This is the Message Centre for Helleborus a.k.a. Nigel

My Allotment and Garden Diary

Post 1

Helleborus a.k.a. Nigel

Saturday 21st November, 2009

It has been a long time since I have written a diary account on my garden, my aim is to make sure I continue with one every week if possible smiley - smiley.

On a Saturday morning I am usually down the allotment, but as the weather is dark and miserable it will not be worth sinking in the mud smiley - laugh. Saying that, I will go down probably tomorrow to check everything is smiley - ok and to get some leeks for Sunday lunch.

It has been a poor year crop wise, losing five rows of potatoes to blight and all of my swede seedlings to slugs was quite a blow. As a result I have decided to grow more lower maintenance plants next year like soft fruit but still growing a few veggies to keep us fed during the summer months.

We have already made a start on the soft fruit growing by moving raspberry canes from the bottom of the plot to the top, building two support features to grow them up. Also, raspberry canes have been planted on the top left and right sides in which I hope to train into a hedge.

Marrows and Squashes have done well at the plot this year, the two types of vegetable which we did not use! I grow marrows every year for my friends and the squashes were a trial vegetable to see how they did. I grew the squashes with the intention of using them in our meals but unfortunately we found them too sweet smiley - yuk. My friends enjoyed them though!

As it is now autumn it means leek time! I usually do well with leeks and all of them are soon eaten, using them with many cooked meals. I am growing Musselborough Improved which is a fairly well-known variety. I like to go down the allotment Christmas morning and dig some up, you cannot get much fresher for Christmas lunch!

I am also growing some parsnips for Christmas lunch, but in the garden at home as the soil is better. I do not mind growing them in the allotment but as it is clay soil I get some rather rude shapes smiley - laugh. I am hoping by growing them at home I get some prize winning ones smiley - ok.

My plans for next year are to grow my potatoes in two metal storage tanks, the difficult bit is always digging them out once they are ready but it is worth a go. I always like to grow a different variety of potato each year which I have not decided yet, it will probably be a case of hunting through the seed catalogues.

I am not sure what varieties of veggies I will be growing either, but I will be aiming for something completely different to what I normally grow. Again, it will probably be the case of looking through seed catalogues smiley - smiley.

Anyway, that is all the news for now. Enjoy your garden!

Nigel smiley - footprints


My Allotment and Garden Diary

Post 2

lil ~ Auntie Giggles with added login ~ returned


Good to see you back online Nigel smiley - ok


Personally I am thinking of having my borders paved, and putting all my plants into tubs. I tried it with my clamatis last year, and it's been giving us some glorious displays smiley - magic

Besides, it will make weeding a lot easier for me smiley - winkeye


lil xx


My Allotment and Garden Diary

Post 3

Websailor

smiley - lurksmiley - smiley

Websailor smiley - dragon


My Allotment and Garden Diary

Post 4

Helleborus a.k.a. Nigel

smiley - ta for reading lil and Websailor smiley - smiley.

lil, many people are cutting down on the weeding by planting in tubs. It is a good idea, if you plant in tubs (bigger the better!) then by watering and feeding throughout the summer your plants should do well (just like your Clematis) smiley - ok.

Raised beds is another idea, I have thought about having some of these before but never got around to pricing them up.

Take care.

Nigel smiley - hug.


My Allotment and Garden Diary

Post 5

Prof Animal Chaos.C.E.O..err! C.E.Idiot of H2G2 Fools Guild (Official).... A recipient of S.F.L and S.S.J.A.D.D...plus...S.N.A.F.U.

you grow on us matesmiley - smileyso stop keep wilting awaysmiley - ok


My Allotment and Garden Diary

Post 6

Websailor

kettle on smiley - smiley


My Allotment and Garden Diary

Post 7

Prof Animal Chaos.C.E.O..err! C.E.Idiot of H2G2 Fools Guild (Official).... A recipient of S.F.L and S.S.J.A.D.D...plus...S.N.A.F.U.

smiley - runsmiley - coffee + 1 sugar please


My Allotment and Garden Diary

Post 8

STRANGELY STRANGE ( A brain on a spring )

Nigeeeeeeeeeeeeeel!


My Allotment and Garden Diary

Post 9

Helleborus a.k.a. Nigel

Hello SS smiley - biggrin. I hope you are smiley - ok, nice to see you.

smiley - tea all round then!

Nigel smiley - footprints


My Allotment and Garden Diary

Post 10

Websailor

Kettle's on again - smiley - teasmiley - milk sugar anyone smiley - biggrin

Websailor smiley - dragon


My Allotment and Garden Diary

Post 11

lil ~ Auntie Giggles with added login ~ returned


My initial request for raised beds fell on deaf ears smiley - steam

Yep! Big pots is what I am going to do..... when someone gets around to paving for me smiley - rolleyes


My Allotment and Garden Diary

Post 12

AlsoRan80

Dear Nigel,

So good to read about your allotment. Sorry about all the beasties you had chomping al all your lovely veggies.

I used to use cracked eggshells a lot to keep the snails and slugs away. I used to save all my eggshells, and then put them in a packet and then cruch them finely. O then used to put them around all the newly planted vegetable and flower seedlings. The snails did NOT like the eggshells getting stuck to their bodies. !

