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Archive for the ‘allotment’ Category

Mantis Tiller modification

Monday, June 16th, 2014

A few years ago, based on the recommendations from my Bro’ at Groundscaper, I purchased a Mantis Tiller, it’s brilliant, but I have just one complaint which I think is a design fault, the plastic throttle body, which is built into the carburetor body, keeps snapping off, as this is a weak spot.

The petrol 4-stroke Mantis Tiller uses a Honda GX25 engine, which is common to many petrol operated garden tools. The problem is that Honda do not supply the plastic throttle body as separate part, and you need to purchase a new GX25 carburetor body, price from Mantis UK - £95!

The support man from Mantis, did state, they could be purchased on eBay for £10!

This is the replacement part I purchased from Hong Kong - here, if you look closely at eBay, there are some available with a metal frame here

Originally, I was just going to transfer the plastic frame from the new part to the old part, but it did not fit, so a complete carburetor body swap was required, but before fixing back onto the engine, I made the following mod, to strengthen the plastic throttle attachment (Thanks Mike B. for the suggestion!)

some pictures

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Strawberry Fields Forever

Sunday, June 15th, 2014

Let me take you down
Cause I’m going to Strawberry Fields
Nothing is real

(c) John Lennon, 1966

strawberryfields1

strawberryfields2

Okay, not exactly Strawberry Fields, but my allotment!

But it still my favourite fruit, and Beatles Song written by John Lennon!

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Too Hot for My Bee Suit!

Sunday, July 7th, 2013

by joe, it’s hot today, I’m now hiding from the sun today, yesterday, I weeded the allotment for a few hours in the midday sun, and got sunburnt arms!

and today, at 1pm was in a full bee suit, inspecting the bees…must have sunstroke! I ate some honey comb straight out of the hive the other day, it was delicious!

queencell1

not sure but these could be - Supersedure cells?

day35-afterinspection

Supersedure cells - bees have decided to make themselves a new queen, either the queen is damaged, not laying, disappeared, or old.

Update - these could be drone cells, and not Supersedure cells because they are too small and not vertical.

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Honey Bees - Day 22 - After swarm arrived in my beehive

Sunday, June 30th, 2013

Honey Bees coming and going from beehive - day 22 after the swarm arrived at this hive. Weather today was warm and overcast, at least 20 degrees C, and humid.

Honey Bees - Day 22 - After sawrm arrived in my beehive

Honey Bees - Day 22 - After swarm arrived in my beehive

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Allotment Update - May 2013

Tuesday, May 28th, 2013

Many of you are probably thinking, my blog has turned into a VMware site, so here are some pictures of the strawberry plants, down on the allotment, I’m still working on. These were planted out last year, and the weather has been so cold, I’ve now covered and cloched two rows, so I’ll hopefully have some strawberries a little earlier.

Just finished weeding my asparagus patch, more photos to come.

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Polytunnel at the Allotments

Sunday, December 2nd, 2012

Yesterday, I helped, erect the community polytunnel at the allotments. Mr Mantis helped out as well, and dug the trenches!

dec011212gpaa-20for more details see the Allotment Website

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My Allotment in October 2012

Sunday, October 14th, 2012

My allotment in October 2012, it’s been a productive year, considering the wet, and the Allotments only started in April 2012, I’ve had many strawberries, a few raspberries, a few cauliflowers, and planted my asparagus beds. a few Sweetcorn, onions, garlic and shallots. Potatoes and Sweetcorn, were a disaster but it’s a start!

I’ve achieved what I wanted to achieve in 2012 with my allotment, now start thinking abour 2013!

I’ve just finished weeding approx 10m x 5m, and finished weeding the asparagus beds, planted some onions, and spinch to over winter, and broadcast some green manure, Hungarian grazing rye.

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Allotment on 20 June 2012, before the rain!

Sunday, June 24th, 2012

Allotment on 20 June 2012 before the Rain!

Allotment on 20 June 2012 before the Rain!

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Andy builds a Geoff Hamilton Cloche!

Saturday, June 23rd, 2012

A fellow allotment holder “David” gave me some 20mm plastic water pipe, and with bits of wood from the wood shed, a few nails and screws and a staple gun, I started to make a Cloche, to protect my Cauliflower from the pigeons and white cabbage butterflies.

I think it’s great when you can build something for free, rather than purchase something ready made. The design is based roughly on the Geoff Hamilton design, and many allotment holders up and down the country have made similar versions.

I think if you are an allotment holder, I think it’s some sort of right of passage, building your own Geoff Hamilton Cloche!

Here, Toby Buckland, makes a garden cloche, based on the design

here is a sequence of pictures of how I made mine….

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Andy’s Asparagus

Saturday, June 2nd, 2012

My joints are aching, I spent a long day on the allotment preparing trenches for my asparagus beds yesterday. I’ve planted four beds of asparagus with the following asparagus varities - Backlim, Gijnlim and Purple Passion.

In the past few weeks, I’ve also added another two rows of strawberries, to add to the existing two rows of Elsanta, I’ve added Amelia and Marshmarvel. Amelia is a late cropping variety from June to September, Marshmarvel is an early cropping variety from May to September, peaks in June, with possible second crop later in the season. Elsanta is a mid cropping variety from June to July. So better ask my Mum, how to make “Jam’n’ Jerusalem”!  because I could have a few starberries next year!

I’ve also added a few rows of sweetcorn, planted jerusalem artichokes and horseradish, completed moving the goji berry and raspberry bushes, I think the redcurrent, blackcurrant and whitecurrent, gooseberry bushes have not taken - possibly too dry.

My water butts have arrived, I’ve finished preparing the rest of the allotment to add other vegetables this week. The allotment has been bone dry, hence the need for water butts onsite to store water, we did have a wet day last week, which has helped me with not watering every day, since the rain.

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