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Allotment/Veg Patch Thread 5 - The Diggers Rest !

(985 Posts)
bookbook Tue 01-Mar-16 09:28:38

Thanks to teacuphalfempty for supplying the title .
so, its the 1st of March, the meteorological spring is here, and it's all systems go for the coming growing season. Let's hope for a good one -no pests and diseases, enough rain overnight and plenty of sunshine. Well, we can dream....grin

LetThereBeCupcakes Tue 01-Mar-16 09:31:47

Checking in!

TheSpottedZebra Tue 01-Mar-16 09:32:13

Spring? Ha. Lovely lovely new thread though! grin

I shall paste in my comment from the last thread:

Morning Morning!

Doreen congrats! What an amazing role! You've already taught me so much on this and other thread, so your students/clients are so lucky to have the opportunity of learning from you in real life!

Cupcakes poor you, that is just then worst. I hope you're feeling much much better soon.

teacup Spain? What?! How exciting! what's the climate like there, is it much different to the UK, is the season longer?

shovetheholly Tue 01-Mar-16 10:06:06

Yay! And seeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeds!! grin

WhoKnowsWhereTheTimeG0es Tue 01-Mar-16 12:10:57

<plonks self in amongst the bags of compost>

brew anyone?

GrouchyKiwi Tue 01-Mar-16 12:53:38

Thanks for new thread. flowers

Have just discovered a tiny little shoot growing up from the sweet pea seeds we planted last week. That is lovely timing. grin

bookbook Tue 01-Mar-16 13:29:51

yy to brew WhoKnows ! - how is the leak in your lovely shed- have you complained?
exciting Grouchy smile - this afternoon, I am going to sow my sweet peas I think, and maybe ( a bit daring) some hollyhocks along with some summer cabbage - the sweet peas I'll leave in the greenhouse, but the cabbage will be on my trusty kitchen windowsill.
And I have just seen the weather for tomorrow - looking a bit wintry - heavy snow showers forecast for mid morning <pah>

TheWitchsCat Tue 01-Mar-16 19:34:15

Hello, hello, can I join you please?? I've just been to view an allotment today and I'm going to take it. It's pretty overgrown but once everything's been hacked back I reckon it'll be fab! There's a shed (full of crap stuff) and greenhouse which has a few holes in but nothing that can't be patched up! A big raised bed (full of lovely brambles!) Loads of compost bins and I think a waterbutt. I'm going to go tomorrow and sign on the dotted line grin

bookbook Tue 01-Mar-16 21:49:30

welcome Witches exciting times smile sounds wonderful, lots of potential!
What part of the country are you in - North, South, East or West?
here is my pennyworth of advice
See where the sun comes,
Find what sort of soil you have ( though if its an established allotment site, it is hopefully basically good).
Grow what you like to eat ( the more expensive in the shops , the better )
Don't worry what other people think.
Afford the best tools you can - fork/spade/secateurs,
Take it steady - its a marathon, not a sprint
Lots more obviously, but everyone else will come and offer more
Just ask away as well - we all have an opinion!

GrouchyKiwi Tue 01-Mar-16 21:57:15

Welcome, witches. That sounds very exciting.

Finally remembered to share the recipe for blackcurrant concentrate from my Mum.

Blackcurrant Concentrate

3lb blackcurrants 16 cups water OR fruit and water to cover

Boil until soft then strain through jelly bag - old pillow case, inside-out works.

Add 1 cup sugar to 1 cup juice (taste while adding sugar for flavour which suits).

Bring to boil and boil 10 minutes, add 1/3 to 1/2 cups of vinegar (never more than 1/2c) then pour into hot, clean bottles and store.

Dilute to taste with water, lemonade, tonic water.

Enjoy hot, warm or cold.

TheWitchsCat Tue 01-Mar-16 23:14:59

Thanks book and grouchy. I think the "marathon not a sprint" advice bears remembering. In my head I'm already harvesting my raspberries and preserving my surpluses... in reality it looks like this... grin

echt Wed 02-Mar-16 06:54:47

Hello from Melbourne. It's officially autumn, though with temperatures in the 30s, you'd be forgiven for thinking otherwise.

Love the Diggers Rest reference. It’s also a place in Victoria I often drive past on the freeway:,_Victoria

Also a gardening club I belong to:

Good on yer. smile

shovetheholly Wed 02-Mar-16 09:20:26

Wow! Diggers Rest is a real place! Amazing!

