Allotment February 2018

Its now the end February and so far, this year we have been very lucky with the weather. Usually this time of year is very cold and frosty. We have had temperatures up to 18 deg in the south tempting to think spring is here and start planting out, but this has caught me out in the past with snow falling in March so let’s hold on for another month.

So far on the plot the shed is almost finished, guttering is on butt water buts still to be connected and a window still to install. Thankfully its now water tight and I can keep my tea bags and biscuits clean and dry which is very important. Its a very strong shed made from 2" stud work and 3/4" OSB boarding so should last a few years. I build my work shop at home the same way 10 years ago and its still dry and rot free. One tip if you are building a shed on your plot, raise the base on concrete blocks with a plastic membrane between the shed floor and blocks. This will allow air to flow under the floor and stops damp rising up from the ground. Many people put there sheds straight on the ground and find the floor will rot with in a few years. If you are building at home then put a concrete slab in with a membrane barrier and you should have many years rot free and damp free.

 

The second set of compost bins are nearly completed. I might be putting in a third set depending on the amount I can fill these ones up. Thanks to my in-laws who have been supplying me with peelings every day, this has been a great help to build up the bins. One tip I have learned this month, tea bags have plastic in the bags so they do not rot down. I have been drying them off on the Rayburn and just putting in the tea leaves. I am looking at doing the no dig by next year so will need a lot of compost. The paths are also lined out and waiting for some wood chip. We did have a guy turn up with wood chips, but he was slipping to much on the mud and unable to drop it off which was a real shame.

Growing this month

The potatoes are all out at home chitting. The first early Pentland Javelin from B & Q have now been planted out at end February.

Elephant garlic's and normal Blushing Beauty garlic's have all be planted out in mid-January, maybe next year i will get these in before Christmas. i have been told it was a tradition to plant out Christmas eve. If the weather was OK you could plant out Christmas eve then have a brandy to warm up 🙂

Onions Fen Globe heat treated sets have been planted out end Feb turned up late from supplier due to being heat treated and a lot are already sprouting. I thought these would not be sprouting so early. I will be planting out some none heat treated onions and compare the difference between to two.

Also been lucky to divide some rhubarb from home and get this down the plot. They have taken well and pushing out new shoots.

At home

Leeks have been started in modules and already 3” tall. I will start some more of in March and see how they compare.

Cabbage seeds have been started in modules Kilaxy F1 about 20 in pack but only 10 came up. I don't think this was worth the money. i will be starting some more of soon but will pick a cheaper variety.

Parsnip Gladiator F1 started in toilet rolls again F1 but not all coming up very poor. The idea of the toilet rolls was a tip from a more experienced growing member down the plot. It should help with preventing the seeds rotting. When they have started to grow place them in the ground whole with the toilet rolls and they will grow on with no disturbance of the soil around the root.

Onion seeds long Red Florence started in trays and are coming up. May do better next year when I've got the green house up.

All seeds this year and potatoes/onions were ordered online. I was not happy with the service or quality so will look next year at buying local.

I have also ordered a green house for home, so things will get a better start. Should be with me by end March so I will do a video and review blog on this build.

For now, I will continue to dig over and remove the weeds. I did want to start with no dig but do not have enough compost or the money to buy so much for the first year. So far, it’s been exciting and is looking good. Star our Labrador has now settled in down the plot when we go there and loves looking out for the foxes.


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