Tag: Allotment

Update from the allotment

Flowering potatoes

 

Potatoes

I may be a bit behind in terms of where things are in their growth development, but i’m slowly getting somewhere this summer. I have found it pretty tricky this year, what with the weather and mega slug problem and things haven’t gone as simply as they did last year, I’m told that I’m not the only one having problems though. But I have got to a point where the potatoes, broad beans, runner beans and tomatoes are flowering and I’ve even spotted some tiny tiny tomatoes – hooray! I may get to eat some vegetables after all this hard work!

Flowering broad beans

These were my second batch of broad beans after the first lot were obliterated by the plague of slugs that I had gone into battle with. I have lost count of how many runner bean plants I have lost to the little blighters, and I’m still growing some more in the hope that I will get a decent harvest.

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My Rhubarb plant is flourishing and growing brand new leaves! (Ignore the weeds)

Rhubarb

Rhubarb

 

I love to wear sensible gardening shoes!!

My onions are starting to look the size of onions and i’m going to have to start thinking about when to pul these beauts from the ground and start drying them out.

Red onions

I had a mini allotment breakdown a couple of weeks ago when things were not going my way, I couldn’t see any fruits of my labour and all I seemed to be doing was pulling out eaten bean stalks and had nothing to see for my efforts. I came home telling everyone that I hated it and that I quit! Apparently this is a normal phase to go through and I have managed to come through the dark allotment days! I usually go up there on my way home from work and spend a bit of time watering my crops and finding that little bit of peace and tranquility usually after a manic day at work – nothing can really beat it! It definitely makes me appreciate where my food comes from, when I eventually get to eat some beans or tomatoes I will savour every mouthful knowing that I put my blood, sweat and tears into that bite and having the satisfaction that I stuck with it, you can’t get that when you buy your veg at the supermarket that have ¬†been flown in from who knows where can you?

Also, check out this beautiful wild flower garden that grows on someone else’s patch – I absolutely love it!

Wild flowers

Happy growing your own!

Veronica x

Spring is here!

Spring has finally sprung! I think it has to be my favourite month of them all. Those long dark days are slowing stretching out, flowers are starting to come to bloom, leaving home in the morning in the light, the smell of the air changing and the promise of bank holidays on the horizon. January and February are miserable months, but March is a big game changer!

Last year I didn’t exactly plan out the whole year at the allotment and so I didn’t end up having a winter crop. But this year I’m on it and now is the time to get organised in the growing veg stakes, working out what I’m going to grow, where and when.

I visited the allotment this weekend, to check out what state it is in after winter. I gave part of it a little dig over, pulling up the weeds and remembering how tiring digging is.

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In the next month I will be getting next years winter harvest sown, planting some cabbages, broccoli and onions. I’m planning more than just courgettes and beans this year!

If you don’t have an allotment you can get some things sown in pots. I sowed some lettuce leaves. At this time of year it is still too cold at night to leave them out, so cover them with cling film and leave in a cold frame or on your window ledge. Once the overnight frosts have disappeared they can go back outside.

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I also planted some herbs for our kitchen window sill. Using herbs in your cooking grown from seed provides a little more satisfaction than buying those pots from the supermarket and is cheaper too! If you are a total novice to gardening this is your perfect starting point. Just get some compost and seeds (such as coriander, basil, parsley), sow them and keep them well watered. These could do with a little cling film over them to help them germinate. It is honestly as simple as that!

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Enjoy growing your own!

Veronica x

Grow your own: Preparing for winter

As the cold of winter takes the only thing hanging on at the allotment is the rainbow chard but, I don’t want to become a fair-weather gardener – I want to embrace all the seasons.

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This year, my first year as an allotment holder, I wasn’t prepared. I mean, I got excited for summer, I got a bit carried away. I had my first batch of runner beans in super early (they all died), had a glutt of courgettes (it turns out you get loads of courgettes from one plant, I had three!), second (successful) batch of beans (Runner and French), Chard, and mountains of Tomatoes that struggled to ripen. But, I did not prepare myself for the winter months; the cabbages, the leeks, the onions, the sprouts….

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This is not happening next year, oh no no! I’m getting organised. Now, I’m no expert but most winter veg has to be planted in the spring to be ready for the next winter, so I’m looking ahead to Winter 2014 and thinking about what exciting things I will be picking this time next year!

In spite of a winter of no produce, it doesn’t mean I have just sat back, never to return to the allotment until the glorious days of spring. I have been pulling up the dead plants of summer, saying a fond farewell to my tomato plants, the courgette plants that kept on giving and have dug over the ground. The plan is to get some manure on there before the ground goes solid (although I’m running a little behind schedule and it has turned cold!) and the little worms can take that good shit down making the soil all kinds of fertile ready for next year. I never thought I’d get excited about manure.¬†

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