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Spud Grubber's Blog

Guy Barter

  • Date Joined: 15 Jan 2007

Recent Comments

  • First sowings

    Guy Barter on 26 Feb 2007 at 08:51 AM

    Such rain – I am glad I rotovated last weekend, as the soil is too water-logged to easily work now. The lower part of the allotment is flooded, but the upper part is still dry. The area covered in clear polythene was showing a hint of green and if weeds can germinate so can parsnips.

    So off came the polythene, in went seeds of parsnips, lettuce and early carrots, and a double layer of fleece went over the top. If all goes well, emergence should start in about 20 days; if nothing appears by late March I will resow


  • Potato Chitting

    Guy Barter on 21 Feb 2007 at 06:15 PM

    This week my evening task is putting my seed spuds out to chit in a frost-free (I hope) shed.

    Chitting means that the seed tubers are put in moderate warmth and some light and the buds, officially called eyes, begin to sprout


  • Sooo Cultivated

    Guy Barter on 19 Feb 2007 at 08:52 AM

    After six weeks of waiting, the weather finally came right for rotovating this weekend. My sandy soil is not worth digging in autumn or winter, as it slumps into a cold wet mass, so all cultivating is left until late winter. Although sometimes April is the earliest it can be done if there is a wet spring. I am always slightly uneasy until the soil is cultivated, as my hoard of expensive seeds, fertiliser and sundries cannot be used until the ground is ready.

    Saturday morning breakfast was spent fiddling around with the rotovator, sipping my tea and admiring its whizzy sound and topping-up oil and spraying WD40 on the bits that get stuck if neglected


  • Compost and birdsong

    Guy Barter on 12 Feb 2007 at 11:22 AM

    Frost hardened soils this week let me access four compost bins on a sodden area of my allotment, where the high water table prevents compost pits being used. Two bins were ready for emptying and two are being filled for use in the autumn.  By the time the winter veg are cleared away, the two being filled will be ready to finish by topping off with a thick layer of leaves and a sheet of black polythene. The two that were emptied this weekend will then be filled during the summer and should be ready in Spring 2008.

    The compost was wheeled out onto the plot and left in heaps for spreading later.  Some gardeners relish compost making. Not me, I think it a bit of a chore and do the minimum. No mixing and no careful layering, but I do try and make a mixture of not too much of one thing, although that one thing can be anything from grass mowings to hedge trimmings. So I was very pleased to see how well everything had rotted down, despite my slackness, and how little I had to leave for further rotting


  • Pockets of frost

    Guy Barter on 05 Feb 2007 at 09:40 AM

    Sharp overnight freezes this weekend showed the nature of the local frosts, for the allotment site is a noted frost pocket.

    The allotments are low lying with a high railway embankment at the lowest side thickly wooded with birch and pine. On the opposite side the land, covered in medium density housing, rises slightly and cold air, being heavy, flows down into the plot from where it cannot drain away due to the embankment