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 !!!

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Busy Busy

The debacle with the wig-wam left me traumatised and I haven't posted for ages ! However that's not to say that I haven't been busy. The main thing that seems to be growing at the moment are the weeds, The outrageous ammounts of unseasonal rain we have endured over the past three weeks have greatly limited the time spent at the plot and as a result it has suffered. I managed to spend four hours down there yesterday trying to get on top of things but it still looks like it could do with loads more work.

I have reclaimed my summer onion bed from the grass - the grass was higher than the onions themselves - no wonder they don't seem to be swelling very well the grass was probably stealing all the nutrients.

I have harvested approx 12 pounds of broad beans and have now cut them down to ground level due to chocolate coloured spots appearing on the leaves - I didn't like the look of it and as I try to be organic did not want to spray them with anything so I have put them in a black bag for removal from the site - didn't fancy composting them as they were diseased. I read somewhere that you can get a lot more nutrients from the beans if you leave the roots systems in the ground - so I have given this a go. Weeded this patch as well mostly grass -again !

In the pictures underneath you can see the leeks and in between them a row of carrots, to the left of them are the cauliflowers then a row of peas and next to them under the pop bottles are the pitiful melons, I say pitiful as the poor things have taken a kicking from the weather and I don't think they will survive so the pop bottle treatment was a last resort, they are supposed to be rufty tufty outdoor melons but the poor things were not expecting the onslaught of Wild Welsh Weather, the weathermen promised us a hotter summer than last year so I thought outdoor melons and peppers would be just the thing but boy did they get it wrong!

In between the leeks and the caulis you can see two flashes of lime green, these are two lettuce which have decided after three months that they finally fancy germinating, I prepared a bed and laid a cloche over it in mid March and sowed lettuce, radish, carrots and spring onions not a single thing germinated - so I swore at them dug the ground over and planted leeks and carrots - now they decide to grow - so I am leaving them to do their thing !!

And speaking of cauliflowers - isn't she a beauty in the making !!

Do I wrap her up now to protect her beauty or wait until she gets bigger ?

I am getting quite excited about my outdoor tomatoes ( that does it I really do need to get a life !) - they are growing beautifully they have already produce a raft of flowers and now these are gradually developing into tomatoes - well - all three of them at the moment but I am confident there will be more.

These are the first potatoes that I harvested about three weeks ago - my daughter helped to dig them up and I am not sure who squealed the loudest - me or her it was so exciting to dig them up take them home and cook them up with broad beans from the plot and strawberries for afters yum yum. I have put the pound coin in the picture so that you can get an idea of the size of them !

The only problem is .......

I think I have blight - well not me personally but my potatoes - it seem the best thing is the cut the greenary off to ground level and burn or remove from the site do not compost as it it could linger - I have dug up one of the affected plants to have a look at what was happening under the ground but all seems well with the spuds. It appears to be an ideal year for blight with the silly weather we have been having I only hope my tomatoes don't get affected as well.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Wigwam Bam

I couldn't decide how to support my Cherokee Trail of Tears beans, I consulted the Genie, should I have a row of criss-cross poles as used for runner beans, or a row of equally spaced poles with wool in between or a wig wam, wig wam was the the firm response. I arranged to borrow some bean poles from my neighbour and set off to the plot. I dug a nice patch of ground over and began to stick the poles in the ground as far as I could. The Genie warned me to be very careful as the poles can splinter very quickly and cause nasty accidents so with this in mind I stuck them in as far as I could without too much force.

As usual I hadn't given much thought as to how I was going to create the wig-wam apart from stick the poles and tie them around the top.

I am short, there is no escaping it and five foot person has trouble tying up a seven foot wigwam, so I got a chair to stand on seemed perfectly reasonable until I stood on the chair and sank into the freshly dug soil !

I managed to tie in all but one of the canes and I as I tried to turn around to grab the last cane I realised that I was trapped inside my creation. Feeling pretty stupid and thankful that I was on my own I managed to wriggle out of my trap and eventually got the chair out ! After tying in the final cane I stepped back and admired my creation, whilst I'll admit it is a bit scraggy at the top its there and hopefully it will withstand the weight of the beans and the wind.

Monday, June 04, 2007

I'm back !

I'm sure you thought I was just being lazy.. again, but I have been away for a week - a long rain soaked week in a caravan but that's another story. I'm back and I haven't been to the plot yet, I am saving that for the morning, too much laundry and housework to do today - is it just my house that gets messy when nobody is at home ?

Back to plot matters ... all of the seedlings have surived quite well without me, sweetcorn is about six inches high and the melons are growing well.

First confession, I have planted pumpkins,cucumbers and courgettes ...but haven't labelled them, they are all doing well and all look exactly the same this could prove interesting when it comes to planting them out - perhaps I should have a variation on the three sisters theme and have the three of them all mingling together ?

Second confession, about six weeks ago I planted some tomatoes ... 80 to be precise and to my joint horror and amazement approx 70 have germinated, I now have a tomato situation. I am unable to follow the select the strongest and compost the rest advice because it seems cruel ! They have after all made the effort to germinate the least I can do is look after them, on this basis I have given forty to the Genie along with my Cherokee Trail of Tears to babysit whilst I was away and as a thank you he can have the toms. Phew there's 40 sorted just 30 odd to go I feel a lot of chutney is going to be made if they all fruit !

The view from my plot is changing rapidly at the moment due to the extensive works being undertaken in light of the construction of the Bargoed ByPass. Most locals are still in shock that work is underway as we have been promised this road for at least 15 years that I can remember and probably longer.

This however gives me an ideal opportunity to plug my lovely mothers blog, http://angel-way-the-bargoed-by-pass.blogspot.com/ Ooh nice pictures of earth movers I hear you cry, well no actually, this blog is full of beautiful pictures of my valley over the last 30 years since Bargoed Colliery closed and the different stages of the reclamation over the subsequent years. Yet another string to the Genie's bow is the way he has documented these changes, he has walked our dogs through this area for many years and has taken hundreds (honestly - crips boxes full !!) of photos and my mother is in the process of scanning them and adding them to the blog - go on give the link a click and come and have a virtual tour of our area !!!