Posts Tagged cloche

Spring has sprung!

Before picture of shed area

This weekend we’ve done a bit of tidying, painting, put the decking down properly by the side of the shed (see below)


Spring has sprung! First few leaves of rhubarb sneaking through the manure

First few leaves of rhubarb

Our neighbours gave us some elephant garlic last year and we planted it straight in our raised beds – we’re already seeing the results

Elephant Garlic growing

And the first real indicator, not only did my pruning effort not kill the cherry plum but it’s in flower.

Cherry plum blossom

The rest showing our new cloches, the first outdoor seeds being sown and our kitties. We’ve also cat proofed the bed we’ll be using for the brassicas this year by laying branches all over it.

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New raised bed for the weekend

What a weekend!

Up at 7:30 on a Saturday! First job of the day was to get some wood from my local wood supplier (8:10) (I like to have something easy to work with when I’m so busy!) which I dropped at the allotment (8:25) with some of the lovely blue plant safe treatment.  Then it was off home to pick up bike (8:30) then to the garage to drop off the car for repairs (8:40).  Back to the allotment by bike (9:00) to start treating the wood!

First job was to paint it all up which I managed fairly quickly, then whilst the first side was drying I made up the small raised fruit box.  Back to finish the other side of the wood then I went over to the new allotment rooms (three portacabins that have been installed into our new loos, seed shop & equipment hire + meeting room) to help dig the grey water channel.  I managed five feet before the allotment committee secretary popped over and told me they’d had a go, thought it was too difficult and hired a digger to do it.


Back to the plot to screw the Harlow bed together and bang it into the ground where I found the old adage of ‘measure twice cut once’ should have been applied.  Ten minutes of extra digging and a further half hour of de-couch grassing and my blue bed was in.  I then emptied 14 bags of fresh and rotted manure into the box and mixed it into the thick London clay.

adapted harlow bed planting plan



I sowed out a new set of dwarf and climbing french beans, carrots, spring onions and chives, planted up some lettuce, courgettes, squash, peppers/chilli and tomatoes. (click to enlarge planting plan to left)

Looks spiffing.

three sisters bed




The sugar snap peas have started to produce, unfortunately they’re only about 1/2 foot tall.  I used the cane supports to plant up my existing rather tatty looking beans in the hope they might take off!

Beans and peas




Rhubarb is looking good, potatoes going well and you can just about see the asparagus bed in the background.

rhubarb potatoes and asparagus



Strawberry patch protected by nets and part of my broken cloche.

strawberry plants (and garlic!)




finished off the afternoon by digging in my fruit tree and gooseberry bush and covering the floor with woodchip to try and delay the couch grass (fat chance).

Gooseberry bush and dwarf apple




By the time I got home I was told my rush was over and my better half didn’t fancy going to her friends birthday party after all (headache apparently).  I wasn’t to complain and sat down to watch Dr Who instead.

Sunday we had a 15% off voucher at Homebase – the manager served us and screwed up the order three times, eventually leaving the whole thing to one of the sales assistants who got it right first time.  Our new purchase was an incinerator which I used to smoke our strawberry patch and neighbours with.  My first ever real lunch down the lottie today – first in 1.5 years – a proper picnic with fresh salad off the allotment but peppers, cucumbers, cherry tomatoes from Somerfields (along with the chicken strips and brie which I wouldn’t have been able to pick anyway…)

We did some weeding but Sunday really was a lazy day.  Today my hands are b*gg*r*d and sore – though I’m not as sunburnt as usual.  Factor 100 must be working.

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I made a particularly big impulse buy – a cloche for the plot.  This is a fairly large affair, costing £24.99 and has so far stood up to some fairly hardcore winds.  In it we have two tomato plants which are growing at a rate of knots, melons, squashes and some assorted seeds!  I’ve already made my neighbours jealous and rumour has it they are now scouring the shops to buy one.

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