I never grew potatoes so have no ideas about blight. However, I did find that if |I fed my veggies with liquid manure - literally I had a drum where I used to put a bag of chicken droppings im aNd AND THEN fill THE DRUM with water. after about a week I would start using it on everything including my roses. Occasionally topping it up and after a month or so, using another bag of chidken droppings. ad infinitum. I do think that healthy plants are able to withstand fungus and beasies.

good luck with your garden. My patio garden is looking good. The sind has not done any good to it though. Some of the pots have blown over and I have to ask my carer to turn them the right way up. !!

Go well,

Christiane
AR80
22/11/09 8.45 GMT


My Allotment and Garden Diary

Post 13

Helleborus a.k.a. Nigel

Hello Christiane,

Thank you for reading my diary. The eggshells are a good idea, I have heard about them being used against slugs and snails before but never gave it a thought to save mine! I will start saving ready for next year.

I use dried chicken pellets which I buy from a local garden centre. I mix them straight into the soil, but I must admit that I never used them this year as I forgot to buy some! I used an old fashioned method of dropping Comfrey leaves into the hole before planting. I think I will try putting them into a net bag next year and drop it in my water container. Okay it will smell a little but like the chicken droppings, it makes good liquid manure.

I have even known some people to put Rhubarb Leaves in their water container. There has been a lot of news about rhubarb leaves being poisonous, but many people still use this method and have some good results when using it on their vegetables.

All the best.

Nigel smiley - footprints


My Allotment and Garden Diary

Post 14

Helleborus a.k.a. Nigel

Saturday 28th November, 2009

I have some exciting news smiley - wow. My four Cymbidium orchids are just coming into bud, ready to open for Christmas! They are very special to me as my grandad left them to me when he died about four years ago. They are years old, but keep struggling on and growing new leaves as well as flowering once a year smiley - biggrin. I must be getting the night temperature in my greenhouse right!

I went down to the allotment last Sunday morning to get leeks for lunch. It was bitterly cold as it blew across the site being an open space smiley - brr. I had a quick look around, everything seems to be smiley - ok which is good. It is just very muddy and so careful stepping is essential otherwise you easily sink!

I have brought a little hyacinth bulb for my greenhouse from a local shop. I might pot it up as the pot is very small. I like the fragrance the flowers give off, it seems to brighten up the greenhouse on cold miserable days.

It is now the time I better start to think about Christmas. As you can tell, I am highly excited! (Not) smiley - laugh. Perhaps once I have decided what to buy it might get me into the Christmas spirit (not the alcoholic type as I am not allowed to drink smiley - sadface).

Anyway, I hope that you are all well.

Nigel smiley - footprints


My Allotment and Garden Diary

Post 15

Helleborus a.k.a. Nigel

smiley - bluelightsmiley - disco Look out for my article in smiley - thepost on Monday called 'The New Green Shield Bug' smiley - ant It could affect all of us gardenerssmiley - bluelightsmiley - disco.

Thank you.

Nigel smiley - footprints


My Allotment and Garden Diary

Post 16

Websailor

smiley - lurk

Websailor smiley - dragon


My Allotment and Garden Diary

Post 17

AlsoRan80

Hi Nigel,

Thank you for your nice newsy letter. lease be careful NOT get stuck in the mud on your allotment.!! A very bad idea. Surely there must be some special boots which do not stick? Or perhaps something you can put on the bottom of your Wellies which will mean that you do not stick. !!

I am glad the egg shells are going to be one of your experiments next year. There was I , thinking that I had thought of the idea myself. !! But it does work. The only problem I thought about was How do the eggshells react to plants that like acid soil? Anyway, perhaps you will be able to discourage the snails and slugs from coming to your allotmebt,

I hope that the veggies you picked in your allotment tasted good.

Go well,

Christiane
Ar80

27/11/09 12.20 GMT


My Allotment and Garden Diary

Post 18

Helleborus a.k.a. Nigel

Hi Christiane,

Thank you for reading. There are shoes with sort of small spikes on the bottom which helps to prevent sliding in the mud. I take it very steady and use my fork instead of my walking stick as I can push it into the ground to steady myself better. It certainly is not allotment weather!

The eggshells should be okay with acid loving plants, but it is a good point and so I will check up on it first.

All the best. Take care.

Nigel smiley - footprints


My Allotment and Garden Diary

Post 19

AlsoRan80

Hi Nigel,

the spiky shoes sound a good idea.

Do you know that this morning I suddenly heard a sort of smattering against the glass doors out to the verandah. It was the rain which was being driven SIDEWAYS by the wind from the Channel.

I suppose that my wheelchair could be Blown into the Channel;That would be most alarming!! I shall have to attach a kite to it and then I can fly across the channel!. Much cheaper, but Heaven knows what will happen if the wind stops in the middle of the channel. !!

Kaboomps! I shall splash down. !!

Go well,


My Allotment and Garden Diary

Post 20

Willem

Hello Nigel and everyone else! Nigel, it's nice reading your stuff again. Sorry to hear about your plant losses ... I think I know what it feels like, I lose a few each year as well, and I care for all of them! But at least I have so much stuff that's doing quite well, so there's much to *not* worry about also. So good wishes with the things you try, eggshells, Comfrey, Rhubarb leaves ... I know those are poisonous, but you'd have to eat about 5 kg of whole, raw rhubarb leaves to get a lethal dose!

I'm happy to hear your orchids are coming in bloom! I've a coupla orchids here as well, they're not spectacular but they're our own native kinds, and quite interesting. Hope yours make very nice flowers this year.

Christiane AR80, I think you should attach a kite *and* an outboard motor to your weelchair, just in case!

All the best,

Willem


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