Sunday, 26 January 2014

Mud, Mud, Glorious Mud...

... nothing quite like it for cooling the blood making a complete quagmire of the greenhouse.

This is going to take some fixing. The rain has caused the ground underneath the green house floor to become a soggy smelly mess that's going to be very uneven and lumpy when it dries out. I think I'll have to empty out the green house and re-do the flooring one everything gets dry.

Only problem is, is that it's not going to be easy. If you remember when I built the staging in there, it would allow me to move the things around. So it looks like I'll have to completely dismantle them and re-do them. Well I suppose that's not too bad as afterwards I'll be able to fix the problem I had when I built them. Namely that I wanted them as an 'L' shape with the 4ft section across the far wall.

But of course it will have to wait for some dry weather before I undertake this lot...

Sunday, 19 January 2014

More new faces

So we have three more plots to allocate today. Also we have a lot of admin from the allocations last week. One of the issues we have is that the map of the site is based on an old Council map from way back. So when we allocated a bunch of contiguous plots last week we didn't have clear boundaries. So we had to measure and mark out the exact sizes of the plots.

What is drawn as perfectly straight and square on the map is not how it is on the ground. So we need to figure out how big the plots are so we can charge them accordingly. The normal size of a plot we allocate is 5 rods, which equates to 125m2. But the plots we gave out are more of a trapezium. So it is vital we get things measured and sorted.

Meanwhile the plot is still under water. I attempted to fix the shed window but the sealing putty is still too hard to flow properly. I think I might have broken the gun by trying to get it to work. Oh well. Back to the rake.

One problem which will have to be addressed soonest is the Leaning Tower of Water. The water butts are full and the flood in the greenhouse has made the soil soft. The weight of the water is causing the butt to shift on it's foundations. It's still kind of upright, but it will need to be re-positioned before it falls over.

Wednesday, 15 January 2014

Hippy Burpday

I received a birthday card from my Aunt Jean. She obviously knows me well, because the card featured a cartoon by that great artist Norman Thelwell.

Now whilst it is nice to be sat in the middle of the allotment site in a deck chair, this would not be allowed on our site. One of our rules is that at least 75% of the space should be dedicated to growing veggies, fruit or flowers. We're not so hard and fast about enforcing it, but the plot holder does have to show some effort. Grassy areas are specifically excluded.

Mind you, at the moment it's another of Thelwell's cartoons which is the more valid on the site.

Saturday, 11 January 2014

New Faces

A lovely sunny day. Just right for working down the allotment?

Did I say working? I mean squelching. There is still a flood. The greenhouse is still awash.

But that doesn't mean to say there aren't things to be done. The weed proof membrane that covered the courgette mound has blown loose and needs tidying away. It will get used later in the year, but for now it has a new home stuffed under the shed. The shed also needs a spot of care. The winds have blown the window in again.

Again it is fixed by the simple expedient of shoving something up against it from the inside. It is still too cold for proper sealant to work properly so temporary fixes will have to do for the time being. On another note, the shed has taken on a definite lean. The sodden ground has meant that the supports are sinking down a little on one side. This is no great problem, just makes it look a little odd. But by being up on stilts the shed is nice and dry... unlike some of the other sheds around the site.

But today's big news is the influx of new faces. We have 11 plots to allocate to new people today so we have to show them their swamp.... err. I mean plot.
(Ignore the reprobate looking at the camera. He's one of our helpers.)

I took two of the new recruits to have a look at their new spots. One of which was the plot next to Pauline's that she was so concerned about. I also spoke with a few other new residents taking on their plots for the first time. I'm also pleased that some of them actually read this blog! So to you new people I say welcome. Don't be put off by the bad weather and the state of things. Take you time to plan out what you are going to on your plots and where you want things to go. Look carefully at the sun and where any trees will cast shadows and figure out accordingly what grows well.

There are numerous resources around the web for advice on what you want to grow. They're all at the end of a google search. And failing that, there are numerous other plot holders who will all quite happily talk up a storm to anybody who will listen.

So welcome to you new people. I hope to see you down the allotments. Ever thought about doing your own blog?