Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

Penellype's Allotment

Collapse

X
 
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Originally posted by 1Bee View Post
    Also always very positive to be able to work out why we feel down about things. Valuable skill, that.

    You've achieved so much in such a short time! Re the snails/slugs - I take it the nematodes don't seem to be working? Would you consider using the ferrous sulphate type pellets?

    The horsetail is coming into its peak growing season, but then it really does seem to slow down and the occasional hoeing keeps it out of the way.

    Perhaps you could do less direct sowing and grow some things on in modules if you think slugs are getting all your seedlings?

    In any case, you've done so much in such a short time - it's astounding!
    Thanks 1Bee.

    The slug nematodes kill slugs that live in the soil, and I'm sure they are working as I have found several sick-looking slugs (half dried up and dopey) - this is what happens when I apply nematodes at home, and they do work, but they don't kill all the slugs, just like hedgehogs and toads don't eat them all. The nematodes do not work on snails. I'd really rather not use slug pellets of any description as I am concerned about poisoning other wildlife. I've found a toad on the plot and there are hedgehogs in the area (you occasionally see a flattened one on the road ). I'm trying to encourage them with a couple of wildlife corners, one near the compost and the other a wood pile near the shed. I don't mind picking snails off things and I think if I keep at it I will make a dent in the population. The rhubarb and some of the existing flower plants make ideal snail habitat.

    Good to hear that the horsetail does slow down - at the current rate there will be no room for anything else shortly!

    I think I was lulled into a false sense of security with direct sowing, which was very successful in the hotbed. There is quite a difference in composition between the hotbed (100% fresh horse manure + new compost) and the raised beds (which contain a mix of rotted manure that has been sitting in a field for a year, leaf mould that has been sitting in my Mum's garden for a year or more and used compost from my pots at home). With hindsight, I think it highly likely that I imported slug eggs with some of that, and it will certainly have provided a nice home for any slugs that were already at the plot. The wet spring will have made the problem worse.

    As is usually the case, I've been a bit pushed for space for modules, but I have sown some leeks in pots and all the peas, beans, courgettes and brassicas will be grown in pots until they are big enough to cope. The biggest problem is the carrots and parsnips, which don't want transplanting if at all possible. I could grow some parsnips in loo roll innards, but I may have to admit defeat with carrots and just grow them at home.
    Last edited by Penellype; 09-05-2018, 11:38 AM.
    A life is like a garden. Perfect moments can be had, but not preserved, except in memory. LLAP. - Leonard Nimoy

    Comment


    • Something a bit different today (in amongst the obligatory horsetail removal).

      When I first got the allotment one of the things I tackled fairly quickly was the hawthorn hedge at the road end, because it was overhanging the grass path and I hate being snagged by prickly branches. I decided that as soon as it started to grow I would trim it to keep it in check. Today I noticed that the hedge was growing fast with shoots 2-4 inches long in every direction. So I went along it with my secateurs, trimming it back to where it was before on the allotment side. The council will cut the road side and top later. The advantage of this (apart from keeping the path clear) is that unlike last time, the new growth was soft and not at all prickly, so it could go straight in the compost bin. No doubt I will have to do this again, possibly several times, but it made a welcome change from bending and digging.

      I took my camera down with me:

      Click image for larger version

Name:	001.jpg
Views:	2
Size:	144.9 KB
ID:	2378184

      This is the pea and bean frame I made yesterday. Its hard to see, but there is brown pea mesh between the 2 uprights. The jumble at the bottom is there to deter the cat. In the background the raspberries are coming into leaf and some are developing flower buds.

      Click image for larger version

Name:	002.jpg
Views:	1
Size:	148.0 KB
ID:	2378185

      The hotbed without its cover (lettuces, spinach and beetroot - there are a few carrots in there somewhere). Flowers on the strawberries and fruit developing on the blackcurrant (which will be moved into the tunnel soon). Loads of rhubarb and bluebells in flower along the hedge.

      Click image for larger version

Name:	2018-05-09_175559.jpg
Views:	1
Size:	215.2 KB
ID:	2378186

      Peas are just starting to flower. Meteor at the back, Douce Provence at the front. Another row of Douce Provence will be planted in front of this one (the plants are currently on the shelf in the tunnel. The other side of the netting is for Hurst Greenshaft, which are still at home hardening off.

      Click image for larger version

Name:	004.jpg
Views:	1
Size:	132.1 KB
ID:	2378187

      The road end of the tunnel, with early potatoes, the gooseberry bush and peas and cabbages on the shelves. Thee cabbages were planted out at the other end of the tunnel after this photo was taken.

      Click image for larger version

Name:	2018-05-09_175614.jpg
Views:	1
Size:	196.5 KB
ID:	2378188

      This is the corner of the tunnel that is still to dig, and it is hard going as there is bindweed in there as well as horsetail, so progress is very slow. The weed matting has made quite a bit of difference to the amount of top growth of horsetail, but it was starting to be lifted by the plants underneath. The columbine plant is pretty, but its in the wrong place and will have to go.
      A life is like a garden. Perfect moments can be had, but not preserved, except in memory. LLAP. - Leonard Nimoy

      Comment


      • Looking great.