And hello to witches! You'll have that site whipped into shape in no time. My best recommendation is lots and lots and lots of weedsheeting!

shovetheholly Wed 02-Mar-16 09:29:05

Also, klaxon for Doreen - if you have a moment from planning that brilliant new garden, your expert advice is needed in the 'starting from scratch' thread re: block versus row planting!!

bookbook Wed 02-Mar-16 10:10:53

I won't say good - rain turning to sleet here. At least it means if it does snow, it shouldn't lay!
Great picture Witchs that really has potential! I remember the first time we went to attack our overgrown plot, which was full of raspberries. By the time we have pruned them back into some sort of shape we had three times as much space. Its a good time to measure it as well, if you have a nice long tape. It helps at home, rather than guessing, for forward planning. I drew mine out on some graph paper, put on all the permanent stuff that was already there, then tried to make a stab at where I wanted things to go. Of course, it ended up rather different, but helped me to visualise it.
Well, after hearing Grouchy had a sweet pea sprouting, I spent a little time yesterday afternoon doing some sowing in the greenhouse - summer cabbage, celeriac. Then sweet peas, a few early hollyhocks and heliotropes. I also have done some early peas in pots - the ones I planted in autumn direct have totally disappeared - mice I guess. So I have been gifted loads of packets of seeds ( does anyone else get this - people know I have an allotment, and just give me any they don't want!) and in amongst them some early peas 'Grundy' - never heard of them, but I decided to sow some in pots in the greenhouse to replace the direct sown ones down at the plot..
Ooh - while writing this , just looked up and it is snowing heavily - great big flakes!

shovetheholly Wed 02-Mar-16 10:49:13

No snow here yet book - it's sleeting miserably instead. I am envy of your gifted seeds! I don't know many others with allotments. In fact, I don't really feel like I know other people at my site even, because it is brand new and the drop-out rate has been so high. sad I always seem to be there on my own. I think around 70-80% of plots have already changed hands or need to do so. I hope we get a new crop of people and I can meet some of them!

And YY to the idea of drawing a plan out on graph paper. This helped me to avoid tons of mistakes, including trying to cram beds in where there would have been no room to walk around them!

I must get my sweet peas on! Do you guys pre-soak the seeds?

bookbook Wed 02-Mar-16 11:18:22

Proper snow for the last hour - just stopping now smile
The seeds have been gifted by some neighbours and friends , but I now have about 8 packets of purple sprouting broccoli, more tomato varieties than I care to think of and things I don't grow like radish. But I can offer them to our site people as they have set up a facebook page for our site smile

bookbook Wed 02-Mar-16 11:23:28

Its such a shame about the drop out rate on yours shove. As ours is big, I only really see people down one of the roads, but there are always at least 2 of the committee members there,pottering and the helpers in the shop on a weekend. Near me, there are usually at least 2 plots where they working nearby, and more at the weekend. Usually nearly by myself on a Sunday morning. This last weekend , I went in the afternoon, and it was buzzing with people. Hopefully, the slack will be taken up as spring is here - lots don't do anything on their plots over winter

bookbook Wed 02-Mar-16 11:24:45

forgot! - no I don't pre soak my sweet peas - I am rather cavalier, and just bung 2 to a smallish pot, and hope for the best!

GrouchyKiwi Wed 02-Mar-16 13:05:42

I didn't pre-soak either. Most of what I do is with crossed fingers. wink

We now have 4 little sweet pea shoots and a few brave parsley shoots have raised their heads.

I tried something I saw on Pinterest that has proven to work admirably: put the cut end of celery in water and it's now regrowing. It has some lovely leaves out the top and has started to put out some roots. Would it survive in the garden once it has a few more roots, do you think? I've no idea how celery grows!

TheSpottedZebra Wed 02-Mar-16 13:12:40

I have NOTHING germinating sad . My broadies, planted maybe 3+ weeks ago have not come up, nor too have any of the flowers I've sown. There's no sign of my chard, my spinach, my coriander... And my chillies aren't up, but they're super-slow so not too worried about them. Spring? Pah. It's sleeting here.
And I think my overwintered chilli has suddenly karked it. My green fingers seem to have fallen off, and been replaced by evil scythes of death.

Or maybe it's just too cold?

TheSpottedZebra Wed 02-Mar-16 13:17:11

Hurrah, Witches how exciting to have a lovely new plot! What are you planning on growing?

Kiwi thank you soooooo much for that recipe, from a blackcurranting family! I trust you, but vinegar?! grin I hope I have plenty to be able to make that, and more....

Shove sorry to hear that you still don't feel totally 100% re your plot. I'm lucky with my site I think - it's not isolated, as we've previously discussed so it's fine when I'm there on my own, which I am a lot in winter. But quite often there is 1 other person there -usually 1 from 3 different plots, and they're all lovely but also low-key, not the annoying interfering sort.

TheSpottedZebra Wed 02-Mar-16 13:19:49

Witches re tools, I'd really really vouch for Lidl's range of cutty things - secateurs, loppers, shears etc. V cheap but really good! And with perfect timing, in store tomorrow...

GrouchyKiwi Wed 02-Mar-16 14:02:47

Heh, Spotted, I think the vinegar is to help preserve it. You don't taste it at all - but maybe it's the secret ingredient that makes it taste better than Ribena. wink

GrouchyKiwi Wed 02-Mar-16 14:04:24

Ooh, thanks for the info about Lidl's cutty things. We need some loppers (more eventually than now, perhaps) so will have to remember to swing by.

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