Sunday, January 27, 2013

What a difference a day makes

Yesterday....snow stopped play.

Today.....snow all gone.  I was able to work on the allotment (cold but not in the least bit snowy), building a blackberry hedge, until it was almost too dark to see the knots I was tieing.  Absorbed in my work I looked up and found all the street lights were on.  Ah, time to go home.

And I've only done half the job.   I started with the Oregon Thornless, cos they are easier.  Gotta summon up the courage to start on the thorny one next!

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Snow stopped play

Well, it's as good an excuse as any other!  But, famously, snow really did stop play at a cricket match in Buxton on 2nd June 1975.  We were living in Aberystwyth at the time and it snowed there too.  As I recall it the next day was quite hot.  Both unusual for Aberystwyth!!

So...... nothing has happened on the allotment.  BUT.....this year's seeds are ordered, this very afternoon.  All the usual suspects, except that having not had much luck with onion sets for the umpty-umpth time I thought I'd try growing onions from seed this year.  We'll see!

Sunday, January 06, 2013

I only went to pick some Leeks

But you know how it is.  Having taken the trouble to go there I didn't feel that picking Leeks was quite enough.  So I started to prune the Blackberries.......and when you've started, well you can't just stop.

Pruning the Blackberries is always a nightmare.  I have two plants of Himalayan Giant, which produce HUGE berries but also HUGE thorns.  They lash about and lacerate my hands and, if I'm unlucky, my face.  This may sound a bit overkill but I prune them wearing safety glasses!  Then I have two plants of Oregon Thornless which, do what they say on the tin vis a vis thorns; their berries are good but more seedy.  Tough choices, huh?

Both of them are very vigorous but this year they seem to have been on something (Manure! Doh!).  That combined with the warm, wet weather has seen phenomenal amounts of growth.  I was reeling the buggers in from the adjacent raspberry patch.  Some of the new growth was a good twenty feet long, and not spindly, feeble stuff either.  Good solid sturdy growth.   Must have had my eye off the ball for a long time for them to grow that much, although they do go pretty fast once they start.

All that has led me to conclude that the existing support framework (post and wire) just won't do.  It's starting to show it's age and it's debatable whether it was holding up the Blackberries or vice versa.  And with 20+ feet of growth to deal with it just ain't big enough.  So this week it's off to the timber yard to get the tallest posts I can find to start building the framework for a Blackberry Wall.

Lord knows what Wilma Wilbury will think when I broach the subject of yet more Blackberries this year; we haven't quite finished the ones from the year before last.  Now we don't eat puddings (sob!) I fear they may have to go into a new batch of Blackberry Vodka (yum!)