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, August 24, 2008

Mrs Potato Head!

With the sun shining yesterday morning I went to the Hill armed with hooks, screws, cordless drill & a piece of stick to improve the inside of the shed. The more that things are hung up, the less the shed has to be ‘unpacked’ before you can find what you’re looking for. This does not solve the problem of where to store the heavy duty green plastic mesh that is currently stuffed in a loose roll ready to trip the unwary every time the door is opened, but maybe a couple of hooks on the outside would do the job so it can be hung by the compost bins.

With the new hooks in the shed installed, I planted out the final 4 RED CABBAGE in plot d under the netting, & – rather neatly, by accident rather than design – the bed is just full.

I went up to the allotment shed & bought a couple of kilo of growmore so I could give everything a boost, & had a chat with secretary Hadyn & treasurer Mike, & then tried to work out the best way of getting the growmore onto the ground – raking it in is not an option on plot a with the squash in full foliage.

Reg-next-plot was digging manure into part of his plot – he bemoaned the state of his runner beans (not unreasonably – sorry, but they look dreadful) before asking me if I wanted a swede. Fab!

Given the dry & sunny weather, I took the opportunity to dig up the main crop POTATOES (picassa). Well, goodness me, if I had known what was hidden away in the ground I would have entered the ‘heaviest potato’ category in the Show, & won by miles! Not quite the size of my head, but they are enormous!

I let the potatoes dry out on top of the soil whilst I went up to the club house at lunchtime – no sandwiches for sale again, I will have to start to take my own – and afterwards loaded them into sacks. I weighed them later at home – 36kg total weight, or two just-about-liftable heavy sacks.

With the potatoes out the way I planted out the LEEK (mrs d) seedlings in their place. They are supposed to be planted out when they are ‘pencil thick’ – mine are ‘blade of grass thick’ at the mo, but I guess that they will sort themselves out.

Picking some RUNNER BEANS (reg-next-plot) & more FRENCH BEANS (barlotto di lingua), I had a good look at the leek that I let go to seed from last year – it has 3 huge flower heads, but the seeds don’t seem to have matured yet. I saw a very handsome yellow beetle on one of the flower heads the other day – no idea what it is, but managed to get a photo, & perhaps someone can tell me if he is friend or foe

Brian & Pauline arrived in the afternoon, & after Pauline came down to compare notes on how our respective parsnips are faring, she invited my up for a very civilised cup of tea at their small shed. We had a hugely entertaining gossip with regard to allotment holders past & present, but being at their comfortable & welcoming plot makes me think again about the layout of our own rather - well - functional plot…


  1. The beetle is probably Strangalia maculata, Longhorn beetle.

  2. Thanks, Capsid - I've not seen one like this before - I need to be more observant!


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