Allotment News

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  • Oooh

    We have decided to have a 'plot' at the stables so I have carte blanche where to dig ....  the area is totally 100% organic which is an even better start and we have horse manure coming out of our ears

    and we have a tractor and a harrow

    all I need to do is find a suitable spot!!

  • Am now the proud 'owner' of half an allotment.

    The man from the allotment society was right and the current owner and I got on like a house on fire.  Am going to meet her at the plot at the weekend.

  • we have horse manure coming out of our ears

    Kinky image

  • One of the best things I've ever done.  We have enough strawberry jam to keep Mr G going for a year, raspberries, blackcurrants  and gooseberries in the freezer.  House full of sweet peas. Courgettes, broad beans and so many other goodies.  Freshly dug potatoes - a taste revelation. I've met some really lovely people.   Why didn't I do this years ago? Interesting idea from one of the older allotmenters - every time he takes produce home he weighs it and puts 30p per pound in a jar in his kitchen - means that his plot is self-financing.
  • Hasn't gardening become retro cool all of a sudden???

    I love my garden & I love sitting in my poly tunnel of an evening talking to my chillies,peppers,aubergines & water melons.

    I also turned over 1/3 rd of lawn for extra veg production & built two large raised beds out of old scaffolding planks in area that just become a mess & a bit of dumping ground,it's now producing more carrots,radish & baby leeks than I can shake a stick at.

    Your own spuds are truly a taste revelation just as Mrs G say's.

  • I've been given some wooden pallets which Mr G is going to turn into compost bins.  What I like is the fact that everyone shares their money saving ideas and the fact that when it rains there is always a shed to shelter in with a cup of tea!!!!    As the guy on the plot next to me says - nicer that prozac and much more useful.
  • Pallets for a compost bins are excellent Mrs G.

    I've spent the weekend part burying large old yogurt pots,put an up turned plastic flower pot over the top(one with a few holes in) & 1/4 fill with cheapest nastiest beer you can get .

    Slug traps,they work a treat & much better than putting down pellets or chemicals.

  • Nice to read about other people on here growing their own veg. image

    We've been in our current house for just under two years, and I've given over our back garden to growing veg - in the past year I've converted it single-handedly from a weed-infested wasteland to my own little sanctuary, full of delicious things!  No chemicals used whatsoever in my garden; just a lot of satisfying hard graft.  Our garden is probably the size of about half an allotment.

    Homegrown potatoes are an absolute revelation, and I don't think I'll ever get bored of the excitement of unearthing the spuds from the ground - my buried treasure!  The idea of going out, picking my own salad leaves, peas and broad beans and using them straight away in the kitchen is also wonderful.

    We've just started harvesting courgettes, red onions are still growing but will be ready to pull up soon, tomatoes are beginning to ripen, and we'll be having baby carrots shortly.  Perpetual spinach plants give us more green leafy stuff than we know what to do with!

    Soon I'll be planting/sowing kale, leeks, spring onions, turnip and lamb's lettuce (also known as corn salad; an excellent salad vegetable which still does well in cold weather).  We've got a couple of Brussels sprout plants growing well (covered with fleece to protect them from cabbage white butterflies and other nasties).

    Beer-filled slug traps are great.  Other things to deter the little buggers - they don't like having to slither over fresh coffee grounds and broken pistacchio nut shells.  

    The Joy Larkcom book is excellent.

    I'm between two lots of neighbours who are also into growing things, and it's lovely to swap and share seeds, plants and gardening tips! image

    Being out in the garden does wonders for my mental and emotional well-being - if i'm in a bad mood, just a few minutes tending to plants, or even just admiring them, puts a smile on my face.

    Next year I want to turn the bottom of the garden into a lovely little fruit patch.

  • There is an old boy in my local who I love talking veg with.

    His answer to everything is paraffinimage

    i finds it totally amusing that I persist going down the organic route when you could just 'spray em with bit of paraffin'

    He always says he 83 & it's never done him any harm.

    Maris pipers that have been rubbed in paraffin before sowing?? No thanks.

  • Paraffin?!? image

    The nearest I get to chemicals is spraying water mixed with washing-up liquid onto plants to get rid of aphids.  Doesn't kill 'em, but the detergent makes stems etc too slippery for the little blighters to cling onto.

  • I kid you not!

    I spray water mixed with lemon juice for that purpose LP,his solution is to spray them with Paraffin.

    He dips his chitted spuds in paraffin before sowing themimage

  • He dips his chitted spuds in paraffin before sowing them

    no problem with that - the new tubers won't have any paraffin on/in them as they will have grown afresh

    paraffin is indeed an old gardener's technique - my old man used it occasionally but never tried it myself..........

    don't diss some of the old techniques - the majority of them work well but we have just become accustomed to using modern chemicals or nothing at all so have lost some of this knowledge....

    the detergent makes stems etc too slippery for the little blighters

    errrm - no. it messes with the aphids breathing systems by wetting the surfaces of the trachea so effectively the insect drowns - the same method as paraffin!
  • Actually, it's really interesting to read about old techniques, even if the seem odd! image

    Actually, my grandad (now dead, sadly) was a resourceful chap who probably would have made use of paraffin as well!  His veg garden was pretty amazing.

