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Penellype's Allotment

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  • No time over the weekend and as I have no more carrots down there (although plenty at home) I didn't even visit the plot.

    Today was sunny and after waiting a while for it to warm up I went down to see how things were and check everything. I picked up quite a few dead brassica leaves from the tunnel - there should be some more brokali ready to eat soon. I then wandered round looking at everything and decided to move the top layer of what was the potato bed (which was 3 layers high) onto the next door bed which was only one layer high. There was a reason why I didn't do this earlier in the year but I think there were always plants in the way so I couldn't. The raised bed layers are awkward to handle by myself, but not heavy and I soon had it sorted. The courgettes will go in the old potato bed next year (they will like the thick layer of 1 year old horse muck) and the potatoes will go in the old courgette bed in their buckets, probably on top of a layer of fresh muck.

    The main sticking point at the moment is the romanesco plant in the bed next to the hotbed, which I really want out of the way as I need to prepare the bed for onions by removing some of the compost, laying cardboard and covering it with the contents of the hotbed. The romanesco is at last developing a head and I think another couple of days will do it as the flowerhead grows very fast once it starts. I decided to make a start by removing the stumps of the other 2 plants and digging out half of the bed, the contents of which went on the half empty parsnip bed. This bed is the one that gets wettest, so it seems a good idea to top it up, and as one end is empty I can pile the compost on that until the parsnips are eaten. This bed is doing a straight swap next year - the half that grew parsnips will grow summer leeks and beetroot, the half that grew leeks and beetroot will grow parsnips.

    I'd taken some thick cardboard down with me and lined the empty half of the onion bed with it, putting the rest in the shed for later. I may start putting some of the hotbed contents on that half tomorrow, or I might decide to wait until I have lined the whole bed, depending a bit on the forecast as it may get really quite cold and freeze at the weekend, which could put a stop to things for a bit.
    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 I didn't have a lot of time, but I did make it down to the allotment to pull a couple of leeks for tea. There wasn't a great deal I could get on with as I was waiting to harvest the Romanesco, which I did today - I wanted to take some to my Mum and for it to be as fresh as possible, hence the wait.

      Today it was all systems go with the onion bed, but I took some photos first:

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      The rhubarb in the foreground is breaking its buds. Lettuces and spinach in the growhouse are growing slowly, but the strawberries in there really shouldn't be doing this at this time of year:

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      I'm starting to think that I may actually get to eat one of these!

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      The huge romanesco plant under the white net.

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      Partly harvested parsnips and a dumping ground for the compost from the bed being prepared for onions.

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      Photos in the tunnel were nearly impossible due to low sun, but the PSB and more romanesco are doing well in the shade of the shed.
      A life is like a garden. Perfect moments can be had, but not preserved, except in memory. LLAP. - Leonard Nimoy

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      • I then set about removing the romanesco, which had a really nice head:

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        Having pulled the plant out and shredded the leaves for compost I removed the filling from the raised bed, piling it up on the parsnip bed:

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        I then lined the bed with cardboard and threw some water on it to soak it:

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        Then I filled the bed with compost from the hotbed, being careful not to dig too deep and include any soil that might be infested with white rot:

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        The hotbed still has a bit of compost in it - this will be moved to buckets to grow potatoes in later. There are also a few beetroot left at the far end, which may or may not be edible.

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        Rather pleased that I managed to get all that done 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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        • A gorgeous day yesterday. I spent a good hour finishing emptying the hotbed. There were a few beetroot still growing in it from the early spring sowing - some of these germinated very late. 2 of them were a nice size, one was huge (I may see if the horses like it) and the others were very small or slug damaged. I cleared these then dug out the compost from that end and filled 4 30 litre buckets for potatoes - unlike the other end, this area didn't grow tomatoes last year.

          I finished it off by scraping up the bottom layer (3 trugs full) and putting it on the bed that will be growing courgettes. I covered this with a piece of weed matting as it won't be needed for a while, and also found a large piece of bubble wrap and covered the pea bed with that to warm it up and encourage any weeds to germinate before I plant the peas.

          Finally I watered the plants in the growhouse and trimmed dead leaves off the strawberry plants in there.

          The next thing to do is fill the hotbed with fresh horse muck, which is a job for the weekend.
          A life is like a garden. Perfect moments can be had, but not preserved, except in memory. LLAP. - Leonard Nimoy

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          • Plenty of nice weather over the weekend, enabling me to crack on with filling the hotbed. It takes 24 buckets/trugs of fresh horse muck, which equates to 4 trips from the stables. I managed 3 of these on Saturday (as well as mucking out) and finished off yesterday with the final load.

