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...........

Sunday, February 04, 2007

Construction and Cover-ups!

DIY not being my greatest forte, I do feel very proud of a COLD FRAME that I have made with my very own hands. It comprises wide sturdy planks (liberated from the tip last week) screwed together with brackets & braced with a length of wood (found in the garage), & covered with the polythene backed bubble wrap (that the polycarb came in) secured with duck tape.

It should really be angled so that rain runs off, but I haven’t thought of a solution for that, unless I prop it up on a brick at one end.

I also should have thought a bit more about the overall dimensions of the finished article (i.e. 1m x 1.5m x 100mm) compared to the available space in the back of my car. It sent me utterly bananas trying to wrestle the one into the other, but I eventually succeeded – although getting it out again at the Hill also required some ingenuity.

There have been one or two frosts this week, with bright quite warm days, so I had high expectations for my seeds – especially as they have been cuddled up under cover. Apparently January has been the warmest since 1916, & the weather does seem to have fooled some plants into early action, although – regrettably – it turns out that this does not include ANY of my sowings from the last couple of weeks.

The garlic is looking good, though – it seems to have survived the transplanting and all the little plants look quite chipper.

Not put off, I sowed some more seeds including a row of RADISHES (marabelle) in the seed bed, PEAS (early onwards) next to the broad beans (covered by the new cold frame) and BEETROOT (woden F1) next to the carrots under fleece.

It’s probably loads too early still for sowing, but with all the preparation done, it’s very tempting as it is so easy – especially as I have discovered a really good way of making drills for the seeds to go into. By using the edge of a plank of wood shoved gently into prepared soil you get a ‘v’ shape as deep as you want, and (obviously) in a straight line.

The trick is to line the next one up so that you don’t get zigzags along the plot, but it’s easier than doing the whole drill by eye.

That done, I forked over plot B (the chickweed thinks it’s spring), checked that the polycarb, cold frame and fleece was all secure before paying my subs at the social club (had an impressively tasty half of Banks’s Original whilst I was there) and home.

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