Archive for February, 2009

Sowing early carrots under plastic

Plastic tunnels Don’t know if these plastic tunnels work or not; never tried. The theory is that they warm the soil ready for planting. So you can sow seeds a bit earlier than you might normally.

I’ll give it a whirl and sow some carrots in early March. Usually, I get crap germination if I sow before April. So if this works, it will be a major breakthrough.

Anyone done this and had success? Or is it the usual rubbish?

Posted on 25th February 2009
Under: Roots | 9 Comments »

The dig breakfast

On Sunday I was up bright and early to do a few hours of manuring and digging. The potato bed is now ready. And only just in time.

If this warm spell continues, I’ll plant the spuds next weekend; put them in nice and deep, and frosts don’t hurt them. In the past, it’s allowed me to harvest the first new potatoes in mid May.

Posted on 23rd February 2009
Under: Winter | 7 Comments »

Rose and shine

RosebudIt’s a bit early for 12C, but I’m not complaining. The first day of real sunshine seems almost painfully bright after months of winter gloom.

It’s got me panicking, though; I’m nowhere near finished digging at the allotment.

Tomorrow I’ll be digging like a lunatic to catch up.

Posted on 21st February 2009
Under: Flowers, Spring | 1 Comment »

Video: Building a (small) shed

Building a (small) shed from Soilman on Vimeo.

Posted on 15th February 2009
Under: Uncategorized, Winter | 8 Comments »

Celeriac 2009: Will I get to eat it this year?

Celeriac seedlings

Well, here we go again. Celeriac’s always first up because it takes so bloody long to grow.

These were sown weeks ago, but they’re still minuscule. Haven’t even got their first true leaves yet.

They’ll get there in the end, but the waiting is pretty painful. This time, perhaps, I’ll manage to harvest them before the phantom celeriac thief on our site. Sonofabitch stole a dozen of my plants last October, and I’m still very bitter about it.

Posted on 14th February 2009
Under: Roots | 8 Comments »

The 4-4-4 meme

I’ve been tagged by Greenmantle to do this weird meme. The mission appears to be… “go into your photo archive, pick the 4th folder in the archive, select the 4th picture in the folder, and write about it. A person then needs to tag 4 other people to do the same”.

Soilman on New Year's EveThe result is a little prosaic, although certainly capable of carrying a tongue-in-cheek caption. It’s just me on New Year’s Eve playing with those balloons that fly around the room with a satisfactory farting noise.

Confess I loved it. I am, apparently, getting younger as I get older. That dribbling, incontinent, dementia-inspired second childhood can’t be far off now.

I tag the following to do this, if they can be arsed:

Posted on 10th February 2009
Under: Uncategorized, Winter | 4 Comments »

Soilman’s Sunday Webcast

Thanks to all who dropped in for the inaugural Soilman webcast on Sunday! There were a few technical glitches – as expected – but I’ll put these right for future efforts.

Talking of which: I’d love to hear any suggestions for themes which I can base the shows around. I’ve got a few thoughts, but would love to hear from you.

Posted on 8th February 2009
Under: Uncategorized | 2 Comments »

The weedy truth

Unkempt part of my allotmentEverybody has a skeleton in the closet.

Mine’s in the middle of my allotment – a dreadful, weedy, unkempt patch of horror that used to be the root vegetable bed last year.

Cunning camera work has kept it invisible hitherto. But now I’m ‘fessing up.

I haven‘t done all the digging and I’m not ready for Spring. So laugh, point fingers and take the piss. Do your worst. I deserve it.

PS The first Soilman experimental live webcast will start here on Sunday 8th Feb at 7pm GMT. I’ll give dangerous answers to beginner gardening queries. Or you could just tune in to take the mickey.

Posted on 7th February 2009
Under: Roots, Winter | 5 Comments »

Results of the allotment diet

Losing weight the Soilman wayHurrah! I’ve lost almost 2kg in a week. That’s half my target.

It hasn’t been too bad. Lots (and lots) of fruit – and pretty much bugger-all else. But luckily I like fruit, so hey. Pretty good for a first-time dieter.

The hard part about dieting, it turns out, isn’t the feeling hungry. It’s not even the chocolate withdrawal pangs (although these have been painfully significant).

No, the nasty bit is what all that bloody fruit has done to my bowels. And I’m leaving it there.

Posted on 4th February 2009
Under: Uncategorized | 9 Comments »

Video: Heavy snow in England

I know you Canadians and north Americans will laugh, but a foot of snow in the southern UK is a very big deal. Really. We’ve not seen snow like it in the London area for almost 20 years.

In fact, I remember that last heavy snow. I was a student, living in Chelsea (south west London), and 200 of us were snowed in at our digs. The gates froze solid. So we had a day off college because they were too high to climb.

Er, honest.

Snow in England from Soilman on Vimeo.

Posted on 2nd February 2009
Under: Winter | 9 Comments »