April 2012

From My Allotment Diary (Sun.. April 29th, 2012)

April 29, 2012 by BigGee   Comments (2)

At last the weathermen got it right! That promised huge low pressure weather front that was moving up from Spain - accompanied by gale force winds for today actually hit us some time last night. I got up this morning to find a water-butt had gone walk-about and other things were in the wrong places or at funny angles! Like my neighbour's bird-table that's taken up a horizontal resting position on his front lawn. Two short scaffold planks that had been propped up against our tool-shed down on the lottie were also horizontal this morning. They hadn't budged all winter, but last night the wind must have been from an unusual direction.

So it's WET & very cold & miserable here this morning. The mice that should have got their sentences executed in the traps in my polytunnel last night must have decided to stay in their warm nests somewhere - very wise - given the weather. So my enthusiasm for revenge never got quenched. All six of the death traps were still gaping at me like little miniature hippos when I went in. Not a stiff mouse in sight. Hmm. This could turn into a real "cat & mouse" game.

I went down hoping to do a bit of sowing etc. in the polytunnel this morning. HOWEVER the disappointment of no mouse-trap victims coupled to a horrible cold & damp feel (as readers of my blog will know - I absolutely hate the cold especially when it's damp, because I go into "shut-down" mode, get VERY miserable and can't motivate myself to do ANYTHING).

So it's back to the house - after taking Josie and her friend Jan down town to get a "couple of things from the shop" (that's code for - "go and sit in the car for an hour & read your book, whilst I exorcise my can't pass a shop addiction"!)

Right central heating back on 'constant' for the afternoon. Write my blog, sit down & read the Sunday papers and have a couple of glasses of sparkling Schloer for me for the rest of the day - the weather can go to hell!

From My Allotment Diary (Sat.. April 28th, 2012)

April 28, 2012 by BigGee   Comments (0)

I love all little animals - but today I had to turn assassin! Regardless of how fluffy and cute something is, when it decides to fill it's furry little tummy with MY newly sown peas, I have no option but to put the black handkerchief on my head and declare a death sentence.

What am I talking about? MICE. The little sods have dug up and eaten between 80 and a 100 of my newly sown seeds that were in cell trays in the polytunnel. Thank goodness it's only the peas that took their fancy.image

I discovered the deed yesterday - so I've re-sown. Last night I had to go down to Fishguard to pick up our friend Jan who lives in Ireland. She came off the ferry at quarter to one this morning. So following a lie-in I went for a rummage in the garage (well to be more precise Josie did) to find the mouse-traps. I'd forgotten where I'd put them.

So armed with 6 of the latest in mouse-trap technology from Mr Rolson (black plastic ones that look like miniature hippos, with teeth and a bait cage). I headed down to the place of planned instant death. Whilst down there I did some more sowing and the last job was to strategically place the baited traps in what I guessed would be the logical places I'd explore - if I was a mouse.

The deed is done. In the morning I'll go down to inspect the carnage - I just hope the traps will NOT be empty and that the latest batch of sown peas won't have gone AWOL!

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From My Allotment Diary (Thurs. April 26th, 2012)

April 26, 2012 by BigGee   Comments (2)

Another of those "nothing" days again today! Well as far as the lottie is concerned anyway!

Had an appointment at the doctor's surgery this morning - there went the morning. My Dr 's surgery is fifteen miles north in Aberystwyth (he's a friend as well as my doc - so I travel). Then followed an afternoon of the drudge - our weekly grocery shopping - ugh! Still, mustn't grumble too much - I treated myself to a few goodies from our local gardening goodies shop called Charlie's. Two more gravel trays for my potting adventures in the polytunnel, also I bought some other trays with 40 x 3" pots in, some capillary matting and a catch for one of my p/tunnel doors. Also of course, if I don't put up with the weekly shopping drudge I'll eventually starve - not a nice thought!

I've used carpet underlay as capillary matting in the past. It works great - BUT - being made of wool, it's prone to smell when it gets wet. By the end of the potting frenzy my p/tunnel smells embarrassingly horrible! At the beginning - before I discovered where the stink was coming from -  I went looking for a dead rodent under the staging last year, that's the level of potency of the pong!! So I had to hold my nose again today to stop the horrible smell of having to spend money on capillary matting! Ah well - it doesn't eat or drink.

Tomorrow I'm going down to get stuck into those potato rows that need planting before we get phase 2 of the wind & rain storm that's been promised over the weekend. Low pressure heading our way from Spain apparently. I've also got to get the remainder of my other seeds sown in the p/tunnel - hence the reason for the goodies bought today.

Tomorrow night I've got to go down to Fishguard (40 miles south of here) to meet the ferry coming over from Ireland at 12.30a.m. Jan - a friend of ours (well Josie's old chum from Birkenhead) who lives over there, is coming over to stay for a few days. Pity about the weather. In fact Stenner stopped the sailings yesterday, so they may do the same again tomorrow. That WILL be a disappointment. I think I'm turning into a Job's Comforter!

From My Allotment Diary (Tues. April 24th, 2012)

April 24, 2012 by BigGee   Comments (2)

It's been another ten days since I wrote in my Blog - that's amazing - NEARLY HALF A MONTH. Time is flying by at a frightening rate!

Anyway, I'm actually getting on top of my seed sowing regime in the polytunnel. There's now hundreds of little pots, trays, cells and toilet rolls standing to attention. Lets hope they all sprout! Everything has been buried in the black stuff, from runner beans to melons and everything in between. Mind you the daunting task of doing the same outside is still haunting my sleeping hours! I say that because last night I sadly dreamt about my seed sowing - that is serious overload. Perhaps I do take this allotment thing too seriously!! Having now quickly dismissed that horrible thought I can look forward to getting on with one of the greatest joys of life - getting away from everything and everyone and enjoying my own company on my lottie or in my polytunnel.

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I LOVE my home built polytunnel. No more so was that brought home to me than today, when we had a torrential shower at about six o'clock this evening. I merrily carried on until Stephen (one of my plot neighbour friends) popped in on the way home from work. We had a cuppa together (very civilised two chairs and a table) whilst putting the world to rights in the deafening sound of a thunderstorm and BIG rain on the polythene - it doesn't get much better than that!

For the first time this year I felt quite good working hard today. That hasn't always been the case with lots of fatigue, breathlessness and general weakness when I get really stuck in. Today was a bit more like old times. I wheel-barrowed five loads of manure the 50 yards from the heap to the potato rows (not at normal speed, but respectable). Spread it out and got one 40 foot row finished before the rain AND I still had a little bit left in the tank to do a bit of pottering inside the polytunnel when the rain came. I hope I don't suffer tomorrow, experience dictates that after a day like today it's often a case of the rest of the week off!! Lets hope not.

So my first row of spuds are in - the Winstons. Look out Dave, they're starting to sprout and swell already, and they haven't been in the ground 12 hours yet!! I think I'd better go and look for some bigger scales tomorrow - in readiness. Do you still want to go ahead with this challenge? Now would be a good time for you to back down before ;)we get to the business end of the season!!

 It looks as if it's going to be a colouring book day tomorrow! Remember our mothers used to bring the colouring book out when it rained on a caravan holiday! Not that we had holidays - but I've been told by my wife that is how it was!!! Well perhaps not a colouring book day, but a day to catch up with my web-site work & some correspondence. Perhaps it'll stop me dreaming about seed sowing!

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