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The allotment thread

Discussion in 'Cookery' started by deleted361, May 15, 2009.

  1. dilly_84

    dilly_84 New commenter

    This thread is brilliant! But can I pick your brains...
    last year a neighbour offered us his overgrown field as an allotment. We readily agreed and spent ages digging it up (actually borrowing a friends JCB) and getting it ready. As it was late in the season we didn't really have a chance, or the knowledge to do much.
    But this year I want to start in earnest. I ordered the "Grow your own veg" book and got masses and masses of seeds for Christmas and birthday. I have had a flick through the book but haven't had much of a chance to sit down with it. In the only dry day in Feb I put some garlic in and it's growing nicely, but the soil seemed far too waterlogged to plant seeds etc (not that I would actually know for sure!)
    However, despite still being extremely cold, Spring is here(ish) ...SO! What can I plant in the field now? We don't have any access to a shed or a greenhouse (and haven't got the funds to buy one at the moment) and we live in a tiny flat where we already trip over everything so no possibility of growing things indoors, so it literally is stuff that can be chucked in the ground straight away
    Any thoughts on this gratefully received [​IMG] Also, out of curiosity, what sort of gloves do you wear? I tried wearing gardening gloves but found it tricky to have a proper 'grasp' on weeds and handling seeds seemed tricky.
    Any other tips would also be fantastic.
    Dilly x
  2. PlymouthMaid

    PlymouthMaid Occasional commenter

    You can put broad beans out now I think. Potatoes can be chitting ready for planting. Otherwise I would wait a few weeks more for the ground to dry out and warm up a bit. I think I was too impatient last year.
    Glovewise I am bad but i do have a great pair for the hard weeding - bad thing is they were 25 squid but they are leather and come right up my arm so the brambles can't get me.
  3. Brilliant Dilly, what a lovely neighbour.
    What about a cheap plastic greenhouse from somewhere like Wilkinsons. You`ll need to make sure you anchor it down (few bricks) so all your seedlings don`t topple over. Bubble wrap over the trays of cups will insulate them and aid germination. Just be aware of any late frosts.
    You can plant runner beans / french / peas / mangetout / broadbeans in polystyrene cups and then when the soil has warmed up they can be transplated out. Putting some sheeting (groundsheet) down will help warm the soil.
    If you can get some free pallets, they can be broken up and if you or your O/H are ok with a screwdriver you can make a cold frame. This is a half way house for when the seedlings are ready to be moved from the greenhouse and hardened off before they are planted out.
    Aldi have got some fruit trees left and really cheap @ £3.99.
    Pallets can also make a compost bin and storage for your manure.
    It`s been lovely and sunny here again today and I`ve been out tidying up our much neglected garden (the lottie seems to get all out time & attention)
    Good luck with all your jobs, now`s the time to try and get them done before the growing season really getsgoing.
  4. Woohoo sun is shining in devon today!
    Pineapplesage i want your username- fab!
    Well my broad beans are coming up now and getting some purple sprouting broccoli after months of impatient waiting!

    Here is a anti slug tip which seems to be working in my garden taken from Alys Fowler my gardening icon... cut up a plastic bottle eg coke/fizzy water into rings using pinking shears to make zigzagged sharp edges. put around your seedlings growing direct in ground eg sweet peas. Slugs hate the nasty sharp edges and can't get to yuor baby plants. Seems to be working so far- dead cheap too.

  5. Yeeha!
    I know it is a bit late but the greenhouse is now semi loaded!
    Peas in drainpipes, beans to follow
    4 types of toms in seed trays
    aubergines, peppers, tarragon, basil and weird cape gooseberry alike things also in seed trays
    nasturtiums and marigolds in seed trays, to get ahead of veggies
    Little heater back in place to keep them all safe overnight

    Hopefully nothing will get all leggy like it did last year!
    Cabbage and Caulis going in much later - spring varieties cos last yeras got decimated despite all of our best efforts!
    cloches on and salad leaves in on the well head
    others cloches going over the newly dug beds next week, when I've dug them!! Should be stale by the time the greenhouse lot are ready to go out!
    Then turnips, khol rabi, radish and all that will go ins for them - we have soft/white rot in the ground so I can't just use the beds, grrrrrrrrrrrrr! That made me miss the garlic in october too!
    Oh! Almost forgot the onions. Must find the right size pot
    More bitses and pieces on the way in the post: sweet pots, a new bay tree, mild chillis, strawberry sweetcorn

    Leeks still in the ground - must remember to freeze them!
    Plan the herby bits and then move on to flowers!!!!!
    Pots will be easy - big garden, very little in the way of beds, yet more digging [​IMG]

    And there you have it. Mmy spring and early summer all sorted!!

  6. Whey sunny here in the north west too [​IMG]
    Peas and broad beans doing well under the cloches in the greenhouse.
    Potted on some cabbages, caulis and some lettuce.
    Also potted on some flowers for my tubs.
    Seeds in for beetroot,round (crystal apple) and round courgettes.
    Potatoes chitting nicely and should have gone in on St Pat`s day,but we`ve just not had time. Onions potted in some seed trays as they came along really well last year and we didn`t lose as many as the year before. That and the birds pinching some.!
    We`re away in Scotland next week so we`ll have to get a move on the 2nd week of the hols.
    Dug up some huge parsnips today, so parsnip mash & roasted parsnips on the menu next week.
    Hope you all have mucky hands and cheerful happy hearts from pottering around in the soil.
  7. landaise

    landaise Occasional commenter

    We've got peas, beans, lettuce and strawberries planted. Growing more lettuce, aubergines, chilis, peppers, tomatoes, melon, courgettes, and pumpkins from seed and they're coming on nicely, ready for planting out soon. Going to grow some marigolds from seed as they're supposed to provide protection from pests. Anyone confirm this?
  8. Si N. Tiffick

