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...........

Monday, May 07, 2007

Are We Nearly There Yet...?

It’s really dry here still – with just enough rain to dampen the ground last night & this morning & it’s blowy too – as it has been for the last few days.

In fact, looking at the bean pole run at the Hill yesterday waving around in the wind, I think that we’d better strengthen it before we put the beans in – I’d hate to have the whole lot collapse when all those yummy beans are growing up it! Looking at Reg-next-plot’s bean poles as well as neat neighbour John’s neat structure I think that I can see where the weakness is – it’s in the horizontal poles at the top which give each other support when they overlap – except ours don’t very much.

This dry weather does have some compensation – the weeds pull out of the dust pretty easily, but that doesn’t cut much ice as far as the ol’ back is concerned after a couple of hours bending!

Everyone’s plots seem to be coming on now – even without the rain – especially Reg-next-plot’s strawberry plants which are full of flowers & David-other-half even though he only seems to have spent about 15mins at his plot in the last 2 months.

I can’t wait to pick some of our tasty looking crops! Clearly I’m not complaining one jot, but it’s been months now since we’ve taken the plot at the Hill, & yet the only things that we’ve been eating have been radish, radish & more radish. Perhaps for next year, some earlier lettuce would be very much appreciated!

I’m delighted that something which I’m taking to be the Jerusalem Artichokes seem to have come up at long last – they were planting mid February, so I’d more or less given up on them. Also showing are a row of TURNIP (snowball) & RADISH (cherrybelle) put in last weekend, the CARROTS (early nantes) & BEETROOT (woden f1) in the root bed & some unidentifiable potatoes. Memo to self – next year plant potatoes FURTHER APART & MARK EACH ROW!

Other exciting news is that there are now flowers on some of the PEAS (kelvedon wonder) sown at the end of February, & the POTATOES (rocket) are showing flower buds, so about 3 weeks till eating?

Jane was up with E on Saturday, & they had a good old weed of plot B (misc) & sowed LAND CRESS, SPINACH (hector f1), SPRING ONIONS (white lisbon), CARROTS (early nantes) & DILL.

Once I’d had a good old weed & a hoe (including this week’s disaster of hoeing straight over the row of marigold seeds that went in a couple of weeks ago), I put in a short row of LETTUCE (mixed) in plot B (misc), & a row of CARROT (early nantes) in plot C (roots). I squashed a half long row of RUNNER BEANS (dwarf pickwick) – thank you GoGrow – between the peas & broad beans.

My cheeky robin friend was back again to inspect my hoeing – but he must be camera shy, as the photo I took of him this week sitting on top of the pea netting support was just as hopeless as the one of him on the spade handle last week!

I thinned the TURNIPS (snowball) – they’ve been in about 6 weeks & are looking quite big now (on top at least) – & the parsnips, which are now looking really good.

I came home with a bunch of radish, to put in the salad for tea, & then repotted the CAULIFLOWER (all the year round) & CABBAGE (primo II) – which have been merrily growing in their jiffys – into 3” pots. They’ve got quite a long wait until they see any soil as they go into plot A after the beans & peas are all done, but I hope this will keep them happy for the time being.

We’ll have to think about netting for the brassicas – but with the Malvern Show next weekend, I don’t think that we’ll be short of ideas…

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