Things are in motion

I finished work early today to try and get down the plot for an hour. It felt nice to get down after work to be honest. My aim for today was to plant out my first early potatoes which I bought back in January from a local garden center, and like every single year, I cannot remember the variety. D’oh!!!!!

Planting potatoes

Most of the seed potatoes were either shrivelled up or really small. To be honest, I think I left them too long on the window sill and I should have really planted them a couple of weeks ago. Oh well.

I’ve still got my main crop of potatoes to plant out, which again, I can’t remember the variety (I do it all the time). These will go in within the next couple of weeks after I’ve finished preparing the bed.

While I was at it, I also planted out half my onion plants. I’ll give it a week before planting out the rest, the birds have a habit of pecking off the tops of the plants, so I don’t want to lose the entire crop. These were a bargain, 80 onion sets for £1 from a local DIY store back in January. I wish I picked up a couple of more bags to be honest. Oh well….

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End of the season

So last years growing season has come to an end, I harvested the last of my leeks this week. I’m a huge fan of leeks, sow at the beginning of the year, plant out when they are pencil thick and you can just leave them to themselves.

Harvesting my leeks

I wanted to do something simple with them, so I boiled the leeks until soft and served them with chicken and butter. Yum!!!!!

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Signs of growth

I popped down to the allotment this morning to feed the chickens and noticed signs of growth everywhere. It feels like spring is early this year, I hope we don’t get a really cold spell (Beast from the East last year).

I snapped a couple of photos while down there. Enjoy!

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Harvesting forced rhubarb

Yesterday I picked my first rhubarb of the year. This is the first time I’ve tried forcing rhubarb and after sampling some yesterday evening, it’ll be something I’ll be doing every year. It was extremely tender and sweet.

Forcing rhubarb

Forcing rhubarb is easy to do. All you need is a large pot, dustbin or you can even get Rhubarb Forcing Pots. I personally used an old dustbin. I simply covered the crown about 6 weeks ago, excluding all light and popped a couple of bricks over the dustbin to stop it blowing away.

I’ll harvest a couple of more stems over the next couple of weeks and then remove the dustbin to let the plant recover over the summer.

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Extending the Velociraptor Cage

I keep a flock of 12 chickens on my allotment and I often refer to them as my dinosaurs. I feel like Chris Pratt in Jurassic World when he’s training the raptors every time I enter the chicken pen ?

Anyway, yesterday, we spent the morning extending the pen so they’ve got more room. In fact, the pen now takes roughly a quarter of the plot.

I managed to get my hands on some heras fencing and some netting for the top, and I have to say, it’s given them so much more room.

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Spring is in the air

Greenhouse thermometer

As I type this, it’s currently 16C in late February. It certainly feels like Spring is in the air. I popped down the allotment today to collect any eggs and top up the drinking water for the chickens. I checked the greenhouse and the thermometer was showing almost 30C inside!

I also noticed the onions have put on a lot of growth over the last couple of days. I’ll give it a couple of more weeks before I move them outside into the coldframe. To be honest, I wish I bought more. I went to B&Q a couple of weeks ago and picked up 80 sets. The price tag was showing £3 for the pack, but it wasn’t until I got back home, that I realised they went through the till for £1. Bargain!

I’m going to leave you with one photo that I took as I was leaving. The colour on the crocuses was amazing. Spring is just around the corner folks.

crocus flowers
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First Post – About me

Some of this can be found in my about page, but I thought I would introduce myself properly. My name is Steve and I live in the West Midlands, England. I’m self-employed working in the IT industry. When I’m not at my office or working, I can be found either down my allotment, down the gym or enjoying the outdoors.

I must point out, my spelling and grammar isn’t the best. In fact I left school unable to read and write.

Allotment and Gardening

My interest in gardening started at an early age when my dad allowed me to have a small patch of ground behind the shed in his garden. I mainly grew nasturtiums and marigolds that would get devoured by caterpillars every summer. After moving house and not having the room in the new garden, I lost interest in gardening, until I moved into my own flat in 2012. Within a couple of months of moving into my own place, I managed to get my hands on a small allotment measuring 12 metres by 5 and my interest in gardening was sparked again.

After a couple of years, I managed to get myself a much larger plot and gave up the smaller allotment. I now have a large allotment plot within walking distance of my flat, and I grow a variety of fruit and vegetables, and also keep a flock of chickens.

I’ve recently took on the Chairman role for the site.

Other Stuff

Away from my allotment, I’m self-employed working in the IT industry. I run SJH Computing, specialising in IT support for home and small business customers.

I also enjoy the outdoors in general, so I may will be posting about my adventures. I’m a lover of food, so again, I will be posting about it 🙂

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