        Comment


        • Fantastic Transformation Pen', 'youve a good look on there Lass.'' As they say in these parts lol.

          Great to see all your effort paying rewards.
          Gp.
          Never Let the BAD be the Enemy of the GOOD

          Conservation and Preservation for the Future Generation

          Comment


          • It's just phenomenal what you've achieved. And that spinach just blows me away!

            Comment


            • Originally posted by 1Bee View Post
              It's just phenomenal what you've achieved. And that spinach just blows me away!
              The spinach is awesome - I picked a leaf the other day that was nearly the size of a piece of A4 paper. The stems are just starting to lengthen a bit and the leaves are getting a little more stringy now, but I have never seen anything quite like it.
              A life is like a garden. Perfect moments can be had, but not preserved, except in memory. LLAP. - Leonard Nimoy

              Comment


              • Busy yesterday so not a lot of time. I went down first thing to collect up the rain water and harvest some lettuce and spinach from the hotbed. Managed to get back down in the evening to water and dug a little more horsetail out of the tunnel.

                Much more time today. I went down in the morning and dug a bit more horsetail, then re-dug the shed end half of the east side of the tunnel as a few horsetail shoots were showing there. Then I brought the car down and took 5 trugs of horsetail roots to the tip. I dropped off the trugs on the way home and picked up a lettuce for lunch.

                In the afternoon I went back and pulled the horsetail out of the leek, pea and bean beds. I then planted out the 2nd lot of Douce Provence peas in the pea bed and the Sugar Magnolia peas in the bean bed. Sugar Magnolia is supposed to grow very tall, so it goes with the beans in the bed nearest the road (north end). I took some more huge spinach leaves home for tea.

                The slugs have eaten all the carrot seedlings in the raised bed again. I was thinking about this and decided to try to make a mini raised bed in the tunnel on the bit I re-dug this morning, using the pieces of plastic with copper tape on, stuck together into a rectangle with greenhouse glass repair tape. I did this after I'd fed the horses and I'll sow some carrots in there tomorrow. If these get eaten by slugs I will have to give up with carrots in the ground.

                Finally I watered everything - the water levels are going down again but we might get some rain tonight.
                A life is like a garden. Perfect moments can be had, but not preserved, except in memory. LLAP. - Leonard Nimoy

                Comment


                • Another mostly horsetail day today. I spent about an hour re-digging half of the shed end of the tunnel to get rid of germinating weeds and remove any horsetail roots I could find. I also sowed some carrots (Flyaway) in the little bed I made yesterday. The parsnips I sowed with the first lot of carrots are finally germinating - it will be interesting to see if they fare better than the carrots did in the same bed.

                  Later I went back to water and pulled out all the horsetail I could find from the onion and cauliflower beds. I was going to cut the grass today, but after mucking out, doing my friend's garden and all that digging I simply hadn't the energy. I chopped up a bit of the pile of leylandii instead.

                  Took home another bag of spinach for tea.
                  Last edited by Penellype; 12-05-2018, 08:33 PM.
                  A life is like a garden. Perfect moments can be had, but not preserved, except in memory. LLAP. - Leonard Nimoy

                  Comment


                  • I'm running out of superlatives for the hotbed, so I'll just post a picture of what I've brought home for lunch

                    Click image for larger version

Name:	001.jpg
Views:	1
Size:	83.1 KB
ID:	2378239

                    Beetroot, variety Boldor.
                    A life is like a garden. Perfect moments can be had, but not preserved, except in memory. LLAP. - Leonard Nimoy

                    Comment


                    • Got plenty done today, starting with collecting the rain water (we had about 10mm over night) and 2 jars of slugs and snails for the chickens.

                      Finished off digging the shed end half of the tunnel, which should now have a good deal less horsetail in it (although I am bound to have missed some). Took home some lettuces for lunch as well as the beetroot.

                      Went back early in the afternoon and moved the blackcurrant bush into the tunnel to protect it from sawfly and later from birds. I then set about re-digging the bed next to the rhubarb as there were bits of horsetail popping up in various places. I did about half of this before I got too hot and tired, so I went home for a bit.

                      Did another session in the early evening, starting with cutting the grass (lost another 2 nuts off the lawnmower, despite tightening them as hard as I could). The grass is now full of horsetail, so I picked out as much as I could find before putting it in the compost bin. At least there shouldn't be any roots in there, but I'm not sure if it will regrow from the leaves.

                      I then tried to finish off the bed next to the rhubarb, but the low sun made it really hard to see the roots in amongst the soil and I decided to give up for the day. Took some rhubarb home for tea.
                      Last edited by Penellype; 13-05-2018, 06:43 PM.
                      A life is like a garden. Perfect moments can be had, but not preserved, except in memory. LLAP. - Leonard Nimoy

                      Comment


                      • Another mostly horsetail day today, although I did plant out the peas (Hurst Greenshaft this time). I now have 1 row of Meteor, 2 of Douce Provence, 1 of Hurst Greenshaft and 1 of Sugar Magnoila (that's 5m of peas!) plus another 3.5m at home (Meteor and Hurst Greenshaft). I like peas, so I still have Terrain and Geisha to sow - these are late varieties to follow on after the Meteor.

