Return to the Plot.

Well… where do I start?
As you will no doubt have seen from the blog entries I started, but never got going!
partly my own laziness and reluctance to actually sit and write.

Although I did use my plot in 2015, i didn’t blog about it.
but for most of 2016 I was unwell, (nothing serious) but unable to do any digging and weeding etc, I even considered giving the plot up.

Thank fully I’m in much better form now. and I started to get down the allotment again in Late July 2016, but the months had taken their toll, it was a right mess!

Spurred on with a new zest for gardening I got to clearing the weed over the autumn and winter and getting my greenhouse repaired, the aim to be ready to plant in the spring of 2017. It’s also helped that friends of mine have now taken a plot on the site so i feel like there is a friendly rivalry yo grow veg! Cheers you know who you are.

So I lasted an autumn and a winter plugging away and now feel very happy with my plot. I have had to compactly re learn gardening as I know it, the old way of double digging and weeding by hand just wasn’t going to be possible. (medical reasons… ill explain another time, long story) so I’ve tried to full implement the No Dig method, and promoted by Charles Dowding, its been amazing! If you have a disability, (as I do) or just finding digging too much, for any reason, give it ago, you will be converted.
There are plenty of videos on Youtube to learn this new craft.

So… it’s now May 1st 2017 and i think I’m in a good place with the growing season and in order to keep on top of all the work, I decided to start a youtube channel. No delusions of being an internet sensation, but to more so keep a log of what I’m doing and how i progress. Inspiration for this has been from watching Sean Cameron and Hannah Nightingale (search for them on Youtube) they have so much knowledge to pass on, and even thought i have “pottered” at gardening since 2006 I’ve learnt quit a bit from them.
Hannah the “mushroom crate soil sieve” is amazing! (watch the video and save yourself £10)

Another reason I started a video blog/diary is because I struggle with the written word (I’m actually dyslexic, and rely heavily on the computer correcting my spelling etc so I apologise in advance if my use of language offends.) Hopefully my points come across.
The youtube channel should make the process of documenting my growing season much easier (for me) but I do intend on updating this page at least seasonally (maybe even once a month… we will see)

In the mean time here are a few links to the videos I’ve shot so far.
I hope you enjoy them and may all your gardening days be delightful.

Ross

Allotment and Planting Tomatoes

Allotment and making raised planters

Allotment and Shed Tidy

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And sow it begins!

Well for me Febuary is offically the first propper month of growing, reason being its when I order my seeds, seed potatoes and onions and start putting things into the ground.

Its been a mild but harsh month in Shropshire, the forsts havent been killers but prolonged and the ground has been like concreet, anyway other than tidying I havent been able to do much but this week, as the temprature has gone up around 7-9degrees trought out the day, I decided that id get my asparagus and red onions in.

As Asparagus takes up alot of space and only has a short season at first i was unsure if I should grow any, but the thing is I love it! its amazing fresh and nothing like the stuff in the supermarket. So after a bit of research I discovered is can grow really well in the strawberry bed, so inface its not taking up any space at all, it growns underground and pops up when its ready, and the rest of the year my strawberries do thier own thing!

Once that job was done I decided to risk a net of onions. they were only £1.50 a bag of 75 from Wilko so its a “shot to nothing” as a snooker player may say. minimal risk maximum reward!

Then ready for when the onions start growing my “compost buinnies” have already made me around 300lt of lovely mulch, this should work well to feed and keep the weeds down.

Well spring is almost upon us and i for one cant wait! Hopefully the more I get to do as the weather improves the more i will have to post about.

New year, new start…more jobs! 

After a semi successful year of “pottering” about on my plot last year I have decided that 2015 is where things need to get serious.

Last year I successfully grew onions, potatoes, salad crops, sprouts, beans, corgettes, chillies and carrots but the growing season M&S short (may-sept) and this was mainly down to my poor planning and laziness. Basically if the weather was nice I went fishing! 

This year it’s a different story, a bit more free time on my hands and a lack of money to throw around means I could really do with my allotment paying for its self. If I can produce from March/April all the way through to the winter and plug the big dent that the shopping bill creats each week I would really feel like I’ve achieved something great, ideally I want May through to October to be months when I don’t spend a single penny on fruit or veg! (Except bananas, I can’t grow them and I do probably eat one a day!)

So far in January I’ve spent around 3 dates down the plot, around an hour or two here and there tidying and laying out the plots design. Last year it was flat two raised beds and veggies just dotted around the ground, this year I want an allotment to be proud of, somewhere I can go with the family to relax and escape, so the main project this month has been to lay out a path and give the plot some order and “flow” allotments seem to have very straight edges… I’ve never been a fan of them so I have decided that all my paths will be wiggly and made up of random recycled objects like bricks, stones and sticks. This also helps with the cost, why spend money you don’t have on new material from garden centres when most of it you can get in a skip, after all an object should do its job first then look pretty second.

I’ve also decided to make a cold frame some hopefully I can bring on my seeds more frequently throughout the year producing little and often and increasing the growing and most importantly the harvest season. I was very lucky to find an abandoned chicken coop on our plot so with a bit if TLC and a good saw I’ve been able to remove the front but keep the frame. I just need to find some Perspex now to cover it up with and create the greenhouse effect.

Finally I’ve tidied out my shed, gosh this was a state! 12months of rubbish and old newspapers, most of this will be composted but I’ve found that retreating (from the rain) into a tidy shed really helps your mental state, I can light my ghillie kettle make a brew and watch my plot from the comfort of my Ikea chair! 

Just a Shropshire Lad & his adventures.