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, April 25, 2017

Sowing in pots #2

Due to the fact that I used rather aged seed when I sowed tomatoes, sweet peas, lettuce, brassicas and peppers last month, the success rate has not been what you might call phenomenal. In fact, although the lettuce and brassicas have all come good, only one batch of three lots of sweetpeas are up, and none of the tomatoes or peppers.

So I had a seed clearout (most were dated about 2010), and bought some fresh from Wilko.  The varieties might be a bit 'everyday', but at least they should actually grow.

Last night I sowed the new tomato seeds, climbing and dwarf beans, runner beans, squash and courgette.  Then I had a grand sweep up - amazing how far round a kitchen a bag of compost can get!

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Potatoes in at last!

No photos as I left my phone at home when I went to the Hill today where I spent a couple of hours weeding and digging over a bed; hoed it level and poked the first earlies (sharpes express) and second earlies (charlotte) in the ground.

Dug out the remaining leeks from the next bed, where the maincrop will go, and ran out of enthusiasm and came home.

A job done, though.

Monday, April 17, 2017

Bit by bit

You'd think that a couple of days off for the Easter break would mean I'd have plenty of time at the Hill, but not so - where does the time go?

I went down late afternoon with the intention of planting the potatoes (still!) but got side tracked with the front border.  Invasive grass is creeping in from the raspberry bed; and the three lavender bushes are leggy and straggly.

The plan is to replace the lavender, and I have half a dozen sturdy little plants at home ready to plant out - and to clear out the grass and its spaghetti roots once and for all.  I got to work with the fork and spent a satisfying hour or so loosening the soil and chasing the roots and picking out these and any  other weeds.  Plenty more to do, but the result looks good.

I rough dug the miscellaneous bed, so that's another one ticket off - and dug a few potatoes, a few leeks and pulled some rhubarb.

The pink stalks to the back of the pic for mum, the thicker ones to the front will form the basis of the first batch of rhubarb wine of the year.  Marvelous.

Sunday, April 09, 2017

Planting Potatoes? Nope

At the Hill this week, the one job of most pressing importance was to plant the potatoes that I'd intended to do last weekend, but hadn't.

But instead of banging straight on in with that when I arrived in the afternoon sunshine yesterday, I got the spade and fork out and had another crack at getting the wild area by the bench into better order.

To this end, I dug out some of the blackberry-intent-on-world-domination roots, and clods of grass, raspberry suckers and dandelions.  I slogged away at this for about an hour and made a rough job of about 3 square feet.  Oh well, no one said it would be either quick or easy.

Then I got sidetracked with the easy option of raking the front bed that I'd prepped last week and filling it with a row of parsnip, a row of leek and a row of carrot seed.

And I dug some potatoes, and pulled a few leeks, and decided that was enough for the session and came home.  Another day, and all that....

Sunday, April 02, 2017

Half a Job

The clocks went forward last weekend (which gives us more daylight in the evenings), so with that and the better weather, it does feel like Spring is well and truly upon us.
I wish someone would tell the tomato seeds I sowed a couple of weeks ago - not a hint of them coming up, so I'll have to have another go with different seed.  They were pretty elderly, so it's not a complete surprise.  The brassicas all up and running, and lettuce and sweet peas too.

I went to the Hill today with the intention of at least getting the spuds planted.  I got sidetracked, however, and made a thorough and comprehensive job of weeding the front bed, ready for carrots on parsnips.

Then I took the bean frame down and moved it to it's new position (that is, chucked the two end supports onto the bed that they need to be fixed to).

I dug up some leeks - we could be charitable and call them trendy 'baby leeks' to make them feel better about themselves.  Then I dug a couple of the picasso potatoes - they haven't fared quite as well as the carolus, and have some slug damage, but not too bad.

Finally, I pulled the first few stalks of rhubarb, and came home.  Never did get those potatoes planted....
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