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...........

Tuesday, June 07, 2011

Weather - And Lots Of It!

Between bouts of moaning about the weather being too dry (most of May); too wet (all of Spring Bank Holiday weekend); too hot (two days last week); too windy (as shown by the angle of the stems here of the poor ol' garlic) or too cold (virtually every other sodding day for the last month), I have been getting things done at the Hill.

My progress is aided by drawing up Lists which are concise & manageable, & by going to the Hill in the evenings when I am less likely to end up chatting for far too long & bumbling around doing half-jobs which just fill the time available - thus managing to avoid thinking 'I've been there five hours, I'm knackered, & what have I actually done?' on the way home.

An exception to the do-and-go was yesterday evening, which was sunny & tranquil & an utter delight, & when I'd finished the List - which read...

- Plant out petunias (bargain! 2 trays of 6 well grown plants for £3 from Morrisons Supermarket on Friday last)
- Pick broadies for tea (picked two dozen perfect pods with fingernail sized beans)
- Furtle under early potatoes (grubbed about to find two sizeable 'charlotte' potatoes)
- Pick any ripe strawberries (ate half a dozen on the spot)

...I hung around to watch the blackbird digging around the beds, watched by the robin; listened to the woodpecker thumping away, & strolled down to the bottom to see what everyone else was up to. Lovely.

The first batch of peas are overwhelming the wigwam & I've had to run an outer string around the plants to keep them in check (the pods are long, but still thin); & there are buds on the sweetpeas.

The running Plan that I keep of what's-planted-where shows that having planted out the climbing & the rest of the dwarf beans, the squash, cougettes & sweetcorn, there's only two thirds of a Miscellaneous bed unplanted on the whole plot - which gives me a headache as to where to plant out a bargain bag of shallots bought from the Focus DIY closing down sale.

I bought a tray of brussels sprouts & one of purple sprouting at the same time - they should be planted out after the peans & beans, but according to my guru John Seymour, they will come to no harm being grown on in a nursery bed until the ground is clear. We'll see - I've not had the knack of winter brassicas to date.

Weeding is ongoing, of course, but let's hear it for raised beds which make the job (almost!) a pleasure.

And absolutely nothing can compare to the first of the new potatoes!


  1. It all looks outrageously fantastic. I am alternately amazed and deeply GREEN looking at your peas (mine are still spindly things barely clinging onto their trellis) and the climbing bean frame is very impressive.

    Sure you don't want to come and be in charge of edible production at Bag End? Food crops here are taking a bit of a back seat this year, I've really got too much else to do and only so many daylight hours between sleeps ....

  2. If I was Head Veg at Bag End, Bilbo, I'd tell you off for planting up your potager beds with perienials, and not leaving room for enough edibles!

  3. If you woz Head of Veg at Bag End I'd leave you to do whatever you liked whilst I went off and got on with everything else (and I'll take the perennials with me!)


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