Sunday, 22 May 2016

I hate bindweed

Not only is the grass growing, but also the bindweed.

If you break off the bindweed roots whilst they're in the ground, then those little roots can sprout new shoots.
And thus it spreads itself around. Not only that but it also has some large white flowers that eventually produce small black seeds that get blown away by the wind to spread itself again. Do NOT let it flower.

But fortunately it's not just the bindweed thats growing. We planted out the Autumn Wings and Zierkurbis squashes today. They have been growing very well in the greenhouse but have grown almost too well and definitely need to be outside.

Some more of our normal courgettes went into the mound.

The past couple of years, we haven't really had much success with carrots. We've tried them in the ground, in bags, used sand, but all we've ended up with is misshapen masses. They're still edible, but they sure won't be winning any prizes (unless it's for the rudest vegetable). So this year, we're going to try are final attempt. No soil... just plain compost.

Talking of compost, last years compost bay had a few rogue potatoes in it. Yeah, yeah, we thought that by throwing them into the compost bin they'd rot down and be part of the nutrients. Nope, they rolled to the bottom, sat over winter and them sprouted. No matter. They can stay there. But I've given them a new companion.., the broccoli (Bottom right in photo)

The spud bags are doing their normal duty as a a place holder for the weed membrane. We're trying to expand the number of beds, but the grass is everywhere and the only way to keep it down is to try and cook it under the black heat absorber.

What grasses and weeds we have pulled is put in our current compost bin (but no bindweed of course). But the only problem with that is that it's full.

The Mediterranean Wildflower mix that we sowed last weekend has already sprouted. Should be a good showing.

Elsewhere around the plot, the lillies are growing.

The artichoke is starting to put up flower stalks.

The grape vine is starting to leaf out.

And our blueberries, are currently greenberries.

So somethings are working out well. Just wish we could get rid of this damn bindweed. Somebody pass me the flamethrower.

Sunday, 15 May 2016

I hate grass

Grass is the world's biggest commercially grown crop. It's just that we (Humans) don't eat it. But it gets everywhere, and worse, if you turn your back for 2 mins it kind of takes over. Especially after the rains at the start of the week. The other menace is that damned bind weed that's sending up little tendrils through the paths that I put down. The bind weed is easily pulled. The grass is going to take a little more managing.

Meanwhile plants are starting to move out of the overcrowded greenhouse. The first two courgettes have made it to the mound.

 The beetroot has been planted out.

And the remainder of the borlotti beans now fill the bed.

The Flower bed is also starting to bloom. This is the arena of the Wife so I have no idea what these flowers actually are.

But they are expanding into other areas... For example a fellow plotholder was throwing away their wheelbarrow. The tire was completely wrecked. They had been using it to grow things in. So we took it and decided to use it as a front piece for the plot. We put a mixture of Mediterranean wild flowers in there, which should make for a good show.

Last year we had a rogue potato growing up through the un-managed part of the plot. This year we seem to have a number of rogues in last years compost bed.

Well I suppose they can stay there. They're not doing any harm and as I have to dig out that bed at some point, they'll just help to break it up. I guess thats what happens when you chuck some of your unwanted small spuds on the compost. they come back to deliciously haunt you.

The weather seems to be pretty good this weekend. Better than originally forecast. Just have to keep everything watered.

Time to head for home to water ourselves now. Where's that cider?

Sunday, 8 May 2016

Warm weather brings out the best... and the worst

As other allotmenteers have already pointed out, this weekend's weather has been a little warm. One of the benefits of being outside of a lovely sunny day is you get a good dose of vitamin D. Of course, it's not just you that gets a benefit. So do the unwanted things... like pigeons and weeds.

My poor kale as sadly passed beyond help thanks to the rats-with-wings. So it's time to pull it to may way for other goodies.

Elsewhere the lambs-quarters has started back with abundance. Time for large amounts of weed pulling. But on the plus side, clearing beds of weeds makes way for more tasty varieties of plants. The Sweetcorn has just gone in... but obviously it needs a little protection from aerial assault. So I extended the netting from the peas to fit. It's not ideal, but it should help.

Yeah, I know that the corn grows higher than the peas would and the frame should be the other way around. Well there is still time to switch it. I'm just trying to make room in the over crowded greenhouse. Talking of which, time to put the first lot of borlotti's out. These were planted in my coffee cup holders and they seem to have started pretty well. Got a few more on the go to fill out the bed and probably take over from the kale.

But one thing is for certain, if this hot weather keeps up, then the plants are going to be needing a lot more drinks of water. Like me. No scratch that, I'll have a nice cool cider please.

Monday, 2 May 2016

Spud time

Yes, I realise that I'm late planting my potatoes. But that's not really a problem. I'll just be enjoying them later in the year than everybody else. But what really is the problem is that to grow the spuds in the bags, I need a lot of soil. So where do I get such soil? Well from the mound of course.

Fortunately there is enough of the composted weeds in the mound to ensure some good healthy spuds. It's just a pain to dig out. Especially as we have quite a few spud bags. The spuds are Maris Peers. We prefer those to any of the other common varieties.

Meanwhile there are other things that need doing. The peas are starting to show, so they need some protection from the Aerial Rat Brigade (aka Pigeons). So those old Estate Agent signs are useful in turning them into a supporting framework for the netting. Ideally the netting needs to be fastened securely to the frame, but for the time being just supporting the netting is the better option.

Elsewhere in the greenhouse, we have been potting on some of the seedlings that now need a bigger home.

As we were finishing up, there were some dark clouds rolling in. Just as we left the plot, it started spitting with rain. So all-in-all, not a bad Bank Holiday Monday. Reasonable weather. Got quite a bit done, and the British Weather held off enough for us to get said work done. Back to work tomorrow. But at least we're a little closer to getting the plot ready. Little. Yeah, let me emphasise the little. There is still much to do.