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  • Another extremely busy day yesterday, meaning that there was little time for gardening. I did managed to "steal" about 1/2 an hour for digging horsetail out from near the rhubarb but that was about it. I would have done more, but when I lifted the tarpaulin to dig there was an ants nest under it. I hate ants and have to be feeling brave to tackle something like that. This week has been far too stressful and busy, so I just covered it up again to tackle later. I grabbed some spinach for tea and went home.

    No time for any gardening today.
    A life is like a garden. Perfect moments can be had, but not preserved, except in memory. LLAP. - Leonard Nimoy

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    • No time at the plot today apart from opening and closing the covers.

      Here are some photos I took yesterday but didn't have time to post:

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

      Comment


      • More photos:

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

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        • Yesterday was supposed to be the day I caught up with everything after a pretty hectic and fairly stressful week. I was expecting it to be cold, but it was also wet - the sort of drizzly stuff that manages to soak you without actually doing any good. I don't normally consider myself a wimp, but I couldn't face going to the plot in 5 degrees and drizzle, so I waited for a drier slot around lunchtime.

          The sun was threatening to come out by 11.30 (in fact it never really made it) so I had to go and open the potato cover and the growhouse to stop things from getting too hot. I collected up the water from the bin lids etc and found a few slugs and snails, by which time I was cold and went straight home.

          More rain arrived in the afternoon and the only other jobs I got done were collect a little more water, cover the strawberries with bubble wrap and close all the covers. I had to do this at home too.
          A life is like a garden. Perfect moments can be had, but not preserved, except in memory. LLAP. - Leonard Nimoy

          Comment


          • Busy weekend as usual, and not helped by Saturday being damp, windy and very cold - all that got done was opening and shutting the covers.

            Sunday was better, although nowhere near as sunny as promised by the forecast. I managed a good couple of hours at the plot, during which time I cut the grass where I could (leaving long bits where the bulb foliage is and where there is obvious horsetail). I then removed the 2 PSB plants from the tunnel (bolted) and dug over the area where they had been to remove horsetail.

            The white beetroot were also starting to bolt and there was a lot of slug damage which was inhabited by woodlice. I pulled the lot out and selected the best 3 to bring home and try to eat. I dug that bit of the tunnel over as well, so that there is only the area near the door which covers the shelves, cherry tree and the few remaining leeks which has not been recently dug.

            I'd had enough by the time I'd done this, so although I'd wanted to weed the raised beds as well, I decided to water everything in pots, pick some spinach and go home.

            I tired eating one of the beetroot, but it was fairly tasteless - it didn't even smell like beetroot when I cooked it, so I threw the rest away. I think I will stick to red and my favourite yellow Boldor this year.
            A life is like a garden. Perfect moments can be had, but not preserved, except in memory. LLAP. - Leonard Nimoy

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            • The intention today was to go round the whole plot and weed and pull horsetail, and trim the long bits of grass that the mower didn't reach yesterday. I expected to have most of the day to do this as the forecast last night was for a dry day. This morning's radar picture told a completely different story, with a band of rain just to the north of York, apparently heading my way. I got on and got out there as fast as I could.

              To my surprise it didn't start raining, and I managed to trim some of the long edges (I kept having to stop to pull out horsetail) and weed all of the raised beds. I took a lettuce home then went straight back after lunch and carried on with the edges, getting quite a bit more done before it started to rain at about 2pm. I picked some spinach and went home.

              It got wetter and wetter through the afternoon and there was no chance of getting anything more done at the plot. I stopped on the way back from the stables and collected about a bucket full of water from the bin lids and trays and put the covers back on the potatoes.

              Not sure how much more will get done this week as the forecast looks increasingly wet.
              A life is like a garden. Perfect moments can be had, but not preserved, except in memory. LLAP. - Leonard Nimoy

              Comment


              • Today started rather wet. I chose a slightly drier slot to go and open the covers and collect the water from the overnight rain. The radar showed plenty of showers around and I decided it was best to leave the allotment alone and concentrate on things I can do at home. There were plenty of those, including sowing peas and replacement courgettes, melons and kohlrabi which haven't germinated. I also had lettuces, tomatoes and courgettes to pot up and peas to plant out and all of this meant a massive rearrangement of plants including taking some peas and tomatoes to my friend's greenhouse. The job took me almost the whole day, dodging the showers.

