Welsh Girl's Allotment

Hello World,(a bit ambitious as only my mam knows I am here yet !) This is my blog detailing my quest for an allotment, its cultivation and hopefully bountiful crops. PLEASE FEEL FREE TO LEAVE COMMENTS, EVEN IF IT IS ONLY A HELLO !!!

Friday, October 20, 2006

Compost Bin

We have created a compost bin with items found on the plot, the wire surround was hidden in a pile of bramble and the corner stakes were also hidden amongst the undergrowth on the plot. I am now keeping my eyes open for some large pieces of cardboard to line the sides to help keep the heat in to aid the composting process. I have collected seven black bags worth of stuff including grass clippings, my annual bedding plants, leaves from my virginia creeper but they appear lost inside this creation, so I had a brain wave whilst out shoppng the other day, I have florist not too far from me so I called in and I have arranged to collect some of their green waste on a weekly basis to add to the heap. Whilst on this thread I also decided to ask my local green grocer if I can have the grotty fruit and veg theythrow away to add to the heap this should ensure a good mix of matter to create a nice compost ready for Feb/Mar planting. I also need to collect some activator from the pigeon man who keeps his birds next to the allotment, a bucket or so should be enough to get things going.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Big Bonfire !!

My bonfire is ever increasing and is now approaching silly proportions, it doesn't look that impressive in this pic but if you think that the plot it is on is roughly the same size as the one I have cleared and have planted on you may get an idea of the size of it. My neighbour has been digging out her bramble roots and I told her to add them to my bonfire as it would give her a clear plot to work on. To add to this there are two builders sacks of brambles to add to this and a load more branches. This will be one hell of a fire when it gets going I was thinking of keeping for bonfire night but I think it may be better to do it earlier in the day so that I can keep with it as I expect it will burn for a long time.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Strawberries - Yummy Yummy !!

Strawberries are go ! I have planted three rows of strawberries today kindly donated by - yes you've guessed it- my Dad !. I have put in two rows of plants and as you can see from the photo a row of runners which his own stock have thrown up this year.

My daughter is still having difficulty grasping the growing cycle - she is only three after all. When I collected her from school I explained to her that I had planted strawberries at the lotmens as she calls it, she was keen to get down there and pick them straight away.

I tried to explain the seasons and how things grow but this didn't seem to be getting through so I settled on when it gets really hot again then you'll be able to eat them !! A bit basic but it seemed to do the job. My beloved husband was flabbergasted that sprouts take almost nine months to grow so what chance have got explaining next year to my three old !!

So far we have red and white onions, spring cabbages and now strawberries, I am trying to find some broad beans apparently Aquadulce can go in this time of year and will be ready in May/June there are plenty in the catalogues but I wanted to buy some locally as I am impatient and want them in the ground !!

Thursday, October 12, 2006

And their in .....

After much promising we actually have growth at the plot, cabbages, Vanguard, red and white onions, Electric and Swift. There is actually a method in the madness of my bizarre planting scheme. The cabbages have been planted in a square and there are two rows of onions in the middle. I have done it this way to protect them from the marauding wellies of my daughter, if she can see a bit of green then I can hope she will not trample on the onions in the middle.

The whole allotment is on a twist and a tilt, so even though I marked out straight rows I don't appear to have them - it depends on where you are standing as to how straight the rows are - honestly - anyway this is food to eat not to look at !!!

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Rain Rain Go Away .....

Go away rain I need to plant ... red onions, white onions and cabbages. Everytime it dries up long enough to get my keys and put my coat on, whoosh down comes another downpour, it was supposed to be be dry this afternoon but it that's looking less and less likely. Oh well looks like I will have to do my ironing instead and I've been doing such a good job of avoiding it !!

One bonus of grotty days is looking at the seed catalogues, my favourite at the moment is www.realseeds.co.uk. They have an organic ethic and grow everything themselves and then harvest the seeds. The pictures of the veg are on the web-site for reference and the catalogue is full of useful information, I am definately going to try the melons,they can be grown outside, my list may need refining as it ammounts to about £25 so far from one catalogue !!

Sunday, October 08, 2006

An apology .....

I am sorry but I cannot help but be smug and proud, this plot had not seen cultivation in approx 3 years, on 16th September myself, my beloved husband, our friend Rees and my Dad attacked the plot with strimmers and hedge trimmers. Then came the creation of our bonfire with all the bits we have chopped down. Next was the digging, digging and more digging removing weeds and bramble roots and yesterday in comes the rotivator and turns over my soil ready for planting. I couldn't have done this so quickly on my own and have to thank my Dad for his advice and hard work - now its down to me to me to plant tend and care for my crops but I'll still need Dad to give me advice !

Just look at the difference in these two photos, the overgrown nature reserve is what we encountered that first morning and the second photo shows how we left it yesterday and if it hadn't been for the torrential rain it could have looked like that last weekend. Anyway enough boasting as pride comes before a fall so its off to the seed catalogues to plan out next years harvest.

A proper allotment !!

This gorgeous allotment comes to you courtesy of my Dad and Mantis rotivators (other rotivators are availiable - as they would say on the BBC). He brought his rotivator yesterday and whilst I and my daughter picked stones and moved brambles and rubbish he rotivated the plot for me,it looks so good even if I do say so myself. I have never seen a rotivator in action before and I was very impressed it has left the soil in such a fine tilth and in drills that I could just plant straight into it. So now I need to buy some broad beans and get them in sharpish, as mentioned previously spring cabbage and onions are on the way and I have some winter lettuce and spring onions to go in as well.

I also recieved some interesting info yesterday from one of the other plot holders, he says that our site is approx three weeks behind for the growing cycle. He is still picking runner beans whereas on my Dad's allotment everybody composted thiers about a fortnight ago. This got me thinking that technically my plot could still be classed as being in September so I may be able to get some sowings of plant by September seeds in and then maybe put cloches over them for extra protection. I read somewhere that you can still put late carrots in just to have teeny ones for Christmas dinner so I think I will try that and see how it goes. It would also fit in with the growing against adversity comp http://selfsufficientish.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=2831 over at Self Sufficient-ish, if they are slightly out of season.

The plot has a slight tump(Valley speak for mound) in the middle and it slopes off to the bottom left as you look at he pic, so I need to rake this out to try and even the surface out a bit. I will never get it pefectly straight as I am situated in the Welsh Valley's and everything is on a hill!

However this plot is looking damm fine and as soon as we have our bonfire I can crack on with the next plot !!

Damn brambles

The evil brambles have been cleared completely, some of the roots were longer than my daughter is tall. They are now all on the ever increasing bonfire waiting for Bonfire Night so we can have a few sparklers and get rid of all the brambles and rubbish we have collected so far.

Another little helper !

As well as an allotment fairy I also have another little helper, my daughter came with us yesterday and helped to pick stones and dig. She also talked to the horses and got quite cross when they got bored and wandered off -Look this way horsey she shouted at him

Saturday, October 07, 2006

A rare pic of the Allotment Fairy in his natural habitat!The allotment fairy has visited today and brought his rotivator - wow what a difference. We have been held up by some of the worst weather I have seen in ages, the rain last weekend and most of the week has been torrential and has made any real work impossible. It stayed fine long enough on Wednesday for me to go and stone pick hardly the most exciting of jobs but a necessary one nevertheless. Luckily today has been gorgeous, so out came Dad and his rotivator, for a titchy looking piece of equipment it has made an amazing difference the soil is now that could you put seed straight in it is beautiful.