Saturday, 30 May 2009

Long time no blog post... back to the story of the allotment

It has been a while since we last wrote something about our allotment. It does not mean that we have not been keeping busy with the allotment. On the contrary we have been working hard to get it to what it now has become. We are really proud. No major disasters yet, just some blackfly on the beans...

So what has happened since we last posted something?

First of all... Weeds, weeds, weeds... Then more weeds and even more weeds. We have spent whole weekends just dealing with weeds! The thistles are just the worst. Anyone knows what to do about those buggers other than digging them up and getting rid of the roots? We have been lucky with friends helping out dealing with all the weeds. Last weekend there were 5 of us spending 4 hours working through all the weeds and planting out our seedlings. We got it somewhat under control but again today, there are new thistles attacking our little plants! Big thanks goes out to Bethan, Paul and Andy for helping out last weekend!

Last weekend also saw the formation of the Butt Crack Club... It was Andy's idea (who else would think of such a thing) and the funniest thing is that he was the one with a sunburnt butt crack at the end of the day!

So what do we have growing there now?

The potatoes were planted in March after chitting them for 4-5 weeks. We planted three different kinds and to be honest we cannot remember exactly which ones they were... there are definitely some Desirees and some Swifts. The third potato, will have to be a surprise! All the potatoes are thriving. The Swifts and the unknowns are in bloom so we are looking forward to some own grown spuds in a few weeks time. It will be perfect timing for the Swedish Midsummer celebrations!

Tomatoes, Peppers and Aubergines
We have propagated about 8 kinds of tomatoes (green, striped, yellow, black and lots of reds), 4 different kinds of peppers (including a 'Chocolate' variety - guess why we choose that one...) and some mixed aubergine seeds (could be any shape or colour). All of them went into the allotment last weekend and looked like they were doing very well!

Beans and peas
The broad beans and peas are doing really well now and have recovered from a recent attack of black fly. Thankfully we had lots of lady birds feasting away on them and also a mixture of washing up liquid and water helped clearing them. First signs of pea pods are now showing and the berlotto beans are starting to climb up their supports.

Cucumber, Pumpkins, Zucchinis and Sweetcorn
We did have a set back with the Zucchinis. After propagating them and then setting them out in the cold frame to harden them off, the zucchini seedlings sadly died. The Cucumber seedlings which were hardened off at the same time are all fine - we thought those would be more at risk! Anyway, we have new zucchini seedlings on their way in the cold frame now and they seem to be doing much better. Just a case of trial and error.

Little Myles helped us plant the pumpkin seeds and the seedlings are now growing on the allotment sharing a space with the sweetcorn. Myles is looking forward to harvesting some pumpkins for Halloween.

All of our strawberries were seedlings taken from the four strawberry plants on Petra's roof terrace. We planted 12 of them and 10 are still alive... They did look somewhat sad until recently when we covered each plant with more compost and now they have taken on a new life again! We even have our first strawberries coming along.

Raspberries, Blackberries and Tayberries
We finally got all the raspberry canes, and the blackberry and tayberry plants delivered and planted. Mattias and Andy built some interesting 'crucifix-like' supports for the raspberries. It looks a bit like a grave yard to be honest but the raspberry canes will hopefully soon cover the supports with their green leaves and juicy berries.

Asparagus and Artichokes
We nearly gave up on the asparagus. We planted the crowns and then nothing happened... until a week ago! We discovered some small asparagus spears coming up. We have been told to leave them be this year, but looking forward to a hopefully getting a handful of asparagus next year! The artichoke plants were propagated from seed and now planted out. They do not look much at the moment and will not do so for at least another year!

Our first harvest!
Two weeks ago our first radishes were ready for harvest! We planted a bunch of mixed seeds so it was an interesting combination of colours that we got in the end. Today we sowed more radishes as we are now almost out of them.

In addition to the above we have also onions, beetroot, chard, purple sprouting broccoli, red cabbage, cauliflower, turnips, carrots, parsnips, sallad, herbs, and much much more...


  1. Nice article. It reminds me of the year we spent battling with a new allotment a few years ago. We never did overcome the weeds, sadly.

    Anna & Keith :

  2. So we are in for a never ending battle with the weeds then... :)

  3. You've done really well with your new allotment and you have lots of things growing. I've just got my first allotment too and yes, it is a battle with the weeds. We still haven't got it all dug over and weeded but we're getting there.

  4. Thanks Jo! Good luck with your allotment and let us know how you are getting on!

  5. So, an allotment in England you've the same battle with the weeds as in Holland. And I know a new allotment is a lot of work. But well done.

  6. The only answer for weeds is to pick'em out regularly - do a little every time you're there to stay on top of it, more if it rains in between! Lucky you to have some helpers.
    A hoe can be useful if you have space between the rows, keep cutting the tops off snd the plants eventually give up until next year. Doesn't work for thistles, dandelions and the various rooty grasses tho...
    Enjoy your strawbs - when you have only a few they taste even better and you'll have more next year:-)