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...........

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Rotten Veg & Seed Sowing

I replaced the cover on the mini greenhouse in the autumn - it had split, but had lasted three years, so no complaints here.

Generally, I leave the 'door' unzipped & up - I figure it still keeps the worse of the cold off whatever is in there, it soon gets full of condensation in the morning, & I really can't be bothered with whipping the top up & down each day.

However, the weather this winter has been so exceptionally cold, that I've left the new cover zipped down to give extra protection to the one or two bits in there.

It turns out that I should have kept a rather better eye on it though - as a revolting sight greeted me last weekend when I finally opened it up in order to move a tray of onion & leek seedlings in there.

The pumpkin has not survived the harsh winter, & deflated - sort of composted itself. The stuff in the tray on the bottom shelf was like primordial soup, & left much long would have spawned new life forms, I am sure.

After cleaning that lot up (noticing that the rudbekia seedlings kindly sent by Vegetable Heaven are looking perky too - despite pumpkin goo everywhere), I got the compost out & sowed pots of LETTUCE (hsl bath cos), LEEK (saved), SPRING ONION (apache), BROAD BEANS (violetta) & a root trainer tray of sweetpeas.

Gearing up for the new season!


  1. It's a great feeling getting something started. It makes you believe that winter really will go!

  2. I still haven't mastered making the best use of my little greenhouse. I'm so used to only going out in the yard to put the rubbish out that I forget it's there! Plants either boil dry in the heat or I have a watering spree and then it gets too humid and the soil grows mould!
    Perhaps I should follow your lead and leave it unzipped in the warmer weather.
    Hey ho, great that sowing season is here :o)

  3. I'm on an impatient daily seed-tray watch here, Flum! Keep walking past the onion sets in Wilko - if the red ones are back in stock tomorrow, I won't be able to resist a bag to plant out at the weekend!

    Nice to see you, Nic. :) I had a thermometer in the mini greenhouse last year - it's astonishing how hot it gets even with the door open.

    Mind you, mine faces SE and so catches the early sun - I tend to be more worried out the fluctuations in temperature than the cold with the door zipped down.

    I think I prefter to let the seedlings breathe and get chilly that to risk mould.

  4. I've had the same problem with a pumpkin - only mine happened indoors - spare bedroom to be precise. YUK.

    I'm not going to grow them this year, they're too big to use for the 2 of us. Maybe some Turk's Turbans? Have you ever tried them?

  5. I've not grown TT, Bilbo, but Chris at the bottom of the Hill did, and liked it. Personally, I would recommend 'red kuri' (also called onion squash, I think) which would be a better size, and they grew well for me a couple of years ago.

    I like the taste of butternuts, but they are not the easiest to grow (they need a long, warm season - not something you're going to be able to guarantee!) - but ask Flum what she thinks.


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