Posts Tagged ‘Edwin Tucker’

Where, oh where can they be?

July 20, 2011


  • One packet of peas seeds (500) Onward variety
  • One pair of gardening gloves (cheap, nasty, pink & yellow [YUK] worn once)
  • One rather jazzy lime green hand fork

As you might have guessed, we have spent a fair bit of time looking for the missing items.  In desperation, we ordered more pea seeds and have given up the gloves and fork as a lost cause.  A big tribute to seed merchants Edwin Tucker, for the speedy delivery of replacement seeds which arrived today.  All we need now is to buy new gloves and another fork … and all will no doubt turn up.

It’s quite challenging to write a regular weekly post when all one does is weed and pick.  But here goes …

Self-seeded viola

Look what I found hiding in the beetroot!

This weekend’s weather was not ideal for allotments.  With a wary eye on the weather forecast, we opted to bunk off work on Friday afternoon in favour of getting some weeding done.  In our defence, we did work over the rainy weekend instead.

Our main objective was to remove the broad beans, consign them to the compost bin and plant the next wave of peas.  Needless to say this went awry when we couldn’t find the peas!  However, the bed has been cleared, the new pea supports installed and is ready to go.

Large broccoli head grown on the allotment

My final broccoli brag

Everything is in full production now up on the allotment.  The courgettes, which were slow to start, are galloping away, and we are now planning some broccoli and blue cheese soup to use up the glut.  Our first cauliflowers are probably about a week from maturity and all the beans are covered in flowers.  I do enjoy this time of year!

While it is fantastic to grow your own veg, I always under-estimate how long it takes to actually harvest the stuff!  The perpetual spinach alone takes around 30 minutes to pick.  This means longer days on the allotment and frequent mid-week trips to keep the WORD-right kitchen supplied with fresh vegetables.

We have been told recently (from two sources) about freezing veg without blanching.  Runner beans, or so we are told, are better being frozen from raw.  I’m not convinced, so have decided to conduct my own experiment.  The runners aren’t ready yet, but I have put one broccoli floret in the freezer ‘au nature’.  I’ll keep you posted about the results.

Coming up soon on the allotment chore list is a new felt covering for the shed roof.  When it rains, it leaks like a sieve and the old kitchen worktop floor is starting to collapse.  Also on the agenda is a sort out of the shed which will no doubt reveal an empty pea seed packet.  If they were left there by mistake, I imagine our mice and voles will have had a midnight feast!  Perhaps that is where they went.  I wonder if they made off with the fork and gloves too?

But as you can see from the picture below, we have the search party on the case!

Helicopter over Chipping Norton allotments

Helicopter over Chipping Norton allotments


Fabulous frog spawn!

March 29, 2010
Weeded allotment

Almost weed-free allotment

There’s something very satisfying about weeding! No only can you vent all your frustrations, having weed-free beds makes the allotment look very well managed and cared for.  Of course it doesn’t last long and it won’t be long before nature starts fighting back with a vengeance.  Good job I enjoy weeding, because most of my time on the allotment this weekend was spent doing just that.  With only 2 beds left to prepare, I feel we’re ahead of the game.

Considering our allotment is only 90’ long, there is a huge difference in both the soil and the weeds, as you work your way along the plot.  At the entrance end, we’re plagued with couch grass and buttercups, while at the far end, it’s nettle and ground elder.  The one common factor is bindweed, which is rife on our plot.  But short of using weedkillers, which we don’t do, it’s something we just have to live with.

Frog spawn

Frog spawn in the pond

The highlight of this allotment week has been the discovery of frog spawn in our little pond.  The ‘pond’ is actually an old header tank from a central heating system, but for our small allotment, it’s ideal.  In 2007 when we put it in, we acquired some tadpoles from a local Freecycler.  We know we have a number of frogs and toads on the allotment and do our best to encourage them, so imagine our delight when we spotted the spawn.

David’s fencing repair is going well, with ½ the allotment now finished.  Hopefully the higher, more secure fencing will help keep out intruders … both bunnies and the 2-legged human variety!

We have some pretty large broad beans lurking in our plant houses at the moment, and the plan was to get them in the ground this weekend.  However with the threat of more snow (haven’t we had enough!) this week, we decided we’d leave them for another week.  Chipping Norton is notorious for its extreme weather, and I’d hate to lose them at this stage.

We did manage to get 200 Stutgarter Giant onion sets planted though.  We had a bit of a crisis with these, and realised a couple of weeks ago that they hadn’t arrived from our seed merchant.  Further investigation revealed we never actually ordered them in the first place!  But Edwin Tucker came up trumps again.  They still had stocks and got them to us in record time.  Thanks guys!

With Easter looming, we’re hoping the rain keeps off enough to allow us to have at least a couple of days on the allotment.  What else are holiday weekends for?

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