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, December 10, 2008

End of Year Report - Plot B (roots)

Plot B was the roots crop this year – well, in the main it was, but there were sweetcorn, lettuces & radish which made their way into there too, but it doesn’t pay to be over-rigid with these things, I’m sure. That’s another way of saying we don’t always get it right, of course…

So, we had over wintering Japanese onions & garlic in this bed early on, both of which did pretty well – the garlic especially. The onions are great too, but they are not keeping especially well. Par for the course, apparently – we should also have onions from seed in if we want them to keep over winter. Now we did have some seed onion in too – the red Brunswick – but red onions don’t keep that well either, so back to the drawing board with these.

Spring onions did very well – I found the tip of sowing half a dozen in a small pot then growing them all on together in a clump worked really well. You just dig the whole lot up when you want a bunch of spring onions – in fact, Prize Winning spring onions! They do take forever looking like bits of grass before they get going though.

The sweetcorn was a real hit – we trebled the number of plants this year, & it paid off. Loads of cobs over a period of over a month – I started getting a bit blasé, casually picking & eating them straight from the plants if I was feeling a bit peckish.

I’ve now found a radish variety that I like in saxa 3 – which isn’t too hot – & these are Prize Winning radish too after our success at the show! The lettuces were great too – we had some lovely cos lettuce seedlings from cheery Brian & Pauline, & our own iceberg. We still had too many ready at the same time, but we weren’t quite as overwhelmed as last year!

The parsnips were fantastic – we had a whole 20’ row, all of which seemed to be monsters! Now this year we have sensibly rationed ourselves to 24 parsnip plants. Mind you, they seem not to be as massive in size, so now I’m worrying that we won’t have enough to see us through to Spring…

For a really low maintenance crop, beetroot has to win hands down. I’m not overkeen on the taste, but I did want to make some pickle, so direct sowed a couple of short rows in mid June & just ignored them until I dug them up a couple of week ago. Fantastic!

There is no getting around the fact that the carrots were dreadful – again! We just don’t seem to be able to avoid the carrot fly. I really need to either make a pretty big raised area/container (which will take an awful lot of compost at £3 a bag – that would buy a LOT of carrots!) or work out an effective way of covering them or using a barrier, which is what I favour. And no, ‘carrot-fly resistant’ varieties aren’t.

We also grew swiss chard. I know it looks pretty, I know that it’s there when there’s not much else growing, it’s just that I really am not at all keen. Give me kale any day – so most of the plants ended up running to seed & being composted. On the bright side, that’s one lot of seeds that I can happily give away out of the extremely overfull seedbox…

1 comment:

  1. Fancy not liking Swiss Chard. if I couldn'rt grow any other greens, I'd grow chard! Mind you, I'm only funny - I'm not really fond of parsnips - I grow them because everyone else likes them!


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