Sunday, November 30

The end of November

The November diary is now completed click here to view.
The calendars have also been update with a more recent November photograph - taken on Friday! At the end of next month I'll change the Ddecember photograph too. Click here

Friday, November 28

November 2008 diary

November's photo album is now uploaded on the website click here. When the photos were taken it was bitterly cold but at least it was dry and the wind wasn't blowing. Activity on site has slowed down with plotters maybe spending at most a couple of hours before heading home for a warm. The very wet conditions means that the soil wouldn't thank you for trudging all over it. Those who are braving the elements are generally busy with construction projects, taking care of livestock or path renovation. There are still plenty of vegetables to be cropped so there is the necessary visit to gather. The leylandii hedge along our southern boundary is now not only casting heavy shade onto some of the plots but is also causing the frost to linger on affected plots. This is a big problem early in the season as not only do early crops suffer lack of light but the ground is often too hard to dig. The heavy clay soil also takes far longer to dry out. As it is growing on private land apparently the council can't do anything to help the situation.

Thursday, November 27

Planting with friends?

Has anyone tried companion planting? What have you used and has it worked? Have you successfully combatted whitefly? Post a comment to explain your methods, I am sure if we can find a successful strategy to curb the whitefly, we would all be really grateful!!

Sunday, November 23

Green Lane Calendar

Seeing as the weather is just too awful for gardening - even if the soil wasn't sodden, it has been really cold and windy this week - I have been amusing myself by making a couple of calendars.

Just as a small thank you to those of you who have supported our fund raising by using our shopping links, or have supported our website by visiting often or emailing information to include on the pages devoted to the manure problem, I have uploaded the finished calendars onto our web site. Feel free to download them and print them if you wish. As they are very much linked to our allotment site they won't have wide appeal but they are here if you want to access them. The PDF preview doesn't show all the lines in the dates' table but they are all there and will print out OK. All you will need is a method for fastening all the pages together.
Even if you haven't supported us you are welcome to use the calendars and maybe you will visit our shopping pages to buy a couple of gifts. Harrod Hortcultural in particular offer special deals for people ordering through our site. You can also shop with Amazon and earn us a little commission too.

Monday, November 17

November diary is updated

To read November's diary click here

At this time of year the weather and long nights curtail gardening activities, so it's more a case of grabbing an hour when you can. There's lots to see in the garden if you can drag yourself out of the warmth and try to go and have a look.

Friday, November 14

Special offer on timber raised beds

Harrod Horticultural have just emailed to say that they are offering 25% discount on all their timber raised beds 'til the end of 2008. Click here if this interests you.

Monday, November 10

November is here

Well it's now November and winter is drawing in - anyone notice the difference other than that the trees are losing their leaves and plants are dying back?

The November diary has now been started on the website click here to read more.

Sunday, November 9

Flowers in the sky?

Alastair on plot 56 took the above photos on site on Saturday night.
Just goes to show that the site can be colourful even in November.
For more photos - at the moment all taken by Alastair - click here
If there are any other expert camera persons, (being politically correct), on our site who have a shot taken on site that they think is worthy of adding to Alastair's collection - just send them along.

Do you work in a school?

If you work in a school that has its own vegetable patch or is thinking of having one then this website may be useful to you!

Only two?

Have we really only two followers? Oh dear! Come on make my day and add yourself as a follower - it's easy - just click on Follow this blog on the sidebar!

Friday, November 7

Are we in danger of losing the gardening buzz?

Bees in trouble?
There has been much in the news recently about fears that the bee population is in serious decline. Bee keepers comment that hives often resemble the Marie Celeste. Lord Rooker a minister from DEFRA has been reported as saying that the honey bee may become extinct within the next ten years.

Why the decline?
One problem for the bees has been the miserable wet weather over the last two summers which prevents them from foraging successfully. Bees are also suffering from a loss of their food supply. They feed from flowers which are rich in nectar.

Although we still have flowers in our gardens – many of these will not provide the nectar that a bee requires. The double flowered varieties loved by some gardeners are not useful to the bees as they have difficulty accessing any nectar that may be present. Some choice ornamental plants have little pollen. At Chelsea this year green was the ‘in’ colour – gardeners are increasingly growing plants for foliage rather than flowers. No flowers means no food for the bees! The loss of wild flowers in the countryside and use of pesticides and herbicides have had serious impact on the bee population. Bee disease and parasites are also suspected for the high losses. Being under stress bees more readily succumb to disease and the effects of parasite infestation. If all that wasn’t enough, the honey bee population is under threat from a foreign invader – the Asian hornet which preys on honey bee hives.

Click here to read more about the bees that share our gardens and plots.

Monday, November 3

Natural Beauty

Andy and Barry found this object on Phil's plot? Any idea what it is or who the artist is? To reveal all click here

Sunday, November 2

October has gone and good riddance!

This was the week when winter descended on the plot as the photos below prove. The couple of days of cold frosty weather have put paid to most of the flowers and greenery.

It marks the end of what has been an awful month when there has been far fewer opportunities for working on the plot than we would have liked. Not sure what November will bring but I just hope it will be kinder to us.
The October diary is complete - if you are interested in reading it then click here

Saturday, November 1

Design a runner bean frame.

As all vegetable gardens know, runner beans are climbing plants that need a support frame that they can wind around.
Many gardeners stick with a framework of bamboo canes held together wigwam or maybe a tunnel style. As a project for the cold winter days when we can't spend as much time as we would like to out on the plot, why not let your young gardeners 'have a go' at designing a more interesting structure? If you haven't a young gardener in your family you could always try yourself! If you manage to create an interesting framework why not take a photo and send it along to us to feature on our blog?
Click here for more