                        Otherwise, I pulled horsetail out of the pea, carrot and leek beds and some of it out of the hotbed (its hard to see in there under all the lettuce and spinach). I also went round and pulled it out of all the places where it was coming through the weed matting on the paths and as much as I could find in amongst the strawberries. No doubt it will be back by tomorrow.

                        There was a little coming up in the raspberry bed, but this was encroaching from the path at the tunnel side. I've been thinking that the next area to tackle is that path as it runs along next to where I have been digging inside the tunnel, so its a logical next step. I started at the raspberry end and managed to dig about 3ft of path in 2 sessions. This has been well trampled all winter and is hard work to dig. It is full of horsetail and also couch grass, and the roots have gone through the bottom of the tunnel netting where it has been buried, so it is a slow job. I was going to have a grass path here but I don't think this will work very well, and mowing next to the tunnel net (which is weighted down with bricks in places) is not easy, so I will probably eventually put weed matting down here. For now the priority is to get rid of the grass and horsetail as fast as is sensibly possible.
                        A life is like a garden. Perfect moments can be had, but not preserved, except in memory. LLAP. - Leonard Nimoy

                        Comment


                        • A bit more digging of horsetail today, but it was really a bit hot for much of that. Instead I went round the edges of the plot pulling out horsetail from under the leylandii hedge and cutting it down from the edge of the grass path along next door's plot as it was getting quite thick there. I raked up the clippings with the digging fork and put them in the trug to go to the tip.

                          Then I started on the hawthorn hedge and got about half way along it, pulling out horsetail and some bindweed that was starting to grow, and cutting off the long bits of grass from in amongst the bluebells. I also cut back some brambles and a patch of nettles, and pulled out horsetail from amongst the geraniums. Plenty more of this sort of thing to do.

                          The parsnips have germinated and so far have survived the slugs. Fingers crossed they will actually get a chance to grow as I am not growing any at home this year.

                          The spinach in the hotbed is starting to bolt quite quickly now. I brought more home for tea and the freezer, and I think tomorrow I will try to make some soup.

                          I also went to the shops and got a lawn rake as the grass by the leylandii hedge has quite a few woody leylandii clippings in it and they jam the mower, so it could do with a good rake. I also bought a groundsheet in anticipation of harvesting potatoes
                          Last edited by Penellype; 15-05-2018, 08:18 PM.
                          A life is like a garden. Perfect moments can be had, but not preserved, except in memory. LLAP. - Leonard Nimoy

                          Comment


                          • Somewhat chilly today but at least it meant I didn't get too hot digging. I made good progress with digging the path between the raised beds and the tunnel and I will soon need to go to the tip to empty my trugs again.

                            The other job that needs doing is weeding the strawberries. I pulled out the horsetail here yesterday and had a bit of a go at weeding them today, but it is hard going as there are loads of tiny weeds all round the strawberry plants:

                            Click image for larger version

Name:	001.jpg
Views:	1
Size:	163.0 KB
ID:	2378288

                            This is another of those jobs that never seems to stay done for more than 5 minutes. I'm debating trying to mulch the plants with something to keep the weeds down, although it won't stop the horsetail and I am worried about providing shelter for slugs.

                            Its easy to get frustrated when I weed the raised beds and then find more horsetail appears over night - the reason I put the raised beds and weed matting down was to prevent me from being overwhelmed by the weeds. The next door plot holder took a different route - he applied weedkiller to the half of his allotment nearest the leylandii hedge. The whole lot went brown, but a couple of months later, this is what it looks like:

                            Click image for larger version

Name:	2018-05-16_205444.jpg
Views:	1
Size:	210.0 KB
ID:	2378290

                            All of that green is horsetail. So when I get frustrated I look at that and tell myself that is what mine would look like if I hadn't covered most of it up. I would certainly feel very overwhelmed by a whole plot that looked like that!
                            A life is like a garden. Perfect moments can be had, but not preserved, except in memory. LLAP. - Leonard Nimoy

                            Comment


                            • gosh! can I borrow that photo for inspiration too?

                              it's awful stuff, but I can say that after three years, it's down to an annoyance.
                              (in the first year I sheeted over a big area with plastic. it blew off and I had a forest of yellow marestail. that was qyite dispiriting... but the same area is now fine)

                              Comment


                              • Originally posted by bikermike View Post
                                gosh! can I borrow that photo for inspiration too?

                                it's awful stuff, but I can say that after three years, it's down to an annoyance.
                                (in the first year I sheeted over a big area with plastic. it blew off and I had a forest of yellow marestail. that was qyite dispiriting... but the same area is now fine)
                                You are welcome to look at the photo whenever you like!
                                A life is like a garden. Perfect moments can be had, but not preserved, except in memory. LLAP. - Leonard Nimoy

                                Comment

                                Latest Topics

                                Collapse

                                Recent Blog Posts

                                Collapse
                                Working...
                                X