Wednesday, 20 August 2014

August update

We've had a busy couple of weeks and I've struggled to find time to write. So what have we been up to besides using an abundance of courgettes?

We've had help from the Dads. Dad P has been busy sourcing a free greenhouse with glass that fits (We priced up getting replacement glass and it would cost almost the same as a new greenhouse!) The plan is to get it up over the bank holiday weekend but will have to see how reliable the British weather is for that one. Dad W has been helping dig up the first of our potatoes (not an easy job for a one armed gardener) as well as weeding.

Mark started at the front of the plot, I started at the back of the growing area and we worked towards the middle removing the weeds. Mark and the junior Ps have been covering the ground with wood chips as  we've gone. We're finding that the weeds have come back where the wood chips are shallow however just a quick rake and they come out, far easier than hoeing. There's been a couple of perennial weeds that have come back but they were quickly dealt with.

Just got a small section left to weed in the middle. Also need to weed the right side flower bed then put the bark down.

Debating now what to put on the paths between the flower beds and the main growing area. Currently there's a strip of grass and docks but could tie it in with the rest and bark it or go with something different such as slabs. Jury's still out on that one.

The purple sprouts and broccoli that I rescued have all been nibbled by the rabbit. The little blighter managed to get under the net. Part of the Autumn/Winter prep will have to be making sturdier cages so we have better luck next year.

Think my next post will have to be a look back at what we've achieved this year as it is almost a year since we took on the plot.

Tuesday, 19 August 2014


I don't know about you, but we have been inundated with courgettes. Over the past few weeks I've used them to make pasta sauce, ratatouille, 3 bean chili stuffed courgettes with the large ones and finally chocolate courgette brownies, which were all very tasty.

Now however I have run out of ideas as of what to do with them and need inspiration. If anyone can suggest a recipe that has worked well for them please comment.

Looking forward to experimenting in the kitchen and will post some of the end results. :-)

Saturday, 2 August 2014

Junior P's busy week

We've had a busy week here at plot 45. After a week of neglect while we were in Cornwall The plot went wild (see previous post) and needed some taming.

First issue of the week was rust on the broad beans.

Most of the plants had fallen over so it was time to get he helpers in aka the junior P's. Having 6 weeks off school I struck a deal with older P's in exchange for 1 hours work on the plot, they could have an afternoon at the their friend's.

Bob and Jas stripped the beans off the plants while CP ate as many as she could.

The result:
Over 9.5 kg in the shells.

Once shelled we had about 4 kg. Gave some to Mum W and the rest are in freezer or drying out ready for seed. Good work kids. :-)

I started on a rescue mission. Our purple sprouts and broccoli had been waiting to go in for weeks. I took them up to the plot and thought I had left them in a safe place, only to find they had been half eaten by something.

Mark had cleared an area for me so I set to getting them in while the junior P's loaded wood chips into the wheel barrow.

At this point its touch and go as to whether or not they will survive. The nettle fertilizer is stinking well so I thought why not and decided to try it out. That's the great thing about being the first year on an allotment, you can experiment and see what works best for you. Everybody has their own ways of doing things and is happy to share their ideas and methods and when you try something and it doesn't quite turn out how you expect you get encouraged to keep trying until you find your own way. I'm digressing.

As per our new method of barking everything we dig/transplant, I barked the area.

Finally I covered the plants to keep the rabbits and other wildlife off. Not sure How well they will grow, but have given them a chance. Need Mark to help secure the frame and net it properly, (two hand job) not a bad attempt for a one armed bandit, with a little help from the junior P's. ;-)