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.

Thursday, July 01, 2010

Plot Update after our hols!

With the weather hereabouts forecasting rain today, and having done our weekly bee inspection yesterday afternoon (after packing up our campsite n driving home for 2 hrs), today we planned a relaxing day, with a lie in (didnt happen again! lol), a bit of shopping to restock the cupboards, a call in to see Paul at the garage about the MINI overheating (shes booked in for next week) and then on the way home a call in to the allotment to harvest some strawbs n salad for tea and to water the greenhouses and polytunnel! As I said, a relaxing day! Lol!

Whilst we've been away Pat has been watering the greenhouses for us, so I knew they'd be ok, but the rest of the plot had to depend on some rain, which fortunately it got on Monday night (the same stuff that soaked the tent and almost leaked in on us), the only drawback being of course, that any water on bare soil germinates the weeds!

So, with the Trafford Allotment Judging starting on Monday (though we are usually the very last plot to be judged), we've got a bit of work still to do this weekend, fortunately we dont return to work until next Friday!

Still to do are 1 bed to clear and plant, 2 to turn over and sow with seeds, a bit of path to be laid and barked up (near the polytunnel), a lot of hoeing, and plenty of weeding!

Mind you, the crops are looking good, the sweetcorn is growing really well, as are the underplanting of squashes and pumpkins, a possible good year for both crops! Our pea and bean beds are going great too, with more pea pods than we've ever seen before, so a good chance that planting them in lengths of drainpipe before planting out (by sliding the complete length into a prepared trench) has worked really well for us!

The onions are a mixed bag this year, with a lot of the red onion sets having gone to seed, methinks these will have to come out soon and be processed (either dried or frozen as they wont store at all), but the rest of the sets and garlic are still looking great!

The strawbs are still producing well, we took another 2lb from them today, some for 'afters' tonight with ice cream, the rest will be frozen until I've got time to make some jam with them (and the previous harvests that we've frozen). The summer fruiting rasps are also looking great, lots of fruit has set, just a matter of time now until its ready for harvesting! The cherries are beginning to turn, and the apples are also looking really good, not too much 'drop' so far this year!

The salad bed is producing too, more radish and lettuce for tea tonight, beetroot are doing well too, but not ready to harvest yet!

We also had the first courgettes today, 5 medium sized ones, with many more still coming on the plants!

The pond area and flower bed I planted up last week have done ok whilst we've been away, hopefully they will now grow on well and make a nice flower border that will help provide our bees with plenty of nectar to make honey for us! We've now got 14 supers of honey on the hives, many of them almost filled and some of it is beginning to be capped off, once this happens fully, then we can harvest some for ourselves and to sell to friends and family!

The flower bed at the front of plot 1!

Both the greenhouses are doing well, with the first toms developing really well, just got to wait for them to ripen now! This is one half of the 10'x8' greenhouse on plot2, the piccy below shows the toms in the 8'x6' greenhouse on plot1.

Our peppers, chillies and aubergines are in the 'hothouse' this year, a structure we made from the remains of a plastic walk in greenhouse that 'died' last year, and we've peppers at about 2" size and small chillies in abundance, plus flowers on several of the aubergines! Hopefully we'll be harvesting them in the not too distant future!

So, ontop the veg plot balance sheet!

Total Veg Plot Costs 2010

Rent + Subs for 2 full plots £100
Seeds £20
Seed Spuds £20
Onion Sets £6
Growbags £15
Chicken Manure Pellets £8
Plastic 'wannabe' Polytunnel £61
Bamboo Canes £8
Flower Plants £28

Total Costs £ 266

Total Veg Plot Harvests 2010

Rhubarb £ 25
Fartichokes £ 4
Volunteer Spuds £8
Lettuce £4
Radish £6
Garlic £15
Strawberries £20
Peas £6
Broad Beans £10
Courgettes £2

Total Veg Plot Harvests £ 100

So we're still £166 short of breaking even for the year, but a long way to go until we've even really begun to bring in the harvests!

Hope your veg is growing well and the weeds and pests are leaving you alone! More to follow soon!


Shayla said...

Its interesting how you've costed everything. Don't forget to add the cost of all the extra flavour and goodness!

Suzanne said...

Lol, they are priceless, as is the cost of reduced food miles, free exercise and the sense of satisfaction you get from putting together a meal where you have grown virtually everything in it!

The costings Im using are for organic produce from the supermarkets, then timesing it by the amount we've harvested. The idea isnt to try and harvest the most crop value, but more a way of showing that excluding factoring in the time it takes, it is a lot cheaper (not to say healthier) to grow your own fruit and veg rather than buying it in the supermarket!

Kate said...

Fascinating costings. Your allotment looks great. Love your scarecrow - for a moment I thought it was a real person with strange angular arms.

Mrs Dobby said...

Hi Kate, thanks for the kind words, glad you like the plot, its a lot of work, but fun and rewarding for sure!

The scarecrow is named 'Fester' after the Adams family regular, he's been in place now for a year or so, and has developed his stance all by himself! We're thinking of giving him a hoe so he looks a bit more like he's doing something!

Anonymous said...

Hello Mrs D,

Your question at the top of the column about liking or disliking the change in your blog I cant answer as I have only seen it like this.

However, I thought I would say, for what its worth, that I really like the colours and the layout, especially the way you place your pics (which are always good too).

Its easy on the eye, and well put togther so for me, its a winner!

(armchair gardener and veg lover!)

Mrs Dobby said...

Hi Alan,

The previous colourscheme was the same one that Wayne uses at

It was like that for 3 years, until about 3 weeks ago, but as I wanted to display the piccies a bit larger, then that format was difficult to edit, so hence the new one!

Thanks for the kind words about the blog n piccies, I'm glad you like them, the photos come from an old Canon EOS10D, an ebay snip!

Hope you continue to enjoy the blog!

Maureen said...

Wow ! what an inpressive plot you have ! it's so well laid out. Unfortunatly mine is on a slope and is boomarang shaped, so quite hard to plan it neatly, but most people who see it say it's an interesting shape and has character.
Thank you for visiting and following my blog. I will be back soon to read more of your older posts.

Mrs Dobby said...

Hi Maureen, Thanks for the kind comments about our plots, we're fortunate with our site being on flat ground, but when we first got it there were 8' of weeds, so we all face our trials in getting them to a place we can be happy with!

Your plot definitely has character and I would say an abundance of great looking fruit n veg too, plus a quirky humour and sense of fun that comes through in your blog, definitely a place to be proud of!

baby cribs said...

You have a very nice garden. You have planted a variety of plants. Congratulations. I wish you the best harvest.

Mrs Dobby said...

Thanks for the comment baby cribs, it is appreciated! Hope you're harvests are going to be good ones!

Anonymous said...

Yes, there is no doubt, after visiting personally I much prefer this design and layout.

Good choice Mrs D :)

Mrs Dobby said...

Lol, thanks Alan!