Clicking on any of the pictures will open them at full size in the browser window, which means you will have to use the 'back' button to return to the main pages, whereas clicking to the left or right of any picture will open them in a new window, if you fancy a closer look at any of the piccies we've posted! We've included a Google Earth satelite picture of our plots and this years planting plan at the bottom of the page, next to each other. If you choose the Earth view on the satelite image you can rotate the image until it is lined up with the planting plan, then use the arrows in the plan to scroll from Plot 2 to Plot 1.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Update and News!

So, got to the plot for 1030am, did the work I wanted to do, then had to attend the allotment societies AGM! About 1/2 of the plotholders were there, and it was a good meeting (the first I'd attended as I was working when they had last years), some great ideas coming forth! All the 34 plots on the site are now let, and generally under cultivation, and those present decided that we need to do more social stuff together and perhaps organise a work party or three to improve the site a bit (a BBQ area and fire pit, possibly some flower planting at the front etc) It was decided that we would form a proper allotment committeee, and before I knew it I found myself voted onto it! Not something I was looking for, nor expecting! Fortunately as I work full time I was able to take a non-executive committee position, but I have a feeling that they want me to get involved with the fundraising side of things! Ah well, it could be an interesting period ahead!

Well, as you can tell, I managed to get some more piccies of our new plot today, showing just how much we've managed to get done since the last piccies were taken alast wednesday! As you can see, the first 2 beds have been covered with a cardboard mulch (help suppress weeds and retain moisture), and have been planted with courgettes, 6 and 4 respectively! We've left a space for another 2 courgette plants which we are going to sow in a few weeks time, to prolong the harvesting period when those we've currently got in (which were successionally sown in the greenhouse, 4 varieties) run out of steam in a few months time! The bed bbehind this has had the 24 sweetcorn, 4 sunflower and 6 pumpkins moved into it from the half plot we are giving up, and the 5th bed back has got 15 assorted squash and pumpkins in it (dont worry, its twice the size of the smaller beds at the front of the plot!)
I spent a bit of time improving the soil in the new plots greenhouse 1st thing today (after Mr D cleared it on Thursday), as it seemed very dusty and lacking in humus, so dug in chicken poo pellets, growmore, fish, blood and bone, and then top dressed with 3 trug loads of very well rotted pony poo from the 2 1/2 year old compost bin at the front of the plot (lurverly stuff it is too!) Then I planted it up with 8 toms (6 varieties), 2 chillies, 4 peppers, 4 french marigolds (to deter pests) and a marketmore cucumber!
This is the bed of onions from seed that Mr D dug over and planted on Thursday afternoon, hopefully it'll give us a few more onions to help us last thru the winter (we ran out in Feb this year and are determined not to run out this year!)
A general view from the bottom of the new plot, as you can see, Mr D has managed to dig over more than half of the beds in this plot (lots of fellow allotmenteers have been asking him if he goes home at all, or just stays digging all night as he always seems to be first on and last off when I'm working!) Our current plan is to get the beds under cultivation, have a good tidy up on both plots, cut back the overgrown hedge a bit, then do a good weed of the fruit beds and paths before bringing some more bark chippings (fortunately provided free at the other end of the plot) to re-bark up the paths! Hopefully this should give us a nice looking and easy to manage couple of plots!
A view over the 'fedge', looking from the strawberry bed (a little overgrown - we've decided to dig out the half we didnt plant through weed control fabric and then plant it up thru weed control fabric like wot we should have done in the first place! Fortunately we now have some fabric going spare, and Mr D's boss (who keeps horses) has offered us some straw to mulch the strawberries with, so hopefully once we've got the beds into cultivation we'll be able to spend a day getting this sorted once and for all!

As you can also see, the Jerusalem Fartichokes (in the bed next to the strawbs to the right) are shooting up at an incredible rate! We had 2 beds of them last year, and only managed to eat our way thru one of them, so this year we've just gone for a single bed of them!

The beans seem to be coming up quite well, tho some of the French have had poor germination and some runners seem to have been munched (pesky wabbits!), so we've done a second sowing in the backyard greenhouse to replace the missing ones!

Lee is hoping to be at the plot for the next 2 days until 3pmish, and then all day Weds and Thurs, so its looking like he may get the beds all dug over for the end of the week! I'm off on Weds, so gonna have a good tidy up, perhaps some more bean planting, hopefully cut back / trim the hedges and possibly begin weeding and rebarking the paths (tho as always I get the feeling we'll be lucky to get even half of what we want to do done!

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