Moving A Shed/Pond And A Butternut Squash Problem

Last Monday I wrote about our very exciting building work that was due to start last Tuesday.  Unfortunately, for one reason or another the building work was delayed another week, but I am pleased to say they have started today.  As I write, The kitchen has been removed and our backroom carpet has been lifted and they are currently removing the ceiling.

It is all very exciting.

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Up until now the builders have been very professional and they have great references from people we have been to see, so we are hoping that the delay was just an unfortunate ‘blip’.

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I’m very pleased to say that at the weekend Mr Thrift and my brother-in-law managed to move my shed on to my newly laid slabs, without it collapsing and I no longer have a ‘crooked house’.  I am very grateful to them.  They also moved and set up my two water butts ready to catch the winter rains.

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My pond in Spring

My pond in Spring

I also decided to move one of my small ponds at the weekend.  Unfortunately the pond was in an awkward place next to one of my compost heaps so I came to the conclusion it needed moving.  I wanted to move it before the winter as I wasn’t sure if I would disturb anything that would be hibernating over winter.

I put the pond at the far corner of my woodland area.  This area is not in the shade and it is near the middle of my plot, so I thought it would be a good place to encourage frogs to visit it and then go away and eat the slugs and snails on my plot.

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First I dug a hole ready for my pond liner.  The soil was rock hard as I don’t think this area had been dug for years and years:

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I then put all the pond water into an unused water butt next to where the pond was moving to:

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I dug out a bit more soil so the pond liner sat straight and then I filled the pond up.

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I put some old bits of crazy paving around the pond and then transplanted the aubretia that I grew around the pond previously.  Finally I emptied the water from the water butt next to the pond.  I didn’t want to use the same pond water, as there were leaves, mud and lots of lots of pond weed in it, but I hoped that by emptying it next to the pond, any pond life would be able to crawl back into my newly located pond.

I was very pleased with the result, however I will need to cover it with netting soon to make sure that the autumn leaves don’t blow into it:

Before

Before

After

After

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I just thought I would finish with a couple of things.  The first is my tomatoes….I am sad to say that they have finally succumbed to the dreaded tomato blight.  You can read more about it here.  As I have caught it really early, I have stripped the remaining tomatoes off my plants and I will be ripening them in my polytunnel and greenhouse at home (I would normally ripen them on my windowsills but due to the building work this isn’t possible).  I may still lose some of them to blight, but time will only tell.

I have read so many times that you should burn the foliage when you have blight, but this is just not true.  Blight is a fungus that remains in the seed (the tomato) but not on the foliage.  The fungus will not survive on the stems or leaves after the plant has died, so it is safe to add it to the compost heap, provided you have removed all of the tomatoes.  If you are still unsure, you can read more on the Garden Organic website here.

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And finally, three different people at my allotment have asked me the same question this week, so I wondered if the answer would help anyone who reads this blog, as it is obviously a problem that a few people are suffering from…..butternut squashes that are not yet ripening?  I have been asked what to do with them when they are still partly green?

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Butternut squashes were late producing fruit this year as if you cast your mind back, it was still quite cold in late May and June.  This meant the squashes were all slow to get going.

My reply was that I would leave them out as long as possible and watch the weather forecast like a hawk.  If there is a frost forecast I would either cover them up with fleece for the night or if I couldn’t leave them outside any longer, I would bring them into a cold greenhouse or polytunnel to see if they would ripen just a little bit more.  If they are still green then they won’t store very long, so I would eat these ones first.

I hope this helps someone here too.

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Thank you for reading my blog today.

I will be back on Friday, hopefully with some better news about our building work.

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16 thoughts on “Moving A Shed/Pond And A Butternut Squash Problem

  1. Moving a pond is a pretty major undertaking – ours is 5 feet deep in places – when we last changed it Martyn held me by the feet so I could lean over and catch the fish! Lucky you haven’t any fish!

  2. Ugh! My butternuts are still green too! I’ve decided on exactly the same plan; leave them out as long as is possible and watch the weather every night for frost risk!

    • Thanks beeseeker, that is really kind of you to say. I didn’t want to just blog about my allotment, (even though that is a big part of my life) as I wanted to blog about all the things in our ‘simple’ life. My daughters came up with the name ‘Notjustgreenfingers’ which we all thought was quite fitting for the blog. Really glad the photo’s help too, this was another thing I wanted to include to help people, as visual explanations are so much easier to understand, don’t you think?

  3. So glad that your building work has started, and your shed is in its new spot, i have never tried to grow butternut squash, but love to eat them, so maybe something to think of growing next year.
    sue

  4. Is butternut squash the same as butternut pumpkins? I have about fifty little pumpkin seedlings poking up from the part of the garden where my husband chucked some compost that wasn’t compost yet, and I think some of them are butternut pumpkins. (and Queensland blues, and Grey’s and possibly a couple of other varieties too :P)
    I’m glad your shed didn’t fall apart! It looks like it belongs there, doesn’t it!
    Your pond looks lovely. I have been given a fiberglass pond that is about four feet long and maybe a foot and a half deep or so that I want to put in the front yard which I have been putting off. Looking at yours makes be feel I should pull my finger out and start digging, lol!
    That is very interesting about the tomatoes…it never occurred to me that it would be carried on by the tomato itself, and not the plant. Looks like I could potentially have spotty tomatoes again this year :/
    I am so HAPPY you have had a start on your kitchen! I hope it all goes smoothly from now on!

    • I’ve just googles ‘butternut pumpkin’ and it does look the same as our butternut squash…how fascinating, it’s another thing we have learnt. I am so happy the kitchen has started, but I must say it’s a bit of a nightmare already with the dust lol…but it will be worth it in the end.

      • Oh the dust! I feel your pain! When we had our house renovated I spent a couple of months at Mum and Dad’s house, because the whole back end of the house was open, and I had (have) little children. When I got home the dust was sooo thick, and in impossible places, and just EVERYWHERE! You guys aren’t having to go anywhere so it won’t be as bad for you,eh?

      • I’ve got to say it isn’t as bad as I thought it would be, but we still have a long way to go yet. I’ll post some pictures of it on Monday for you to see….I can’t wait until it’s finished.

  5. I love to read your enthusiastic and down to earth blog. It’s interesting how the late spring is still showing its effect in our high summer crops. My courgettes and cucumbers were also disappointing this year. They matured late, then started to crop fantastically, then went over very quickly in September, even though temperatures were fine. My guess is that your tomatoes and my cucurbit suffered from the humidity, especially during lengthening night hours. During September the hours of daylight start to reduce quickly and I think its that rather than temperature which switches off their growth and thus their ability to withstand attack from moulds.
    By the way I grow tommies inside a cold growhouse and outside on my minuscule rooftop veg plot. I don’t get blight here in Central London, but the quality of the inside crop is so much better, I don’t think I’ll bother with putting them outside next year.

    • Hi Wendy, lovely to hear from you. I agree about tomatoes, the ones grown in a greenhouse are much better than those grown outside. I use our greenhouse tomatoes for eating and my outdoor ones for pasta sauces etc.

      A rooftop veg plot sounds wonderful, I have just been looking at the pictures on your blog and they look great. I’m not sure I could do the garden as I’m not very good at all with heights lol.

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