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...........

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Bulbs, Brassicas & Smart New Beds?

The forecast for today was ‘fine in the morning, turning squally later’, which has turned out to be exactly right – the gusts of wind tonight have been strong enough to blow a sheet off the roof of next door’s carport, & yet it could have passed for a spring day earlier.

I made the most of the day by going to the Hill & planting out a couple of dozen daffodil bulbs at the front of the plot – they were being sold off at the garden centre for 50p a bag before Christmas, & this has been the first chance that I have had to put them in.

I was delighted to spot that the garlic has FINALLY put in an appearance – hurrah! I really thought that they weren’t going to grow, as they’ve been in so long with nothing apparently happening. Heartened by this, I then set about tidying up the brassica bed – I took the netting off & gave it a good weeding, & took off any yellowing leaves too.

Whilst I was putting the netting back, I started to give some more serious consideration to the paths & bed edges – I know that this has been a subject that has seen a lot in the way of pondering & very little in the way of action over the last two years, but I’m spurred into action by the prevalence of free bark chippings in the park (seen when I took the Christmas tree over to be shredded), & all the gardening magazines with features showing ‘jobs for January’ making construction of raised beds look pretty simple.

Having noticed smoke rising from a bonfire at John Badger’s plot at the bottom, I wandered down to discuss the matter with him. I saw that he still has celeriac & swede growing, & made a mental note to include those for this year, to add a bit of variety to the fresh produce available at this time of year. He bemoaned the state of his leeks too, so it’s not just ours which are poor – which is something, I suppose.

So with my path/bed plans a little firmer in my mind I set off to Wickes & bought appropriate wooden gravel boards & timber for posts, then spent a Krypton Factor-esque half hour working out how to fit 8’ wood lengths (A) into small hatchback car (B) such that I could get the tailgate closed.

Satisfied with the success of my mental & physical exertions, I went home to cook a tasty chicken & bean casserole made with purple giant & climbing barlotti beans – yum!


  1. The weather is so changeable at the moment, one minute the sun is shining and I plan to go out and do some digging - the next it is raining. Time to get a few broad beans into pots and soon they will be ready to get the season going! Happy Allotmenting girls!

  2. It seems to have been a such a wet winter, doesn't it? Seeing the bulbs starting to come up makes me want to get going too - but I shall resist sowing broadies and peas until next weekend, if I can!

    Maybe I'll go in search of seville oranges too, tomorrow, to keep me occupied!

  3. It looks to be a very tidy allotment ....

    Soon be spring for you guys :O)



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