At last I've got my plot!
The trials and triumphs of Plotting!
Sunday, April 29, 2007
Saturday, April 28, 2007
Just two fleeting visits to the plot today. When walking the dogs I stopped and tied them up and watered everything copiously. I continued on through the allotments and came across Gayle and her Mum Jenny, taking their ease on their plot. The shed looked a picture with its clematis montana all over the roof.
Then this evening I nipped back with the grass mowings to mulch the early potatoes that I missed last week.
The rest of the day I was sorting out the pots for by the front door. The soil needed renewing. I've used a water retaining compost, and added some of the jelly crystals to help further. I tidied up the plants that were in them and replaced them and added a load more. I like pots crammed so I added feed as well.
Tomorrow I will have to put them back out the front, but that was just too much effort today. They weighed a lot heavier when they were done.....all that water I suppose!
Photo a day.....28th April.
Isn't this divine ...?!!!! The house is down Seaview High Street, leading to the sea. The scent was magnificent this afternoon....you could smell it from the gate.
I think they have a gardener who knows how and when to prune these.....!
(NB. If you wish to see a bigger version just click on the photo. )
Friday, April 27, 2007
Photo a day...27th April.
Walked the dogs along the footpath behind the holiday camp this afternoon .... posh name "The Barnsley Trail". (I really went to see how far they have progressed with getting ready to open for the season ..... some curtains are up but a long way to go yet!)
Anyway, it was really pretty up through the woods behind the camp. This little footpath is a favourite of the dogs, and the wild garlic was so pretty.
It is not a bluebell wood .... would you call it a "garlic wood" perhaps?
The sun filtering down through the trees made it really pleasant to be there .... not hot .... just pleasantly warm. I think a good day in April beats a warm day in summer anytime. I get very hot in summer but am usually comfortable this time of year. And...very little chance of sunburn either! Having once had sunstroke I have to watch it.
When I arrived at the plot at 12.30 I thought it a good time to take a photo to show the extent of the shade problem with my plot.
Here you see the three-storey flats on the East of my plot(slightly south-east!), and the large beech tree...now in leaf . My plot is just beyond the hedge at the back of this photo.......! (Pause to admire Brian's plot in the foreground!)
Now we are alongside the shed and you can see how shaded my plot is early afternoon (12.30pm), having been in shade from the flats all morning.
I understand they are woodland plants naturally so hope they like this spot enough to fruit well.
I did an hours worth of hoeing....the spuds were all up so I earthed them up into furrows....see picture. The onions, carrots, beetroot and all the fruit were a little weedy so I did them too. I was tempted to water everything but thought I'd wait until tomorrow so the little weeds are truly dead before I give everything a drink.
I did an hour digging out some of the big herbaceous plants from the area I'm digging next, plus a tidy up round the hedge bottom and the compost bins, and then a couple of short rows of proper digging. I wish it would rain....all night! (The ground is a bit unrewarding to dig and I soon tired of it.) Needless to say we didn't get enough of that rain that you all got ....just enough to lay the dust on the roof. Nothing in the butts. The soil I earthed up round the spuds was like dust. A new experience for me as I've never gardened on soil like that before.
Thursday, April 26, 2007
Today I had to be here so still not been to the plot this week!
I worked in the back garden instead. I transplanted these lettuces into one of the deep beds. There are 8 winter density, and 12 Celtuce (first time I've tried these). hey have been hardened off but I'm using the cloche to keep the cats off until they are a bit stronger.
This is the other bed that is already pretty full.....the beans will go down the middle next month. The mange-tout peas on the lower right were slow to come through but seem to be growing now.
The Sq Ft plantings on the left are doing OK. The radishes (Rat's Tail) at the front are romping, the salsify next to them are up and growing. The turnips next are a bit varied, then the radishes with parsnips are flourishing. The carrots behind them and the spring onions will possibly need re-sowing as they are very sparse.
The broad beans are really showing off now. I think we'll be picking next week if we get some rain. The pods are beginning to fill out.The garlic is growing well too.
In the tunnel my pomegranate grown from seed is now 4 inches tall. I moved it into this huge pot as I'm scared of it drying out in the small one and losing it.
Lots more photos to come but blogger goes on strike if I put in more than 4 at once!!!!
In the tunnel the tomatoes are going well. In front are the plug plants I bought for the front door pots.
The courgettes and the globe artichokes are here, along with some sad looking cabbages.
In the corner, behind a plastic curtain, I have installed the cucumbers that I thought I'd lost by forgetting to water them (here at the back) and one courgette (De Nice a Ronde). They are in self-watering pots. This is a trial to see if more constant water supply improves yield...I suspect it does!!!! LOL
The upturned bottomless bottles are my device to monitor the water levels in the bottom of the pots.
