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, March 13, 2010

Sowing Seeds & Liming Beds

At last the weather has cheered up - there has been a bitter wind all week, but this dropped today so a trip to the Hill was definitely in order.

Looking at the remaining packets of seed left in the MARCH envelope, they are all suited only for direct sowing, so I gathered these up to take with me (with appropriate labels), along with the egg boxes of first early POTATOES (international kidney & mona lisa).

Cheery Brian & Pauline were the only ones working when I got there, so after a wave hello I got down to a spot of weeding at the front of the plot - it's good to see the bulbs that I lifted, split & replanted last year starting to come up in a row by the bed edge.

Then I helped the worms out by forking over the manured fruit beds, then the potato beds (plot A this year) ready for planting - & rather than dig a trench for planting the potatoes, I made a hole for each one with an old fork handle & dropped them in.

Turning to my seed packets, in the roots bed (plot D this year) I sowed a row of BEETROOT (boltardy) & a couple of rows each of CARROTS (early nantes 5) & PARSNIP (self saved white gem) & to finish off, a short row of RADISH (scarlet globe).

Up at the Club, the lorry with the growbag delivery for the store shed arrived, so I did the decent thing & helped some of the others to unload & whilst there, took the opportunity to buy some lime to put on the legume bed (plot B this year), which I have been meaning to do for ages.

"We don't sell it loose, I'm afraid," said Treasurer Mike, indicating the stock of modest sized bags of lime.

"That's OK," I said, "even if I don't use it all, it'll come in for next year. How much do you put on per square yard?"

"Oh, that well known measure of 'about a handful', I suppose."

So I paid my £3.40 & nearly gave myself a hernia carrying the bag back to the plot - it weighed a bloody ton.

Of course even applying a generous handful per yard to the appropriate beds (and surrounding paths, & me), I don't seem to have made much of a dent in the bag, although I did reflect as I man-handled it into the toolshed that at least it will stop the shed ever blowing away in even the fiercest of storms.

And although the strawberries are still not moved into their new home in the small square fruit bed, I did feel happy with what I'd achieved & came home for a bath to rid myself of lime dust.


  1. Sounds like a wonderful day. Lucky you being able to sow directly into the ground, 200 miles further north we are still waking to very heavy frosts every morning.

  2. I wasn't quite as radical as you might suppose, Bilbo - spuds planted 9" deep will take about a month to come through; parsnips take about 3 wks to germinate and can be sown from Feb; the carrots are an early variety which can be sown from Feb, and the radish can take their chance!

  3. Did my first direct sowing yesterday - more broadies.
    you are lucky to have an allotment shop. No chance here with 11 plots!

  4. The shop is great - even cheaper than Wilko prices, you can (generally) buy the amount you want rather than by the box/packet, and it's all to hand.


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