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...........

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Winter returns...

The good news, weather-wise is that the storms have abated. The bad news is that it has been VERY COLD INDEED – that North wind can be a real stinker.

I was determined to get the parsnips in the ground on Saturday, though, despite the snow flurries as I got the car out of the garage. Jane was of the same mind – phoning to make sure that I was on my way.

When we arrived, we saw Treasurer Mike checking the manure skip, so he was on hand for when I saw BLOODY GREAT FOOTPRINTS running straight across the front of plot. Tracking backwards over the next seven or eight plots, some scallywag has had a race all the way across & back. Fortunately for us, it was straight across an unplanted bit, so no real damage done. Fortunately for the scallywag, I didn’t catch him, & we left Treasurer Mike reporting all to Secretary Hadyn.

The great advantage of sowing the PARSNIP (white gem) seeds into loo roll inners is that the whole lot can be planted out into a row of holes made with a curtain pole in about 3 seconds flat – we’re back to instant allotmenteering, here, & Jane couldn’t get her hat on!

RADISH (French breakfast) must be direct sown, so we popped a row in before digging a few of the smaller PARSNIP (gladiator) & the PAK CHOI which has started to bolt. I couldn’t see any reason not to eat the pak choi like sprouting broccoli, so we split the booty & each went home to thaw out.

A couple of weeks ago I spent a £10 Thompson & Morgan voucher in their catalogue & the seeds arrived this week. I duly sowed a couple of seeds each of PEPPER (mini bell mixed, tasty grill red f1, tasty grill yellow f1) & TOMATO (tamina). I also sowed the PEA (pilot & robinson) which I had from the Heritage Seed Library in loo roll inners, & 4 small pots each of SPINACH (samish f1), SPRING ONION (ishikura) & SWISS CHARD (bright lights).

Whilst in the ‘potting shed’, I also pricked out the RED CABBAGE seedlings into individual 2” pots, as well as the TURNIP (snowball). Not sure if you should do that with the turnip, but they’ll soon tell me if I disturbed them too much, I dare say.

It’s such a thrill to see sown seeds sprouting – the only stubborn germination failures have been the LETTUCE (chartwell) the PEPPER (banana). Everything else is coming up nicely, with anything ‘hardy’ getting hoofed out into the mini greenhouse soon after it appears, with the more tender tomato & peppers being kept inside for a little while yet.

If it stops being winter next weekend, we might even get some of the maincrop spuds in…

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