24 January 2010

Is 32kg of seed potatoes too many?

First weekend of the year that's snow and ice free to get down to the plots and I'm completely full of a cold. Why couldn't this happen during the week so I could miss the ongoing farce of moving offices...?

So what to do in these circumstances? Turn to the catalogues of course, well web sites! First up for the year - and two weeks later than previous years - potatoes. I had great success with Sarpo Axona last year and the laughed in the face of blight, but to be honest they just don't taste very good. After much discussion with the wife as to our requirements we settled on Romeo for the main crop - supposedly an improvement on Rooster. Charlottes were a big hit with everyone in the family, and it's easy to see why they're so popular, so they made the list too. Pink Fir Apple are probably the tastiest potatoes I grow, and whilst probably not as popular with everyone else in the family, I do the ordering ;>)

Some browsing later the final order ended up as:

7.5kg - Majestic
7.5kg - Desiree
2kg - Pink Fir Apple
5kg - Charlotte
2.5kg - Romeo
7.5kg - King Edwards

Have I suddenly acquired a lot more land/gone more than a little over the top with me ordering? Well kind of, I order for my Dad and Grandad as well who have a lot more space than me and will be taking the vast majority of these.

All very traditional/popular I guess, but I guess there's a good reason why these are amongst the most popular potatoes. This year I've ordered from JBA Seed Potatoes, mainly because they offered a good range and had decent postal charge for 32kg of potatoes.

11 January 2010

I'll just go for a nice walk in the snow

Despite it snowing heavily again this morning, it seems like it's beginning to melt a bit too (if you see what I mean!), so after dropping the kids off at school thought I'd go for a wander and take some pictures. [Bit gutted for the kids really as I can't remember having seen so much snow for many, many years and they still haven't had a day off!].

So I trudged up the hill, observed 13 men from the council 'clearing' the paths at the local shops - only two of them were actually doing anything at the time, but I think it may have been a tea break - chatted with the owner of the local fruit and veg shop (apparently it was just our local area on top of the hill where it was still snowing) and headed towards plot no 2. It's fairly picturesque out there at the best of times, unfortunately the cloud was a bit low though...

A nice fire to keep warm by?
Eventually made it to check out plot no 2 - it's been a loooong time since I was there (early December?). The 'gate' was missing, not unusual, but the greenhouse didn't look right either. From the entrance it wasn't quite possible to tell what was wrong with it but as I got closer it was obvious someone had a nice bonfire with it - it once had polycarbonate panels. Sadly they have all melted away, the frame is broken and as far as I can tell they nicked my home made 'earth boxes' as well - which was the most upsetting thing of all. The greenhouse came with the plot so I didn't pay for that but the 'earth boxes' I paid for and made myself. OK they only cost about a fiver to make and what use they'd be to anyone other than a gardener I don't know - the boxes had holes in the side for excess water to drain out. No doubt someone will be back to nick the aluminum from the frame at some point so maybe I should take it down and flog it for scrap myself before they get the chance?

Strangely the shed, which I always think is an arsonists dream - it's made of wood, climbers all over it, etc. - remained completely untouched, lock hadn't even been tampered with. If it wasn't for the apple trees on the plot I'd be tempted to give it up to be honest. Hopefully it will seem a bit better when it's not so 'fresh'. I did report it and no doubt the police will ring back about it, but it'll just be another statistic where nothing ever happens. Pictures (of cloud and sad looking remains of a greenhouse) when I've cheered up :>(

So Michelle if you see another greenhouse advertised... ;>)

2 January 2010

Happy New Year!

And to start the new year, here's your bill for your plots from the council: £30.60 for each plot. Not too bad, apart from just under half of that is for water. I think I've used the taps once in two and a half years. Well unless you count the incident where the tap broke and gallons and gallons of water poured out overnight...

Moving on... We could get 50% discount on plot no 1 as that is registered under Mrs D's name, but it's not like she get's down there more than once or twice a year so I feel guilty about claiming the discount.

A Visit from Santa
Once again the man in the red suit was most generous and I've just placed an order with Ken Muir for 3 blueberry plants with the vouchers I was given: Herbert, Nui and Ozkarblue. The plant is to get some large pots and put them down on plot no 1 in the 'play area' - well it's not like they're going to use the space now!

I've also got a voucher for the Organic Garden Catalogue, which should hopefully give me something to read over the coming weeks having just checked out the weather Forecast for the next couple of weeks :>o