Category Archives: digging

Time to empty the compost heap

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What a big job, I’m so glad it’s done! I have, like many allotment growers, raised beds. Some of which aren’t exactly raised, in fact, you could say are sunken.

Well today I have emptied my compost heap and filled my last ‘sunken raised bed’. I’ve being filling that heap all of 2013, a mix of kitchen scraps, old weeds, horse manure, cuttings, cardboard even dust from my Hoover.

Now the bed is finally filled, the key is to leave it to settle before doing any planting. It will sink a little whilst it settles and obviously is going to need regular hoeing as any weed seeds start to wake up. But it’s full of promise.

Now to start work on the new heap, the gardening wheel turns again! Happy gardening my friend! X

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Almost done!

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So most of the beds are manured and covered with plastic for the winter. I will dig in the manure once spring arrives, but for now the worms can do their thing.

I covered it with plastic to keep the weeds from growing through the winter. It works for me anyway.

So my plan for tomorrow, weather depending, is to turn my rickety old shed into a little Havana for the hedgehogs, and other wildlife. It’s almost falling down and I have a nice shinny one at the other end of my plot. So I’m hoping to turn it into the ultimate hotel for my little friends. Inside I will make little hide holes stuffed with straw and make it cozy for them to bed down in.

I’m actually looking forward to making it!

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Digging for Vixtory

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Corr blimey what a day! Another 3 raised beds dug and manured. Which is pretty good going owing to the fact the drizzle seems to make every barrow of horse poo heavier and heavier. But there is something about tucking everything up for winter, it’s strange, it’s like telling your plot to go to sleep.

The raised bed at the front of the photo, is what I call my bed of doom, it’s huge. It’s that bed I put off doing for ages as it’s such hard work. But I went for it today and I’m glad I did too, as I hear snow is coming soon.

Gosh the year has gone so fast, good luck tucking everything up for winter guys! X

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Digging update

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Four beds dug and covered in well rotted manure ready to be tucked up for winter.

It was a great weekend in the UK to be out, the temperature was around 17C which for October is pretty amazing. Flowers are still blooming and Autumn colours are glowing, it’s simply lush.

One of the nice things whilst I dig, is my local friendly Robin who is getting so tame now. As I dig and put down manure he comes over looking for worms. I cannot help but think he is from my nest box last year.

We had a Robin family in our garden, their mother and father were very tame too. I remember I had to pick one up, who after fledging, decided to hop into our laundry room and sit on my dirty washing. I popped him back outside and mum soon came over to give him a worm and no doubt tell him off!

I will try to get a picture, but it’s one of those annoying moments when your phone is elsewhere when he appears. I daren’t leave it in my pocket. It will get dug into one of my raised beds! (I’m talking about my phone not the Robin)

Anyway 4 beds dug 12 left…. Who needs a flipping gym!?

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The big dig will start this weekend

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It feels like yesterday when I took the bottom picture. I had just finished turning in all the manure and was getting ready to start planting wonderful seeds. This weekend as the great wheel turns yet again I will be resting my busy little allotment for winter.

Horse manure at the ready.

Many of my raised beds are done, they are probably heaving a sigh of relief that they can have a well earned rest. They will be covered in about 10cm of muck and covered in thick black plastic to over winter. I’m a big believer in feeding the soil not the plant!

The worms will think Christmas has come early! My fellow allotment friends say this is the reason I suffer from moles on my plot, as I have too many worms! Well if that’s the case, guilty as charged. How can a plot of land have too many worms? I say you cannot have enough…

So barrow wheel will be oiled, the squeaky wheel drives me nuts, my fork is polished and weather permitting I shall be out.

If I do a bed or two a day, I will be done in 18 days. Leaving my winter veg bed which will be weeded and harvested from through the sad times, I hate winter!

I’m such a summer cry baby sometimes!

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New Old Tools.

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I am over joyed with a lovely gift from my wonderful Mother and Father in Law. Last year we lost Grand Dad John, he was a great guy. An gardener and allotmentier like me, as you can imagination we always had much to talk about.

He loved hearing about what I was up to, what problems I was encountering and he always had so many tips and hints to share. I loved visiting and wished I had known him for longer. I’m actually getting teary typing this.

I will just compose myself… So, this weekend I dropped my daughter off at my families home and was gifted the most amazing surprise. As I was leaving they asked if I would like some of Grand Dad Johns garden tools!

So here they are, I think they are beautiful. In so many ways, not only beautiful to look at, but to think how many seasons they and Grand Dad John hoed the soil to feed his family. To provide them will healthy food for their bellies. Just like myself, finding joy spending time outside amongst his Vegetables.

John, I promise I will take care of your precious garden tools and I will show your Great Grand Daughter Boudicca how to use them.

I know he will be with me helping me out, giving me advice from his spiritual allotment in the sky!

Thank you Grand Dad John, miss you…

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What to do with those’s rocks you dig up?

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I live in the North West of England in a small town called Horwich. It’s great here, beautiful in fact. You know the kind of place, rolling hills, patch work fields, friendly people just doing their thing its perfect.

I say perfect… I live next to a massive hill, it missed out being classed as a mountain by a couple of meters, so I’m told! So because we are close to the big hill, our ground is pretty rocky! In fact our allotment has a nick name, ‘Heart break hill’, for two reasons.

The first reason, back in medieval times if you were caught poaching the Kings deer you were hung some where near our plot! How creepy is that?

The other reason is every spade or fork you plunge into the ground here hits a massive rock. I prefer the second reason than the first, I have to say!

So over the years I’ve been here I created a raised stone brick wall herb garden. It’s a peaceful spot away from the other allotments, in fact it’s a secret garden, my Dad and my favourite spot. Made complete by my Dad finding a Victorian park bench which he renovated and gave to me!

He sits there smoking his pipe whilst I potter about. I love it here. I love it even more because it’s my secret spot I share with my friends. It has a feeling of total serenity.

In the picture is my Green-man who looks after my secret garden at night whilst the sprites do there magic! (Well this is what I tell my 6 year old daughter)

It’s filled with sweet peas, Angelica, Valarian, in fact you name the herb and it will be tucked away somewhere. Even the weird stuff like Mugwort!

Gardening is magic, a magical gift from the universe, whatever you believe in, be it Gods or science, isn’t our world wondrous! Get out there watch the seasons, study each leaf and tiny bug! By goodness it’s beautiful!

I always say it and really mean it – happy gardening my friend! X