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Praying for no rain.


Well at least for tomorrow during the day, and especially around the Lincoln area as I am taking my nephew paintballing as part of his Christmas present. I’ve been so many times before I’ve lost count, but I’ve never been to this site. My first outing was as a photographer for a magazine in the Spring of 1989 at the tender age of 19 at a new site in Northamptonshire, and half way through the day we had enough photo’s so I joined in with the games. From that point onwards I was hooked, and I started playing properly in the Autumn of 1988 at sites around Portsmouth, and then onto a society at my polytechnic where used to go to a site in Birmingham (Sutton Coldfield) as many times a term as we could, even taking jobs marshalling at sites to earn more cash or credits for playing. Sadly I haven’t been for 18 months as the group of us that tend to play together (we all own ‘markers’ as the guns are called) are starting to get other commitments and finding the time and energy harder to come by. But the paintballing gear still fits, my nephew wants to go, so as a ‘responsible adult’ we are off, and so there’s no getting out of it.

With that in mind it was imperative that tonight I got a lot of things done on the plot, as I won’t be around on Saturday and don’t know what state I’ll be in on Sunday (probably bruised and aching).

I started off doing a spot of weeding around the squash and the sweetcorn. For some reason the weeds seem to not be taking hold, probably due to the hot weather and the lack of rain, but whatever the reason, it does make my life a lot easier. The weeding continued up the plot to the beans. It’s getting a lot harder to weed with a hoe as I have started planting replacement crops (carrots) in other places and amongst the onions, so a lot has to be done by hand.

Strawberries were picked (naturally). I’m being very careful and recording all the weights of the fruit and veg that I pick so that at the end of the year I can work out how much I got, how much it all costs me, what the average cost was and compare it all to the supermarket price. I think that would be interesting. The only costs I won’t include are my labour, so I will include the cost of the plot for the year, any compost/growbags, the cost of seeds, etc. But just to let you know, I’ve had over 3 kg of strawberries in 2 weeks. That figure would be a lot higher but for the pesky squirrel. Just in case people think I am mean and starving a squirrel then I’ll point out that there are a number of strawberry plants that are outside the cage that have spread on my allotment, and these are easily accessible to all wildlife.

I picked a lot of mange tout and broad beans and dug up some potatoes, and cut a lettuce (all to take to the sister-in-law), so they can see the beauty and benefit of the MK allotment. They do have tomatoes and chillies and other veg growing in their garden as projects for their children, but it’s nice to share things round.

Squash flash! Not only have I picked my first 2 courgettes, but on one of the pumpkins there is what can only be described as a ‘proto-pumpkin’.

I know that people say they have got good results by feeding their pumpkins beer, but do they mean ale or lager? Well seeing as I already have beer for the beer traps in the shed I may well give the pumpkins a bit of beer as well.

Also the peas are absolutely covered in pods, some of which are starting to swell nicely, so there could be the first peas in a week or so’s time.

The first french beans of this year …

And the sweetcorn is looking good…

And my first lot of replacement carrots are starting to show as well. These are the last of the original seed that are planted a good 10 feet from the carrot fly area, so they shouldn’t be infected (not yet, says the pessimist in me, the optimist in me planted them anyway).

In the greenhouses (both at home and at the allotment) I tied up the tomatoes and made sure that the shoots were cut off as well. Can’t neglect them, they are important.

The last job was to water the allotment, so the hosepipe came out and a good dousing was had by all and sundry. That should do me till Sunday night.

Well I am going to complete this and then I shall go and pack some clothes for tomorrow and get some sleep, so good night all and whatever you are doing over the weekend (no matter how daft) I hope it’s a good one.

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fantastic, great to see others doing well with there fruit and veg, great photos

mrs melon

26 Jun, 2009


I'm soooo jealous MK, Your allotment looks fantastic and 3 kilo's of strawberries? I think I may have seen 3 :o(
Mind you Mrs. Digs keeps complaining about the red stains on Holly's school blouse's so it doesn't take S. Holmes to work out where the rest have gone LOL
When you do your accounting at the end of the year will you count in the enjoyment and gratification you get out of growing your own. I'm sure we could buy our veg 'cheaper' but where's the fun in that?

Love the pic's .........Ian

26 Jun, 2009


Oh lovely veggie patch you have there..............enjoy the paintballong............

26 Jun, 2009


That's a fantastic showing of veggie's Mk but as a first timer with veggie's how do I tell when such as parsnips and carrots are ready to pull up?

27 Jun, 2009


Hope you are not too bruised and battered muddy knees, my son went paintballing last year with work, he loved it! he had a few bruises though LOL!
Your allotment looks fantastic!

27 Jun, 2009


I just want to know how you get all the strawberries home for weighing without any falling in your mouth on the way!

28 Jun, 2009


looks great muddy plenty of growing space ,

Bob if you look right at the base of the top growth when carrots/parsnips start forming you can see them thickening out , it doesnt tell you exactly how big they are but you soon learn to gauge

28 Jun, 2009

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