Week 12

It is getting to the stage now where I am running out of space in the greenhouse, cold frame and spare room in the house. This week technically marks the last frost date and the long range forecast is looking promising. I am therefore taking this opportunity to start hardening off much of my vegetable crop so I can move it to the allotment.

However, the first job was to take a couple of 4-drawer units and a piece of timber to the plot and create a table and some storage space. The drawers came from Asda and the timber was from a dismantled pallet. The timber is not secure to the drawers just placed on top but it forms a sturdier table with 8 drawers below.

There was also a good opportunity to empty the shed, assess any damage or issues and give it a good clean and sort-out. The only damage that is apparent is in the back corner which as adjacent to the old compost area where there has been little air circulation and the damp has been allowed to rot the timber. However, this is superficial and can be easily repaired/replaced.

The second job of the day was to finally sort out the tap on the 1000 litre water butt. As I suggested in an earlier blog, the new tap was too short and would not allow the attachment of a hose pipe. To resolve this problem, I ordered a 150mm extension pipe which when fitted pushed the tap clear of the water butt and therefore allowing the attachment of a hope pipe.

The next task was the planting out of the Brussel Sprouts and the first lot of Broad Beans. These had been brought on, from seed, under glass at home and had spent the last couple of weeks hardening off. The Sprouts were planted at the far end of the Brassica bed under the butterfly netting. I am only planting 3 plants this year however, next year the plan is for at least a half bed of Brussel Sprouts.

The Broad Beans went into the Legume bed. I already have the over wintered Broad Beans in a container at home and they are very well established and in flower. What I have planted today were sown in the early spring, with a further 6 plants sown a month ago. Hopefully we will get a reliable crop throughout the summer. The Broad Beans are under a net cloche as a temporary measure against the pigeons.

The rest of this week was spent watering, weeding and continuing the burning of all the rubbish accumulated over the past 3 months. I have also started taking the strimmer up to the plot to try and keep on top of the grass in areas that is not under cultivation or covered with fabric or tarpaulin.

The last job of the week was to measure up and try to work out what I required to create a descent fence along the front of the plot. At the moment it consists of a few rotted and broken posts held in place by old chicken mesh. The gate is holding on by a prayed with only one its post secure. In all, I need to look at replacing 9 metres of fencing and gate with a zero budget! Looks like I need more pallets from work.

Exactly 3 months have passed since I was allowed to start work on the allotment plot so I thought I would do a quick video of what I have achieved so far.

Next week starts a two-week holiday for me and as I am not going away anymore due to the constantly rising costs, I will be spending a fair amount of time at the allotment. I have a lot of pallets at home which I need to get to the plot along with a load more bits and bobs. I will hopefully be setting aside at least one full day for moving ‘stuff’ to the plot.

We are also moving into May, so I will be sowing a lot more directly into the ground and I will be sorting out the greenhouse at home. There are tomatoes, cucumber, peppers and chillies ready for final potting and moving into the greenhouse. However, first I need to be clearing out all the annuals and vegetables to the garden and plot.

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