Author Topic: What have you done on the plot today?  (Read 152482 times)

Re: What have you done on the plot today?
« Reply #1250 on: December 20, 2020, 02:25:27 pm »
Ely Dave
To keep rats out of your compost bins, you really need to put weldmesh under them and a bit all round at ground level. the inverts etc can get in, but not the rats and voles.

ElyDave

  • Royal and Ancient Polar Bear Society member 263583
Re: What have you done on the plot today?
« Reply #1251 on: December 20, 2020, 02:35:42 pm »
That was the idea with the breezeblocks, set them into the ground and stop the little bastards tunnelling under. Have tried chicken wire on the base previously but the mesh may have been too big 
“Procrastination is the thief of time, collar him.” –Charles Dickens

Re: What have you done on the plot today?
« Reply #1252 on: December 20, 2020, 03:45:55 pm »
Main task today has been cutting the autumn raspberries back to the ground.
That will give me a chance to weed and mulch in a vain attempt to deal with the bindweed.

Just have to prune the blackcurrants, the gooseberries, the apples, the pears and the roses now.
"No matter how slow you go, you're still lapping everybody on the couch."

Re: What have you done on the plot today?
« Reply #1253 on: December 21, 2020, 04:43:37 pm »
Gooseberries - tick
Blackcurrants - tick
"No matter how slow you go, you're still lapping everybody on the couch."

ElyDave

  • Royal and Ancient Polar Bear Society member 263583
Re: What have you done on the plot today?
« Reply #1254 on: December 21, 2020, 05:08:58 pm »
Wood, breeze blocks and mesh for the new compost heap.  Two trips in the X-Trail, could have probably done it in one, but it's the first time I've used it for load lugging and I didn't quite get it right for the first load. It's a very impressive completely flat load bed with everything folded. Managed to get 2.4 m lengths across the diagonal.

Wood was absolutely manky. sopping wet, but I've cut the bits to size that I needed to and it's all in the shed doing a modicum of drying until I can get to the construction.

Plan will be mesh under the breezebollocks, extending up the edges to the first board - hopefully that will stop the little barstewards. Won't stop them going over the top of course
“Procrastination is the thief of time, collar him.” –Charles Dickens

ElyDave

  • Royal and Ancient Polar Bear Society member 263583
Re: What have you done on the plot today?
« Reply #1255 on: December 24, 2020, 07:47:16 am »
Did not get quite as far as I wanted on this so far.   I've built three short sides of 75mm sq posts with the FEB up the sides to 1m high, those will be connected together with more FEB to form two compost bins.  Yesterday I started on prepping the position for it, but first had to move a pile of loam made this year from old turf, put that onto a plastic sheet to protect the slabs it went on. Then moved one existing compost heap, a large yew tree I'm trying to rescue as a bonsai, and tried to get a flat base to work from.

Then the heavens opened and I gave up.  An hour of digging and shovelling and my shoulders and back feel like they've had a decent workout.

Also noticed yesterday that some little git of an animal has systematically dug up and eaten the roots of my red chard.  I always look forward to that keeping going giving me fresh greens over the winter.
“Procrastination is the thief of time, collar him.” –Charles Dickens

Re: What have you done on the plot today?
« Reply #1256 on: December 24, 2020, 03:08:19 pm »
Bit late replying:
I think we used something like quarter inch weldmesh under our compost bins.
It's a constant battle against the unwanted wildlife - anything we want to grow has to be surrounded by chicken mesh, but it's a shame that it also excludes the hedgehogs.  (Managed to catch one of our undersized juveniles on Sunday night - now in care for the winter so it doesn't hibernate as it would not have the reserves to wake up again)

When we grew flowers for sale, we surrounded the beds with 4in mesh electric fencing.  The rabbits learnt to put their ears down, and take a flying leap to get through.  Pinks were irrisistible and they always ate the most highly scented varieties first, even before they flowered.  They don't tell you stuff like that on GQT....

fruitcake

  • some kind of fruitcake
    • Bailey
Re: What have you done on the plot today?
« Reply #1257 on: December 25, 2020, 04:22:06 pm »
There's a theory about not leaving uncovered kitchen scraps on the compost pile where pests can sniff them out, but rather burying them deep in the centre then covering them, if necessary adding extra cover material. It's extra work each time you add material to the bin but it may conceal the kitchen scraps from slugs and snails too, which is a bonus. So next season I'm growing some wild grass just so I have a source of cover material. 

offcumden

  • Oh, no!
Re: What have you done on the plot today?
« Reply #1258 on: December 25, 2020, 07:16:53 pm »
Out in the sunshine to pick some sprouts - of course, it's Xmas innit?

