Welcome to our plot!

I'm Hazel, and in Nov 2006 my friend Jane and I took on a half plot at Hill Allotments, Sutton Coldfield - we want the satisfaction of growing and eating our own fruit and veg, and to improve our diet (and fitness!).

This is the story of what happened next...........

Saturday, March 18, 2017

Sowing!

Had a morning out having a look round the 'posh' garden centre with mum and was treated to coffee and cake - hurrah! - then we buzzed off the the garden centre which actually has plants, and I bought my seed potatoes.

This evening, I've done my first sowing session. Every year I say I'll sow successionally, but never do - so it's this one, and the bean/pea/tender crops in about a month and that's it.

I now have pots of brassicas (cauli, cabbage, kale, broccoli) and tomatoes and peppers, and lettuce.

 I'm rather surprised that my little helpers didn't join in - they must be slipping, an 'interesting thing' generally brings them from rooms, if not floors away; even if the 'interesting thing' is being done silently or when they are flat-out asleep.

Friday, March 17, 2017

With Apologies to Tennyson.....

.....'In the Spring a gardener's fancy lightly turns to thoughts of seed sowing' - or somesuch.

So tomorrow I'm going to the garden centre for seed potatoes and compost; and this evening I have had a sort of the seed box.

It all was going very well until help arrived.

If things turn out anything like the jigsaw I have just completed which has seven pieces missing (presumed hidden under the fridge, in my handbag, down the settee, behind the stationery cabinet in the office etc etc), I will be finding seed tapes in odd places for some while yet.

Probably just as well that I haven't got the pea and bean stocks out just yet - such fun.

Saturday, March 11, 2017

Tidying up

It's been a very Spring-like day today, so it was a pleasure to be at the Hill this afternoon.

I did quite a bit of 'housekeeping' - I gathered lots of stray bits of 'I'm sure this will come in useful' wood which have now gone rotten and put them in the car ready for the tip.

Then I had a bout of sumo with one of the dalek composters.  I wrestled it to the ground and emptied it, and re-sited it.  I forked quite a bit of uncomposted stuff back in, then recommenced battle with the bramble intent on World Domination.

I spent half an hour or so adding pulled up dead grass, over-zealous comfrey and snipped up bits of bramble into the dalek, and added a couple of bags of horse muck too. This 'wildlife area' probably need another session of clearing before I can tackle it with a fork - and I need to decide what to do with this area.

Chris from down the bottom came by - I haven't seen her for ages, so we sat on the new bench and chatted for a while.  I note that the view is spoiled somewhat by the pallet (left over from forming a pallet compost bin) - it'll have to go.

She went off to her plot, and I dug the last of the Carolus potatoes.  It was time to go home - though still plenty light enough at 5.45pm - so I lifted about half of the leeks too (freeing the end of the bed ready for the next dalek re-location) and headed off

.

Sunday, March 05, 2017

Changing Storage mk II

Started off in the drizzle this afternoon at the Hill which didn't bother me - I have a hat, and those with a hat laugh in the face of rain.

Today's job was to dismantle the shed and transport it to the tip.  Full marks for the first job, but a fail on the second as the tip closed before I got there.

I gave the slabs a brush (more of a rinse down as the rain had become rather more substantial by this time), then moved the storage bench to it's new spot, which boasts a lovely view down the site and across the field.

I spent a determined half hour doing battle with the bramble which aspires to world domination and made some headway clearing the space euphemistically know as the 'wildlife area'.  I dug some more potatoes (which I now note are completely rubbish as boilers), and a couple of leeks.

By this time, despite my hat laughing at the rain, my coat and feet were soaked through, so I took my car full of rotten wood home, and hope that no permanent harm will come to the interior before I get to the tip in the morning.

Sunday, February 26, 2017

Changing Storage

Today was a day to rearrange furniture.  The garden storage bench which I was kindly given in the Autumn has been assembled and been in the kitchen for the past couple of months or so where it has been a surprisingly useful addition - if a bit odd looking in the setting.

So I ordered a proper kitchen dining bench yesterday; and today I took the garden storage bench to the Hill.  The idea is that the few things that have been kept in the shed (rather on its last legs)....

.....will now be kept in the bench, which will have the added advantage of providing a handy place to sit.  Turned to be a bit of a fail on the first point, as both of my hoes are too long to fit in *sigh

No matter, the overall plan is a good one - and the shed will take it's final journey to the tip next weekend now that I have emptied it and evicted all the spiders, snails, woodlice, a few worms, and a sleepy wasp.  At least dismantling is unlikely to cause any great difficulties.

I dug some potatoes to take home -  they are magnificently preserved, and have none of the slug damage that the first and second earlies had last year. Hurrah!  The variety is Carolous, and although waxy, so didn't make the best roasties this evening, are certainly worth growing again.

Sunday, February 05, 2017

Making a Start

It's been a reasonable Winter so far - some frosty nights, and chilly days, but nothing to moan about.  In fact if I can brave this January's weather in shorts and tee to go running, then there are really no excuses not to have been doing some 'Winter work' at the Hill.   Even so, today has been my first visit to the Hill since before Christmas.

I spent a couple of hours cutting down the raspberry canes; upending, moving and refilling one of the dalek composters (one down, three to go); and rough forking the front two beds.

An unexpected plus were a few of last year's potatoes which are still in the ground - I dug a few and found them surprisingly un-slugged (variety Carolus).

Less impressive were the leeks - small, and leek moth damaged - but I still managed to get enough good bits of leek for tea with the potatoes.

I think that counts as a win.

What goes round, and round again. And again.

So the problem with a gardening blog that goes on for some years is that you get a sense of deja vu after a while; and I feel that I am typing the same old, same old - boring to write, boring to read.

Except that perhaps that doesn't matter, and perhaps there is a comfort of familiarity of the seasons turning and the actions that accompany them.

Or perhaps that is a heap of pretentious nonsense, and I should just knuckle down and make a point of using the blog as intended - to make a note of doing what, when.

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