December 2005

Merry Christmas & a Happy New Year!

On these short dark days it's hard to get excited about Spring & Summer, they seem so far away. There are few enough consolations about this time of year, even fewer gardening related other than in the imagination.

I find it hard to believe that in a few month's time I'll be wandering about in shorts & a T shirt. Can't come soon enough, I'm keen to get going on my first attempt at growing vegetables! A part of the allotment has already been booked to plant pumpkins for Halloween later in 2006.

I'm hoping to get on top of the work ethic & find more time to do other things, I’ve signed up for an allotment on the Hill Rise site at St Ives, Cambridgeshire. Picture right shows it in the middle of December snows. The Council are making more pitches available as there seems to be an increase in demand.

Why on earth would you want to revisit my blog site again (assuming you're not Becky or Beth, my cyberspace skilled daughters who I can never get through to on the 'phone 'cause they're always on the Internet)? How about.....
  • I'm ducking & weaving to try & get a site next to a water supply... is my constant search for strange trenches a waste of time?
  • I hope to develop raised beds in a potager style to make Allotment Heaven a really nice place to be... just how big a cock up will I make of it?
  • I'm going to knock up my own irrigation plan to make summer watering a breeze... am I mad?

At the suggestion of the grounds men I’ve signed up for pitch 104, but being new to allotments I’ve read up that water source is a big decision factor. The site uses water troughs from which you have to fill your watering can. Surprise surprise, 104 is not terribly near the water troughs. I’ve not committed any effort yet & I’ve checked that it’s OK to swap, so I’m waiting to see where the water supplies will be for the pitches newly available in January aiming to one right next to my allotment. For example, here’s a picture of plot 133 with an interesting trench running through it … for a water pipe perhaps?

I’m hoping to have raised beds in a potager style. Idea is that I’ve got a long time to get this right so no problem if I don’t get everything under the plough in year 1, but I’d certainly like it to be a place I like going to, hence the decorative element. On the left is my attempt at the design for the first beds.

Finally, on the water theme again, I’m thinking hard about irrigation. I’ve been surprised to read up that some vegetables actually do worse if they’re watered too often, & timing of when to water is important. Nevertheless I’d prefer not to spend all summer running up & down with watering cans, arms getting longer inch by inch in the process. I’m therefore thinking of knocking up my own irrigation system using standard 15mm pipes, T joints & end stops. The idea is that once in under the earth in each bed, there’d by a single pipe sticking up into which I’d stick a funnel & fill with water until funnel full. I’d then leave to drain off while I got the next bed’s water.

All sounds so easy at this stage! Probably won’t get properly started until February, but aim for January has got to be to make final plot selection, hopefully right next to water trough, & start getting materials sourced for surrounding fence & raised bed edges.


1 comment:

  1. such healthy vegetables, wish i could grow these in Antarctica.


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