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, April 18, 2010

Onwards & ... upwards?

Another lovely sunny day at the Hill yesterday (which reminds me, I didn't take a bottle of suncream to put in the shed) - with plenty of allotment holders getting stuck in to their plots.

With the ash from Iceland's volcano Eyjafjallajoekull currently putting a halt to all air traffic, we also enjoyed plenty of birdsong & peace & quiet. This is putting a positive spin on the Act of God which in all likelihood will put paid to me going on my much anticipated holiday later this week.

It was lovely to see neighbour Jody (big sister Helen tells me that after three years, Jody can no longer be referred to as 'novice neighbour Jody') with his smashing little lad in tow talking to Reg-next-plot, and I could hear teacher Barry talking to Potager Chrissie further up the Hill.

First job was to put up the bean frame - quite enough of a job to be getting on with, for which I needed bamboo canes & after three years at the Hill I thought that I'd treat myself to new ones.

So up to the store shed for a stack of canes, with John D was manning the counter (or more accurately, sunning himself outside on a fold-up chair with a newspaper) & I bought just enough for the frame, but that did wipe out the shed's entire stock & also meant that I ended up temporarily financially embarrassed with potager Chrissie coming to my aid with a three quid sub to make up the shortfall.

I dug up the last few overwintered LEEKS from the bean bed then set about putting the two 'T' shaped end pieces of the frame up, which was quite hard digging in the heat - but it wasn't long before these were in and fixed & I had a length of robust wire run between them on each side.

Then it was simply a matter of slotting in the canes from a centre line alternately left and right to the wire & tying them in.

I've decided that all the climbing beans will be direct sown this year (& all the dwarf beans in pots - see if it makes much difference) so I put 2 or 3 to each cane of FRENCH BEANS (coco, zebra (from HSL), bridgewater, jody's barlotti, spagna bianca (from veg heaven), hunter (from indomitable fran) & cherokee trail of tears) & also RUNNER BEANS (self saved).

Time was getting on, & so once I watered the beans in, I nipped off to buy a sandwich from Sainsbury's (& made use of the cashpoint) then came back & had a very enjoyable lunch in the clubhouse with Potager Chrissie.

Afterwards, I finished the bean frame off, topping each cane with a coloured ball, & then planted out a two trays of PEAS (red flowered mangetout & reg's climbing) & a tray of BROAD BEANS (crimson flowered) in the adjacent bed.

Back home I had a mammoth seed sowing session:

COURGETTE (yellow golden & black beauty)
MARROW (long green bush 2)
CUCUMBER (burpless tasty green)
FRENCH BEANS (early warwick, triomphe de farcy, talisman, emperor of russia, black turtle, contender & speedy)
SOYA BEAN (ustie)
SWEETCORN (incredible f1 & extra tender & sweet f1)
SQUASH (brampton butternut & bag end pumpkin)

...along with some runner beans & sunflowers for mum, some sunflowers for me, and a batch of aqueligia & nigella for the front of the plot.

All this activity just in case the skies clear & I do get away to warmer climes...


  1. I had a mammoth sowing session yesterday too! Then I watered the beans, lettuces and peas in the home plot and ensured that it rained overnight!

    Our daughter and family were due to fly to Disneyland (USA) today. They are taking a refund and going to Filey for a week. Not much different! Two of our year group from the geology reunion can't get back home to Vancouver Island. Bit of a bummer that.

  2. What a fabbo day you had, the bean frame looks great.

    Delighted to see the Brampton Butternut and Bag End Pumpkin are in the compost - must get mine started!

    Ruddy shame about your hols - I did wonder 'cos you had mentioned you might be going away.

  3. That looks like a lovely, strong beanpole structure! Hope you've dug lots of manure in the bed, and you'll have a wonderful crop there!

  4. hey stranger
    Just in case your interested Ive put Hill Allotments on Facebook, search for 'Hill Plotholder's Association' page and you should find it. Not much on it at the mo but if I get JB to advertise it maybe people will start to use it??

    speak soon

  5. Trust everyone in their rightful places now, Flum - if your daughter's party included small children, I'm afraid that the alternative to Disneyland being Filey may not have cut a great deal of ice!

    Both butternut seedlings up, Bilbo, but the pumpkin seedling about 8" tall straining to the light - might have to do a second sowing!

    I've had the centre of the bed dug down about 18" & filled with manure & green stuff over winter, Matron, so hopefully all the beans will appreciate the effort!

    I don't do Facebook, Jody (spend too much time as it is getting square eyes in front of the screen!) so I don't know if I can view the page without being subscribed? Will investigate further.


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