Tuesday, 30 December 2008

First visit in ages

I took the kids over to the allotment for a couple of hours today, to enjoy the sunshine. It’s the first time I’ve been over in a couple of months, due to work, family commitments and the weather.

I finally took down the bean poles, and cleared the last bed which had some rather past it lettuce and a few beetroots which still look ok.

Lovely weather, the kids enjoyed it, and I got some work done. Looking forward to the new year. Lots to do.

Thursday, 24 July 2008


I've now got to decide what to put in for the rest of the summer and for winter.

More lettuce, radishes and beetroot for the summer. Not so sure about the winter though.


Been beavering away as often as work and family allow.

Strawberries - a bit disappointed with the crop this year. A few fellow allotmenteers have said the same, I don't know if it's a local weather problem.

Runner beans- not been great, but got off to a bad start thanks to a rabbit killing half the plants. A fence has helped and there are now a few pods coming, but nowhere near as abundant as last year.

Broad beans - not a great crop, but not too bad. Also learned something. I dug a couple up out of a bed as they weren't looking to good, and noticed that the roots were covered in nodules. Fearing some disease, I googled and found that they are used by the plants to gather nitrogen which is a good thing.

Courgettes - 2 plants killed by slugs, the other 3 producing well.

Cauliflower - good, but don't know if I'll grow again next year due to the amount of space required for such few plants.

Brocolli - see cauliflower.

Potatoes - still waiting. I've put a main crop in, all my neighbours have had early crops. hoping for the best.

Onions - they've been good. Collected around 50 I think.

Friday, 30 May 2008

Catch up

It's only the blog that's been temporarily abandoned not the allotment. In lieu of the blog, I've been keeping a short diary of my allotment visits . Here's the last week or so:


28/5. evening visit. heavy rain  since weekend. something (rabbits?) has been eating the tips of my runner beans. put a temporary chicken wire fence around them. applied slug pellets around brassicas.
afternoon visit. covered bed 6 with compost, bought as mine isn't quite ready. planted out more mystery plants and sewed carrots,cabbage etc. build a frame of mdpe pipe and netting.
23/5 morning visit. finished digging bed 6. started digging bed 7.
22/5 evening visit. planted more runner beans, cauliflower,  and some mystery plants
22/5 morning visit. dug over and weeded bed 6
21/5 evening visit. weeded strawberries. used mdpe blue water pipe to build frame and net strawberries.
21/5 morning visit. weeded raspberries. weeded brassicas
20/5 evening visit. cut grass on paths. weeded raspberries. covered compost heap.
19/5 went along in the evening . weeded the onion bed.


Bed 7 isn't progressing well, every time I have it half dug, we get a downpour and it regresses to a puddle. Which is leaving me without anywhere to put the last of my potatoes. I think I'm going to have to give up on them this year.


Here are a few photos:

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Saturday, 29 March 2008

Disappointment at Easter

I had really been looking forward to Easter, four days off work. Surely, I could spend some serious time at the allotment. Instead we got this:


Mobile 005

I did manage to spend an hour, but having taken the kids, an hour was enough for them. To cold and bored. This weekend is looking better, hopefully I'll get down there soon.

Wednesday, 27 February 2008

Last weekend

Annoyingly I didn't get to the allotment last weekend. I did manage to get the greenhouse cleared out, and I planted some runner beans and broad beans, sewed some cauliflower, broccoli, mint, sage and lemon grass.

Wednesday, 13 February 2008

Late January & Early February

An update on the last three weekends:

I planted out the 30 strawberry plants, and dug one of the new raspberry beds.

I've also dug over the three beds I manured last year.

I added some bark to the paths around the shed, but the allotment stock of free bark has run out.

I've also managed to clear out most of the rubbish pile, digging out a rusting wheelbarrow and several sheets of bent, buckled corrugated steel.

The weather last weekend was wonderful. A real pleasure to be down the allotment. I hope for more of the same this weekend.

Thursday, 31 January 2008

New Book

I recently signed up for a subscription to "Grow Your Own" magazine, and was given the free gift of a copy of "The Allotment Book" by Andi Clevely.


It arrived today, and I have to say it looks excellent, a really good in depth guide to having an allotment. It talks about sheds, paths, soil improvement and much more.

Well written, with beautiful pictures and tons of information.

Recommended. Either get it with the subscription, if it's still available, or buy it.

Monday, 21 January 2008

Getting busy ... and mucky

Having felt ill all week, I perked up a little with the coming of the weekend, and dragged myself down allotment for some fresh air.

My raspberry canes and strawberry plants have arrived, so I needed to clear some room to plant them out. I forked over the bed I had my runner beans in last year, added some compost and put in some posts (I need to get bigger ones) and wire and planted the summer raspberry canes. The ground was too wet to clear new beds, for the autumn raspberries so I had to settle for planting them as two bunches in the raised bed planned for the strawberries. This I cleared out of the remaining brussels sprouts and leeks and added compost and covered with a black sheet.

