Sunday, 28 February 2016

Shop and Woodchips

Had to do my stint in the shop today. It was pretty damn cold on the plot, but the new shop managers have re-done the shop over winter and there is now some electric heaters that kick on about 30 mins before the shop opens. So it makes it very comfortable to work in. We were surprisingly busy today. Mostly selling seed potatoes which people should now be chitting.

Afterwards I headed to B&Q rather than go to the plot. I bought a roll of roofing felt for the shed. But it was still a little too windy to try fixing the roof. However no sooner had I driven in than I noticed there had been a wood chip delivery.

We've been out of wood chip on the East Side for a while so it's time to put the wheelbarrow to full use.

The paths on the plot definitely needed a new covering. Mind you, after 17 barrowfuls I wasn't much in the mood for taking photos of the finished thing. Anyway, I hope there will be some left next week as there is more paths and beds I need to put down. There's always more to do... and I haven't even started chitting my spuds yet. :(

Monday, 15 February 2016

Roof off

I didn't get to the plot this weekend until late on Sunday, and even then it was just for a quick check-over.

However it seems that Storm Imogen which hit the UK last week has had a bit of an effect on the plot. I've been pretty lucky over the past few weeks that there has been no damage to the plot other than small things such as blowing over the compost "daleks" and occasionally putting in the already damaged window on the shed. But this time it has actually done some real damage. Nothing major but it's certainly something which should be looked at.

The roof of the shed has been taken off.

Fortunately only the roofing felt has been ripped off. When I built the shed, I only tacked it down around the edges, neglecting to put any of the tacks into the central part. So when the wind got underneath and loosened the edge tacks, it flipped the felt back and tore out the holding tacks. This left it flapping around and it tore all the way across.

Now the actual shed I got (from Tiger Sheds) has a slotted roof which is pretty secure so no water has got in. But the roof is more than a little damp so it might take a while to dry out... if I actually let it dry. I could simply tack a new piece of felt back on and let it go at that. It will dry out internally over time, and it'll probably survive. But to let it dry thoroughly is always better.

Bit of a moot point of course, as I won't be able to get it fixed until next weekend. So I hope it stays dry this week and for the next weekend.

Sunday, 7 February 2016

Trimming the vine and general tidy-up

February (Well January really) is supposed to be the time for cutting back grape vines. So that is what we did. All of the stalks and growths from last year were trimmed leaving the main growing struts ready for this years crop.

Yes I know the main trunk end looks kind of scraggy, but that is how we inherited it in the first place. Unfortunately there isn't a way to fix that now. The trimmings were cut and then used as the base for the new compost bins. That way it keeps a decent amount of air at the bottom of the bins to ventilate it. The old compost bin has been emptied and the larger remains transferred into the new bin. The good compost will be mixed with the soil emptied from the potato bags and will be mixed in with the various beds.

The "small" rhubarb behind the artichoke has done it's usual trick and started up first. It always seems to start ahead of the big rhubarb, same as in previous years. Unfortunately it always seems to act as a focus point for slugs so the actual rhubarb is produces is not the best.

Meanwhile the Daffs are in full swing.

But there is still much to do on the rest of the plot, as it kind of looks like a bombsite.

We need at least 4 more raised beds, three to complete the mains group of six - which will then have a cage built around it, hence the need for the old for-sale signs. Then one larger one at the front for the strawberries.

Things are starting to come back to life. But whether the weather promises a cold snap in the future remains to be seen. But we're not going to be planting our seeds just yet as it's still too cold. But there is still a lot of work to do.