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, June 24, 2007

All Change!

And it’s still raining! Actually it’s been more showers than continuous rain, except for Friday when we had floods & all sorts!

It was dry enough yesterday for most of the day, & when I arrived at the Hill, Jane was already picking broad beans & chatting with Reg-next-plot. Actually, there were a lot of plotholders there – & all came to exchange condolences with regard to neat neighbour John.

The Committee has decided that a group of plotholders headed by Barry will keep the plot weed free & take the produce to neat neighbour John’s wife, & then the plot will be handed to the next on the list at the end of October which seems like a satisfactory conclusion in the circumstances.

Jane went off with some BROAD BEANS (aguadulce), LETTUCE (mixed), RADISH (cherrybelle & white icicle) & SPRING ONIONS (white Lisbon) & returned with seven tomato plants well in need of planting out & three butternut squash seedlings.

Whilst Jane lifted some of the GARLIC bulbs – very impressive, if we say so ourselves! – & weeded prior to planting out the tomatoes & squash, I fought with a big piece of netting which I nailed round the ex-rabbit run frame in order to make a brassica cage & once completed I planted out eighteen CABBAGE (primo II).

I also set about pruning the broad beans back into order – we will definitely have to give serious thought to better support for both the broad beans & for the peas for next year.

Another lesson learnt is with regard to lettuce. We’re growing a mixed leaf cut-and-come-again type, but rather than cutting the leaves and leaving them to grow back, we’ve been eating the thinnings & the ones that are left are still growing & appreciating the extra elbow room. We’ve been cropping a 4’ row for about six weeks now, & there are still 3 or 4 big plants left…and that’s just the first row – there are another 4 rows of lettuce sown at two or three week intervals that we’ve not touched yet…

I think that it’s about time we came back to the ONIONS (sturon) – which have undergone a miraculous recovery (along with everyone else’s at the Hill – endorsing the ‘when in doubt, do nothing’ strategy!). They do need a jolly good weed, & I think that if we lift the ‘less recovered’ bulbs that will leave room for the rest of them – hopefully – to bulk up a bit. I took three home, but can’t say that they look great.

We both took some POTATOES (rocket) home, & I also had some SPINACH (hector f1) – of which I must sow another row – a few CARROTS (early nantes) & three BEETROOT (woden f1).

Just to finish off a productive day, Reg-next-plot casually asked if I wanted to pick a few strawberries – er, yes – he’d only left about a dozen ripe, but the utterly heavenly taste has underlined just why we need to have grow a few plants! I'm not sure where we'll put them, but as we're not able to expand our horizons just at the moment, we'll just have to find room on our plot somehow!

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