Saturday, 26 January 2013

Here we go again :)

Thursday was a beautiful day, very cold but the sun was shining and the sky was blue so we headed down to the allotment on a mission to start dismantling the 4ft high "raised bed" that's been in the way for about 5yrs now.

When we got our plot, the first thing we done was level some ground to build the greenhouse and we piled up the soil up at the side of the gate.  There was nowhere else to put it as we hadn't dug over any of the bedsBeing new to this allotment lark we decided the only thing we could possibly do was build a box around the pile and grow strawberries in it.

Every year since then we have meant to pull it down and use the soil in an area that has been stripped of topsoil but alas never got around to it.

Thanks to VC and her crazy 52 week challenge, we got started on it, didn't get as much done as I'd have liked but a start it is.

  We did save each nail and piece of wood as we went along and that is my excuse.

The garlic I planted back in October has just popped it's head through the soil and I don't think anything could have cheered me up right now as much as it did...
...until Ginger popped her head around the fence looking for some food...
 She is one of 5 allotment cats that visit us.  I thought they just loved us but no, turns out they visit everyone on site and my allotment neighbours all have a catfood stash too  :)

I finally got around to planting up my pear tree that has been sitting in my cellar since before christmas.  The 4ft raised bed is sitting on the ground where I want to plant it so it is in a big pot for this year and I'll get it into it's final position next winter.

Wednesday, 9 January 2013

My new seedling grow box

This year i'm going up market, window ledges will be only half full (I hope)

OH made me a grow box for my seedlings, we used an old computer cupboard and fitted it out with a fluorescent light and some reflective material that i'll probably replace as it's not as effective as white paint, so i've heard.

This is the computer cupboard
  First job was to take the shelving out of it.
 It looked so much bigger when the shelves were out.
 Next job was to wire up the fluorescent light, we used the cable cut from an extention cable we had lying around
 And tested to make sure it was working
 It was then fixed to the top of the cupboard and some white coated hardboard fixed to the back of it.
 We then lined it with some reflective material

 Looking at it, i'm not convinced that it will adequately house all the seedlings that normally reside on my window ledges but I will cram in what I can :)


Sunday, 6 January 2013

Welcome to 2013

Happy new year to you all, I hope this year hits you with plenty potatoes, tons of tomatos and buckets of beetroots.

Yesterday I sowed my first seeds of the year, some basil for the window ledge.  It has given me the bug so tomorrow I'm going to make a start on some early tomatoes, chilli and spring onion, I love this time of year :)  

I made some cranberry sauce at the beginning of the week with some cranberries that my Stepdaughter brought me when she visited from Ireland after Christmas.  When I was washing the berries, I remembered a post on the grapevine talking about saving cranberry seeds from the fruit.  So I couldn't resist giving it a go and threw a few berries into a jar.

I strained out the fruit today and was left with a small bundle of seeds

 They are drying out on a plate and I'll pop them into the fridge for a few weeks for stratification.

The forecast for Wednesday and Thursday looks good, dry but cold so hopefully we'll get to the plot and start clearing out the greenhouse.