Tidied up a lot of yellowing sprout leaves and put them in the current compost box. Mindful of the threat of squatters, I probed throughout the compost with a long metal tomato stake to deter - or eject - unwanted lodgers.  Measures to prevent them getting in in the first place have mostly failed, so my strategy now is frequent poking, banging and twanging.  Satisfying in an odd way. At least, it will be if it works!

Basil

  • Um....err......oh bugger!
  • Help me!
Re: What have you done on the plot today?
« Reply #1259 on: December 25, 2020, 10:28:10 pm »
On the 'plot' today.
Went down and looked at it.

That's it.
Quote from: Kim
And remember that friends who organise things on Facebook aren't proper friends anyway.

The Family Cyclist

  • Formerly known as Johnny Faro
Re: What have you done on the plot today?
« Reply #1260 on: December 26, 2020, 03:07:33 pm »
I used to have weld mesh under my darlek compost bins but the rats just ate their way in the door. I find you get them whatever so use traps or shoot them which is obviously a lot easier in the garden then the allotment

As for doing anything on the allotment if its anything like my garden it's gonna be far far too wet to do anything on

The Family Cyclist

  • Formerly known as Johnny Faro
Re: What have you done on the plot today?
« Reply #1261 on: December 29, 2020, 06:48:45 am »
Not strictly on the plot but yesterday morning hauled out the wood from two sections of the log store, one of these was virtually empty and what was in there was damp due to a leak on the roof of it.

Stuck the damp wood at the back of a dry section and then chopped, split and stacked a fairly sizable pile of wood. Having a saw horse that holds the chainsaw so you can safely feed wood in with the other hand makes such a difference.

Then swept up the sawdust and shovelled it into one of the chicken runs as these are absolutely saturated and cos of bird flu they aren't allowed into the garden currently

ElyDave

  • Royal and Ancient Polar Bear Society member 263583
Re: What have you done on the plot today?
« Reply #1262 on: December 30, 2020, 07:55:04 am »
I used to have weld mesh under my darlek compost bins but the rats just ate their way in the door. I find you get them whatever so use traps or shoot them which is obviously a lot easier in the garden then the allotment

As for doing anything on the allotment if its anything like my garden it's gonna be far far too wet to do anything on

I'm under no illusions that I'll stop them getting into the heaps completely.  What they've been doing up til now is to gnaw away at the lower levels of one of these square wooden slot-together compost heaps, burrow underneath and throw the compost everywhere in doing so.  It's the fucking mess that really gets on my wick.  The intent here is to stop them getting underneath and up into the heaps, but with no expectation that I'll stop them getting in at all.  The new heaps are designed as twin cells 1.2x1m, with a relatively open front. Stuff loaded to the back of the cell, if I need to I'll place more planks across the front as the cell fills up.  Open access to turn regularly which should help stop them thinking about it as a "safe place".  Fill on the right, turn to the left once ready and use from the left.
“Procrastination is the thief of time, collar him.” –Charles Dickens

ElyDave

  • Royal and Ancient Polar Bear Society member 263583
Re: What have you done on the plot today?
« Reply #1263 on: December 30, 2020, 01:17:55 pm »
And here it is



“Procrastination is the thief of time, collar him.” –Charles Dickens

The Family Cyclist

  • Formerly known as Johnny Faro
Re: What have you done on the plot today?
« Reply #1264 on: December 30, 2020, 02:06:14 pm »
Yeah they can move a fair bit of stuff from the heaps, that's a rather neat looking compost bin. Mines ramshackled from pallets

Re: What have you done on the plot today?
« Reply #1265 on: December 31, 2020, 12:48:15 pm »
Looking good.  You might need lids?  A rat will easily climb in otherwise.  We put removable slats in groves in the front so usually the bin was entirely enclosed. Only took them off for turning, compost removal.

