had a busy day on the community garden today, still got some jobs to get done as before long the growing season will be on us, a few folk on the site they have had loads of manure delivered to the site so they have been busy moving it on to their plots, i have sent off for some seeds but will be getting some more and will be looking for onion sets and shallots and tatties. the weather has been not to bad more frost and not so much snow this year so we have been very lucky, our plot has been covered so this should help with the weeds, this year we used some cardboard for covering and plastic as well the plastic can be used again the cardboard can just be dug in when we are doing the ground prep, we have one or two jobs to do on our plot before the season starts one of the jobs is the posts we use for the beans and peas have to be treated again this should not take long i have them in the polytunnel to keep them dry, other job is spread the last of the compost heap out.
its that time of the year again when we put the plot to sleep for the winter, and what a year it has been blight hit the allotment site very early this year, and i had far more text alerts warning me of blight than i had the year before, we did not spray our tatties but just cut back the tops, which did save our crop so we at least got tatties from the plot. the rest of the veg was a bit hit or miss i think this was down to the weather as a lot of folk have said the same thing will just have to see how we get on next year. we have been changing the layout of the plot for next year this is so i can get manure on to the plot more easier that the way we have done it in the past, i hope to get a load of manure right in too the plot so we do not have to carry it far, will try and get some seaweed on to the plot as well, i see some of the new plotholder have been doing the same thing and getting seaweed for their plots it is great stuff black gold i call it, i have got some seeds but have still some to get and as always will try some new ones, my sweet peas are now in the greenhouse and i am keeping an eye on them now that we have some frost on the go, still some jobs to be done on the plot one of these jobs is to paint the posts that i use to support the sweetpeas, the jobs are to get the last bits of the plot covered over for the winter i have been covering the ground with plastic and some parts with cardboard it does help to keep the ground free from weeds, and gives a good start when the growing year begins.
we have been busy over the last few weeks working out were are crops going this year on the plot, also what work we need too do to the soil for our veg to grow, which areas need to be manured and the parts that do not need it, yesterday we got onions and shallots planted my youngest daughter helped with this job the soil were they were going to be planted was given some lime we then covered it with black plastic and have planted into it, the plastic will help with the weeding plus keep in the moisture and attract the sunlight, we still have some parts of the plot too plant up and have plants ready in the greenhouse too go in. this year we will have even more plots at our sandown site, behind our plot we will have a new plotholder exciting times for them as they will be getting new ground too work on it was farmed but they will still have a bit too learn about it, as with our plot it will be easy too dig over just a case of getting the weeds out this all takes time but it is better too make a good job of it in the first place as the more you take out the less their is too spread, knowing how the weed grows and what it looks like is half the battle because then you can deal with it the right way, a very good ariticle on this in the garden news it tells you how too identify the most common weeds, it is well worth a look will save you a lot of time in the long run.
we have been talking about getting hens for some time now and at long last they will be here soon, we are going to keep them at the house as think this will be easier for us to keep an eye on them, we have got a hen house and a run but i will be making an other run to go over the hen house and run this is because we have a few cats going about. on the plot front we got down today and got a few jobs done one of these being the lifting of the cardboard that we had put down to keep the soil covered over winter the cardboard did the job it was meant to do and that was to keep the weeds down the cardboard has now gone on to our compost heap were it will break down, this should be good compost next year as i will cover it once i get all the cardboard on to it and if we get more horse manure i will be putting more of that on it as well. i have started seed sowing inside and have put sweet peas out to the greenhouse i did cover them for a few nights as we had frost i have not put heat on in the greenhouse trying to hold back on this as it can cost a lot to keep it going, other jobs i need to do are start to set the tatties up i use egg trays for this plus the blue trays you see with mushrooms in them val gets them from her work they are good for this as you can stack them up and this saves you room, i am still waiting for some of my tatties to come, still time for them yet. the weather so far this year has been up and down with a few days of frost and some snow even today as we went to the plot it was a bit windy and cold but dry then it looked like rain but we got snow instead.
we are now into a new growing year and i have been busy moving my drums that were outside into the polytunnel this now all done, other job i got started was to take more horse manure down to our compost heap and i need to box it in a bit more to keep it tidy and i will get this done over the next few weeks, weather has been not to bad for us today we had a hard frost but on the whole it has been fine not a lot of snow so far this year and i hope it stays like that, i have got two lots of seeds sown so far but still more to do will do them as and when they need to be done.
