17 January 2009

"You can just look"

It's been almost two months since my last visit to plot no 1 and now I'm beginning to feel better I was itching to get down there to see if there was anything worth picking. I was under firm instructions not to do anything too strenuous and I promised to just look around, pick anything that needed picking and be back in half an hour. And to be honest whilst it was good to get off the sofa I probably wasn't up to much more than a casual stroll around.

There wasn't a lot going on. My leeks are still crap - I picked 4 'baby leeks', the rest not being worth picking and one of those was no good on closer inspection. I also picked the Brussels that weren't too far 'blown' or had been eaten after my net defences had been breached (they'd blown down in the wind!). These were combined at home with some of the remaining potatoes to make Bubble and Squeak, which was very tasty.

What looks like Purple Sprouting Broccoli is coming along well and should hopefully get some off it in a few weeks all being well. Although I could really do with a gardening knife before that so I can cut it!

The rhubarb is beginning to sprout as well. I was hoping to force one of the crowns this year. At what point do you cover it up though? Hopefully not too late, but I've not got anything to put over it yet.

As ever, my half an hour was stretched as Matt came round for a chat. We discussed all our best laid plans for the coming year, trips to the pub, etc. whilst Ziggy (Matt's dog) trampled over what was attempting to grow - mainly the overwintering onions, which I've since decided are growing in completely the wrong place anyway. I may have to try and move them?

Too much time on my hand?
Sitting around on the sofa a lot I came across Earthboxes. I like the idea of these and they seem to have good reviews from people who have used them. I'm hoping they'll help with the 'erratic' watering my tomatoes suffered from. However, at £35+ each they are too much for my budget, so I set about making one. I have or have ordered the stuff I need and reckon I can make the equivalent for about a fiver - some of the stuff I already have in and some of the stuff I have ordered is primarily to be used for something else anyway.

The plan (currently) is to make the prototype then if all goes well build a few more to have 3 in the greenhouse on plot no 2 and a few more split between plot no 1 and home. I'm waiting for some chicken wire (which is primarily going to be used to protect my strawberries - and if this doesn't work I'm giving up on them) to arrive which will allow me to finish it off, so watch this space for some photos and whether they work or not.

Thanks for all the good wishes. Fortunately feel a lot better, not going to be running anywhere for a while but I can cope with that! I get to go back to work towards the end of next week, which is a good thing... I think. Well at least I get to leave the sofa!

7 January 2009

Fun-filled Christmas

Turns out I was right and didn't get to the plot before Christmas. Of course the fact that I went down with a virus that turned out to be 'proper' flu meaning I spent most of the holiday period in bed feeling very ill didn't really help. So no sprouts for Christmas lunch ;>( Which was probably just as well since I'm the only one who really eats them in the house and I wasn't eating at the time.

Fortunately, I got a couple of books on gardening and preserving to keep me occupied during dismal Christmas TV, endless viewing of Wall-e on DVD and watching the kids play on the Wii.

From bad to worse
Sadly things on the illness front haven't really improved. After a chest x-ray the other day it turns I have pneumonia. Bit of a blow to the plans to remodel the new plot over the winter. Given it's not likely I'll be seeing either of the plots anytime soon, I'll be experimenting with the 'no dig' system this year.

I'm consolling myself with ordering seeds, potatoes, etc. Ordered 24kg of potatoes the other day from Alan Romans. These were:

3kg Charlotte
6kg Desiree
6kg King Edwards
3kg Majestic
3kg Pink Fir Apple
3kg Sarpo Axona

This may sound like a lot for my two plots, and indeed it is! The vast majority of these are for my Dad and Grandad - they have a bit more room to play with than me, about 3.5 acres, although they only use a fraction of that these days.

The potatoes that are actually for me are the Charlottes and Sarpo Axona (these are supposed to be highly blight resistant). I may 'acquire' a few of the others though...

Guess it'll be a while before the next entry since I've been ordered to spent a lot of time on the sofa for the foreseeable future by the doctor ;>(