Wednesday, 18 April 2018

Building the greenhouse

I have a few days off work so managed to get down to the plot. Luckily the weather has got so much better, it was 26C according to the car temp.

I had to make several runs down there, first with the wood planks & then with the sand, but i got it sorted. Tomorrow I will take the paving slabs to lie on top.

 I expect I will find a few gifts left by the local cats by the time I get back down tomorrow.

I got a few rows of potatoes in, it wasn't easy as I broke my spade.

This is only one of the bramble roots I have had to dig out. There are loads more.

Hopefully I will be able to pick up some cardboard to cover the end of the plot soon.

Monday, 19 March 2018

Plottin on.

Well after all that snow we had some nice weather so I got down the plot to do some more digging. 

I picked up 40 pavers & have just laid them down on the ground so I can see where I'm going & to help with planning. They are bumpy but I will smooth that out before I finish.

I have dug 25ft by 14ft so far. The lump of concrete goes all the way across the plot, I'm wondering if it's some type of pipe line for the houses nearby.

At least I will have space for the potatoes & sweetcorn. Now to dig somewhere for all the rest to go.

At home I have some plants already growing. Some of the peppers haven't yet germinated, hopefully they will soon. I did sow some more.

Locsei and Pimento have all germinated, Bukaten is 2nd with 80%, Cayenne has only 60% whilst the Tomato Pepper & Kalocsai haven't germinated yet. 

The Indigo on the far right is for my home garden, it produces a blue dye. None of them have germinated yet either.

My tomatoes are doing brilliantly. The Roma is the only one which has 2 that haven't germinated but that's not a problem as there is plenty of time to sow some more.

I have plenty of potatoes chitting. Rooster, Desiree & Maris Piper.

Mum's peas have started, there are lots of gaps where some haven't yet germinated, not sure if I need to wait or re-sow.

I decided to use some fence paint I found in my shed to treat the wooden parts of the shelving for the greenhouse, they look really nice now.

Then it decided to snow again so I've not been able to go plotting all weekend.

Tuesday, 6 March 2018

Getting plotting

After getting my new plot I had hoped to get started but we had snow. Unfortunately I was one of the only members of staff that managed to get into work so I ended up covering most of the missing ones. But after all that I now have a week off so it's off plotting I go.

I met the 2 men that have the plot next to me, they seem ok.

I lit the fire, it didn't burn very well whilst I was there, until I started to leave & then it was going well, unfortunately we are not allowed to leave a burning fire so I had to put the remains out.

I have been digging. I found a big lump of concrete which is far too big to get out so I have marked where it is & hopefully when I decide on my lay out I can go around it.

It looks like a nice big bit but really it's very small. I am only going to get down to the tree line this year & plant. I have been offered some paving slabs which i will use to make a path down the centre. I want to put the greenhouse halfway down by the tree line, hopefully that will mean I have less trees to get out. It will also split the plot up a bit.

I found some Gooseberries, just 2 plants which have survived but mum will be happy. I can just see some new leaves.

The ground is very soft, so easy to dig, except for all the bramble roots which keep getting in the way. I've lost count the amount of times I tripped over the stubs that have been left from cutting them down.

Tuesday, 20 February 2018


I got really lucky & managed to snag myself a free greenhouse. It looked ok in the pictures, the broken panes can always be replaced.

The only thing I couldn't see until I got there was that the previous owners had used putty to hold the panes into the frame.

I think I broke a few more panes getting it down, the plastic has to be thrown away as it's brittle & yellowed. But at least I have a frame.

Or atleast I will have when I finally manage to get the putty off.

Every single piece of frame is covered. So far I have cleaned 3 pieces. All the remaining glass also needs to be cleaned. I may have enough for one side.

There was also 3 lots of staging which is in very good condition & the lady said I could have the pavers the greenhouse was sitting on, so that's all useful.

I cut myself quite badly when one of the panes fell on my head. I'm ok though, should never have done it on my own but I had no one to help.