            Having trodden down the muck in the bed I needed compost to make a planting layer on top. The local garden centre sells 3 x 40 litre bags for 10, so I went to get some, but they were closed. I decided to wait until today rather than battle my way into the shopping centre on a Sunday afternoon.
            A life is like a garden. Perfect moments can be had, but not preserved, except in memory. LLAP. - Leonard Nimoy

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            • Went back to the garden centre yesterday and got the compost for the hotbed, which is now topped off and covered with polythene. The plan is to let it heat up for a couple of weeks, then put up the plastic cover and sow spinach, lettuce, carrots and beetroot as I did last year.

              Apart from a quick visit to collect my loppers on the way back from the shops I didn't go back to the allotment yesterday as there were some jobs I wanted to get done at home.
              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 pleasant enough although rather windy. I wanted to sort out the shed as I had just dumped the buckets that I use for the horse muck and the compost sacks in there, too tired to take everything out of the shed put them in their proper place at the back. It didn't take long to restore order so that I could get at what I needed again.

                The daffodils are showing along the west hedge, and the grass had grown across in amongst them so I spent a while weeding and cutting the grass back so that it was clear of them. Cutting grass around bulbs is always a pain, but I like the daffodils and hopefully the grass won't get time to invade the hedge from where it is now.

                Other than picking up some leaves from the pink blueberry (which has decided it is just about deciduous this year after being evergreen last winter), I didn't have much time for anything else.
                A life is like a garden. Perfect moments can be had, but not preserved, except in memory. LLAP. - Leonard Nimoy

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                • I've just checked my daffodils too Pen, and they have started to come through too
                  Exciting innit?
                  "Nicos, Queen of Gooooogle" and... GYO's own Miss Marple

                  Location....Normandy France

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                  • Originally posted by Nicos View Post
                    I've just checked my daffodils too Pen, and they have started to come through too
                    Exciting innit?
                    Indeed it is, I have a dianthus that thinks its time to flower and the odd flower on the hardy osteospermums, and walking to the shops yesterday I saw some calendula flowers. I associate all 3 of these with summer...
                    A life is like a garden. Perfect moments can be had, but not preserved, except in memory. LLAP. - Leonard Nimoy

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                    • Another reasonable day yesterday. I spent about an hour at the plot at lunchtime, weeding along the roadside hedge and in the tunnel and removing dead brassica leaves. I'd hoped to weed the whole plot but by the time I'd finished the tunnel my back had had enough. I found and removed a piece of horsetail that was already showing above ground under the shelving in the tunnel.

                      This morning I nipped down to harvest a leek, and found the wet end under water after heavy rain over night. I think now that the trees have gone this is going to be a more common occurrence.
                      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 on Thursday as usual, although I did nip down in the morning and harvest a leek.

                        Yesterday was a lovely sunny day and I went down in the morning and finished off the weeding round the raised beds and dug some couch grass out as best I could from the roadside hedge.

                        The rhubarb is annoying me - it is 2 huge plants (one of which I have dug up half of) in the sunniest place on the plot. I don't eat that much rhubarb, although it is useful to have in the spring and I freeze some for winter, and it doesn't need full sun to grow, so I keep wanting to move it. The question is, where to put it. Next to the wood shed is an area which I have been using for branches cut off the hedge which are too big to easily shred by had for the compost bin. I use some for stakes etc but the pile is quite big. I decided to move these to the corner between the two hedges, by the roadside to see what space I have got, so I did this. The result is an area about 3ft x 2ft where I could probably plant something. It is shady, but I have grown rhubarb in heavy shade before. The biggest problems are likely to be that it is full of tree roots and I need access to trim back the hedge. I think I might try to plant some of the pieces that I still have in a compost sack, which are starting to sprout, and see what happens. However, I wasn't sure enough about this to actually do it, as rhubarb is not the easiest thing to remove if you get it wrong...

                        One of the brokali heads in the tunnel was going mouldy (not sure why), so I cut it off and harvested some of the undamaged shoots for tea. I also harvested another leek, and went home to think about the rhubarb problem some more.
                        A life is like a garden. Perfect moments can be had, but not preserved, except in memory. LLAP. - Leonard Nimoy

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                        • I haven't update this thread for a few days as the weather has made doing anything other than walking round and checking everything impossible. When it has not been blowing a gale or pouring with rain the ground and everything else has been far too wet to do anything with. I'm hoping for better weather after today and once the gales have died down I will put the plastic cover up over the hotbed.
                          A life is like a garden. Perfect moments can be had, but not preserved, except in memory. LLAP. - Leonard Nimoy

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                          • *run by hug*...

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                            • By the way, I planted my rhubarb right by a hedge, by effectively scraping out a shallow space between the tree roots and then dumping last year's spent compost on top of the rhubarb... it worked.

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                              • I think I may give it a go. One of my main worries is being able to get at the hedge to cut it, but hopefully it will be ok.
                                A life is like a garden. Perfect moments can be had, but not preserved, except in memory. LLAP. - Leonard Nimoy

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