One of the deep beds in the tunnel. Look at the strawberries we can expect in a few days time! The lettuce behind will be picked soon.
Photo a day....26th April.
Regular readers of my blog will remember the photo of the sign displayed here that I took a month ago at Wisley. It is explaining that Caliente Mustard is a wonderful green manure which not only fertilises the ground but sterilises it too, and removes a lot of nasty pernicious weeds.
If you remember I tried to buy some of the seeds at Wisley but they don't stock them. So I wrote to them asking if they knew where I could get them. I had a reply to the effect that it wasn't really meant for home gardeners as you wouldn't get the effects unless you had a large area under it.
Imagine my surprise when I visited on Monday and saw this bed, in the deep bed bit of the veg garden at Wisley. It is the same sign, now adorning a bed covered in black plastic....!
A case of the left hand not knowing what the right hand is doing I suspect!!! I hope they get a thousand enquiries a day about where to get the seeds now....!
Wednesday, April 25, 2007
When I went to Kent I visited my old neighbours, and saw the Wisteria on my old house and felt a little nostalgic. My dear neighbours warned me not to look at the garden as it would depress me. I can see from this front bed that they'd be right!!!!
We lived there 20 years and one week. DH fought cancer here, I had a broken back, we brought up our adopted son, kept chickens, pigs, sheep, goats, cats (probably about 15 all told, not counting the 15 or so kittens they produced every year and which we had no trouble placing in good homes!), and two dogs.
We had problems there too.....the roof was severely damaged in the 87 hurricane, and we had a landslip at the back which cost us a fortune to rectify (£22,000) and led to us eventually realising that we wouldn't be able to retire there so we did our big move to the Isle of Wight (three years ago) whilst we still had the strength to set ourselves up for old age. Two acres is also rather a burden when you are old.....it was a 1 in 7 slope too!
The house we have now is modern, not a patch on this one here. When we saw this one as a farm building before it was renovated and converted I fell in love with it. We designed the interior ourselves...I had a 5ft sq walk-in larder with marble shelves, and a deep ceramic sink, as well as a huge farmhouse table and a Rayburn to cook on. A hard act to follow!!!
Photo a day.....25th April.
Went to Kent via Wisley and visited the veg plot area again. The 3x3 trials looked like this on Monday (dull day hence the dull picture!).
I was surprised at how much it had come on since I saw and photographed it on the 27th March! (see that date for earlier photo and planting plan. Sorry....not tecchie enough to do a link!))
I am sure some of these were started in pots indoors!
Sunday, April 22, 2007
Fiddled about in the Kitchen Garden this morning as I was feeling a bit fragile. I gave everything a soaking as the ground is beginning to set like concrete, and I won't be here for two days as I'm off to Kent to visit my mother.
I was delighted to see that the broad beans are doing what they should and producing pods at last. Hopefully they should thicken up soon and we can have a feast.
But unfortunately they have blackfly already (picture 2) which I hosed off. I will have to take more permanent measures soon.
I am really pleased with my brassicas, actually only cabbages at the moment. They seem to have doubled in size since I planted them out 10 days ago. (I just looked back to the photo I took after planting and they have indeed doubled!)
I'm looking forward to cutting the Hispi cabbages (middle row) which will each provide enough for two hearty servings, and then make space for 3 broccoli plants for next spring.
In the tunnel I planted those two poor cucumbers that I thought I'd killed (see 18th March!) into self watering pots in the corner of the tunnel. They seem to be growing away at last. I've wrapped them a bit against any draughts. Also potted on a round courgette in the same way in the same corner. Might get some earlier than in the garden. They are by the back door of the tunnel so hopefully they will get germinated by some insects. When I grew them in the beds the year before last I didn't get much harvest and I put it down to poor pollination as the door to the tunnel was more often closed then at this time of year. This year they have been open all day.....!
Photo a day....22nd April.
Another photo from our walk on Friday.
We don't have many fields of rape here on the Island (unlike Kent where we used to live) so I was glad to smell the air by this one.
In the foreground is a salt marsh.......there were patches of drying seaweed on the edges which (I think!) smelled wonderful! (The river estuary is to our left, out of shot.)
I think I can say it was an "aromatic" walk!!!
Saturday, April 21, 2007
Woke with a very bad back this morning so no digging today. I did plant out (from a stool) my sweet peas, leeks and climbing edible peas into the deep beds in the Kitchen Garden. Also weeded the strawberry bed and the new asparagus bed again.
After dinner I went to water the plot beds and mulch the spuds with some grass cuttings. I finger weeded the onions, carrots and peas. I had wanted to hoe the baby weeds between the rows but stupidly watered first.....hoeing wont work when it is wet. I'll do it tomorrow.
