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Sunday, 27 September 2009

I've Made It!!

Finally I’ve made it to the allotment, yep I forwent my Sunday lay in and prepared a pack lunch for myself and kids and took myself off the plot. The kids were walked down later by their dad after they had their lie in and a relaxed brecky (lucky them).

On arriving I immediately got stuck and since the kids weren’t there I was able to get quite a lot done in a short space of time without any distractions whatsoever (except Oscar the lotty cat who wanted a rub down) .

So what did I get done; I started the week before last to clear the last 10ft or so of the back of my plot of the composting materials that was on it from the communal heap and I also started to cut back the nettle to a manageable level for digging out. As I was not able to get their last week the work I had done was undone by others not realising I had started clearing and they had add fresh composting material to an area I had already cleared but as it was fresh it was easy to move off again.

Today I cracked on and removed all the composting material off the plot, there was lots of useful stuff on my plot which I removed and neatly stacked on the communal section, such as bags of soot, ash, bark and leafmold, there was also large folded pieces of carpet, chicken wire and 4” thick logs approx 5ft in length. Any rubbish was left in a neat pile for discarding Wednesday when I would see the others as I didn’t know where or how the got their rubbish dumped.

In between all that I was constantly cutting down the nettle patches which weren’t a lot but tall. I disturbed many a frog and lots of snails, very little slugs were seen. All that is left to do is to cut down a small holly tree but I didn’t walk with a saw so that will be my Tuesday job and I also hope to start digging over that patch of ground to remove all the nettle roots and as much as I can get out of the bind weed roots I came across.

The kids did join me about a half an hour before lunch and we all had a nice picnic together. They also helped me to shell some past their best runner beans which was on my plot and which I noticed the others had been clearing and composting. And as you know I hate waste so the remaining plants I cleared for myself and de-podded the fresh full beans, which was made into a lovely stew for dinner today.

Here is a before and after of the area I cleared. The first photo was taken on the 11th when I started.
Now here is a quick update on what’s been harvested before the weekend:
Friday morning before the day ran away with me I harvested what needed to be harvested. The runner and French beans are doing so well this late in the season with their second flush of flowers saving me from cursing myself for my lack of discipline re successional sowings and watering of the current crops. The patty pans are still producing and I removed this damaged butternut to use now (this will let the plant concentrate on ripening the undamaged ones better), it will be lacking in sweetness but the flesh would be lovely and dense with a clean starchy flavour. The radishes (which I forgot about) and the carrots will be used over the weekend and the sweet corn was used Friday. The tomatoes are finally slowing down but there is still more than enough for our needs. The borlotti beans are starting to dry at a faster rate now and as you can see in the picture below the ones I picked earlier have stared to split and shed their seeds.
On Friday I also took pictures of these two pretty blooms;
Another new but tiny sunflower.
This emerging carnation/ dianthus which was bought in Morrisons a few weeks back, I really need to plant the poor thing out, maybe tomorrow.
Hope to do a little pottering in the garden tomorrow, such as; planting out some plants that are in pots, etc, but i'll fill you all in when those jobs are done.


  1. looks like you are really getting on well with your plot...This is the hardest but sometimes the most satisfying of jobs as you can really see a difference....have you made any plans for what you are putting where yet??? are you putting any winter crops in or just turning over for the winter??

  2. Good on you - it looks like a lot of work to do, but the perfect time of year to take it on. I am really trying to draw some inspiration from your efforts, to motivate all the work that needs doing!

    Picnics with the kids while on the allotment are one of my favourite things. Lovely slow days and bits of effort mixed with lots of fun.

  3. That was a lot of work especially having to clear the same spot twice. I hope you let the others know not to dump their composting materials there anymore, I don't suppose they realised that you have taken on that plot.
    We got up to our plot today and dug and tided up the brussel sprout bed, and cleared away things in general.

  4. Tanya, yes I have to agree that though the clearing and foundation preperation is the hardest part it is as you said the most rewarding, I keep looking at the before and afer shot and feel well proud of myself.

    I have made tentative plans on what I'll grow where (mostly for nex year) but the only winter crop I plan to put in this year would be garlic.

    ReapWhatYouGrow, one of the most benificial things about the blogging community each of us actively follow/ join, is the inspiration and encouragement we get from other like minded people when we so desperately need it, its just a shame its all anonymous , I think we would all make a smashing gardening club group :)

    Maureen, I sort of figured I would have to clear the spot twice as they (as a collective) don't yet seem to have taken onboard that there are now individual plots per-se.

    I'll be going down there again today to remove that holly tree and to start if I have time to dig out the nettle roots.

    I'll also be joining the group tomorrow if all runs to plan, so I'll be able to show them all the work I have done.

  5. What garlic do you have??? I love garlic but mine has never grown...maybe I should try a winter variety....when does it need to be planted???

  6. Tanya I haven't bought my garlic to plant out yet, plan to probably pick up from Wilkos or one of DIY stores when I pop into town next month.

    I'll be looking for soft neck varieties which are suppose to be better for storing.

    I hope to get them into the ground by the end of October.

  7. Looks like your getting stuck in girl, and a bit of a bonus with the harvesting , keep up the good work Corny.

  8. Thanks for popping in Cornykev and for your words of encouragement.



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