I had enjoyed growing vegetables in the small garden of my terraced house. I decided to get a plot in the nearby Callowland allotments. This blog will tell the story of how it progresses. The successes and failures. The hard work and the rewards. Was it worth it? Let's find out......

Monday, 2 May 2011

Sunshine

Wow! A sunny bank holiday. I managed to spend the morning on the plot and got some good work done. Four rows of potatoes planted, there's now only two rows of main crop to go. The ground is so dry that I'm not sure how well they'll do. To keep them well watered is a mammoth task. Last year I was putting half a ton of water on the plot every other day.

Sunday, 30 January 2011

Android spuds

I'm making this entry from my Android phone. I'm also about to order this season's potatoes using the same device. It's amazing what can be done with technology. Maybe this year I'll write blog entries while still on the plot. Allotments live. I can also add photos and video. Should keep things up to date. And no excuses for not writing entries.

Barrow

A big thank you to the person who stole my wheelbarrow from my plot. It was old and rusty and only really useful for old weeds and manure. I can only guess another plotholder took it as much better ones on nearby plots weren't taken. If I get another one I'll have to lock it to a tree. Shame.

Sunday, 16 May 2010

Jack Frost

The late frost of the past week took its toll on our potatoes. But luckily only one row was affected. Some of the other plots near ours were much worse hit. Next doors courgettes were decimated. I hadn't put anything tender out so all my plants are ok. I have just put in some beans so I'm keeping my fingers crossed that there'll be no more frosts. You can see the newly planted beans at the start of the video below.

video

Monday, 3 May 2010

Take a Leek

If you grow the right things there's always something fresh to take home, no matter what time of year it is. As the potatoes get planted and everything else gets started I'm always taking home a few fresh leeks. These were grown from seed last year. I started them in a seed tray. When they were about 9 inches tall I planted them out on the plot. This was in late July. They've been growing nicely ever since. The first ones were ready a couple of months ago and there's enough left for another few weeks.Leeks can be used to add flavour to lots of dishes. We've found that if they're chopped up and simmered in vegetable stock for about 20 minutes they make a really good acompliment to roast chicken. They are also superb in a risotto and even our children like them cooked like this.

The variety above are 'Musselburgh'. This year I'm growing 'Musselburgh Improved'. I'll be disappointed if I don't think they are better.

4th Year

Despite the lack of blog entrees, we have been busy on our plot. The last of the seed potatoes have just gone in. This is a little later than previous years but with the cold winter the soil has taken a little longer to warm up. April was very dry. In fact I don't think we had any rain at all in April. Luckily for the plot the Mayday bank holiday weekend saved the day. As often happens - it poured down.

We've put some onions in. This year we started the onions sets in seed trays at home and then planted them out when there was about 3 inches of green out the top. We haven't had much success with onions so far. They have never got very big. It will be interesting to see if things improve this year.

We've also got all the tender plants started in pots at home. The consevatory and bath room are full of seed trays and pots containing squash, pumpkins, beans and sweetcorn. The seeds have only been planted 10 days but have already germinated and are growing quite well. As I write the forecast is for a possible frost tonight but with it warming up as we go through the week. I won't be tempted to plant these out too early but also I don't want them getting pot bound. It's a balancing act which I hope I can get write.

I've also started off the tomatoes. I'm growing 'sweet olive' again this year as I was really impressed by them last year. The other variety I'm growing is the old tried and tested favourite 'moneymaker'. I've also got some lettuce on the go in front of the garage. This is the most slug proof location I've found. And I've put two spare seed potatoes in an old waste bin with compost.

This will be my 4th year on my plot. I'll try to post reguarly so you can follow how I get on.

Thursday, 10 September 2009

Swine Flu

I'm currently in bed with suspect swine flu. I'm not having much luck this year with getting on the plot. Luckily my father has been harvesting and I've got sacks of potatoes in my garage ( nice and clean, no scab or blight yet ), a fridge full of courgettes and a freezer full of runner and french beans ( despite it being a very poor year for beans on my plot). The beans and courgettes have now finished. There are still plenty more potatoes to dig up.

There are also the butternut squash and pumpkins still growing so I'm looking forward to seeing how they are doing. And I want to see if the sprouts have caught up as they were a little slow to get going.

At home my cherry tomatoes have been excellent. The new for 2009 variety 'Sweet Olive' that I tried have been superb. Loads of fruit and in my opinion the best tasting cherry toms I've ever had. They were better than the cherry toms I had in Italy during my 2 week holiday there and that's saying something.

I'll get some pictures at the weekend to show how things are.