It was 21deg C in the shade here this afternoon out of the wind in the back garden.....that'll do!
In the tunnel I sowed sweetcorn and some yard long beans into rootrainers. The leeks, sweet peas and climbing peas were taking up most of my rootrainers ...hence the delay in sowing!
Had two tasty strawberries from the tunnel.....gardener's perks!! The outside strawberries are covered with flowers, so we should be in for some wonderful breakfasts and puddings soon.....!
Photo a day.......21st April.
Yesterday's walk along the Medina River bank south of The Folly Inn at Whippingham (just south of East Cowes, IOW). It was blissful, and the dogs loved it.....! Here is Freddie watching the black headed gulls.
For most of this walk a skylark was up above singing his heart out. I expect it was worried that the dogs would find its nest. My husband saw it land and walked towards it to get a better look....he said it was beautiful. I just saw a flash as it flew away....I have rubbish eyesight and never see birds unless they hop on my spade when digging!!!! LOL
I love to hear them though.....!
And that Vaughan Williams piece...."The Lark Ascending"....is one of my favourites....! (To hear a bit of it go to this site and select "The Lark Ascending" and click on listen.....http://https://www.classicsandjazz.co.uk/ucj/tssite/homepage.do?ruleset=release&id=50244505 )
To see a skylark ..... http://www.rspb.org.uk/wildlife/birdguide/name/s/skylark/videos.asp)
Friday, April 20, 2007
Photo a day....20th April.
Yesterday I had to go to Bembridge. To get there from here you have to drive round the harbour. It is a lovely place when the tide is in (a bit drab and smelly when it is out) so I thought a picture would do for this photo a day.
It is not easy to park there so I parked by the little ship lapped Cafe at the end of the harbour (open everyday except Christmas Day) and took this picture.
In the summer there are many many more boats.......!
The foreshore here is one of DH's favourite fishing spots.
This morning's three tub trug stint was a pain. I hit a load of broken glass and spent ages sifting through it to get out every bit. Hopefully I got it all.
It was windy today and not so warm as it has been. Still up for April, but shirt required!
DH and I went for a walk along the Medina River near Whippingham (photos tomorrow) this lunchtime. We had a pub lunch....outside, by the river, as we had the dogs with us. He is recovering from his op nicely, but slowly, and he is getting stir crazy....so I thought a short walk in different surroundings would be good for him....it worked! He is much more bouncy this afternoon!
Lidl opened a huge store at Shanklin last summer....their first on the Island. It is a huge success.
This week their Thursday specials had a gardening theme. Malcolm said he got there at 3 minutes past 8 and the car park was already full. The shop was mayhem!
I had intended going today for a cold frame for £19.99, but other things came up, and I am glad I didn't bother. I hate the sales, or anything similar and would rather pay more than get in a scrum for something!!!!! I expect the frames were sold by 8.15.....!
Thursday, April 19, 2007
Any photo of the plot today would just be a repeat, so no picture.
I went and dug out three tub trugs of weeds, plus a load of broken glass...dangerous!
The huge beech tree above my plot has come into leaf in the last couple of days and the plot is mostly in shade until after lunch. At three today the sun was just getting to the raspberries. I understand they are naturally woodland plants so they wont mind too much. The rest of the garden does get at least 6 hours of sunlight so it should be enough. The watering that I did last night was still obvious when I arrived after lunch.
Chris on the next door plot to me found some keys on his plot when digging. The keyring had a V on it so we think it may be Valerie's. She used to have that plot years ago....! She just does the one behind Chris now. When she next spends a weekend here (lives in London) she'll have such a surprise....hope she still has the appropriate locks!
One of the older plot holders has swede seedlings 3 inches high. The news spread like wildfire and they were all busy putting in their swedes this afternoon. Apparently they are at the stage not normally attained til July. I wouldn't know as I have never grown them.
It was really warm in spite of the slight wind. All the men took their shirts off, and I only had a thin frock on, over my underwear. I do hope this weather lasts although we could do with some rain....at night for preference. My water butts are all empty, except for the bathwater one. According to Metcheck we are not due any rain until next Tuesday or Wednesday. I expect we wont even get that though....we didn't get the last lot they promised.
Photo a day....19th April.
Cistus.... or as we call them "Paper Roses" ....are blooming already in my garden. I am sure that is a month earlier than last year....!
When we moved here there were fifteen of these around the garden .....most of which fell foul of the back garden re-model when I made my Kitchen Garden. We still have 5, in white and pink. (The roots are a real pig to dig out once they are established, and it is so hard to saw through too!)