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.
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’.
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.
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.
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:
I then put all the pond water into an unused water butt next to where the pond was moving to:
I dug out a bit more soil so the pond liner sat straight and then I filled the pond up.
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:
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.
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?
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.
Thank you for reading my blog today.
I will be back on Friday, hopefully with some better news about our building work.