Allotment Update 11th April 2015

It was raining when I made it down to the allotment this morning, as the video above explains. The rain did clear relatively quickly but I didn’t add to the video. I did manage to get some weeding done, and get the plum tree in the ground in the fruit bed. I also managed to sow some more seeds, including; turnip, beetroot and carrot.

The carrot I split across a couple of different methods to try something new. Some I sowed normally into the ground as I have done many, many times. I also sowed some others in some drainpipes which I filled with a mixture of sand and fine compost. I think these will hopefully grow longer and straighter, and as they are in drainpipes which are slightly raised off of the ground might be less susceptible to the low flying carrot-root fly. A bit of an experiment for this year so we’ll see how it goes.

Looking back across a wet allotment

Looking back across a wet allotment

The blue sky starting to break the cloud in the distance.

The blue sky starting to break the cloud in the distance.

One of the young brassica plants

One of the young brassica plants

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Its not everyday that something special happens to make your day early on, if at all; but this morning was one where that did happen.

I take part in the BTO’s (British Trust for Ornithology) Breeding Bird Survey. I have a set area which I survey twice a year and record all the birds I see and hear. As today was a bank holiday, I thought I’d undertake my early visit of the year (I’ll do another one after four weeks, and by mid-June).

The reason for such a great morning was three-fold.

  1. There were good numbers of birds generally. Often I’ve visited and counts have been quite low.
  2. I also got a watch a pair of roe deer feeding.
  3. I saw bullfinchs.

The latter was the highlight. It’s been a while since I’ve seen a bullfinch up close and this morning I was able to watch for a good ten minutes. The only downside is that I only had my phone with me, so the photographs are poor. I really must start carrying a proper camera with me more often.

Roe deer

Roe deer (zoomed and cropped)


Bullfinch (yes really)


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Seeds Are Sprouting


Radish Are Go!

The first of the seeds that I sowed a couple of weeks ago are starting to sprout. Great news!

So far; radish, lettuce, peas, rainbow chard and broad beans are all poking through the soil. Most of these are under cover, so I spent quite a bit of time watering them. The parsnips haven’t shown any sign yet, but they’re always slow to get going. The cabbage, broccoli and cauliflower plants are also doing well so far.

The wind was back again yesterday, although quite mild generally, it was keen and kept things distinctly chilly.


Purple Sprouting & Kale

I also harvested some of the kale and purple sprouting broccoli, I’m pleased how this has done over the winter and I’m looking forward to my Easter Sunday lunch!

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Throwback Thursday On The Allotment

Summer still seems like a time away, so here’s a look back to 2011.

Local Tour – The Gillies Allotments from tontowilliams on Vimeo.

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Batten Down The Brassicas, It’s Windy Out There

It’s not often my sleep gets interrupted, but at 3am this morning I woke to the sound of the wind whistling around the house, it sounded quite wild out there. Today was also “bin day” and as I walked to the railway station it was clear it had been. Many bins were lying on their sides, their contents strewn around the street. I made a mental note to check on the allotment when I got home.

After work I walked down with the dogs, hoping my weekend preparations had stood up to the worst of the weather. Fortunately it seemed to be the case. The fleece on the brassicas had worked free at one end, which I quickly resecured; and a piece of carpet that had blown from a neighbours plot was returned.

Other than that no damage, so I took a bit of time to check on some of my sowings. I could be wrong but I think the peas might be poking their heads through (see below), I’ll check again at the weekend.


Peas Or Not Peas

Wilson is an old hand at the allotment, we’re often there harvesting after work, however for Ruby, it’s a new experience, however I think she’s starting to get what it’s about.  

Wilson & Ruby Waiting Patiently

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Watching The Ironbirds

Chinook  Riat 2013 by Airwolfhound on Flickr

Chinook Riat 2013 by Airwolfhound on Flickr

 We live close to both a private airfield and a number of aviation businesses. It’s a common sight to see a wide range of “Ironbirds” mixing in the sky with the feathered variety. Common sights are gliders (and their tow plane), the Coastguard’s rescue helicopter, a variety of single wing and twin wing  private planes.

More recently one of the aviation businesses has a part to play in the chinook maintenance. This means that we are seeing the distinct multi-rotor aircraft above our homes with its unique “chukka-chukka-chukka” sound.

I’m not an aviation enthusiast, but these big beasts do make me stop and watch.

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Allotment Video Update 28th March 2015

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