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...........

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Rain, rain, go away.....

So, it is very rainy. Very, very rainy.

Far too rainy to go to the Hill on Saturday, but I did make the most a dry spell on Sunday late afternoon to get some weeding done in the brassica bed. This was well overdue, & the bed looks much better for it.

I may be winning the caterpillar war too – hurrah! - I only found three titchy ones. Call me an ol’ softy, but I can’t face despatching them – I just relocate them to a bare bit of ground for them to take their chance with local eagle-eyed robin & blackbird population. Mind you, that actually sounds pretty cruel, now I come to say it.

Once the netting was back in place (not entirely sure that it is doing a massive amount of good – but maybe the brassicas would be like so many lace curtains without the netting – who knows), I moved on to the miscellaneous & roots beds & dug up the flowering swiss chard, a row of woody radish, weeded the carrots & tidied up the squash again, all of which has pretty much filled up the compost bin.

With the plot tidied up, I set to tucking part of the plot up for winter by sowing some green manure. I raked over where I’d dug up the potatoes & planted out the leeks, & sowed grazing rye – as I did last year – in rows in order to make digging-in easier in the spring.

Once all this was done, it was time to do some harvesting, so I spent a merry half hour picking some SWEETCORN (tender & true), RUNNER BEANS (reg-next-plot) & FRENCH BEANS (barlotti & purple giant). I picked half a dozen TOMATOES (bloody butcher & yellow currant) & decided that there were some of the FRENCH BEANS (early warwick) mature enough for picking & bringing home for drying – well, lets face it, they are hardly going to dry on the plants in this weather!


  1. I think your brassicas WOULD be lace curtains without the barrier Hazel. Ask me how I know! I took the top off one of mine after I kept finding butterflies on the INSIDE that couldn't get out. Dratted things. However, in past years I've found that the brassicas keep growing after the butterflies have gone, and also start again in spring - especially true for PSB. I've had this reduced to the mid-ribs in autumn but got a good harvest from the new growth in spring.

    Gardening would be MUCH easier if you didn't have to do it with your fingers crossed so often!

  2. I didn't do much in the way of brassicas last winter, consequently no real caterpillar damage! At least I'm not squeamish about picking them off (unlike some I could mention - you know I am talking about YOU cheery Brian & Pauline!, and I am winning as I am eating more than the caterpillars are!

    I have calabrese rather than PSB in (foolish girl didn't sow any, along with cucumber and courgette - must try harder!) which I am looking forward to no end!

  3. I'll do you a swap - I'll put up with your rain (am getting used to it, we've had so much recently) if you'll take all the wind. If we don't have a tree fall into the road this month it will be a miracle.

  4. I will, Bilbo, but only after I've taken the beans down - the structures seem to be getting more and more wobbly! Must remember for next year to make them really sturdy!

  5. Thanks Hazel, we'll look forward to that.. what 50p seeds!!

  6. Thank you, Happymouffetard - they are a lovely purple colour but do lose their colour when boiled for a couple of mins. I will be drying the rest of them (bean overload!!) for winter stews and for sowing next year - do let me know if you'd like a few.

    Stunned that you didn't see the 50p seeds in Wyevale, Bri - I was like a kid in a sweet shop!


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