    I've inherited - via my mum who's also a keen gardener - his obsession with not wasting anything.  Hence copious re-use of yoghurt pots as slug traps, egg-boxes as modules and a wide range of plastic food containers as improvised seed-trays.  M&S 'mini-bites' tubs make good plant pots if you drill holes in the bottom.

    Need to read up on seed-saving as well.

    I love gardening - given what a junk food-munching couch potato I used to be, a lot of people I used to know are shocked to hear about both the running and the gardening!

  • fat buddha wrote (see)

     the detergent makes stems etc too slippery for the little blighters

    errrm - no. it messes with the aphids breathing systems by wetting the surfaces of the trachea so effectively the insect drowns - the same method as paraffin!


    Nice! Oh well.... good job i'm not vegan anymore and don't really care that much about insects*! image

    I do keep on the lookout for ladybirds though as a method of aphid-extermination.image

    *Apart from the 'beneficial' ones that pollinate/kill pests etc!

  • I reuse all the tubs that mushrooms & fruit seem to be supplied in.

    Grow your own magazine is well worth look if your not already getting it & there is usually a packets of seeds attached to the cover.

    Apparently watered down Jam works well in a slug trap with a dash of paraffin of course image

    Egg boxes/card trays also stop your compost heap from smelling.

  • We shred all our documents with names & addresses on, and add them to the compost bins between grass clippings to stop them going slimy and smelly....bet the ID thieves can't get anything from us after they've been composted for 2 years image.

    Mr K found a rat nest in the allotment a few weeks ago...any ideas how to get rid of them? Apart from covering them in paraffin of course image

  • Parrafin deters mice. Mrs FR dips one bean seed in 5 in parrafin before sowing, it stops the little blighters digging up the whole row.

    Kwilter ask around to see if there are any terrier men in your allotment society. Either that or ferret fanciers. Invite 'em round to your plot.

  • Ferrets! Of course. I'm sure there'll be someone who has them. Cheers FR!
  • Anyone got any tips for keeping cats away? Apart from netting and the Scardy Cat plant.
  • A dog or another cat.....
  • My peppers & chillies in last few weeks have just ground to a halt,we need some prolonged heat or I fear a failed crop image
  • I love my veg patch. We moved into where we are now about a year ago and I've turned the wasteland area of our garden into our own private allotment, together with a chicken coop at the end.

    Biggest problem that I have had to date is going away and leaving a raised bed full of brassica only to return 2 days later to find the whole thing desecrated by catepillers....

  • I use this plant-based cat repellent - it's a powder you scatter around the place and apparently they don't like the smell of it.

    Can't say it works particularly well though - we have loads of cats around the place.  I tend to just protect the plants as far as possible and I still have to scoop up the odd piece of, erm, 'contamination' in an inside-out carrier bag.  image

    Our nextdoor neighbours' cat is fairly well-behaved though, and is actually an expert mouse-catcher and bird-scarer, so we've not had many problems with peas/beans being snaffled! image

    I do the whole thing of putting card, shredded personal documents etc in the compost - definitely makes a difference to the smell.  It's about getting the balance right between 'browns' (paper, card etc) and 'greens' (vegetable waste) so the moisture levels are just right.

    Apparently you can put shredded up cotton and wool clothing in compost heaps as well (the fabric is natural and therefore breaks down) - never tried this though...

  • BigRedToe wrote (see)
    My peppers & chillies in last few weeks have just ground to a halt,we need some prolonged heat or I fear a failed crop image


    Bloody weather! image

    My pepper plants are pathetic - the one thing that's been truly disappointing this year (although tomatoes are a tad slow at ripening as well). image

  • yep - my chillies need some heat as they are all outdoor.. image

    same with the outdoor cucumbers - pathetic so far

    but toms are starting to ripen at last
  • Sorry FR, should have said cat repellents not involving other animals.

    Thanks LP, tried that kind of stuff already, made no difference for me either.

    Anyone tried Wiggly Wigglers for composting stuff?

  • yep - have a WW wormery....so far so good and a great way to use kitchen leftovers if you don't have a compost bin
  • My toms are huge but sadly green.

    My Pepper plants are about 2 feet tall & have golf ball size peppers on them, that not moved on in size for a couple of weeks,chilli plamts have loads of flowers but very few chillies as yet.

  • Apparently you can put shredded up cotton and wool clothing in compost heaps as well (the fabric is natural and therefore breaks down) - never tried this though...

    According to the Blessed Bob Flowerdew you can also put the contents of your vacuum cleaner bag in it. I put trimmings from my quilting in too...it's all 100% cotton so rots down really well. After I've trimmed the selvedges off fabric, I wind it into balls and use it as plant ties. When we first got the allotment, I used an old woolen jumper as a top layer on the compost bin. After about 3 years it had rotted down enough to turn it into the compost.

  • Well I suppose most of the contents of vacuum cleaner is organic matter,sounds very plausible.

    I also use toilet roll centres for growing plugs that require a decent root length.

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