I repaired the damaged compost bin, and examined the contents. I'm afraid it wasn't composting too well, too much woody material and too dry. I transferred the contents to a pile at the back of the allotment which I intend to become a larger composting heap, and cleared out the compost bin. The other bin seems to be doing fine.

The ground was mucky and getting worse as the day wore on, so I had to make a bodge job of putting down some slabs in front of the shed, just laid on some sand. Need to put down some proper concrete when the weather dries up a little.

Luckily there is a few bark chippings left, courtesy of the council, and I managed to get four barrow loads of that down on the paths which helped. Could do with a few more though.

Didn't manage to get the strawberries out though, and with the weather looking dodgy for the rest of the week, I think I'm going to pot them up and keep them in the greenhouse, till next weekend.

Tasks to do next weekend (weather permitting):

1. dig bed for autumn raspberries, and transfer them over.
2. plant out strawberries
3. more bark down on paths.
4. fork over beds for brassicas and cover with sheet to warm it.
5. concrete base for the slabs.

Through the week tasks:

1. Dig out some compost
2. pot strawberries
3. make a proposed sewing diary based on seeds I have.

With the weather being so bad, there was nobody around, I'm hoping to get a contact number for the guy who delivers manure, because I could do with a load on my plot.

Mobile 001

The photo shows the summer raspberries out, the autumn raspberries in clumps at the top of the raised bed, which is covered over. Oh and the mud, you can see lots of mud.

PS. The sprouts were excellent, I've blanched some and frozen them for next week.

Tuesday, 15 January 2008

Allotment Visit

I've not been feeling too well the past couple of days, so today was sanctioned as a duvet day. I made the call to work and stayed in bed. This afternoon, still feeling horrible, I decided to drag myself outside for some fresh air, and ended up walking over to the allotment for a quick inspection. I took a few quick photos.

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This is the view from the path. It shows the two small raised beds for the kids, the top one has rocket and leeks, the bottom has strawberries. The large raised bed on the right is where most of my veg grew this year. The bed covered with black sheeting  is where the runner beans, potatoes and courgettes grew.

The plan for this year is to plant raspberries where the potatoes and runner beans were, the raised bed will have strawberries.

Then there is the shed and the two compost bins.


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These are the brussels sprouts, with leeks, the only (edible) things growing.


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This is a view from the other side of the shed looking towards the top of the plot. showing several beds covered in manure, and a lot of work still to be done.


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This is a view from the top of the allotment looking down to the shed. As you can see I've still got quite a bit of ground to clear, and it's too wet to dig at the moment.

It left me feeling a bit depressed with the amount still to do, but I had a chat with a fellow allotmenteer, and that cheered me up a bit, and then I came home and looked at some photos from the last February when I took the plot on.


So progress has been made, despite 2007 being a bit of a bugger of a year personally. Looking forward to seeing how it compares this time next year.

Tuesday, 8 January 2008

Seed Order

This is the list of seeds and plants I have ordered:

  • Broad Bean Imperial Green Longpod Seeds
  • Climbing French Bean Cobra Seeds
  • Beetroot Action F1 Seeds
  • Broccoli Marathon F1 Seeds
  • Brussels Sprouts Cascade F1 Seeds
  • Cabbage Puma F1 Seeds
  • Carrot Maestro F1 Seeds
  • Cauliflower Nessie F1 Seeds
  • Courgette Tosca F1 Seeds
  • Cucumber Marketmore Seeds
  • Green Manure Seeds - Mustard White
  • Basil Seeds: Sweet Basil
  • Chive Seeds
  • Coriander Seeds
  • Dill Bouquet Seeds
  • Lemon Grass Seeds
  • Mint Seeds
  • Oregano Seeds
  • Rosemary Seeds
  • Sage Seeds
  • Thyme Seeds
  • Leek Carlton F1 Seeds
  • Lettuce Little Gem Seeds
  • Garlic Solent Wight Bulbs
  • Onion (Spring) Guardsman Seeds
  • Onion Sets Setton (400g)
  • Parsnip Albion F1 Seeds
  • Pea Alderman Seeds
  • Pea Sugar Ann Seeds
  • Potato Maris Piper - 3 kg
  • Raspberry Collection
  • Strawberry Twin Pack - Perfection & Malling Opal

I just hope I can fit everything in.

Thursday, 3 January 2008

The New Year

A Happy New Year to everybody.

I've ordered up my seeds for the following year. I'm really looking forward to getting started.  There's not much on the allotment at the moment, just sprouts and leeks. Roll on spring.