Three S’s: Sun, soil and seeds (and a storm called Katie)

I read this article about soil and it said that we know more about outer space than we do about the soil we all walk around on. And everywhere you look and read and listen its all about the soil, how well dug it is, manure, compost, clay, sand, pH raised beds or not. and it seems to be a bit of hit and miss what ever you do. Its making me a bit confused at the moment and I’m just glad that I managed to turn it over, it is bloody hard work but oh so satisfying when you are done.

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first dig

I guess I was lucky when I got my allotment as the previous “owner” took good care of it and had put cover on it and had only just took it off before I came along which left me with a almost weed free patch. The soil is quite hard and seems to be clay, but it seperated fine as I raked it out after my first dig. Heading to the gardencenter to pick up som topsoil and will dig that in too just to loosen it up a bit more.

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after raking

Seeds, seeds, seeds!! there is like a million different ones (obviously). I have no idea which variety is best here  or there I simply went for the ones that looked the best and said sure crop on. Not so sure that will be the best but as I said before: it will be hit and miss and failures along the way. I guess thats why sucess tastes so good.

The first seeds went in to propagation trays during the easter weekend: Warpath salad, Russian Giant sunflowers, thyme, dill to start with.DSC_0227

And I have some potatoes in the greenhouse just waiting to be put in the ground. I’ve just had a delivery of more trays to sow in and I’m expecting a delivery of seeds any day. Quite glad that I’m late sowing as the weather forcast is warning for frost at night.

The storm Katie passed by during the weekend  and caused some havoc. There was a lot of rain and vind but most damage seems to have been to trees and fences.

And yes today, on my day off the sun is shining!!!

 

In the beginning there was waiting.

So I’ll start from the beginning.

I was in Sweden when I got an email from the council offering me an allotment 3 weeks ago. When I put myself on the waitinglist in the beginning of November  -15 I was #9 so thought it would at least take me a year or more until I would get a plot so imagine my surprise!

As soon as I returned to UK I gave the council a call and 1,5 h later I was down at the allotment and picked my 2.5 rods with a marvellous greenhouse and a nice plot in the back.

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The lady gave me a key to the allotment gate there and then. It was a bit surreal and exciting at the same time. There I was standing on my dream, my allotment!

“Shit! What do I do now? How do I get started? What do I need? How did this happen so quick?”

I walked around and said hello to the few other people who was down there and working on their plots. All of them were very friendly and gave some good advise and tips. Turns out this allotment has its own online forum, so I went home and signed up and read up. Needless to say I trawled the internet about allotments, doubble digging, getting started, seeds, tools, manure, composts, waterbutts, pests, clubroot etc etc. You name it I’ve probably read about it. There and then i took the decision to: STOP! plan and take it slow. I’m a beginner, don’t even think I have 1% of Monty Dons knowledge (yes I’ve watched gardening tv programs too) but I’m going to give it the best I have and do the best I can. Some of it will not work and somethings will.

One of the first jobs I did was to tidy up the greenhouse. I got advise from my sister-in-law to use this:

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An all-natural product made in Sweden from liquid rosin. It has been used for hundreds of years and is still an unbeatable all-purpose cleaner as well as friendly for the environment.Suitable for:
– Sinks, bath tubs, toilettes, kitchen and bathroom tiles
– Stone and wooden worktops
– Furniture, both painted and oiled
– Floors; wooden, stone, laminate, and tile
– Wooden, metallic and plastic toys

And it smells much better than Jay’s and available to buy from OCADO.  I took my 2 girls (8, 10 yrs) to the allotment one sunny day and we cleaned, scraped moss, fixed vents, dug up weeds and then had a lovely little picknic inside our greenhouse. We also drew a scetch of our plot and talked about what we want to grow. Its so lovely to see my girls getting involved and excited and hopefully eating more vegetables at the end of the year.