June 2001


July 01

May 01


Friday June 1st

Went up to the allot with the hosepipe in tow and found they've now padlocked the gates. Had to hop over. Pity in some ways that it was so easy, even while wearing a skirt! Then found someone had been borrowing my water supply already! Cut a small length and attached it to the butt tap, then found that using the long length was unwieldy and the dragging hose would probably knock over half my plants. Stuck to using the watering cans, though I can always add the longer hose if necessary sometime. Meanwhile I have a spare chunk of not bad hosepipe. Cabbages haven't been pecked yet. Must sort out little netting cages for them, though. At least the weather is now much cooler, so it doesn't fry the veg. quite as quickly.

Saturday June 2nd

Found allotment key and added it to the keyring.

Saturday June 9th

Took the marrows and the manure up to the allotment. Found a very annoyed chap on his plot at the bottom of the slope lamenting his potatoes and runner beans, both of which had got caught in last night's frost. It had been forecast, but I hadn't seen any sign up at the house. Was briefly worried until I had got to my plot. No frost, but the pigeons had eaten half the cabbages. Swines. Especially as I'd just carried up six empty bottles to put over them… Dug some large holes and dropped manure in, then planted the marrows in them. These are the long green ones, so should trail. They've got room to, here. Pop bottled a fair few of the caulis, then carried water for a while to refill the butt. Watered the plot, and used the trowel to ‘hoe' in a lot of the small weeds in between the onions and cabbages. Onions growing very nice leaves now, but still not doing anything bulbwise. I suspect that won't happen until about August. Nearly three months of growing should help! Pulled a pile of rhubarb, then went back home just as it rained a bit. Had to laugh. Seven French beans showing signs of life now.

Monday June 11th

The broccoli seeds seem to be mostly up. At least one in each module.

Tuesday June 12th

Went up to the allotment armed with the new fork and started to dig over the remaining strip of ground. The new fork isn't as easy to use as my other one, mostly because it doesn't quite have the leverage of the extra length. The handle also wobbles in its mount, which is disconcerting. Nice fork for border use, but sadly I'm not particularly enamoured of its ease of use!  Still, helped me dig over a couple of square yards or so, and remove (carefully!) the stump of the dead bush. Met the other plot neighbour at last - he has a dog somewhat cairnish in appearance! He's had the plot 18 months. There seems to be quite a high turnover right now. Either folk have had them less than 2 years or aeons. I expect folk either can or can't cope. I think I'll cope - once the plot is finally dug over! Lots of weeds reappearing, including the pink bindweed, so the tumbleweed is going to pay a visit (as are a few bottle bases to go over painted ones so it works faster). Watered stuff. Nigella are out - really are odd things. Need to take strimmer up again.  Found something at the house has dug up a lot of the just-germinating French Beans. Put most back - think I've only lost one. All the broccoli seeds are now up.

Wednesday June 13th

The whateveritis (squirrel, probably) visited again last night and dug up nearly everything I had in modules, including two busy lizzies. Upset. Lost most of the beans now, and had to move everything back into the conservatory for safety, planting a lot more seeds as I did so. So much for hardening stuff off. After work, went to  GC and acquired a bottle of concentrated glyphosate - ouch it's expensive. But you can dig in treated plants after 7 days, so I can now attack the pink bindweed. Also got two packs of proper sized leek seedlings… well, mine are still way too small to plant and so this way I get some in the first year. And I now know what size they have to be at plant-out stage! Must split them up (they're modular) and plant as soon as I can.

Thursday June 14th

Went up to the allotment and planted the leeks with the trowel handle as the dibber and while dodging the rain :-) which has finally arrived. Picked some of my inadequate rhubarb and begged some real rhubarb off Jim.

Friday June 15th

Off to BBC GW live and met up with Dad outside the NEC without any delays this time, so we could park easily next door to each other. Got into the queue waiting for the doors to open at 9am and had a nice wander about in a quite peaceful way.  Bit of a day of pottering about the place, trying to see the outside displays while not getting soaked by the periodically torrential rain and thunderstorms. Got a free kneeler courtesy of Dad talking to Skoda :-) and a bag of freebies from B&Q which contained a hozelock connector, seeds, twine and plant labels. Not bad. Bought some other plant labels that clip over plants rather than being stuffed down the side. Found some lovely garden furniture - we both loved a dual chair with a little table in between the two - pretty solid and can be left out all year. Bit expensive though.  Took a leaflet, more in hope than anything…  Subsequently found a Chinese Oak (much paler wood) version, for a lot less! Also found a small wind chime at the stall which Dad's been trying to find since Chelsea (the bamboo obelisk people). Got myself a real dibber, a thing for the top of the spade which stops your shoe slipping, and a pot of chicken manure. Plantwise, got a hypoxis (as against rhodohypoxis) and a small but proportionally expensive acer japonica Deshojo, which is the amazing red one. And is green. Asked a bonsai stall (which had a red one) how this happens, and they said keep it in the sun, as nurserymen tend to put them in partial shade and they lose their colour that way. So next year it should stay red. Also found a nymphaea pygmaea helvola, the yellow miniature water lily. Much to Dad's amusement. Renewed my subscription to GW mag at 10 for 12, and bought Dad a trio of bright perennial daisy-like plants for Father's Day. Tried to get another anomatheca laxa, but nobody had them this year, sadly. This winter I'm putting drinks bottles over the miniature irises and saxifragas to try and stop the rain and frost killing them.

At home potted up the waterlily into a large pot I'd found at B&Q, and put the hypoxis in with the rest of the alpines. Showed Paul the chair leaflets and he didn't like the oak one at all, but did like the teak twin seat. And suggested I'd better phone them up, then! 

Wednesday June 20th

Up to the allotment after a hurried tea and dug a bit more before watering everything. Shoved some fertiliser on the onions and cabbages, and wished heartily I'd taken up a hoe. The weeds are getting a bit of a foothold in certain patches. Trouble is I'm limited by what I can carry, and this time it was the old fork and the strimmer. The cabbages are recovering from their pecking - lots of nice new leaves. And the currants are definitely black ones :-) About half of the final strip of land is now sorted out.

Monday June 25th

Way too hot again. Went to garden centre after work for lettuce seed and bought a Webb's seed tape to make it easier. Also got some beetroot for the allotment. Hope they're not too late…

Wednesday June 27th

Went up to the allotment armed with the hoe (at last) and the fork. Two hours later there was nearly a full yellow bucket of daffodil bulbs! Astonishing number of pretty large solid bulbs, all of which must have been multiplying for years given how solid the soil was. Am eyeing up the top of the rockery as a good place to stuff them permanently. There's only a small patch left to weed and dig, hooray. And all the latest lot of French beans are in! Now have to water them every day, or I'm going to be in trouble. One of the frazzled ones has baby beans on… Beetroot still to plant, ditto broccoli (which will need netting no doubt). Onions still not growing bulbs, so at this rate I'll have a large number of spring onions come autumn. Finally managed to get everything watered by 10pm. Some of the cabbages are starting to grow hearts (and are almost out of their hats). It's a bit depressing seeing how far some of the plots are doing, with nearly mature cabbages in neat rows (under nets though!). Keep telling myself I can't expect miracles in the first year when I started very late and am still digging up bindweed. Must take up the glyphosate again for the bits around the firebucket, and also punch a hole in it! Water level very low now, so a long nail may well do the trick.

Saturday June 30th

Went up to water allotment at midday, but that couldn't be helped due to being at Sam's party tonight. Planted a row of romaine lettuce between the carrots and leeks. Room for just one more row of something in the bottom bed now!


July 01

May 01