An allotment is emerging

The veggie patch is progressing well.  I’ve been busy digging more beds and finishing off the polytunnel.  

The polytunnel needed some finishing touches.  I’d left a length of plastic around the door frames which today I wrapped around a length of wood and screwed the wood to the door frame.  I hope this will strengthen the structure further and also help keep the polythene in place if we ever have strong winds. Or should I say when!  We’ve had some very blustery winds recently, with up to about 40mph gusts, and so far it’s held up well. 

After planting the potatoes, it soon became clear that the chickens were going to reak havoc at every opportunity.  They have a taste for potatoes!  So, I’ve had to erect a make shift guard for them, which seems to be working (the chickens can’t get to them!), but there is no sign of potatoes emerging, yet, but I remain optimistic.

 

the potato cage in the foreground, the duck enclosure in the background
 
I’ve also planted out the peas after erecting a hazel wigwam with hazel branches as pea sticks.  It was good fun going around collecting the branches.  I’ll have to make it an autumn job to cut down hazel sticks and branches ready for spring.  They too have had a make shift fence erected around them! 

 

the peas

I’m planning to have a couple of beds as a cut flower patch. I’ve got some annuals emerging from seed in the polytunnel.  These include cosmos, calendula, sweet peas and Cerinthe. I’ve also got some ami majus waiting to emerge.  I treated myself to some lovely roses the other day and I thought it would be nice to put one in the flower bed with some lavender.  I’m also very excited that the Dahlias I treated myself to earlier in the year are emerging and looking strong.  They too will go in the flower patch.

 

a dahlia emerging
  
another dahlia
 

In the polytunnel, the courgettes are doing well and really need to go in a cold frame to harden off, ready for planting out. That’ll be a job for another weekend.  The tomatoes and salad leaves have germinated, and the cucumbers are growing well.

 

courgettes
  
salad leaves
  

chillies, tomatoes, cucumbers and cosmos!

I’ve had to chicken proof the polytunnel too as it seems the chickens like to have a rootal around in there.  I went in the other day and it was carnage! They’d trampled over some of the seedlings and upturned my compost bucket!  

So today I made a screen that I can put up when I need to leave the door open in the warm weather. I’ve put a hook on the inside of each door and hammered a stake into the ground inside the poly, so I can hook the door to it when I need to leave the doors open in the hot weather and not worry about the doors banging if there’s a wind.  The screen is just a simple square frame covered in netting, but it’ll do the job nicely.  I’ve screwed two screws on the door frame and the frame just sits on the screws blocking the way for chickens (hopefully!).

 

the chicken guard
 
 I’ve also bought some new tools to help me along the way.  When I was digging the potato bed it soon became clear me and spades don’t get along.  I would wield the spade into the ground and jump up and down on it with all my might – the spade would go into the ground about an inch!  Needless to say it took forever and all my energy to dig one trench.  There must be an easier way to do this I thought.  So I researched and decided a mattock was the tool for me!  What I’ve purchased isn’t technically a mattock, it was advertised as a hoe, but it is essentially a mattock.

 

It has made my life so much easier! You wield it like an axe and it makes hard ground feel like butter.  I can now dig up a new bed in around an hour! It’s still mighty hard work, but oh so much easier!  

I’ve also purchased a hand held version for planting in the garden around the house which is full of rocks and tree roots.   I planted an alchamilla mollis on the steep slope today and it drove it’s way through the slate and roots with ease. 

  

I’ve only just recently come across these tools, but they have been used for centuries apparently. I can highly recommend them.

The veggie patch is slowly taking shape and I love my view from the polytunnel.

my view from the polytunnel

Have a good week all.  

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3 thoughts on “An allotment is emerging

  1. Reading about you toiling in the garden is fun. I have to rely on a capable but slightly unskilled helper since I’m unable to do the hard work (I’m 74). But we are making good progress in our 1400 m² patch. No veggies, I’m afraid, but perennial flowers and quite a lot of lawn and hedges.

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  2. Isn’t it wonderful to find the right tools for the job in a garden…?! That gate for keeping the chickens out of mischief looks great! I need to figure out how to keep the wild birds off the tomatoes in my new veggie bed 😦

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  3. Great read. Our 2 chickens are a bit if a pain in the backside when it’s seedling time. I don’t mind them having a peck when plants are established so we treat them to rubs outside of their eglu which are fairly supervised !

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