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, September 20, 2007

Potatoes for Christmas

A few weeks ago I bought some seed potatoes from the indoor market in Newport, I have just got around to planting them up last week but haven't had chance to post. I bought a few plastic buckets at a car boot sale and my daughter was in charge of filling the buckets up - she didn't fancy touching the potatoes as the sprouts had grown quite spindly so I placed them in the buckets and she covered them up - whilst wearing her uniform and sparkling white socks and no shoes grrrr ! She is in charge of checking them every day with the instructions that as soon as she sees any growth she has to cover them ! I am doubtful that we will get any potatoes for Christmas dinner but we can try !!

I have also manged to finish digging the onion bed over, its still hurts to dig but not as much as before so with plenty of stops I got it done - just the rest of the plot left !!

More midnight gardening as you can see from the photo, I will have to take some daytime photos !!

Tuesday, September 11, 2007


Due to the hopefully imminent start of the Great Raised Bed Project, Monday mornings job was to raise the onions and weed the bed and also raise my last two rows of potatoes and weed that bed.

Harvested all of the onions and then started to dig the bed over, didn't get very far as I couldn't dig, not laziness this time but due to a car accident on the weekend poor little Welsh Girl is aching too much, I had to give up and have a sit down and then go home.

I was hoping that if I had a few painkillers and kept moving I would be OK, but it was not to be, this is as far as I got - and this took two attempts, with a bit of luck things will sort themselves out by the end of the week and I can get back to normal.

On a brighter note here are my onions drying out in one those silly plastic greenhouses, I say silly because anybody who owns one will know that anything more than a gentle breeze will send the damn thing crashing over - hence the half breeze block on the bottom shelf !!

The observant amongst you will note that some if not most of the onions are same size as when they went into the ground, this is one of the reasons for the Great Raised Bed Project, there are pockets of goodness in the soil and vast areas of nothing even with liberal ammounts of chicken manure. The big idea is that the raised beds will allow the concentration of compost and other goodies and help the crops to grow better - we'll see.

More Autumn Pics

The fact that Autumn is on the way got the attention of a few of you, so how about this, in the background, over the fence and into the colliery site you can see some trees beginning to turn yellow, this photo was taken last Thursday .....

This photo was taken Monday morning - look how quickly the leaves are changing colour ! At this rate they will be bald by Sunday !!

Cherokee Trail of Tears

After a very slow start, the Cherokee Trail of Tears beans are putting on a good show, I eat them quite a lot when I am at the plot. My husband is not very fussed on them, he prefers a sweeter bean so I may try another variety next year.

Thursday, September 06, 2007

Autumn is officially on the way

Yet again it was almost dark when I left the plot this evening, but I thought I'd share this photo with you of my elderflower tree getting ready to shed its leaves. The trees across the valley are beginning to change colour as well.

Also I noticed it is getting darker much earlier this week than it did last week, about 1/2 hour earlier in fact. It was about 10 past 8 when I took this photo and already it is almost dark, last week it was decent light until about 1/4 to 9.

Look what I found hiding in the compost

I thought it was about time I turned the compost, this will ensure that all the material in there will rot down evenly and create beautiful compost. I turned out both of the dalek style bins and as I was turning the second heap out slithered this gorgeous slow worm. It was a good job he moved when he did as I was using a fork to turn the heap and I would have been devastated if I had stuck him with it.

He was a well behaved slow worm as he waited for me to get my camera and take a picture before he slithered off to safety

I lifted the daleks up and found that the compostable material I have been filling the bins up with for months had become quite compacted, so I got the fork out of the shed and began to turn both of the heaps over.
Although on the surface it wasn't looking very good, when I removed the top inch or so which hadn't yet rotted underneath was the best looking 'earth' I have ever seen, it smelt beautifu,l it looked beautiful and it make me feel very good that I had made this myself with stuff that most people send off to the landfil site

All of this fantastic compost will be utilised in the Great Raised Bed Project over the winter months ready for the spring planting.

Strange Dahlias

I have had some beautiful blooms from the Dahlia tubers that my father gave me from his allotment. However these ones have been acting a little strange, the first six or so blooms were stripy like these, then it threw out one completely red bloom with no stripes ( sorry didn't take a picture)

If that wasn't a bit unusual, the plant then surpassed itself itself by developing this bloom ....

I have never seen anything like this in my life, I can assure you there is no camera trickery involved the flower has developed like this - I can barely blog - nevermind meddle with photos !!

Does anybody know anything about Dahlias or have any idea why this would have happened - my freaky flower currently has pride of place on my kitchen windowsil !

Courgettes on the loose

I think I may have a seriuos problem on the cards. At the beginning of the season I thought I had planted three courgette plants and 12 cucumbers.

How wrong was I, now that they are finally deigning to bear fruit, I have one cucumber left ( slugs) and 12 twelve very healthy courgette plants.

I have heard terrifying stories about courgette mountains and I am in a bit of panic, so far they are fruiting quite sedately but the devil in me threw a couple of handfuls of chicken manure around them on Monday - will I live to regret this ??
This is the courgette patch
Courgette plants all bearing pretty flowers, even if I do have an unmanagable glut I will make this http://allotment.humanlint.com/2006/09/24/surprisingly-good/ - a chocolate courgette cake as made by Pumpkin Soup - I did try to edit the link but it appears that task is beyond me at the moment !

Yum Yum Yum !!

At least something has grown !!

More weed clearance

I think its fair to say that the weeds are close to out of control, it makes depressing viewing, however I blame the slugs myself (not my laziness of course)... if they hadn't eaten all of my pumpkin plants then most of the plot would been covered in rambling squashes with no space for the damn weeds !

There is nothing for it but do penance, on my hands and knees with a fork and a trowel and go through the plot by hand to remove the weeds and their roots, it is strangely satisfying to the result of a few evenings hard work

Don't get to confident though, there is still this bit to do !

I found a bit of old carpet and threw it over the site of an old fire that I had some weeks ago, the roots that didn't burn completely had sprouted and was growing away quite merrily. The carpet is more of an attempt to hide the weeds than kill them as I know in my heart they will have to be removed by hand.

Cheeky caterpillers

My sprouts were starting to resemble fine lace curtains, upon investigating under the leaves I found this bunch of brassica munching monsters on just one plant - the cheek of it how dare they eat my sprouts - I don't even like sprouts (!!) but still - how dare they.

I think that I was lucky I checked them when I did as if had left them over night goodness knows how much the cheeky buggers would have eaten !

Sorry for the gap in posting

Sorry for the gap in posting but I have been experiancing serious problems with Blogger I haven't been able to log in since the last post, a virus had installed itself on my machine and knackered everything up.

Finally, I have sorted it out today so here we go with a mammoth posting session !