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...........

Monday, May 25, 2009

'Sorry', Squash & Seed Tapes...

Of course, first on the cards for today was a trip to the garden centre in order to buy a replacement watering can rose for Lionel by the gate’s watering can, following yesterday's unfortunate incident. It being a bank holiday, I made the most of it, taking mum & we enjoyed a good mooch & (of course) a toasted tea cake & a cup of coffee. Mum came away with bedding plants, bird food & a rosemary plant; I bought a rose for Lionel (& one for me) & indulged in a packet of mixed seed tapes – parsnip, carrot, swede & celeriac.

We called at the Hill on the way back. Lionel was there, & was very gracious about the broken rose, & said I shouldn’t have worried about it & that I was ‘a good ‘un’, so that’s me forgiven, I think.

Plenty of plot holders were enjoying the sunshine & said hello as I showed mum round – teacher Barry came down to offer me a courgette plant, which I agonised over, but reluctantly turned down as I really have filled up the miscellaneous beds.

Ian from the bottom came past with a friend – they were both very interested in the raised beds, & Ian’s friend asked me a lot of perceptive questions with regard to the timber, bed maintenance & construction. “I’m holding you up as an example!” beamed Ian.

The bean frame caught his friend’s eye “I think that this is super – I’ll do this next year!” he enthused, although I cautioned waiting until we see if the frame actually works as it is supposed to & doesn’t collapse in a catastrophic heap later in the year.

Before we left, mum & I picked the last of the first row of RADISH (French breakfast 3), which are lovely – a long red radish with a white tip, untroubled by both flea beetle & slugs, & crisp without being too hot in taste. Looking at the next row, it won’t be ready for another week or so – bad planning!

After sowing some FRENCH BEANS (talisman) in pots at home, along with some PEAS (salmon flowered) for mum’s little veg patch, I went back to the Hill this evening to pull a few more wallflowers out at the front of the plot & plant out a few more flower plugs. In my enthusiasm, I have sown too far many varieties (about 10), not all of which I can recognise, so I hope that I don’t dig these straight out again when it comes to weeding.

Turning to the squash plants, I buried an upturned milk container with the bottom cut off next to each plant, then put a cane into each one (which will make their location rather more obvious once the plants have grown) – I can then water directly into the milk container which will get the water straight to the plant roots. It looks rather daft now, but I’ll be glad that I’ve done this in a couple of months time!

And then I also sowed two of the seed tapes – PARSNIP (hollow crown) & CARROT (autumn king 2). This is an easy peasy way of seed sowing, I must say – although it’ll be a rather expensive batch of vegetables….


  1. Doesn't look daft at all, in fact, looks very smart. I have done the same with tomato plants and it makes watering so much easier.

  2. You're right - it's darned difficult to find the stem when you get a rampant squash scrambling everywhere. Great way to mark them!

    I never got on with seed tapes. I had very poor germination. I'm prepared to acknowledge it's me though. Some peple swear by them - I swear AT them!

  3. The jury is out on seed tapes - obviously very easy to sow, I don't know about germination yet (of course), but rather expensive for what they are, I think.

    Tight? Me? Yep.


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