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, February 22, 2015

First Sowing of 2015

The weather was all Spring sunshine and showers yesterday - much nicer than today's incessant rain - so I wrapped up and headed to the Hill.  I had the place to myself - a surprise on a Saturday lunchtime - which was a pity as I'd wanted to buy some fertiliser from the store shed.  My own compost is all well and good, but I rarely feed the ground with anything else, and that's probably not such a good thing.

After another running repair to the netting tunnel (btw, you're right, Jayne - the tunnel needs the top batten screwing to the tubing rather than string ties), I got the fork out and gave three of the beds a bit of a turn to help incorporate the compost emptied from the daleks a few weeks ago.

I prepared one half bed in particular very well indeed, raking and smoothing; then marking out sowing stations, ten rows of six.  I carefully popped three parsnip seeds at each, and carefully covered over with some multi purpose compost left over from last year.  I am determined that I WILL have parsnips this year!

Careful scrutiny of the other half of that bed shows that the garlic is FINALLY sprouting.  It's like a magic eye picture - a bed of bare earth, then spot one shoot, then another, then you realise that the whole lot is full of 1-2" green blades of new growth. Brilliant!

Then I put up the ladybird house the my big sis gave me for Christmas - I've noticed that in Autumn there are always sleepy ladybirds in the nooks and crannies of the bean canes and drying pods and plants, so I've sited it on the bean T frame upright where I hope they will find it a happy home to hibernate in.

I picked some kale for tea, and tidied up, heading off home satisfied with a successful couple of hours work.

Sunday, February 15, 2015


With the weather very gradually warming up, and the afternoons staying noticeably lighter - hurrah! - my thoughts are turning to what to grow for this season.

It kicks off with a potato day - I went to the Shropshire Potato Day (about 40 miles away) last Sunday and having done my homework beforehand came away with two varieties of first earlies (lady christl and arran pilot), two varieties of second earlies (wilja and charlotte) and two varieties of maincrop (picasso and carolus).

The carlolus are a new variety to me - they are supposed to be blight resistant and tasty, so I'm looking forward to seeing how they perform.

Also on sale were shallots, so I had a couple of bags of those, and - joy of joys - my beloved crimson flowered broad beans, for £2 per half pint mug. Magic!

The first seeds for sowing will be parsnip now things are warming up a little - as fresh seed is recommend each year, I nipped into Wilko and whilst I was looking at the seed display found this value-for-money multipack, which looks good to me.

So I'm all set!
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