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, April 29, 2007

Hoeing and Sowing!

A really satisfying day at the Hill today – it felt like I got a lot done…but then again with over 4 hours down there, it should do! Lovely in the sunshine - but the wind was cool enough to make you want to get on with it!

I thought I’d start with the ‘heavy’ stuff, so donned my gloves, hefted my spade & put in the final rows of POTATO (maris piper).

I had to do a bit of a fudge on the last row – each time I’ve put a row, I’ve covered the row over with the diggings for the next row, but when I got to the end, there wasn’t a ‘next row’ to dig & use to cover the previous so I had to just jig it all around a bit. Nett result is that the height of the potato patch decreases towards the one end, but no doubt it’ll sort itself out when I come to earth up.

On a nose-blowing break – have a cold at the moment – I turned round and saw a cheeky robin sat on the spade handle! The photo doesn’t do him justice – & I must say it was lovely to see him!

Once the potatoes were in, I got onto hoeing the weeds – mostly chickweed, some convolvulus (I didn’t see any of that last autumn…) & some nettles coming back up. Every time I started to flag, I thought of how much BIGGER the weeds would be next week, and how many more of them there would be and just plodded on.

I hoed over the allocated ‘seed bed’ – I think that anything that wants the nursery treatment can be sown in pots/trays/jiffys at home & then be planted out at the Hill later on. The two very early rows of lettuce did nothing, & any edible radishes that came up were eaten last week on our ‘taste test’. This area will be used for the ‘three sisters’ bed.

While I hoed, I thinned out the rows of turnip, radish & the spinach. My rule of thumb here is to pull up seedlings to the point where adjacent plants are just about touching, then repeat as they grow & I can then use the bigger thinnings to eat. I’ve actually got no idea at all if this is the right way to go about it.

The prize once I had finished the hoeing was to get a heap of sowing underway, & to this end I had a wonderful surprise packet through the post this week – I’m one of ten lucky winners of a seed giveaway from the lovely people at GoGrow seed suppliers via the Kitchen Garden magazine. I received five different seed ‘collections’ including their summer salad, herb garden, traditional allotment, childrens seeds & patio vegetable collections – 9 packets of seeds in each, worth £6.99 per collection. How neat is that!

I put a short row of TURNIP (snowball) in Plot A. Then I put a row each of NASTURTIUMS (trailing mixed) & MARIGOLD (crackerjack) in plot B between the garlic rows, & a short row of RADISH (cherrybelle) & LETTUCE (mixed). In plot C I sowed a ‘catch up’ short row of PARSNIP (f1 gladiator) to make up for the gaps in the long row already in, along with a row of BEETROOT (woden f1), CARROT (early nantes), and SPRING ONION (white lisbon).

I picked the rest of the first radish row, chatted to retired Maureen, dropped some of the radish off at Jane’s & agreed that we’ll all go en masse to the Malvern Spring Show in a couple of weeks, then home for a well needed cup of tea & a bath!


  1. I had my first radishes this weekend! What a mix, a couple nearly blew my head off!


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