At home I have sowed some seeds, mainly chilli & tomatoes, I have got some potatoes chitting & collecting toilet tubes like crazy ready for sowing sweetcorn. Oh I also sowed peas for mum in some guttering. Now all I need is warm weather, hurry up spring.

Friday, 16 February 2018

Guess what?

I've got a new plot. 

Like the last one it needs a lot of work. It's also much bigger. I had to walk it as I don't have a long enough measure, 110ft by 30ft. Sure the last one was only 50ft. Any way I will probably only be able to dig over & use about half of it this year & will perhaps use raised beds on the next bit as it's covered in trees & there's no way I'll be able to get the roots out.

Moved a lot of carpet, down to the end. There are loads of bricks & stones too that look like they were dumped.

Second half of plot, this was covered in carpet & bricks

Top half of plot which is covered in brambles & grass

Full length picture, there are loads of trees along the halfway line, unfortunately they are not fruit trees

All rubbish that can be burned

There is carpet under all this, most has already started to disintegrate so will be very difficult to remove

Removed to end so I can get on with clearing the better half

Even more carpet & trees.

Not much clearer but you can see the trees from here.
It's going to be a lot of work but I'm going to go slower this time.
There is enough space for a shed & maybe even a greenhouse or polytunnel.

Tuesday, 30 January 2018

Can't wait for Spring

I really dislike Winter. 
Thankfully the nights are beginning to get shorter but it's still cold.

My boss at work is pregnant. I have made her a baby blanket. Hope she likes it. (She's Chinese & it's the Year of the Dog).

This is the pattern if anyone wants it.
Year of the Dog baby blanket 2018

Thursday, 16 November 2017

Really lazy

Oh dear, I had intended to keep up with the blog this year, but I have been really lazy.

I grew runner beans as usual, they turned out great & we have loads in the freezer to keep us going through the winter.

The sweetcorn was a bust yet again, don't know why I bother.

I didn't sow any tomatoes, still have lots of puree stored from last year that I haven't got through yet. 

Carrots were great, parsnips still in the ground but hopefully they will be awesome come Yuletide.

We had lots of nice strawberries but the raspberries were few due to the dogs wreaking the plants.

So I got on & made some more crochet items.
Jenny's Faith designed by Anastasia Roberts
I managed to get a load of old wax candles off freecycle. I've broken most of it down & melted it (still have 2 large slabs left). This has become new candles.
I will talk you through the process with pictures as I do not have video.

I broke all the pieces up & put them into spare jars & then started to melt it, some in the microwave, then adding it to the jars in the saucepan.

I used some old crayons to add colour, mainly because the wax was dirty (lots of dead flies too). I added some old wax melts to some of them, this added colour & scent (much better).
Topped them up all the way & let them start to harden, had to keep stirring for a while as the colour started to sink.

I took a metal paperclip, holding the tip I bent the 2 bottom bends either side so it could stand up & just opened them out a little for stability. I then cut a piece of string & tied it onto the tip that was standing up, lots of knots & twisting, I dipped this into some melted wax several times, allowing it to cool between & then gently pushed it into the top of the  wax whilst it was still soft. The wax does shrink as it cools & you can top up the indent you get if you want. The 2 candles on the left have just been done, the one on the right has burned for 8 hrs already with just the one wick. 

You can add the wicks after the wax has all hardened so I haven't put any in the other jars as yet. When first lit they do burn high for about 20 minutes but then settle down. You can add borax to the wick to make it burn brighter & longer but I didn't have any.

Much easier than adding wicks to the whole candle & you can easily remelt the wax if it's burned to the side, just lift the wick out & replace when it starts to harden again.
I also have been making more soap.
I wanted to be able to grow my own additives/colourings to use in my soaps but not all of it has worked out. I'm still in the testing stage but so far the only success has been the Dock roots. It has given a lovely pink, I used far too much in the test bar but it still looks awesome.
Dock coloured soap

In fact it's the same colour as the blanket I'm crocheting for my mum for Yuletide.