Sunday, 22 February 2009

Onions and Broad Beans

It has been the day of planting onion sets and broad beens on the allotment. We took 6 year old Myles down there for the first time and he really got right in to it and did most of the planting. We planted Red Onions, Yellow Onions, Shallots and some Broad Beans. With the team effort, all onion sets were rapidly planted and Myles got a bit annoyed that there was nothing else to plant right now. We have promised to take him down there again in March when the potatoes will be ready to go in and some of the other seeds we have purchased.

We have also bought some asparagus crowns that are to be planted later in the week. If anyone has any advise on planting asparagus crowns, do let us know!

Sunday, 15 February 2009


Started propagating a few things today... Leeks, cabbages, the first few early tomatoes and some herbs. Created propagating trays out of old fruit and vegetable containers from the supermarket, and used old toilet rolls as individual pots for the soon to be seedlings. Bought more seeds today but most of the rest are either to be started propagating in March or April or planted outside in April or May. Also bought some red onion sets and shallot sets that are to go into the ground next weekend. It will be the first things to be planted in our newly prepared allotment. It is very exciting! The picture below was taken yesterday! It is unbelievable that this is the same as the completely overgrown plot that we only took over 2 months ago.

Saturday, 14 February 2009

Monster Carrot

Look what we found on the visit down to the allotment this morning. It is supposed to be a carrot if anyone is wondering. It is a bit of a monster but in good shape so will be a great addition to the salad bowl this weekend.

Sunday, 1 February 2009

Crash Course in Allotment Gardening

This weekend we met up with one of the more experienced allotment gardeners in our allotment society: Mr O. He has been cultivating his plot for the past 9-10 years and was recommended to us to help clear and prepare our plot. It was fantastic to get advise from someone with experience as opposed to us beginners. It turned out to be a very valuable crash course to allotment gardening.

Mr O was telling us about the state our plot has been in the past 5 years. Long Rye Grass reaching 1.5 m in height that has been spreading thousands of seeds to the neighbouring plots. It must have been a nightmare for the neighbours. On the positive side, Mr O said that our plot is one of the best amongst all the plots in this allotment society and that the soil is top quality.

On the down side Mr O told us that what we had dug so far would not kill off the remaining seeds and that we needed to get down to the yellow clay layer deep beneath. He showed us exactly how it is done and it is looking like quite a job to get on with. We have decided to hire his services to help dig it over thoroughly in order to get it ready in time for planting. It may seem like a short cut to get to where we need but better to get some help and get it right rather than having to start all over a few months down the line.

Unless we get too much snow this coming week, then the plot should be completely dug over by next weeken. Then we will cover it with a layer of compost. Mr O reckons that by mid March, the plot should be in a good enough state for us to start planting on.

And the best thing of yesterday's meeting with Mr O, was the potatoes and turnips he sent us home with. It was from his own harvest back in October. The turnips were the biggest we have ever seen and the potatoes really large and firm and perfect for baking in the oven. A much appreciated treat!