over the last few weeks i have been busy picking up cardboard boxes, from the local bike shop cutting them open with a hand saw and then its just a case of a dance up and down on the them to get them to fit in the car, these large boxes make a grand mulch for the plot i just spread them out over the ground that has been weeded, i then put some stones on top to hold them down, the rain can still go into the soil so it does know harm, we have one or two bits still to weed and should get them done soon before the weather turns on us at the moment its going up and down one small amount of snow which did not stay, and two mornings were we had frost on the whole we have been very lucky so far but that can all change so fast, i have now got most of my seeds for the 2012 season only things i have still to get are onion sets and shallots plus the rest of my tattie order, for 2012 i will be doing two rows of sweet peas as i only did one row this year and did not do bad with them i had some nice stems, i also did one row of gladioli and got a lot of saisfaction from them as well again i will grow two rows for 2012, the plot should have a good mix of veg and flower then, we do not do a lot of fruit this may change over the years, this is the time of year when we are busy making plans on what we are going to do for the coming year, perhaps change the way we grow some of our crops each year we learn something new.
well that is us coming to the end of other growing year and we are getting the plot ready for the winter as one bit of ground is weeded i have been putting down cardboard to help with the weeds it does work and also lets the water into the soil and does not harm the worms, we have still to lift the tatties and would hope to do this soon before the weather turns worse one flowershow left this coming weekend but not sure if we will do it yet will check and see what we have left for it i may be lucky and have some gladiolus left did not bad with them at the forres flower show so will see what i can do, this year the weather was up and down a lot which did not help with our growing we will just have to wait and see what next year brings us i have started sending for our seeds and making plans on what we are going to grow, some more sweet peas will be one thing this year i only did one row of them next year i am going to do two rows gives colour to the plot also i get them for the show, the gladiolus will be two rows next year as well just have to sort out my planting dates for both of these flowers just as well i made a note of the planting dates for this year and got a few tips off an old workmate on the growing of gladiolus i meet up with him at the forres flower show and we had a good old chat you can always learn from the older generation.
it is the start of the shows now the nairn show being our first we only put veg in the allotment section and i put sweet peas in the open section and very happy with the results, our next show will be the garden club show and we will have to see what we have got too put in to it as some of our veg are not ready and a lot of this is down to the weather as at some points it has been cold and then we get heat, last year we did not a have tomatoes until late on but today we had one ready and their is a few on the plants to come yet, the cabbage plants are very slow as well this year and it looks like they are going to be late we have lifted some tatties and they have been very good cauliflower have all come at the same time which always seems to happen plus they were not very big but we know the reason for that we have clubroot in the soil and this stops the plant from getting big i will have to put more lime on the soil next year and see if this will help, the peas have done well we only have one row of them perhaps next year we will put in two rows also thinking how we will be planting next year and were i think we will do more planting though black plastic this helps with the weeding and also holds the water in the soil on the weeding side of things their seems to be a lot of nettles this year for some reason we have been burning a lot of them but it may be an idea to go over the soil with the gas burner to see if this will help us for next year worth a try if it cuts down on these weeds it does show that the soil is very fertile so we have got something right, you are always learning on an allotment and its all part of the fun of growing your own ways to beat the bugs and slugs and other pests that come along to dine on your veg.
over the last few weeks we have been busy with the weeding as they grow so fast at this time of the year, and its a case of going around with the hoe even if you do not see any weeds, most of the veg is coming along ok apart from some the carrots that i did in the large drums and also some of the ones outside as well not sure why this was, most of the plot is planted up now and i will be putting in some more lettuce they are in the greenhouse at the moment and i have got one growbag with tomatoe plants in it they are small ones, the weather has been very mixed over the last few weeks and a good bit of rain has fallen which has made the tatties get too a good size, we are doing some tatties in polypots at the house and they seem too be doing well my grandson has done three in polypots as well so hope they do well for him perhaps he will get the growing bug its good for the young ones too learn how too grow their own, the millroad site is now up and running and is looking good all the plotholders have planted up and they will be looking forward too their harvest time.
well we have had a frost hit our tatties, i was down at the plot the other night and saw that a lot of the tatties had got a touch of frost, this will set them back a wee bit some of the other ones are not quite showing so they should be ok. now the weather has changed too rain which was overdue as the soil was very dry this should help with our crops outsid. over the last few weeks the plot has been filling up with the veg and i have still got lots of plants in the greenhouse the other night i spent some time in the greenhouse potting on plants and pricking out seedlings, some of the polytunnel has been planted out with onions and some leeks i am doing long carrots in the drums that i set up in the polytunnel i am not having much luck with them as only a few came though, most of my stump carrots are now showing but i had to redo some of them as well and quite a few of the other seeds that i have sown have got bad results will have too get back to the person i got them from for more, i have done some long carrots outside and stump root carrots as well so will see what happens with them.