Re: What have you done on the plot today?
« Reply #1266 on: December 31, 2020, 03:36:58 pm »
Rats will get in anyway, unless the base is concrete. They burrow into our plastic compost bins regularly.
We are making a New World (Paul Nash, 1918)

Re: What have you done on the plot today?
« Reply #1267 on: December 31, 2020, 04:10:21 pm »
One of our local gardening geniuses reckons that not putting a lid on your compost is the best way to keep rats out.
"No matter how slow you go, you're still lapping everybody on the couch."

Re: What have you done on the plot today?
« Reply #1268 on: December 31, 2020, 04:30:46 pm »
It was quite a hard frost here in the Cambridgeshire fens, and I headed to the allotment at about 9.30 to rotovate.

It went better than expected, but the last section, where I had mustard, green manure to turn in got very messy, and it took a long while to clean the rotovator and my boots up.

Many of the sheds at the other end of the allotments had been broken into, and quite a bit of my time was spent raising the alarm and talking to other plot holders who had come to investigate whether they had been targeted.  >:(
If it ain't broke, fix it 'til it is...

ElyDave

  • Royal and Ancient Polar Bear Society member 263583
Re: What have you done on the plot today?
« Reply #1269 on: December 31, 2020, 04:35:26 pm »
Rats will get in anyway, unless the base is concrete. They burrow into our plastic compost bins regularly.

The base is 1/2" mesh, on which I've laid a ring and middle pier of concrete blocks. The wooden bins sit on that. The mesh wraps up on all sides and is secured to the slats of the bins using the offcuts as battens.  The only way in is over the top, unless they burrow and chew through the mesh.  We'll see.

Personally I think a lid will just make a nice cosy environment.  In any case I intend to use the heap as growing space for squashes this summer as a nice moist space.  Maybe a cucumber or two as well.
“Procrastination is the thief of time, collar him.” –Charles Dickens

The Family Cyclist

  • Formerly known as Johnny Faro
Re: What have you done on the plot today?
« Reply #1270 on: January 01, 2021, 11:41:21 am »
If the weather stays dry for a few more days may go to the allotment and dig it a bit but fear it'll rain before I get a chance. Need to get some garlic and get that in and hope for some more frosts

Re: What have you done on the plot today?
« Reply #1271 on: January 17, 2021, 04:44:51 pm »
Yesterday: pruned the conifer at the top of our drive. I'd really like to get rid of it, but it very popular with the local sparrow population as a winter roost and I'm pretty certain I saw a nest in there last summer, so all I have done is raised the crown a bit. It will make access to the base for weeding possible, so worth doing.
Today: not long after we moved in here, twenty-plus years ago, we were given a stick in a flowerpot. This is now a wild pear tree, unfortunately not producing edible fruit, which is about 20 feet high and very vigorous. Today was its annual hack back. We have a rose which climbs up into it and that has been tamed a bit as well, although I may well have another go at that.
Once I'd removed one of the main branches, the rest of the job was sufficiently low energy that I had to come into the house and find some warmer trousers 
"No matter how slow you go, you're still lapping everybody on the couch."

The Family Cyclist

  • Formerly known as Johnny Faro
Re: What have you done on the plot today?
« Reply #1272 on: January 18, 2021, 10:53:42 am »
I cycled past my plot yesterday but as was on a local tour of floods and ford's it's safe to assume its still too wet to do anything much

The Family Cyclist

  • Formerly known as Johnny Faro
Re: What have you done on the plot today?
« Reply #1273 on: January 21, 2021, 09:11:48 am »
Dry and windy predicted for next 5 or so days here and two of those are sunny if cold. Hopefully will dry the plot out enough to be able to get up there Sunday and do a bit of tidying up..... Just need the garlic to arrive now.

Re: What have you done on the plot today?
« Reply #1274 on: January 21, 2021, 05:37:08 pm »
I got a shed for free recently and a dozen paving slabs, do you think it'd be okay to out it on the soil, perhaps with some bricks underneath too? I don't have a car and so getting sand would be a bit difficult. Any suggestions on ways to make it stable? When I did jobs like this at home i got loads of sand or hardcore delivered/given but that's pretty difficult at an allotment