beautiful

Planting out Brassica: Some Hints and Tips

I have failed before with brassicas from not listening to fellow allotmenteers and just planting willy nilly. Brassicas are susceptible to so many pests and diseases so taking care in the planting stage always pays off.

I was given my brassica seedlings off various fellow allotment friends so I have a mixture of cabbage and broccoli I believe! Suprise crop 🙂

Lime the soil a week or so before planting. Brassicas thrive with an alcaline pH and will prevent diseases such as club root. I’m sure there are more organic ways of doing this, but I got given some lime and let the rain sink it in.

image

Firm ground is important with brassicas.  I believe a firm soil helps the roots stay in place and keeps the brassica strong.

image

(The dibber was useless- trowel needed)

image

A small piece of Rhubarb stem or two apparently prevents club root so I put a bit in each small hole with some Compost (to give the roots a head start).

image

Planting up to the first strong leaf will ensure your brassica are supported and strong. Otherwise I guarantee you will end up with spindly brassica growing to the side due to the wind etc.

One must firm the ground again after planting for the reasons outline above and heel the surrounding soil once to create a channel for water to sit and soak in. This is also important due to the soil structure you have created through stomping. Water will sit on top and be slowly absorbed. The ‘heeling’ will guarantee a water channel for water to be absorbed neer the stem and roots.

image

So, there you have it. All you need is some builder’s netting to prevent butterflies laying (cabbage whites)!

Advertisements

Transparent Shoebox Planter

My partner wants to start growing veg, herbs and flowers but doesn’t have a greenhouse or many windowsills. We found these transparent shoeboxes for 89p in a home discount store and used the biodegradable pots as vessels for the seedlings. (Actually using the inside of loo rolls would be perfect for these boxes).

image

They are indoors now to warm the soil up but when the seedlings appear, the boxes can go outside until each plant is strong enough to be open to the elements! We are growing herbs, beans, peas and some mixes bedding flowers so they should be ok! Fingers crossed!

Easter Weekend Ramble in the Peaks

Normally I like to explore places using my trusty OS map, but following planned routes in my Peak District walking book really paid off. The morning walk started in a quaint village called Grindon; which was unusually busy because of the Easter service at the church. We flollowed the trail into some woodland on a steep valley which was wonderfully quiet and full of wild primulas and woodland shrubs.

image image

We got a glimpse of Thor’s cave as we emerged from the woodland and proceeded to stomp up towards the gaping hole!

image

Inside the cave was an exit on the other side where is was immensely windy and refreshing!

image

Very refreshing and windy!

image

Beautiful woodland

We then walked on a cycle route for a few miles and had a mini lunch en route until finally exiting the route onto farmland, through some more woodland and onto farmland where unusually the farmer has kept the old stone wall field barriers. Beautiful.

image image
image

This little beauty was penned up on his own, we assume he is being hand reared as he has no mummy.

It was truly wondeful to see all the Spring lambs!

image

Our second walk started in another quaint village called Elton, just outside Matlock where we walked to a climber’s bouldering haven called Robin Hood’s Stride.

image

How did these rocks get here!?

image image image

Friend’s Hollyhock Seeds are Coming Through!

My Hollyhocks are coming through! Using clear plastic to keep heat in really makes a difference to germination.

image

I’ve called them Betty seeds because they came from my friend Betty’s garden. I am so excited but might not get flowers until next year.

image

Found this little fella wondering around too…anybody know what it is?

Wonderful Sunday working on the Allotment and Back Garden

image

Sometimes you just HAVE to spend the day in the sun working on your plot and wrapping it up with a lovely glass of fizz!

image

Yesterday was wonderfully sunny and I managed to get so many jobs done! The potatoes are in (see Seaweed and Potatoes), onions and leeks weeded, new onion sets sown, flower beds weeded and even managed to strim my little lawn! 🙂

image

The day ended well with a yummy roast round my friend’s house!

image

Seaweed and Potatoes!

My family are from Anglesey so when I went back at Christmas, decided to rent a van and bring back as much seaweed as possible for the allotment!

image

I rinsed the diesel transporting what must have been half a tonne of seaweed back to Leicester and managed to mulch one of my beds. There are many benefits of using seaweed on your plot…mulch to prevent weeds from growing and a nice warm start to the ground, nitrogen, yummy carbohydrates to give veg nutrients, slightly salty to prevent slugs. Perfect! All the other allotmenteers thought I was nuts to have so much seaweed on one bed but the effort has paid off!

image

Although I had to break up some bits of dry seaweed; the rain, worms and elements had made sure the seaweed rotted down nicely into the bed. Suprisingly, the earth was full of worms and really workable!

I decided to put my earlies in this bed (rocket and some supermarket sprouting pots) so will let you know how they get on!

image

Living by an Urban Allotment

I feel ever so lucky every time I look out of a back window of my new home. I have the best of both worlds. City centre living with calm, tranquil and beautiful surroundings. Being able to see my plot every day is a blessing 🙂

image

View from my bathroom window

As the house is south facing, I also get to see some fantastic sunrises and sunsets! Will capture and show soon! 🙂