Saturday, 31 March 2012

I am a fire-starter...I am a fire-starter...

Him Indoors has been stung into action by yesterday's post. He has been to the lottie and done things involving fire. Getting in touch with his inner caveman, clearly.
Actually I am very pleased as he has burnt all the bulky garden waste which hadn't composted. It has reduced the pile greatly and produced lots of lovely ash to spread on the soil.
He left it once the flames had died down and I went to the lottie later on to check the embers were safe. Apparently only one small child fell on it: oops. As I have said before, allotments and childcare don't really mix.
Before social services get in touch I should add that it was a minor incident resulting only in a slightly singed fleece, thank goodness. I am not that callous.
It was quite nice down there so given the grim forecast for next week I took the opportunity to start planting the tates. Rocket, Arran Pilot, Charlotte and Kestrel are all now safely in the ground and praying for rain. The stuff in the greenhouse is also looking great. Broad beans hardened off and planted in the garden; mange tout and stuttgarter onions will be ready to go out by next weekend. Gardening at last.

Friday, 30 March 2012

Bright ideas

Him Indoors showed unusual interest in all matters garden-related this week, when he enquired whether I had sharpened my hoe in preparation for the spring weeding. Taking advantage of my speechless pause, he added: "Well they do say it makes weeding so much easier..."
Readers, I coolly informed him that he can feel free to sharpen any of my garden tools, any time he likes. He can even come and do some weeding if he really wants to help.
Needless to say no photos of Himself wielding any kind of garden implements were available to illustrate this post, so thanks to for the image. In the meantime I am sure you can imagine where I am thinking about sticking my hoe...

Wednesday, 7 March 2012

Drought Plan B

This is the other strand to the irrigation plans: a 3 litre milk bottle kept under the sink for all that water we just send down the plug hole. You know: the stuff you use to wash vegetables, rinse dish cloths, cook pasta etc.
We started collecting it on Monday and on Day 1 alone I collected 12 litres: 3 litres per shrub seems like a good soaking to me.
Of course since I started all this it has absolutely pissed down. We have had more rain this week than in the rest of the winter in total, I reckon. So it is official: I am a one-woman Rain-Maker! Do you think there's a career in it?

Saturday, 3 March 2012

Rainy day jobs

A somewhat unanticipated consequence of this year's shortage of rainfall is the growing backlog of rainy day jobs. You know - those things you put off doing until there is really no excuse.
I am sure we all have them, but here are a few of my Rainy Day Jobs which are now starting to back up:
- sorting out the toy cupboard
- ironing
- going through children's wardrobes to find out what still fits them and what new stuff they need
- putting that spare timer for the irrigation system onto ebay. (Anyone want it? Make me an offer...)
- children's art projects (I am rubbish at them - Him Indoors is much better at these but every now and then the girls really want me to help them)
Only when all other potential activities have been ruled out will I turn my mind to any of these, but this year they are just not getting done. I blame the drought.
Or is this just another excuse for slovenliness...? You decide!

Thursday, 1 March 2012

Water management plans

I think I have devised a water management plan that will enable us to recycle water and keep the veg plot watered with as little fuss as possible. I did a bit of this last year using a water syphon to extract the water from the girls' bath, but I have to say it was a bit of an effort at times as water being available to use didn't always coincide with me having the time or energy to do anything with it.
Here's one example of my antics (and their short-comings) last year. The subtle refinement for this year will make use of the green wheelie bin to store the water until I am ready to use it. The wheelie bin sits right underneath the bathroom window (I know this only too well because every time I used the syphon last year the hose pipe got stuck in the handle of the bin, necessitating endless trips up and down the stairs to sort it out).
You may well be wondering why the green bin won't be full of garden waste and compost awaiting collection. My thinking is: given that we now have a wormery there will be much less kitchen waste to compost; lawn cuttings will be taken to the allotment to use as a mulch; and anything left over which does need composting but isn't suitable for the wormery also be bagged up until I go to the allotment and put in the compost bins there.
So the plan is that whenever necessary I will syphon the bath water down into the green bin, where it will wait until I need it for watering whereupon it will be syphoned out either to use with a hosepipe (until they are banned???) or a watering can. This will also give me a water source in the front/side garden, significantly reducing the distance that I have to carry full watering cans as both our garden tap and water butts are in the back garden.
I think that's a plan. If you are wondering how you will cope if the drought continues and are not sure what on earth I mean by a water syphon, here's one for sale at Nigel's Eco Store. I'm not sure I paid quite that much for mine but then I didn't buy it during a drought. Happy watering!

Lincolnshire Sky

Lincolnshire Sky