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, February 08, 2009

Snowing & Sowing

As predicted, we did have more snow this week – not a great deal, but enough for the wheels of industry grind to a halt for a couple of days, & for anyone under the age of about 10 to discover first hand how to make a snowman!

The roads are all but clear now, & with Saturday bright & sunny, I was keen to get more raised beds building under my belt. Well the roads might be clear, but the Hill was far from. Undeterred by not being able to see what was underfoot – & noting that you always see these projects being undertaken in fine weather in the magazines – I started to peg out the next raised bed.

I thought that I’d have the Hill to myself, but saw returning allomenteer Chris (taking advantage of the clear morning to blow the cobwebs away & take some photos in the snow); Julie (2nd best plot) spending some time in her greenhouse (she had encouraging words for the raised beds, & joint commiserations on lack of success with the leeks) then neighbour Ted to dig up a few leeks & Brussels sprouts.

I finished the layout of the bed – although not the levelling & fixing – & decided that snow stopped play & retired home to get the feeling back in my feet.

Once unfrozen, & encouraged by Kath (her blog is here: http://vegheaven.blogspot.com/) & one or two others on the GYO Grapevine I got the seedbox out & sowed TOMATOES & PEPPERS for the summer – which feels an awfully long way away at the moment!

Although the weather has not been as good today, I wanted to finish the forth bed (c1), which I managed to level & start to fix before the cordless ran out of juice. I went to the club house for a coffee whilst it recharged, then finished that & started to peg out the fifth bed (b2).

John Badger from the bottom waved as he passed by, & Jason (behind-retired-Maureen) stopped by to see how I’m getting on – he said that he’s bought a 1metre square link-a-board raised bed in which he wants to grow carrots. When he told me the price, I felt significantly better about my repeated trips to Wickes!

Lack of wood & sleet starting to come down stopped further outdoor activity, but I am delighted with progress so far – another couple of weekends should do it – whatever the weather!


  1. Kath (thanks for the mention!) hasn't sown toms yet though. No heated greenhouse so I like to give them another month or so before I get them going. Some Peppers and aubergines in to date.
    The raised beds are looking fantastic by the way.

  2. Ah - yes, I've just had a re-read, it's the peppers that you've got on the go, isn't it? Now you know why I'm not a proof reader!

    Well, they can shuffle in and out to the (unheated) mini greenhouse, and I can always resow if disaster strikes...!

  3. My hubby, Phil, has been so inspired by your raised beds that he has said that he will make me some for my birthday- hurrah! Could you just give us an idea of the cost involved per bed before I get too excited?
    Next door are in the process of having their guttering replaced- would you like me to grab you some for sowing peas etc in?

  4. Hi Julie - well done for getting Phil onside!

    Each bed needs:
    6 off 8' lengths of tanalised gravel board (sold in packs of 5 for £17.96 at Wickes)
    half a pack (of 8) 1" x 1.5" x 8' treated battens for the stakes (£10.52 per pack)

    So each 20' x 4' bed costs just over £25.

    Jason said that his 1m square link-a-board raised bed cost the best part of 30 quid, so that puts it into some perspective!

    Thanks for the offer of guttering, but as it already looks like Steptoe's yard here, I won't take you up on it...


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