Thursday, 31 December 2009

In The Gutter

Due to the allotment mains water supply being turned off over the Winter, I have decided to invest in a 100 litre water butt and some guttering for the shed.

Heavy watering should be confined to the Summer (when the mains water is on), so this 100 litre butt should be enough to see me through.

I'm beginning to run out of jobs now, so I will have to start digging soon!

Monday, 28 December 2009

Plan Update

I have modified my plan to allow for three main beds (for crop rotation) and netting for my brassicas.

I have also included the work that has been done on the plot already.

My next job will be to fit gutters to the shed and run them into a water-butt.

See the virtual tour of my planned plot below.

Sunday, 27 December 2009

Mind Me Plums!

I received some garden centre gift vouchers for Christmas and spent some of them on a plum tree (Edwards variety). I have planted it in the middle of the utility area.

Dan came down the allotment today and helped me finish painting the compost bin.

Thursday, 24 December 2009

Merry Christmas!

I managed to get down the plot for a while today to do a few small jobs.

I have built the sides for the compost heap from some pallets I acquired. I have given them a coat of green wood preserve.

Due to the drizzle, they were taking too long to dry so they will have to wait until next time for the second coat.

I built a small work bench inside the shed. I used some of the wood that was left over from building my wooden edges.

I also painted my plot number on the side of the shed.

I think I'll have a day off tomorrow (on account of it being Christmas Day) and will probably get back to it on Boxing Day.

Sunday, 20 December 2009

Early Christmas Present.

My Christmas present arrived at home late yesterday. It wasn't gift-wrapped, but I'd have guessed what it was anyway.

I wasted no time this morning getting it loaded onto the roof-rack and down to the allotment.

It took me about three hours to build (I was working alone) and another hour to paint it with wood preserve. It all went together very easily, with all parts present.

Next jobs will be to build a work bench and put up some shelves inside the shed and build a compost bin.

Sunday, 13 December 2009

Rhubarb & Compost!

I've not done a great deal on the plot this weekend. The shed will be the next big job and I haven't got it yet!

I did nip down there yesterday and planted three rhubarb crowns (two Victoria and one Timperly early).

Saturday, 5 December 2009

Wooden Edges. DONE!

Dan and I returned to the allotments this morning and finished off the wooden edges.

I bought another small roll of weed suppressant fabric for the 45cm wide path that will run alongside the 'Link-a-Bord' cloche. We then spread more bark chippings to complete the path.

The plot is completely marked out by the wooden boards now.

The next jobs will be to erect the shed and build the compost bin. And then - let the digging commence!

Friday, 4 December 2009

Link-a-Bord Raised Bed Built

After finishing work early today, I made my way to the allotments with about £60 worth of 'Link-a-Bord' plastic raised bed gear that arrived earlier in the week.

You buy it by the meter with all the joints etc and it all slots together very quickly.

It took me about 30 minutes to build a 7m x 1m raised bed.

This raised bed will form the base of my choche and by the Summer will be filled with fat, juicy tomatoes and spicy chillies!

Saturday, 28 November 2009

Pay Day - The Plot Gets a Treat!

Well, today was pay day. So I decided to treat the plot.

Me and Dan (who conveniently has a van) had a bit of a tour around Wickes, Homebase and The Range and came away with 40 concrete paving slabs, 1200 litres of bark chippings, 100 litres of compost, 10 bags of sand and cement, a bottle of fruit & veg food and a redcurrant plant.

We laid a base for the shed using the sand and cement and 15 slabs, laid a path down the middle of the plot, built some more path edging and laid bark for the working/beer drinking area.

The path is wonky and the shed base isn't exactly level but I'll fix timbers on top of it before the shed goes on, so it'll be ok. Besides, I quite like the rustic look - it gives it character!

I treated the raspberries to some compost, food and a new friend (the redcurrant bush).

The plot is really starting to get somewhere now!

Friday, 27 November 2009

First Plants Planted!!!!

I've not had a chance to get down the plot during the week due to work and early dusk.

I took today off work and went and did a bit. I visited The Range (DIY / garden centre / home wares store) and bought a roll of that half log type lawn edging, some bamboo canes and two raspberry plants.

I then went to the plot and started on building my path edges. I used the timber I acquired with the half log things as stakes.

I also dug a bed 1m by 4m and planted my new raspberry plants (supported with a frame I made from the canes). Let's hope they provide loads of lovely, fat juicy fruit!

Friday, 20 November 2009

It's Begun

I have finally been down the plot and got started.

I hired a petrol brush cutter (big strimmer) and chopped down anything that was growing more than 1/2" tall

I then covered (almost) the entire plot in weed suppressant fabric to stop them growing back.

I held the fabric in place with dozens of tent pegs and a load of old timber that I aquired yesterday.

Saturday, 14 November 2009

Draft Design on Google Sketchup

I've downloaded Google Sketchup and come up with a few designs.

I have decided to go with a simple layout with large blocks for growing in, a shed, compost bin, cloche and an area for working, sitting and drinking tea/beer.

Friday, 13 November 2009

Time To Start

It's been a few weeks since I was given the keys to the allotments and I have decided that it is about time I got to work.

This is my first real attempt at gardening, let alone allotmenteering. The plot is absolutely covered in weeds. Dandelions, bindweed, couch grass and loads of others that I don't recognise.

Thankfully, my next-door neighbour, Dan, has agreed to share the workload in exchange for sharing the produce. Dan is also a gardening novice - this should be fun!!!

My wife has promised me a 6'x4' shed for christmas!

This is going to be a real challenge. I'd better get started!

Tuesday, 29 September 2009

Got the Keys!

I've finally been given a (half) plot at Brockhurst allotments in Gosport, Hants.

It is basically 7m x 14m of weeds at the moment. No shed or such-like.

It appears not to have been dug for at least a year.

I hope to have it dug and be ready to sow by the Spring. I'd best get to work then!