Week 66 – Greenhouse and GQT

After last week’s progress, this week hasn’t been quite as busy on the plot. I’ve only been down there a few times and they have mostly been flying visits.

As ever, I took my 2 helpers after college on Tuesday. After running out of space last week, I felt the easiest solution would be a mini greenhouse so I picked one up from Wilkos. Helper number 2 was very excited about helping me put it together. It was fairly straightforward to construct – just pushing metal poles into holes and pulling the cover over the top.

After we’d assembled the greenhouse we had to decide where to put it. My plot is right at the bottom of the allotment site in a corner so I have lots of neighbouring fences I can put a greenhouse up against. Several locations were considered, several plot holders were consulted (this is serious stuff!) but we eventually agreed the best place for it would be up against the side of my shed in the flower bed. I thought I might have to move the chrysanthemum but the greenhouse fitted perfectly with no upheaval. Once it was in place Louis moved all the seedlings into their new home. I was told I’d have to water them every day (because they are in such a sunny spot) but my mum came up with, what I hope is a very clever idea. She suggested I put a tray of water on one of the shelves so when it gets hot the water will evaporate and almost water the plants for me. It’s only been in their a few days so I don’t yet know if it’s working but I’ll keep you posted.

I have, obviously trained my 2 helpers well. I told them we would be re-potting the peppers as I was worried they’d outgrown their tray. We had already laid everything out on the table when I received a phone call I needed to take. When I had finished my phonecall I emerged from the shed to find the pair of them sitting at the table swigging the drinks I’d bought them having successfully re-potted all 9 of the peppers. The peppers are now safely back on my living room window sill doing very nicely thank you!

Louis and I popped in to the plot on Wednesday on our way home. As you can see from my totally inappropriate footwear I hadn’t planned on visiting the allotment atall but I wanted to check the greenhouse and open the door for a little bit (I was told I needed to let air in) We weren’t going to stay very long but, as is often the case on the allotment I found myself staying much longer than I thought I would. I weeded a bit and generally pottered – didn’t actually do very much but, to me that is the joy of having the plot.

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I was very happy to see a honey bee on the aliums. This is exactly why I wanted to grow flowers aswell as vegetables on the plot. I really feel we should all be doing as much as we can to encourage and help preserve bees.

I was also pleased to see the potatoes making an appearance although not so happy to see another potato show itself in the now raspberry pot (I thought I’d dug up all last year’s potatoes – obviously not) I was also not very happy to hear on Gardeners’ Question Time (I’ve turned into that person who listens to GQT!) one of the panellists say they had never had much luck growing raspberries in containers. Having looked at the raspberry cane in the container this week I’m inclined to agree but I am an eternal optimist so I’m going to leave it where it is and hope for the best.

Rhubi is doing remarkably well and will need harvesting again soon. More rhubarb crumble! I’ve also found, what looks like a really easy rhubarb gin recipe online which I like the look of.

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On Thursday I received a phonecall from my friend to tell me she’d spotted a compost bin in the front garden of a house just around the corner from us with a big ‘FREE’ sign on it. I could hardly contain myself! I like gardening stuff and I love free stuff so this ticked both boxes. So, after a small scuffle to fit it in my car (compost bins are, surprisingly large) I now have 2 compost bins which has to be a good thing. This involved another flying visit to the plot in which I dumped said compost bin (I’ll work out a permanent spot for it next week) a quick check on the greenhouse and a little bit of weeding but not much else.

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This weekend saw the FA Cup Final at Wembley. I wouldn’t normally take much notice, not being a football fan but our local football team, Watford were playing and you couldn’t fail to notice this fact if you went anywhere near the town centre. There were red, yellow and black flags and bunting all along the high street and loads of shops had decorated their windows to support the team. Random Cafe were no exception and we also had a red, yellow and black theme to show our support. So, I spent Friday making and decorating cakes in Watford FC colours. The final result was not what we wanted (6-0) but from what I could see, all the Watford fans had a great day out at Wembley and there’s always next year!

I totally forgot to take a photo the last time I was on the plot so this is how I left the plot as of last Tuesday. I may think about planting out the pumpkins and squashes next week, depending on what the weather forecast looks like.

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