got to the end of my tether. Next step is a pair of scissors. 

I've tried egg shells, sand, the evil blue pellets and whilst on holiday at Center Parcs I even spent a fiver on a reusable bag so I could carry a huge bag of used coffee grounds from Starbucks back to the lodge (carried bags just weren't strong enough). Said coffee grounds were liberally sprinkled after planting our young cucamelons, cucumbers and pumpkins and next morning most were gone. I've cloched the very small amount left and still they got in one or two. I'm keeping everything crossed for my one remaining cucamelon as it was the one and only thing I really really wanted to grow this year. In the meantime I've planted some more seeds at home and hopefully we haven't missed the boat with them. 

I scoured the shelves at Wilko last week in the hope of finding something, anything, I hadn't tried. Sheep wool pellets. £4.50 for a big bag. If it means I get to harvest something this year then it's £4.50 well spent. You make a barrier with them and then water which makes them expand. Apparently the idea is that they can't slime over them so go elsewhere. I may have gone overboard around my remaining cucamelon and given a very liberal application around my beans. Time will tell I guess. Next step scissors. 

With the sheep wool pellets in mind I realised I had a wool liner from inside the packing of a Hello Fresh ready to take to the allotment compost heap. It didn't get that far. I tore it up and made little mats for my strawberries. Worth a try. Plus they compost down eventually. 

Speaking of Hello Fresh. It's a food box that takes the thinking out of your cooking and no shopping to do. Everything is provided. If you fancy giving it a try and getting £20 off your first box then visit and quote reference THZR8A

Wednesday, 14 May 2014

Take That Weeds

Another two buckets of roots that will no longer turn into nasties in the allotment. Amongst them is feet upon feet of bindweed root which was very satisfying to dig out. 

Sunday, 11 May 2014

Mini Tour

We haven't had a gate on our plot all the time we've had it. I will be the first to admit that making one is beyond either of our DIY capabilities. eBay to the rescue. I won one ages ago for 99p which we collected. It has been leant against the house until last week when I had got a gate post and some postcrete and sufficiently nagged the husband enough to fit it. Easy peasy it turned out using the hinges that were already attached to the gate. Not really knowing how it would fit I didn't buy any catches/bolt thingies so we agreed to finish it the following day. 

Unfortunately the weather had other ideas and it has taken until today to get up there and get it sorted. 

While he was doing his bit with the drill and screwdriver I had some bare root rosa canina to fill in some gaps along the boundary. 10 for £2.50 from Wilko so worth a try. Got them on Thursday afternoon and they've been soaking in water. The intention was to plant them on Friday but again the weather intervened so today it was. 

As I was doing it I noticed just how bad the boundary is getting.  My snowberry bushes are growing madly which made me happy but the other side is wild as you can see by this picture. Definitely going to have to get a petrol strimmer to do the bit next to the fence. Our battery one only lasts a few minutes and we are struggling to make a dent in the plot nevermind the bit that isn't ours. 

Once I had planted the roses I had a wander round taking a few pictures. 

Chuffed to see nasturtiums from last year have seeded. I love them

and the sunflowers I planted have started to come up

Last year red amaranth made a spectacular display. It came from a pound shop box of scatter seed. Happily it looks like it has self seeded a lot. Little red seedlings keep popping up all over. I do like it but I don't need hundreds of them so have hoed some off and will move a half dozen or so to an area of our plot they can self seed away from the veg beds. 

Onions are growing well. This is part of one bed. I've got another bed aswell. Also shows how windy the plot is. 

This next photo has been both puzzling and concerning me. In a bid to try and kill off some of the grass I got some bike boxes and put them on top then got lots of multi purpose compost from Asda to put on top. I then sowed some annual flower seeds. My plan is to kill off the grass underneath, grow something on top so it isn't unsightly all summer and then dig it over in the autumn if the cardboard has decomposed enough. I did this last year over a weed patch and it worked so I had every faith. 

This is the bit where I'm both puzzled and concerned. Fungi has started growing instead of the flower seeds. I'm puzzled as to why - is it the compost or the conditions? If it's the compost then it's a bit naughty of Asda to be selling mushroom compost disguised multi purpose. My plot neighbour thinks that is the case. Personally I think it's probably the damp but humid conditions. I am concerned that it might spread to my veg beds. I'm not so bothered that it is growing in what is intended as flower beds but it's making my stomach lurch thinking of it growing near edible produce. Naive? Inexperienced? Neurotic? Or right to be concerned? I really don't know. 

Friday, 9 May 2014


Dig, dig and dig again and still they keep coming.  Weeds that is!

I've been digging like crazy and pulling roots out right left and centre.  I've filled bags and bags and buckets and buckets and just when I think there isn't another root in sight a dandelion or a blade of couch grass springs up overnight.  This week I've noticed bindweed waking up and sticking its head out of the ground. Boo I say to you mr bindweed. Stay dormant or better still shrivel up and bugger off.

The one which I hate more than the others (and believe me I hate the couch grass and bindweed with a passion)b is the hogweed.  I have quite a lot on the allotment in overgrown areas and around the boundary. Everything I've read suggests this stuff is pure evil.  If the sap gets on you it causes burns which react to sunlight for a very long time.  For this menace I bring out the weedkiller. Yes I know it isn't good and I can hear the gasps.  This is what it looks like as a youngster and it very quickly grows to massive proportions.