My Plot

Plot 46, Burnside Allotments, Cambridge

Friday, January 27, 2006

Half way Hen House

The framework of the hen house is complete. I have made it so that the nest boxes are removable and the whole thing will be easily sweep outable. I am going to clad it with tongue & groove shiplap, with some doors in it for collecting eggs, and for cleaning the house out. Posted by Picasa

Sunday, January 22, 2006

Chicken plotting

Had a good day today - went to the plot. The sun was shining and it was lovely and warm - just a little nip in the wind to keep you on your toes - just the thing to put you in a great mood. I planted some of the broad beans that I started off in the house, added some more glass to the greenhouse, and weeded round the leeks and cabbages. Chatted with the plot neighbours and took some photos for the blog. After lunch the children and I went to look at hens - The children had a great time looking at the chickens, goats, ducks, geese, pigs, calves dogs etc... at all the animals are free range and they are running round the place completely un fenced and not wanting to escape.

We came away with a dozen free range eggs and made an order for a Rhode Island Red, a Buff Orpington and a Light Sussex, for collection sometime in the next 2 weeks. I had better get on with building the hen house!!!

Hen House Plans

Light Sussex

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Buff Orpington

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Rhode Island Red

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Plot view

View down the plot Posted by Picasa

It's a boy!!

My greenhouse has given birth - Yes I now have a baby greenhouse to go with my big greenhouse - the only thing is the under gardener got it hooked up in a tree as he was trying to deliver it - you would have thought he would have taken more care, but alas it was not to be. The greenhouse was delivered complete but a little battered round the edges. Posted by Picasa

Greenhouse glass

The greenhouse with more glass Posted by Picasa


Onions - can you see them?? I promise they are growing - Well - I can see lots of little onion shoots even if you can't! Posted by Picasa

Stinky nettles

Cabbages and leeks, all seem to have had a growth spurt (is that how you spell it?) since I gave them all a feed of stinky nettle tea - minging!!! The leeks are looking more like leeks rather than spring onions at last.

My son used to call stinging nettles - stinky nettles, a very appropriate name when you've had a whiff of the rank, rancid, foul smelling gunk - nettle tea - just as well the veggies seem to like it! Posted by Picasa

Aquadulce Claudia

Broad beans which I started off in loo roll inners, these were the most squat ones, as some of them went really leggy so I decided not to plant those ones. Oh yes - and a shadow of my legs!! Posted by Picasa

Beans means Beans

Broad beans - Aquadulce Claudia, planted up in newspaper pots - They are biodegradable, easy to make, a great way to recycle old newspapers instead of giving them to the council, and they fit just nicely into my windowsill propogator, I have put these into the coldframe outside, and will plant them when they poke their heads through Posted by Picasa


Garlic all growing really well
Do you think we have enough? Posted by Picasa

Dig Dig Dig...

This is the bottom of the plot, I have dug the path between these beds, now I need to dig the other one going to the bottom, and a skinny one going across the plot, then dig all the beds, then put wood round them, then...... Posted by Picasa

Saturday, January 07, 2006

Seeds seeds and more seeds

I had my seed order come through a few weeks ago and I have only just got round to sorting it out - It made frightening viewing! I did not realise I had ordered so many!

I also went to the garden centre this week and lo and behold some seed packets jumped into my basket - regardless of the fact that there were already loads at home already!

The seeds I bought this week were:

Tomato - Gardeners delight
Chilli Pepper - Bolivian Rainbow
Pumpkin - Mars
Melon - Sweetheart

I also planted some broad beans (Aquadulce Claudia) into loo roll inners in the spare beedroom in a propogator so that I can plant them out under cloches. I am dioing this as I didn't manage to get them planted in November - better late than never I suppose!

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Greenhouse update

The greenhouse with 1/2 the glass in.
I managed not to break about half the greenhouse glass and have put it into the frame. The price of glass is expensive, although either this or clear polycarbonate is the preferred option. But as I cannot afford either at the moment and my greenhouse does not take the standard 2'x2' sizes I have been looking all over for something to fill in the gaps. Even twin wall polycarbonate is expensive and it doesn't come in the right sizes - I have however found some twinwall stuff from DIY Plastics that is exactly the right size for the sides and I will just need to trim a little off for the roof and front. I will use this and replace it as I can afford it with clear polycarbonate.
My next plan is to cover the floor with permeable membrane and put gravel dow, so that the water goes through but no weeds grow. The gravel should also deter the slugs (in theory).Posted by Picasa

More digging to do

The bottom end of the plot - still to tackle.
This is a picture of the bottom 6 beds, all of which need the paths digging - putting the top soil onto the beds. Hopefully putting timber round the beds - but this can wait if needs be. I also need to dig over the beds and put some manure or compost onto them ready for planting.

