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Thursday, April 24, 2008 

Recycling & BIG Plot Update!

Lack of recent posts can be entirely blamed on some malicious one's and zero's coming down the internet pipeline and manifesting themselves as a nasty critter called 'VirtuMonde'.

Problem solved now (after a complete re-install of M$ Windoze) and im sure this PeeCee of mine is almost bullet proof.

Well, we have finally been blessed with some good sunshine and calmer winds - just in time to play catch up on all the things to do round the plot.

Tuesday evening I planted some more parsnips using a technique I read about on one of the many brilliant allotment blogs out there. I prepared the ground by giving it another turning over whilst adding some growmore pellet things to condition it a bit, then I raked it to a fine tilth, flattened it lightly with a board that was hanging round then made some cone shapes with the handle of an old spade by inserting it about 12 inches then moving it around to create a growing environment for the parsnips. I filled these holes with compost then popped in about 3 seeds per cone as I read on another blog that parsnips are bad germinators, especially over time and these seeds I was using were bought last year:
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Wednesday evening was taken up by planting 3 lines of carrots (2 standard lines and 1 experimental). We have been saving toilet roll and kitchen roll tubes for a while now to be re-used as other things.
Collection of toilet roll and kitchen roll tubes
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I dug a small trench and placed a line of tubes into it, filled them with compost then dropped some carrot seeds into them. My theory is that the tubes will help guide the carrots downwards to make them a better shape. Other uses for the tubes include using them for seedlings (see below), the kids love making stuff with them like desk tidies, etc and whatever tubes are left over can be put into the compost bin as they will break down!
Kohlrabi in cut toilet roll tubes
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Other unwanted items from around the home that have had another lease of life breathed into them before finally going to landfill or re-cycling are milk bottle scoops:
Home made scoops from plastic milk bottles
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I will be using these to scoop out fertiliser pellets that you are not supposed to get on your hands.

Here is my 'watering bottle' made from an old 2 litre pop bottle by burning some holes in the lid with a hot needle. This is ideal for little seedlings that are too delicate to pour heavy water from a watering can on to. Its easy to get the water into awkward places too (like at the back of my mini plastic greenhouse that came courtesy of freecycle).
Watering bottle for delicate seedlings
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Used straws also have a use around here. I have never bought tags so instead stick different coloured, cut straws into each pot then note it down on a text document so not to get confused what is growing where.
Cut straws indicating what has been planted
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more cut straws
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I will wrap up this post now with a few random photos I took tonight of the plot.

These are potatoes that need to be earthed up. They are the seed potatoes that I did not chit and they sprouted loads! I was always confident they would grow as I didnt chit last year and they still grew.
First earlies
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Here are some lillies that I rescued from the house. Louise didnt want them anymore as they only flower for a few days a year. I said "I'm sure I can find a place for them over the plot." and here they are so far:
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Rhubarb patches one and two:
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More rhubarb
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And finally (if you can make them out) my onion sets that seem to be making themselves at home quite nicely.
Onion sets
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thanks for this post, it reminded me of how much stuff i could reuse instead of it going straight into the recycling bin.

i like the idea of using the water bottle as a seedling watering can!

Wow, that's what I call a fine tilth! Gorgeous onion bed. Totally impressed.

@ booyaa - The net is great for sharing tips n stuff. Glad you found the post useful.

@ soilman - Why ta very much!

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