                There was some quite heavy rain later on so by the time I went to put the covers back on there was more water to collect. I bucketed some out of the water butt into one of the dustbins to allow plenty of room for tomorrow's rain - we are forecast 15-20mm and it is set to rain all day. I very much doubt I will be gardening tomorrow, and as it won't be sunny I will probably leave the covers closed, although I may well nip down to collect the water if there is a drier slot.
                A life is like a garden. Perfect moments can be had, but not preserved, except in memory. LLAP. - Leonard Nimoy

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                • As anticipated, yesterday was a complete write-off. I managed to get down there morning, lunchtime and evening, getting rather wet each time, but collecting over a dustbin full of water. There should be more this morning from overnight rain.

                  Other than that I won't have any time for gardening today.
                  A life is like a garden. Perfect moments can be had, but not preserved, except in memory. LLAP. - Leonard Nimoy

                  Comment


                  • A couple of busy days with little time to garden and unhelpful weather. Most of the gardening time has been spent covering and uncovering strawberries and potatoes. Even so, the Nicola potatoes at the allotment have black patches on the leaves where they have been touching the plastic cover (the same thing happened with this variety last year) - this appeared yesterday after the local weather station reported an overnight minimum of -2. I really need to get the covers off the potatoes now, but that will depend on the forecast.
                    A life is like a garden. Perfect moments can be had, but not preserved, except in memory. LLAP. - Leonard Nimoy

                    Comment


                    • Managed a couple of sessions at the plot yesterday.

                      Having already spent about an hour weeding at my friend's I wanted a job that I could do standing up, so I went round and trimmed the new growth back on the hedges. As I was using secateurs this took me quite a while, and by the time I had finished I could see shower clouds bubbling up and looking quite black in places. Time to go home.

                      There were a couple of sharp showers with a few rumbles of thunder, which kept me indoors for much of the afternoon. When they had cleared away I went down and collected the water from the bin lids and dug a little horsetail out of part of the path between the raised beds and the tunnel. Plenty more of this to do, as always.
                      A life is like a garden. Perfect moments can be had, but not preserved, except in memory. LLAP. - Leonard Nimoy

                      Comment


                      • Although I spent a large amount of time gardening yesterday, not all that much of it was at the allotment. As usual at a weekend I spent the morning at my friend's, mucking out the horses and seeing to her veg garden. I also spent quite a while in my own garden, weeding paths and generally tidying up.

                        In between I spent about an hour at the plot. I took down some pea seedlings and put them in the growhouse, making room for more plants at home. I then dug some more horsetail out of the path alongside the tunnel. It doesn't sound much, but as the soil is compacted from being walked on and the horsetail is thin, spindly shoots it took me quite a while to dig about 5ft of path. More of the same still to do. To give my back a bit of a rest I also started on the path between the growhouse hotbed and the rhubarb - that was a bit softer as it has been more recently dug.

                        After an hour or so I had had enough and harvested some spinach for tea.
                        Last edited by Penellype; 13-05-2019, 07:58 AM.
                        A life is like a garden. Perfect moments can be had, but not preserved, except in memory. LLAP. - Leonard Nimoy

                        Comment


                        • A gorgeous sunny day yesterday and I made the most of it at the plot and in the garden.

                          The forecasts have now removed the frost risk from this area so I decided it was time to clear out the grow light garden to make room for more seedlings that need potting on. I took 2 rapidly growing courgette plants and 5 lettuces to put in the growhouse on the hotbed. The shelves are now just about full of trays of lettuces, peas, leeks, courgettes and beetroot. I've taken the larger lettuces and the strawberries out of there to make space.

                          I'd decided also to remove the plastic covers from the potatoes as the foliage was pressing against the plastic, which was starting to do more harm than good. I hung these to dry on the compost bins, and they were soon dry in the warm sunshine.

                          As usual the main job was to tackle the horsetail and I decided to start with the road end outside the tunnel, where the blueberry bushes are, as there were some quite big pieces here. There were also some remnants of the perennial flowers that were there last year which were starting to grow. I dug these out and put the blueberry bushes back. I then had a look round the tunnel and removed a few pieces of horsetail that were poking up through the soil. There is still the area where the shelves are to dig - I need to eat the leeks and find a better home for the cherry tree before I can fully clear that end.

                          By the time I'd done that it was lunchtime so I harvested a lettuce, some rhubarb and the first beetroot from the hotbed:

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                          This was so much nicer than the overwintered beetroot I was eating earlier in the spring - like a completely different vegetable.

