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, July 15, 2007

Summer at last...?

And what did I wake to up on Saturday? Sunshine! Hurrah! Given the lovely weather, I was surprised not to see more people at the Hill – just Barry & young Jody near to me.

Although the misc. plot B is sorely in need of a damn good weeding, I know that there are nettles starting to grow there (along with the chickweed, & another prevalent weed that I don’t know the name of) so I prevaricated & started with plot D where I dug the potatoes up last week. As the ground was ready prepared, all I had to do was give it a light hoe & it was ready to sow a short row of TURNIP (snowball), KOHL RABI (delikatess white) & CELERIAC (alabaster 3).

I left a couple of foot border at the front of the plot so I can plant out some red sunflowers that I have on the go at home. I did rather misread the packet & they are not dwarf, as I thought, but never mind. I’ve also left room for putting a path straight down the middle of the bed in due course.

With that done, I gave the roots bed C a good going over – both sides – & that now looks really good, if I say so myself.

Whilst I was weeding, Barry & Jody came down to neat neighbour John’s plot, & Barry explained to Jody how to fork up one of the haulms of potatoes which they will take to his widow. The variety was Kestral (a second early) & they had loads off the one plant (more per plant than the rocket that we’ve grown). Barry gave me one which I had for my tea last night – it tasted better than the rocket too, so I must put it on the ‘hit list’ for next year. Barry also gave me a clump of about a dozen plants of ‘red pickling cabbage’ (whatever that is!) which I’ve temporarily put in the brassica cage pending planting out properly.

By this time it was time for a sandwich, so I went up to the Club, & once suitably refreshed, I went back to sow a row of CARROTS (mixed) & SPINACH (samish f1) in root bed C, & planted out some sorry looking clumps of SPRING ONION (white lisbon) which have been growing in jiffies at home. I also planted out a dozen tiny celery plants which have been waiting their turn for a couple of weeks. They look very tiny – & worryingly yellow – so we’ll see how they get on.

The swede that I planted out last week seems to have settled in well & the butternut squash are growing along with the tomatoes which have about doubled in size since they were planted out. The Prize Pumpkin seems to be romping on – I’ll have to work out soon what to do next with it!

The final job in root bed C was to thin out a couple of rows of carrots – & I was delighted to be pulling up baby white, purple & yellow carrots from the mixed colour seed that we bought at Malvern. Fabulous!

Retired Maureen came up – I was pleased to see her as it was only the other day that I wandered over to her plot & saw that she appears to be growing an extensive crop of nasturtiums & not much else besides weeds, & I hoped she was ok. We commiserated about neat neighbour John, admired David-other-half’s plot & did our good deed for the day by chasing a cabbage white butterfly out of his brassica netting cage. I increased my good deed total by asking her if she’d like to pick herself some gooseberries, so she went off happy with a bowlful.

There was no putting off tackling misc. bed B, so I got stuck in & an hour later it looked much better. Not perfect, but at least you can see the rows of crops & most of the weeds have gone. I could have spent another half hour thinning out the lettuce & landcress, but it was way past home time by then, so I picked a few SPRING ONIONS (white lisbon) & RADISH (saxa 3 & white icicle) for today’s salad, & went home well pleased with the day.

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