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 !!!

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Lots and lots to read

Although I haven't posted for ages lots has been happening, so instead of a post a day you now have to wade through loads of info from beer making and strawberry planting digging and hoeing !! As always comments and advice are very welcome Happy Gardening !!

Digging Diggin and more digging

The second half of the second plot is proving to be a bit of a sod to dig - like I know because the Genie is doing it and keeps shooing me away when I try to help, not that I'm complaining mind being a Daddy's girl certainly has its advantages !!

The roots are proving difficult to remove as there are a combination of brambles and raspberry and couch, there appears to be little point in trying to save the raspberries they have been allowed to grow rampantly for a few years and there appears to little good root stock to transplant - so out they come and onto the bonfire

This plot is beginning to remeble the mountain side the grass is so tough to get through - I can tell by looking at it !! In the foreground you can the rhubarb cordoned off and the soft fruit cwtched up under a blanket to save it from any frost as these last few days have been very cold in the nights

Plot pics and potato bed

A nice pic the length of the two plots and if you peer closely you will see the Genie changing his boots ready to go home ! There are loads of other non soil related jobs to do that are beginning to annoy me, but the priority is to get the soil ready for planting.

I want to refurbish the metal bench, I need to tidy up the area by the container as there is a load of wood and branches squidged there and I want to clear that area for a patio and flowers !! I also need to sort the path out at the edge of the plot by the horses field and aim to clear it and dress with about 6 inches of sawdust.

In the foreground of the above picture and better below you can see the area prepared ready for the potatoes. Variety wise we have Home Guard, Saxon, Sante, Nicola, Golden Wonder raring to get in the soil and do their stuff. The furrows were made by the rotivator and the black row markers by the path edge are the indicators for spacing the rows tubers


The onions have been planted in the old strawberry bed, it was dug over and rotivated last week and left to settle and then approx 150 onions - red, Red Karmen and the white Setton have been carefully planted by the Genie.

The birds are showing an interest in the allotment now there is a bit of action so we have covered the onion bed with twigs in a effort to make them play somewhere else ! However twigs alone do not seem to be working as I had to replant a few sets yesterday so I am going to find an old video tape and strings lengths of it from the twigs to see if that will scare them away, you dont seem to see the free cd's any more, so I will give video tape a go.

Strawberries new home and a new helper

As promised a picture of the new strawberry bed, the ground was cleared , rotivated and manured with chicken pellets about a fortnight ago so late last week I transplanted the strawberries. It will be easier to pick them as they are right next to the path and this section also forms part of my daughters plot as she is in charge of the strawberries.

I saved my christmas tree and it has been in a box in the corner of my kitchen since twelth night shedding its needles. The strawberry bed has now been dressed with the pine needles, apparently they are very good at improving the flavour of the fruit and they will also act as a mulch.

The plot has a new helper.. monkey, my daughter is completely taken by this freebee monkey from her Grandfather's tea bags, she has named him moncap and he goes everywhere with her, she has even been taking him to school I have finally manged to persuade her to give him a kiss at the door and to let him come home with me just in case she loses him in school ! She decided yesterday that moncap wanted to come to the allotment so that he could tell her how things are looking down there and I had take a picture to prove he had been busy !!

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Home Brew - Beer this time

On Sunday we bottled our first attempt at home brewed wine, sorry no pics as it was a bit frantic, with possibly more wine on the floor and in sampling glasses than actually made it into the bottles! Note to self find a funnel for next time !

I gave a bottle to my mother for mothers day and even she agreed it was nice and this from somebody who has been homebrewing since I was a small child so she knows a thing or to !

Whilst it was produced from a kit, so realistically not to much could have gone wrong I was still very proud of my first attempt and we have waltzed our way thorough a bottle by Tuesday ! Considering we both hate wine this is remarkable for us.

So thrilled were we at our sucess with the wine we decided to branch out into beer, it is so simple I can't see why more people don't try it. The recipe required 2 gallons of hot water, disolve 3lb of sugar and the contents of bag A, top up with cold water to the 5 gallons mark add hop extract sachet, remove a small glass of the liquid and disolve the yeast into it, put that back into the barrel, swish it all around put on the lid and keep it 65 - 75 degrees to ensure fermentation takes place.

