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, July 04, 2009

Lists, Onions & Peas!

There was a lot that I wanted to do today, so I made a list, of which I did about half. Of course it didn’t help the ‘sow carrots & radish’ items that I left the seed at home, but even so, a lot of my intentions ran away from me.

I started off tying in & side shooting the tomatoes – Reg-next-plot was around & I asked him about whether & at what point I should pinch the tops out – no point have great gangling plants with millions of flowers & tiny tomatoes if the plant runs out of steam & they don’t grow & ripen nicely. “Let the cherry & small tomatoes get on with it – just stop the plants growing taller than the canes – & larger tomatoes should have each truss of flowers stopped to about half a dozen”, he advised.

We looked at my competition pumpkin – I’d thought to train it round & round it’s permitted 4’ by 4’ space, but Reg suggested letting it ramble through the tomatoes – it’ll keep the weeds down & the moisture in. Right-o.

I did some serious PEA (newick, gladstone & stephens) & BROAD BEAN (barry plot 19 & crimson flowered) picking, then set about he onions. I eased all the ONION (senshyu yellow) sets out & put them all in the car for drying off at home, then picked a mixed bowl of strawberries, raspberries & tayberries (from rhubarb Brian).

John Badger was watering at rhubarb Brian’s – he was on fine form, & showed me round his plot to show me how everything is getting on (very well, I must say) – he has a really impressive vine in the greenhouse, & after talking to him, & studying it, I came home & eyed mine up. I suspect that there is rather more to vine pruning than chopping off the wayward bits which is what I do at the moment.

Home with the windows open to prevent suffocation by onion, then a therapeutic hour of pea & bean podding & blanching for the freezer.

It was only as I got home that I realised that besides forgetting to take the seed packets to the Hill this morning, I have totally forgotten to cut any of my sweetpeas to take home.

So that’s the start of a new list for tomorrow…


  1. Looking at your saucepan of peas.. I had a picking session yesterday, then sat down on my patio table and chairs and shelled a ton of peas! Quite relaxing if you have a cup of tea and someone to talk to!

  2. What is it with you and the sweatpeas? {giggle}. I suppose growing them at home wouldn't solve the problem ....

  3. Shelling peas is a lovely job, isn't it? I took the time to catch up on a couple of 'Christmas specials' that I'd recorded but not got round to watching...

    Well spotted, Bilbo - I do have a bit of a blind spot there, don't I? Partly because sweetpea picking is always the last job before hometime to keep them as fresh as possible? Maybe. I would have room for sweetpeas at home if the achocha wasn't making a bid for world domination! Flum did say it was a bit wild, I suppose...

  4. I did say that indeed. I planted 3 alongside my allotment fence (where I had one before!) Mad woman. If I don't turn up again I'll be caught behind the foliage by the churchyard fence!

  5. What a lovely harvest! But you can save time and effort by NOT blanching your peas and broad beans - they will freeze just as well. Just open freeze them on a tray and then tip them into a bag - you can then pour out as much as you need when you come to cook them.

  6. We'll have to send out search parties for you, Flum!

    Thanks for dropping by, Carolyn! I can never remember what I do and don't blanch (or why, to be honest!) - runner beans not, or for French Beans (which aren't great frozen I don't think), but I think I do for peas & broads. Must do a few each way & see the difference - if any...!


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