    Si N. Tiffick Occasional commenter

    Bah. We still have total white out here and no signs of it letting up, really. Nothing planted yet other than some lettuce seeds on the windowsill and potatoes chitting!
  9. I'm trying marigolds again this year - tagetes or French variety only!
    This year I'll plant them outside the netting!!!!
    I also plant nasturtiums for the same reason. I plant them all in pots as I have raised beds and don't want to waste the ground space.
    They do seem to have some impact!
  10. Just back from a white week in Scotland...............my it was chilly.
    My lovely friends have been watering my seedlings down the lottie and at home [​IMG] so I`m hoping for some mild weather tomorrow so we can at last plant some spuds and get the onions in the ground.
    I did plant 3 trays of onions and left them in the greenhouse. I did this last year and they established better when we planted them out. Not planting red onions as the birds really like picking and then discarding them.
    Hoping the rhubi is going well and we can have a crumble or too soon,
    Happy Easter to you all
    PS Got a bug box for my Easter egg (less inches on the hips)
  11. bump

    Just in case Eva wants to chat about her tree lined bumpy garden [​IMG]
  12. fantastischfish

    fantastischfish Established commenter

    Thanks, Pobble!
    Help! Anyone!
    I'm attempting to do something simple, yet constructive, with my "tree-lined, bumpy garden" but have absolutely no gardening knowledge, expertise or experience whatsoever.
    I'd like a basic garden with a nice little seating area to get the best of the sun. I'm not too bothered about flowerbeds (the garden is far too wet and horrible in the winter, plus I'm not really the green-fingered type). The main problem, as well, is that the garden is overrun with roots from the trees which surround it on 3 sides and is ALWAYS full of leave in the autumn/winter.
    Pobble telle me this is the place for advice. Can anyone help with ideas? I need to know the very basics of where to being. Here's a picture:

    As you can see, there's a shed in the corner; this is actually where the entrance gate it. The building runs along the right hand side of the picture. This is the garden for a first floor flat; a sort of forgotten and useless space with a fence around it since it was just leftover and useful for nothing else.
  13. Si N. Tiffick

    Si N. Tiffick Occasional commenter

    My garden is similar, a bit bigger perhaps and I too am a novice gardener. I've got a table and collapsible chairs which I store in the shed, and I plant a range of veggies and flowers in containers around the periphery as the soil isn't very good and I haven't got round to sorting that out properly. I grow a few varieties of potatoes, peas, beans, radishes, carrots, spring onions, and some cut and come again lettuces. These need little attention and are all scoffed greedily by my son. Last year I grew lots of flowers from plugs- I planted them too densely so this year will buy fewer!
  14. I can see the leaf problem!
    We use the lawn mower to hoover ours up! You can get a small, lightweight electric mower with collector from B+Q for about £50.
    Do I detect a paved area to the right of picture? I hope it is good for a table and chairs, if not could you extend/flatten a bit for more 'outdoor living'?
    As for the rest, there are all sorts of nice or edible things you could grow up the shed.
    The edges do look odd, and I am guessing this is where the tree roots are worse.
    Container gardening is reall easy, a quick Google will find you a lot of sites, have a read and find one that grabs you! Some are really complex, but there are some foolproof ones out there!
    You can grow just about EVERYTHING in a container and you can use ANYTHING as a container.
    We have a major slug problem and our lettuces don't stand a chance. So, despite a big garden, we use the boxes supermarkets sell them in as containers, they can be moved out of the danger zone quite easily and can sit on the table for a while if we get really bad weather. Cut and come again salad leaves all year round - winter salad leaves are easy, honest!
    Good luck!

  15. fantastischfish

    fantastischfish Established commenter

    The paved area is a rather pathetic path. Nothing that you see in that garden was put there by me other than the shed and the wirly-gig.
  16. Wey hey!

    After weeks of sadness I have managed to find 12, count them, 12 little baby tomato plants growing happily in my greenhouse!
    At least I'll have peas, courgettes, patty pan squash and and maybe even aubergines this year!
    Oh and the herbs are raising their heads too, 2 types of basil, tarragon, parsley, marjoram, chives and something else that the label has fallen off [​IMG]

    I know that I could have bought all of the above and been a few weeks ahead, but I love the thought that I am eating stuff I grew from seed - I think buying plants is cheating!
    Then again I also have potatoes, sweet potatoes (but they are seeds aren't they?) and I did cheat and buy fruit bushes ready to go, so maybe I do cheat [​IMG]
  17. PlymouthMaid

    PlymouthMaid Occasional commenter

    It's lovely isn't it - have just had a potting on session with the tomatoes, courgettes, squash and brassicas. I just love this time of year. Will pop down allotment tomorrow and get the first runner beans going and a few more pea babies.
  18. I'm still waiting for Suttons to send my beans, and raspberries, so I'm a bit behind you!
    And I have some nice pots ready to get peas for pea shoots.
    I've decided to do late brassicas this year, to see if we can protect them better. So I have all sorts of odd stuff waiting for the perfect time (whenever that might be).

    And I just remembered what seeds I forgot, so I'm off to find some nasturtiums!
  19. Spent 4 hours of bliss down the lottie yesterday.
    Broad beans have taken well, got the last of the onions in and some salad onions too.
    Peas need to go in soon as they`re bursting out of the cups I`ve planted them in.
    The asparagus has gone mad but we still have to wait till next year unless OH pinches a few as he`s not the patient type.
    Got lovely crip lettuce in the greenhouse and we pick a few leaves for nibbling on when we`re down there.
    Courgettes, squash, toms, cucumbers, french beans all growing madly.
    It`s just so good to be outside, beavering away and seeing everything grow.
    I love my lottie [​IMG]

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