Sunday, 26 May 2013

So This Allotment Thingy

I've been guilty of fair weather gardening and as a result we were heading back towards where we were in October on day 1 of our allotment experience with the weeds. The speed the dandelions took over wasn't anticipated (yes I know I'm naive).  Then I noticed some other things coming up and innocently I put a photo of them onto a Facebook group page about allotments because I like to know what stuff is. The verdict was hogweed - nasty stuff which causes awful burns if the sap gets you. 

I decided the only way forward was a chemical route with a product which can be planted onto after just a week. Yes I know! I can hear the lectures forming about chemicals in the garden. I honestly didn't have another clue what to do. My phone has spent more time connected to google recently than anything else. Anyway it seems to be slowly working. 

I bought a battery strimmer yesterday. Bargain price in Homebase with an extra 15% off this weekend too. It wasn't a decision taken lightly I can tell you but I think it will make such a difference to the plot. Going to try it out tomorrow. 

So where are we at:

The bulbs we planted have started coming through and flowering. I've planted anemone de Caen so many times in pots over the years at home with no success at all so it was nice to see them coming up. 

Grape hyacinths are showing their heads

I've got 4 veg beds sorted out so far. The top one has a couple of wigwams ready for runner beans and some Monte Cristo French beans I have been lucky enough to trial before they go on sale. They have been growing at home so will be hardened off this week and I will probably plant them next week.

The next bed has some broad beans my mum grew for us. They've been in about 5 weeks now and have started flowering now.

The third one has some meteor peas planted a few weeks ago and some asparagus I bought yesterday for 20p from Homebase. For 20p I'm taking a chance on it even though it is late to plant it. 

The last one I've got ready I planted with carrots and beetroot today, I also put some marigolds and nasturtiums in to see if the companion planting thing works. 

This is the view looking up at the four beds (rustic rather than messy lol)

Unfortunately this is the view looking down from those beds. Lots of work to do before the brassicas, sweetcorn and other bits and bobs I've got growing at home can go in. 

Sometimes I go there and think its all way too much and I'll never get there but then I remember how bad the weeds were when we first got it in October and slowly we actually are getting there. The council gave us the first year and a half rent free because it was overgrown so it is still early days. Hopefully the strimmer will make a difference. I have read somewhere that weeds don't like to grow close to sunflowers so I might grow a few of those. 

My apple blossom is guaranteed to cheer me up 


TAM said...

Keep at it Kerry - it is hard work but worth it in the end. Having seem what it looked like when you took it on back in October I'd say you're doing fine.

Angie said...

I have such admiration for you ...that you got this far ...My daughters friend has an allotment and never buys any veg or fruit now ....even gives her family bits too ....I keep hinting lol. Good Luck.

Heidi Sonboul said...

This looks like such a fun project. I love gardening. I heard the same thing about Sunflowers. You should try it.