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.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Hot, humid, working long hours and a hosepipe ban!

Well, after one of the driest springs on record, we here in the North West now have a hosepipe ban in place. Normally this wouldnt be too much of a problem, as allotments and food crops are usually exempt, but this time allotments are included, so we arent allowed to connect the hose to the taps to water the crops! We can however water as much as we like using watering cans, so today on his way home Lee called into B&Q and bought 2 of their last ones to join the 2 we already have on the plot, so 2 of us can water with 2 cans each at a time! We are going to leave them on display so that folks know that we are watering by hand and not using the hosepipe, I definitely dont want anyone trying to claim that the reason our crops are looking good is because we are watering with a hosepipe!

With the 2 full sized allotments next to each other, and only across the road from a tap, we are better placed than some of the plotholders, but even so, with all our fruit n veg and a serious lack of rainfall, we have a mammoth task on our hands to water it all!

Fortunately with being off work last week we did water well every day, so there should be a decent level of water in the subsoil, which should help, but now we have to water everything by hand!

For a bed like the sweetcorn and squashes, this means each square metre of bed needs a full watering can every week, and with this expanse of bed, thats a lot of watering cans and trips back and forth to the tap!

Watering the plot with a hosepipe takes about 1 hr 20 mins for 1 person, watering the plot by hand with watering cans will take approximately 8 hours, so we've devised a plan!

Every day we will spend some time on the plot watering, the greenhouses, polytunnel, hothouse, seedlings and strawbs will all be watered every day, along with anything that looks like its in desperate need of a drink, but other than that we are going to concentrate out efforts on 1 run of beds a day, so each run of beds will be watered every 5 days on average, with a good soaking from the 2 of us!

We tried it out tonight, and with 2 of us working with 2 watering cans each, it took us 1hr 30 mins to do the greenhouses, polytunnel, hothouse, seedlings, strawbs and the brassica run at the right hand side of plot 1!

Tomorrow all the sweetcorn and squashes will get a good drink, and as we finish work a bit earlier on a Sunday, we should be able to get an hour or two's hoeing and weeding in too!

Hope the hosepipe ban isnt affecting you, that your crops arent too thirsty and that everything (except the weeds) is growing well!


Steph said...

eek! hosepipe ban. watch your backs. good luck!

Mrs Dobby said...

Thanks Steph, we're keeping it to using 2x1 gallon watering cans each, so shouldnt be too much problem for our backs...... I hope!

ReapWhatYouGrow said...

Wow, considering your hosepipe ban, your plots look amazing. I sense a lot of hard graft and watering cans! Keep up the good work, which I will take as inspiration to do better on mine!

Mrs Dobby said...

Lol, thanks for the kind comments ReapWhatYouGrow! Yes, it can be hard work looking after the plots, but its also relaxing (mentally), fulfilling (the sense of acchievement) and has lots of perks (such as the great tasting fresh organic fruit and veg!)