Welcome to our plot!

I'm Hazel, and in Nov 2006 my friend Jane and I took on a half plot at Hill Allotments, Sutton Coldfield - we want the satisfaction of growing and eating our own fruit and veg, and to improve our diet (and fitness!).

This is the story of what happened next...........

Sunday, February 26, 2017

Changing Storage

Today was a day to rearrange furniture.  The garden storage bench which I was kindly given in the Autumn has been assembled and been in the kitchen for the past couple of months or so where it has been a surprisingly useful addition - if a bit odd looking in the setting.

So I ordered a proper kitchen dining bench yesterday; and today I took the garden storage bench to the Hill.  The idea is that the few things that have been kept in the shed (rather on its last legs)....

.....will now be kept in the bench, which will have the added advantage of providing a handy place to sit.  Turned to be a bit of a fail on the first point, as both of my hoes are too long to fit in *sigh

No matter, the overall plan is a good one - and the shed will take it's final journey to the tip next weekend now that I have emptied it and evicted all the spiders, snails, woodlice, a few worms, and a sleepy wasp.  At least dismantling is unlikely to cause any great difficulties.

I dug some potatoes to take home -  they are magnificently preserved, and have none of the slug damage that the first and second earlies had last year. Hurrah!  The variety is Carolous, and although waxy, so didn't make the best roasties this evening, are certainly worth growing again.

Sunday, February 05, 2017

Making a Start

It's been a reasonable Winter so far - some frosty nights, and chilly days, but nothing to moan about.  In fact if I can brave this January's weather in shorts and tee to go running, then there are really no excuses not to have been doing some 'Winter work' at the Hill.   Even so, today has been my first visit to the Hill since before Christmas.

I spent a couple of hours cutting down the raspberry canes; upending, moving and refilling one of the dalek composters (one down, three to go); and rough forking the front two beds.

An unexpected plus were a few of last year's potatoes which are still in the ground - I dug a few and found them surprisingly un-slugged (variety Carolus).

Less impressive were the leeks - small, and leek moth damaged - but I still managed to get enough good bits of leek for tea with the potatoes.

I think that counts as a win.

What goes round, and round again. And again.

So the problem with a gardening blog that goes on for some years is that you get a sense of deja vu after a while; and I feel that I am typing the same old, same old - boring to write, boring to read.

Except that perhaps that doesn't matter, and perhaps there is a comfort of familiarity of the seasons turning and the actions that accompany them.

Or perhaps that is a heap of pretentious nonsense, and I should just knuckle down and make a point of using the blog as intended - to make a note of doing what, when.

Thursday, November 05, 2015

Autumn Produce

Having offloaded a couple of butternut squash and a couple of the smaller pumpkins (one to an ex-offender who came to the door selling household wares, although I am not sure if he actually wanted it), I am left with one large pumpkin to 'do something' with, and a big mixing bowl full of green tomatoes.

The pumpkin is still to be thought about, but the green tomatoes are now chutney.

I kept the cherry tomatoes to one side - they have been gradually ripening and afforded me a little taste of Summer each time I pop one in my mouth. Lovely.

Sunday, October 25, 2015

....and then it was Autumn!

Y'see, that's the trouble with Summer on the plot.

There's so much going on that the blogging doesn't keep up with the action, and before you know it, those burgeoning seedlings are fully grown plants, cropping away like billy-o; and by the time everything is picked and in the freezer, and weeded, and planted out and tended .... well let's just say that something has to give.

So let's get back on the blogging bike with a picture of Autumn harvest - only the cherry tomatoes in the courtyard ripened this year - so the mixing bowl full of green tomatoes are waiting for me to turn them into green tomato chutney.

I've had mixed results with the Marshalls trial seeds which I was kindly sent earlier in the year - the courgette 'griller mix' was superb - my two plants grew a sensible number of sensible size courgettes on sensible sized well behaved plants.  Brill.

Although I haven't eaten any of the squash yet, the 'sweetmax' butternut squash have been good growers too - with four whopping fruit off the plant in this a cool Summer; and the pumpkin 'knucklehead' has produced well too, with two medium and one large fruit.

I had trouble with germinating the two beef tomato varieties - hence the chutney - but they look big and meaty nonetheless.

Overall, the varieties did well in the cool summer (particularly the butternut squash which I always thought needed a long hot summer) - with the courgettes definitely on the list for next year, if nothing else.

And for the foreseeable future, I will be mostly eating pumpkin...

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Marshall's Trial Seeds and Potting On

I now have too many tomato plants - or I will have in a couple of weeks when all these seedlings have grown up a bit.

I have room for six buckets in the courtyard garden - i.e. six tomato plants - and I already have the baker's half dozen plants that my friend kindly gave me the other day when I thought that my germination was zero.  Now my germination is rate is 17 out of 18.

Two of these varieties are from the Marshall's seed trial, and I will pay particular attention to how these do.

I've had good germination from their courgette, and two varieties of squash too; and the cabbage - however, I've only had two of the 'brokali' come up out of six modules with a couple of seeds in each module.

I had a grand potting on session last night - the courgettes need a bit more room each for a couple of weeks before planting out, and I won't have room for the brassicas for a while yet, so they all moved up a pot size for the time being.

Back to the plot at the weekend* for more bean planting out, and bed prep for the tender crops - and then Domino cat can have his bench back!

*But not on Sunday, when the streets of our town are closed off and I join 6,999 others belting round the borough and the adjoining largest urban park in Europe.  'We're fundraisers - everyone gets a finishers medal - it's not a race!' goes the official line. Not a race? Yeah, right.

Monday, May 25, 2015

Bean Planting and Slow Coach Germination

When I went to the Hill on Saturday, it was good to see that all the peas and broad beans that I planted out last weekend are all looking hale and hearty - planting the peas out when a good 6" tall seems to be the way to go.

The day's task was to erect the bean 'V' with cross wires and canes and to plant out the french beans and runners.   The only hitch here is that the runner beans that I sowed for me have comprehensively failed - those I've sown for mum, all up and raring to go, so I don't know what has gone on there.

Talking of failed seeds, I complained about the complete no-show of my tomato seeds a couple of  weeks ago, and a friend kindly gave me half a dozen of his spare plants,  As I am sure that you can guess, the very day after I picked the tomato plants up last week, every single tomato seed popped up in the compost - 4 weeks after sowing.

Back to the beans, once the frame was up and the canes in place and tied to the cross wires, I got planting.

I've left planting out the dwarf french beans on the one side of the bed so I can access the canes with the runner beans later on.

A quick drink in the clubhouse rounded off a very satisfying session - instant allotment!
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...