                          After lunch I went back and for a change cut back the nettles in the roadside hedge and pulled out the horsetail that was growing among them. Then I worked my way along the edge of the grass path between my plot and the next one, which is absolutely infested with horsetail. I managed about a 3ft section before my back had had enough of bending down, then I trimmed the long grass where I'd removed the horsetail, picked some spinach for tea and went home.
                          A life is like a garden. Perfect moments can be had, but not preserved, except in memory. LLAP. - Leonard Nimoy

                          Comment


                          • Another glorious sunny day yesterday. I went down early to open the growhouse, which I'd shut the previous night because of the courgettes. Although this was intended to be just a quick visit, I ended up staying for nearly an hour, pulling horsetail out of the grass path. I also pulled a load of rhubarb that was overhanging the grass to cook for the freezer.

                            I was back later in the morning and finished the path, then mowed all the grass and trimmed the long edges. I picked a lettuce and another beetroot (yellow this time) for lunch.

                            By the afternoon it was getting quite hot and I decided that the growhouse needed a little shading as the courgettes were starting to wilt. I'd already removed the lettuce seedlings to the tunnel as it was clearly too hot for them in there. I covered the growhouse with a piece of white insect mesh - I may need to change this to green if it is still getting too hot.

                            I walked round pulling horsetail from in amongst the rhubarb and under the hedge, and planted the summer leeks in their raised bed. This bed "should" now be full - it contains leeks, beetroot, turnips and parsnips, but the parsnips haven't germinated yet. This was a new packet of seed but they have been in the soil over a month, so I put some seeds to chit on damp kitchen paper the other day to test them. I can guarantee that if I re-sow them the original lot will germinate within days!
                            A life is like a garden. Perfect moments can be had, but not preserved, except in memory. LLAP. - Leonard Nimoy

                            Comment


                            • Originally posted by Penellype View Post
                              Another glorious sunny day yesterday. I went down early to open the growhouse, which I'd shut the previous night because of the courgettes. Although this was intended to be just a quick visit, I ended up staying for nearly an hour, pulling horsetail out of the grass path. I also pulled a load of rhubarb that was overhanging the grass to cook for the freezer.

                              I was back later in the morning and finished the path, then mowed all the grass and trimmed the long edges. I picked a lettuce and another beetroot (yellow this time) for lunch.

                              By the afternoon it was getting quite hot and I decided that the growhouse needed a little shading as the courgettes were starting to wilt. I'd already removed the lettuce seedlings to the tunnel as it was clearly too hot for them in there. I covered the growhouse with a piece of white insect mesh - I may need to change this to green if it is still getting too hot.

                              I walked round pulling horsetail from in amongst the rhubarb and under the hedge, and planted the summer leeks in their raised bed. This bed "should" now be full - it contains leeks, beetroot, turnips and parsnips, but the parsnips haven't germinated yet. This was a new packet of seed but they have been in the soil over a month, so I put some seeds to chit on damp kitchen paper the other day to test them. I can guarantee that if I re-sow them the original lot will germinate within days!
                              My parsnips still haven't germinated yet either. They are deemed to go three times to the Devil before showing there heads above the soil for some reason!
                              You appear to have a never ending battle against mares tail. Are you winning do you think?
                              My Majesty made for him a garden anew in order
                              to present to him vegetables and all beautiful flowers.- Offerings of Thutmose III to Amon-Ra (1500 BCE)

                              Diversify & prosper


                              Comment


                              • Originally posted by Snadger View Post
                                My parsnips still haven't germinated yet either. They are deemed to go three times to the Devil before showing there heads above the soil for some reason!
                                You appear to have a never ending battle against mares tail. Are you winning do you think?
                                I know parsnips are slow, I think I am just being impatient. Mine were sown on 12th April, so they have "only" been in just over a month. Last year I (re)sowed on 24th April and they were germinating on 12th May, so the jury is out at the moment.

                                Never ending battle against mares tail is right. There are areas I am never going to clear - under the hedges and in the grass path alongside next door's plot (because he doesn't dig his out). All I can do with these is break it off at ground level wherever I see it, and that is not going to go away. I'm hoping that I can reduce the problem in the beds and tunnel to the odd rogue piece but that is going to take a few years. For now, there is definitely less of it popping up than there was this time last year, but I pulled a piece out of the hotbed yesterday. The trouble is that once something is growing in the beds it is not possible to dig the stuff out, so it gets a chance to take hold again.

                                So - winning, probably not, making progress, yes definitely.
                                A life is like a garden. Perfect moments can be had, but not preserved, except in memory. LLAP. - Leonard Nimoy

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