Husband was in charge of the swishing, once satisfied that the swishing has mixed all the ingrediants put the lid on, abandon it for 8 - 10 days and then it will need siphoning off into a barrell - hey presto 40 pints of home brew - I just hope we haven't got to cocky with the wine and this turns out to be a disaster ! I will keep you posted !

Hoe Hoe Hoe

Hoed around the winter cabbage and onions, its suprising how quickly the rain compacts the soil, I still haven't remembered to take my new tool down to the plot with me so my poor garlic is still waiting to be hoed - since planting ... You can see in the background that the genie is making sterling progress on our second plot, that segment has been dug, stripped of couch , brambles and anything else that we didn't like the look of, it has been rotivated once and has been partially stone picked, is it just my allotment or do all the small stones for a ten mile radius appear in allotments ?

Red Currants and Black Currants

During my recent orgy of buying at Lidl's I purchased a red currant,black currant and a raspberry all of the bargain price of 99p each. The red and black currant took off to the sky climbing out of their boxes so I decided to get them into the ground, severe frost and possibly snow have been forecast so with this in mind and with worry for their tender new growth .....

.... I cwtched them up with a bit of fleece hopefully this should protect them from the worst that mother nature can do - spot the horse coming for a site inspection !

Strawberries on the move

The strawberries were looking a bit sickly down at the far edge of the plot, I think due to the water that seems to collect there, so they were removed and the ground turned over and rotivated ready for the onions, this horse is so friendly is keeps coming up to the fence to investigate. Pics to follow of their new home.

Friday, March 02, 2007

First Rhubarb....for the Genie

The Allotment Genie has just sent me this photo of the the first rhubarb to be picked on his plot this year... along with a message that he is having rhubarb and custard for dessert today.
Has anybody else picked any rhubarb yet ?

Bring me my soap-box

I have tried to ensure that this blog stays allotment related, after all it is called the Welsh Girls Allotment !, I have so far resisted the temptation to wander off topic as I have lots of opinions on varied topics but I have decided to include this item as it is an important issue. I am concerned with the ammount of plastic carrier bags that are in circulation, even the new 'greener' biodegradable bags aren't of much use because all they do is degrade into smaller pieces of plastic as opposed to disappering altogether. I was browsing the forum on the 'Its not easy being green' website and came across this article http://www.itsnoteasybeinggreen.org/forum/viewtopic.php?t=4427 The lady has set up a website called http://www.morsbags.com/ . On here it gives you worrying information about the damage that plastic bags cause in the environment and also gives you instructions on how to make your own cloth bags, to carry around with you for your shopping needs. I am by no means perfect, I still use plastic bags, I do not pretend to be holier than thou but surely every bag we can save has to to better - little steps will achieve a big end result !

Thursday, March 01, 2007

I have learnt something new today ..

On my way to Lidl's this morning (more on that story later!) I saw this fluttering in the breeze outside somebodies home.

I have never seen this flag before and was curious - its St David's Day today so where is the dragon I thought. I decided to use the internet to search it and find out what it represented. It turns out that it is the flag of St David himself and has been recently incoporated into the emblem of the mighty Cardiff City FC. After doing a bit more research it would appear that the flag came into use around the turn of the last century and was used by the Anglican church in Wales to fly atop of the churches although there are also links to Lampeter University using the colours in the 1800's and some say that it goes back many hundreds of years. However myself and I would imagine most of the people in Wales are very much in love with our traditional dragon

Dydd Gwyl Dewi hapus

On this important day in Wales I thought I'd share this story with you, I caught the end of Newsnight last night and it was alleged that the last ever recording Jimi Hendrix made was of the Welsh National Anthem a few days before he died. Immediately my ears perked up as I am a massive Hendrix fan and of course the Welsh connection was fabulous. However on hearing the clip of alleged recording it was obvious that it wasn't him, my brother in law is an excellent guitarist and he used to play the Anthem at the end of his set and his version far excelled the recording played on TV. However it turns out that it was a marketing hoax and was actually performed by Martin Davies from the punk band The Vibrators. Here is the link to the story on the BBC website http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/wales/6406961.stm Hendrix and the Welsh National Anthem hmm an intriguing comination while it lasted !!! What next Jim Morrison singing Myfanwy ? Janis Joplin singing Sospan Fach ?