Geoff Hamilton cloche

Set myself the task this afternoon of making the cloche referred to in the previous posting. And wasn't it going sooooo well until I realised I'd got two metre wide plastic sheeting (£3.99 from Wilkinson's) but needed another half metre of width if I was going to cover the cloche with a single sheet. It was only when I'd sawed sixty centimetres off two of the tube ends that I began to see the folly of my ways. The tubes were pretty sure they wanted to arch gracefully the way they'd always done, and certainly not at the much sharper angle now required. No way back by then.
So I've got a cloche that works (click image to enlarge) and is merrily warming up the ground ready for the next fortnightly sowing of salad crops, but has the usual requirement of bricks to hold constituent parts down that I was determined to avoid. I'll cut some more tubes tomorrow, to the original two and a half metre lengths to fit the width of my raised beds, to get it back to the graceful artistic arch I originally had (wished I'd taken a photo of it then) and cover with two lengths of plastic. But it was very easy to make, stable and attractive up to the point of the plastic installation and comes highly recommended from me.
Still not put my entry in for the St Ives In Bloom competition for best allotment. Not sure if I want to go down the wobbly path of competing when the plots are my little oasis of peace and calm. But subconsciously I must be preparing for it. How else can I explain the urge to convert the front diamond raised bed, the first that faces you as you enter the plot, into a flower bed. True, the plants I've put in there (wish I could remember the names of them... I'll list them when they're in full bloom) attract bees and hoverflies and will be quite tall and attractive. Wonder what the latest date is for entry? The judging is in July.
Seedlings popping their heads up from the first sowing in early March... spinach, lettuce and radish (no pride there... you have to beat radish seedlings off with a stick). See the pictures at the foot of this posting. Beside the tomatoes I've also had the first appearance of a summer bedding seedling from the greenhouse sowings I made a week ago... the Livingston daisies have started to pop their heads up. Got loads more to come yet.
Managed to repot all my strawberry plants that were such a disaster last year. Although I only managed to get a single strawberry out of the lot of them before they were nibbled by unknown pests the wonderful taste of that single orb has encouraged me to go for an early crop by putting them in the greenhouse. Bit worried about the other 'eatables' I've put in there, everything from broad beans to ginger. No sign of growth after a number of weeks. Maybe the high temperatures in the greenhouse put them off initially... at least it looks like I've got that under control thanks to the scaffold netting I draped over last week.
Many thanks to Selwyn Richardson for allowing me to publish his notes from the last meeting of the Hill Rise Allotment Association on allotment crop nutrition... click the link under the Welcome! section to access. And yet another thanks to Richard Weightman for helping me to get more really useful information.

The newly assigned flower bed
First Livingston daisy popping its head up
Another tomato seedling awakens
First radishes of the year
Lettuce seedlings
Spinach seedlings spring up

1 comment:

  1. What a wonderful blog.A great read well done. Found you through allotments 4 all.

    We shall return.


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