My Plot

Plot 46, Burnside Allotments, Cambridge

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Happy Christmas everyone!

I hope everyone had a great Christmas and it was all that you had hoped for.

Well I haven't made it to the plot since 12th December. Had planned to sow garlic into the bed I had prepared but unfortunately the snow arrived before the garlic did. The weather forecast is not good either, so I will probably sow into pots and put them in my greenhouse which is unheated, then plant out later.

I have been browsing the Internet and came across The Dobbie's Pumpkin Patch and mrs dobbie keeps a balance sheet of money spent and money saved by not buying veg & fruit from the supermarket, and I have decided to do the same. I am just keeping a running total in my allotment notebook. I think this will be an interesting exercise to carry out so watch this space.....

Have also been reading Joe's allotment by Jo Swift where he extolls the virtues of an 'azada', a tool which looks like a very heavy duty hoe, but can be used for all sorts of things and apparently makes lighter work of digging, particularly for getting out roots etc and for breaking up compacted soil, whilst giving less strain on your back than traditional digging does. I had heard of them before but did not know how to get one. So again searched on google and came across Get Digging (website: who supply azadas in all different sizes. There is loads of information on the website and lots of testimonials, so I have taken the plunge and ordered a medium one at a cost of £27.00 including delivery. Probably approximately the same cost as a decent spade but if it delivers all that it promises then it will be far better value than a spade.

I will report back once it has arrived and managed to have a go.....

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Oh garlic...wherefore art thou?

Hmmmph.....The Solent Wight garlic that I ordered over a week ago has not arrived yet & I wanted to get it into the ground before the next round of snowy weather hits us.
Will have to think of a plan B.......probably cover bed up with plastic or fleece so if it does snow as threatened I can at least just remove the cover when I do come to plant it, leaving a snow free bed.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Bonfires & paths

Today I went to the plot & achieved loads - managed to burn all the brambles that I had cut - rather more successfully than my last attempt at having a bonfire.

Brambles burning....brambles burning....

My son came with me to the allotment and he was an absolute star & ferried barrow loads of wood chippings from the pile that had been delivered by the council at the far end of the site to my plot. I had used some of the carpet I got from freecycle as weed control & then put the chippings on top to make paths between the beds.

We managed to cover all the paths from the bed that has been dug nearly to the end. I just need a few more barrow loads to complete the paths. Then I will put woodchips around the front of the shed.

As you can see it looks so much better!

This is from where the bonfire was looking up the plot towards the shed.

I decided that I also wanted to plant something and as the Garlic I ordered has not arrived yet, I sowed some broad bead seeds. I used Aquadulce Claudia as they are ok to be sown in the autumn - They are meant to be sown in November but I thought I would give it a go. I Have covered them with some fleece to keep them slightly protected so that they can get going.
I will plant garlic (Solent Wight) in the other half of the bed.

Muck & more clearing...

Went to the plot last weekend to carry on with trying to clear the brambles at the bottom of the plot. It was a lovely sunny day and Buddy enjoyed himself also.
Buddy chewing up some wood that he had ''collected"

You can't see it very well, but this is the heap of brambles that I have cut down so far.

I also collected a trailer load of horse manure.

After a bit of rearranging I stacked the manure in its enclosure - I only filled it about 1/4 full so will need to go back & get some more.

This little robin kept popping up when I was clearing the brambles hoping to clear up all the bugs I was unearthing.

The next plans on the plot are to sort out the middle bed that still has slates around it - replacing the slates with wood. Then start digging out all the bramble roots.
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