Wednesday, 31 March 2010


I am aware that a lot of people have posted about how to compost. For me though, it has never been about getting the right mix of browns and greens. I have two darlek style composters down at the allotment and they have been, with a little bit of coaxing, producing some reasonable compost. Where I have been going wrong is with the actual potential quantity and the transportation of scraps to the allotment. What I'm saying is I could have produced much, much more. If only........ now here is the confession, if only it didn't rot in the corner of the kitchen while waiting for transportation to the allotment. I often collect stuff and think I'll pop down with that after the school run tomorrow, but when tomorrow comes it often just doesn't happen. A smelly bucket just becomes too much to cope with so I then I just chuck it in the brown bin for the council.

So meet my solution, my new composter neatly installed in an overgrown part of my garden. I won't be wasting so much good compostable waste now. A few small steps from the back door and hey presto. I just need to restart my supply of chicken poo from the neighbours. Happy composting ahead of me, I think.

Sunday, 28 March 2010

peas and freecycle

What a day, I spent a good couple of hours weeding around the onions and sowing peas. I think that these were two things from my to do list.

I also spent about an hour and a half moving a playhouse from a nearby freecycler to the patch. Thank you Emma. They had taken the playhouse apart and all but two bits I could squeeze into
the back of my little Clio. The other two bits I decided to carry over to the allotments which was just over five minutes walk away. I had put out a wanted post on freecycle for a playhouse but was not hopeful of it yielding anything. The reason I wanted it was to entertain Huw as he can no longer be pushchair bound when we are down the patch. Not sure if it is going to work, we will see.

So after ticking off two jobs I have a new one to add to the list - assemble the playhouse.

Monday, 22 March 2010

The serious to do list

  • chop back the wild patch
  • dig area for peas, put in pea sticks and sow peas
  • hoe around garlic
  • burn the bonfire
  • cut the grass
  • make a bean trench
  • weed behind the strawberries and sow mexican hats
  • weed around the base of the raspberries
  • sow a row of carrots and kohl rabi
  • make a bean trench

Sunday, 21 March 2010


I know that it is spring. Everyone is sowing seeds and tending their new precious plants through the initial few weeks. So why am I talking about harvesting? Have I lost it completely?

Well last year when I sowed and tended to my brussel sprout seedlings and my celeriac I had great expectations of the food that I would be eating. Today I finally dug out both of these crops ( need the ground back). Oh and the size of the bounty can only leave you reeling with total admiration for my efforts. I knew it would be bad. In fact had left them in the ground with some blind hope that even through the winter they would show some change or some improvement. It was not to be.

I have harvested a handful of sprouts from stalks that would barely make a suitable walking stick for a cat.

I have produced celeriac the size of a golf ball.

Does all this disappointment put me off? Not a bit I have already sown some brussel sprout seeds. And yes I will sow celeriac again; it will be the third year of trying but imagine what it will taste like when I finally get there. That is the great thing about gardening every year you can start again, as this year will be different. Grow well little seeds enjoy the grow house.

Sunday, 14 March 2010


Today was the day that I chose to plant my spur of the moment purchase. as with all of these sorts of purchases I had no idea what I was supposed to do with it. Thankfully, a call out to the gardening tweeters on twitter led to some good advice accompanied with links to many useful web pages.

I had no idea that it spreads like wild fire, so have chosen to contain it in a large flowerpot (the advice says bucket but its often what you have to hand). I sunk the flower pot to 30cm deep and laid the root at 45 degrees with a little compost. Then I covered it over, now its just time that will reveal all.

Sunday, 7 March 2010

Sunny Sunday Start

It is just so good to feel that at last the new growing year has started properly. I have seedlings on the windowsills. I have put seeds into the ground at the allotment. I have potatoes to chit. I also have a horseradish to plant, that the trouble with these spur of the moment garden centre purchases, where do I put it and what do you do with it. My sense of excitement and the possibilities are spilling over.

The reality of an allotment is a little bit Jekyll and Hyde I was thinking today as I cleared areas and dug other bits today. You love it, you 'hate' it. It looks good, it looks like a monster.

On the patch I have some good bits that finally look like I own a 'proper' allotment and some bits that need sorting. At the moment I'm very aware that it could all run away from me. I could get left behind as spring marches through. We have loads to do, it's time to focus and crack on.

Looking good.
Needing work.