I had covered up some parts of the beds with thick black plastic, under which the soil was dry enough to dig and had killed off alot of the weeds, so my next purchase is giong to be some damp proof course plastic - £23.48 per4m x 15m roll from B&Q - I might be able to get it cheaper from Ridgeons builders merchants (with Luck). I recon if I cover the beds up with this I might be able to dig the beds a bit easier - we have clay soil which is wet and slimy right now. Posted by Picasa

Clearing brambles

Chris - modelling the newly cleared portion of plot - still have 2/3 to go!
But 3 days ago you could not even get up to the cherry tree that Chris is standing near.

We aim to clear the brambles, strim the grass, lay out the beds for the soft fruit, then plant the fruit trees - all by February!!! Posted by Picasa

Monday, January 02, 2006


Brambles brambles and more brambles! This is a photo of some of our next plot - completely covered in brambles other than an area at the top where the 'shed' is and a heap of rubbish that needs taking to the tip and another that needs burning.

We need to get this lot cleared so that we can plant some fruit trees before the end of February. We want to plant apples, plums, greegage and pears. At the top of this plot we will have some raspberry beds and some redcurrant bushes, as well as an area for relaxing and maybe even a pond. Posted by Picasa

Brill books!

The books I bought today are fantastic - The river Cottage Cookbook is very informative, has loads of scrummy recipes, and has got me plotting about how to sneak 3 hens into my garden without the undergardener realising! - We did have hens before but we also had alot more land, but I do really fancy having proper free range eggs to go with our organic veg!

New years day

Today I crept out of the house whilst every one was snoozing (11am) and went into town on a book buying mission. I had been given some book tokens for christmas and they were burning a hole in my handbag. I visited Waterstones, Borders and WH Smiths, and had a wonderful time brousing all the book that were on offer, I eventually bought the River Cottage Cook Book, mainly after having watched most of the River Cottage series' on TV over the past few weeks.

I also bought some reading books for me to while away the dark evenings, The other book I bought for the allotment was Grow your own Vegetables by Joy Larckom. After making my purchases I sat and had a lovely cappuchino ( not sure this how you spell it) and sandwich in waterstones, browsing through the books -

A lovely new years day!

Sunday, January 01, 2006

From somewhat uninspiring beginnings..

What will become the new shed!
I took apart some fencing panels that were removed from a landscaping job, which has given me 12 posts = shed framework, and lots of feather edge boarding = shed walls. The shed will be built on my second plot and I am hoping for a lovely little number with a place to sit & sip wine whilst contemplating the passing of time. Posted by Picasa

Doorless doors

Shed from other side - The door that does not open fell off over the last month, so now it is a doorless doors. All is not lost though as I have a cunning plan.... I am going to knock it down - unless it falls down first of course!

And then I am going to build a new super dooper shed with a door. Posted by Picasa


This is the shed by the Doors! decidedly falling apart in totally unsecure with no floor and very rotten walls (doors) Posted by Picasa

Onions to you!

An onion sprouting. not all of the onions (Unwins early) that I planted have started sprouting, and some look as if they have been nibbled by something small and furry. Posted by Picasa

Spring cabbage & anorexic leeks

Spring cabbage from which I have taken the cloches off and earthed up so they were less floppy (it said to do this in a book or article I read somewhere). Hopefully these cabbages will turn aout alot better than those I planted last year which are a total disaster! - think I might just dig the bed and cover it ready for planting in the spring.

The leeks are still on the slim side - but who said they had to be thick anyway! - think these might be more of a stir fry kind of veg than a hearty leek & potato soup type!

It was such a lovely warm day today - such a treat after all the snow and frost and dark nights. Un fortunately I cannot get to the plot during the week as by the time I get home from work it is too dark and as usual the run up to Christmas is totally mad so even the weekends have been a non starter. Posted by Picasa


Garlic and Rhubarb (hidden under muck)
All the garlic is growing very well - even the 'Tesco's' variety - it remains to be seen whether it eventually turns into anything worth eating - will keep you posted. Posted by Picasa
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