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...........

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

And the Winner is.....

Now that we’ve had our half plot for 6 months, it’s time for reflection – winners & losers, ups & downs, what do we make of it all…..?

Overall Prize Winners – the crops!
Radish: hasn’t been eaten by anything (other than us!) – a few flea beetle nibbles on the leaves, but hardly anything.
Potatoes: pulling up some of the first earlies (rocket) has been so exciting – just like the bran tub at the school fair! Would like grow different ones next year to compare the taste
Carrots: first few finger sized ones just ready now – very sweet indeed!
Lettuce: growing the ‘mixed leaf’ sort gives good variety in salads. We had a real false start with the lettuce though, as we had old seed which came to nothing at all.
Spinach: I like this, you can certainly tell you’re eating a veg with spinach – it just tastes…well…green!
Turnip: you get an awful lot of ‘top’ for each root, and eaten raw they are rather peppery, but – boy – sliced and cooked for a few minutes they are suberb!

Runner Up Prize – the Potential crops!
Peas: flowering like mad, the plants have grown about a foot in a few days – I think that they’ve enjoyed the rain!
Broad Beans: they are so near ready it is untrue – pods about 3” long. I may have to have a few on Saturday. Broad bean tops are ok – but just taste ‘green’ but not really anything to write home about.

The ‘If I’d have known then….’ Prize
Planting distances: I have had a tendency to assume that I know better about these things than all the current gardening gurus, my fellow plotholders and generations of man all the way back to stone age hunter-gatherers, and have consequently been guilty of (1) sowing seed too thickly so we have a lot of wasted thinnings & (2) sowing too close together.

I can’t get a hoe between the onions so have to hand weed the chickweed which is a soul destroying job. I can’t get between the rows of potatoes to earth up so I have ‘field of potatoes’ rather than ‘ridged rows of potatoes’. Oh, and a label or two would have been useful

The ‘Touch Wood’ Prize
Baaaaaad bugs, and the lack thereof: besides prolific bean weevil attacks on the broad beans & peas, it doesn’t seem to have affected the plants, besides giving them a fetching frilly-leaved look. No slug damage to speak of, black fly on broad beans spotted & tender tops pinched out.

The Community Prize
For me, split between my fellow plotholders – characters each and every one, and the Grapevine gardening forum – whatever your comment/query/concern/news there’s always someone to reply/solve/commiserate or just chat with. Of course Wellie and Trousers deserve a special mention (see their aspiration garden in their blog) - I’m delighted to have come to know them not least because of their generosity of spirit, Wellie’s wicked sense of humour and a final mention for their lovely cat who could be a twin of one of mine.

Lifetime Achievement award
Mother Nature: this could all happen without us, but we couldn’t do any of it without the soil, the horse muck, the worms, the weather – take a titchy seed, watch it grow into a plant, eat the fruit 3 months later.

Don’t tell me that isn’t impressive.


  1. Are those spuds the ones that we sowed "together".

    Mine are currently very leafy. I'm wondering if I have over fed the ground prior to planting - all leaf and no spuds?

    Your spudlets look very inviting! (as always!)

  2. No they're not, JG - these were the first ones that I put in on 24 Feb, and ours went in 1 Apr so there's a way to go yet! Think you'll be ok on the feed - spuds love muck, they say!

  3. Haze

    When do I know that my spuds are ready to harvest? The 1st April batch are all flowering now.

  4. They say 12wks, which makes yours a couple of weeks away yet - but I had a few small ones from my first lot of rocket after 10 and a half weeks, so I'd be tempted to have a look (i.e. ease one plant up gently with a fork) at the weekend!


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