germinating


After a winter of very little allotment activity I have been getting back into the flow of things. Looking through my diary of last year (my first year), around this time I was planting out my potatoes and already had many tomatoes, peppers and all sorts germinating at home. This year I have taken a slower approach.  We have moved a bit further from our allotment so I will be trying to make fewer, but more productive trips.

Last week I did some planting at home (our new caravan), which has a little awning very much like a poly tunnel. I cut down on tomatoes, just planting one batch. I’ve ditched most of the exotic varieties and gone with some more reliable for our climate.

So far then I have sowed in:

Tomatoes: Gardeners delight, Moneymaker, Yellow, and Lemon Tree (using seeds from last years most successful). Most have germinated.
Courgettes (4)
Pumpkins (2)
Melons (5)
Sweetcorn (25). Some from last years seed. I’m planting these a lot earlier after last years short comings.
Aubergine (4). Just a few of these as I’ll keep them in the awning rather than the allotment. They didn’t really work last year.

I sowed out last week: (We’ve had a frost since, we’ll see what damage its done.)

Carrots; not as early as last year but a larger batch.
Leeks; earlier and more than last year
Radish
Beetroot; loved the few I planted last year. Have a lot more in the ground this time.
Turnips ; didn’t try these last time. See what happens.

Pictures and more frequent updates to come:

Below is a hand drawn scale outline of our new plot plan. In the last week I’ve just paid my second years allotment fees. I can’t believe we’re entering our second year already. On the plot I have started digging the second long bed and planted broadbeans, garlic and onion sets. They have already germinated after a couple of weeks in the ground.

We’ve recently run out of onions and garlic amoungst most other bits. Its really demoralising going to the supermarket again cap-in-hand. I’m going to make sure we have enough of the staples for next year. I’ve planted around 100 broad beans compared to 20 last year, 70 onions and garlic sets compared to 20 odd last year. So far so good.

Allotment plan year 2

Before

Following my long list of jobs I ventured down the allotment on Sunday for a proper days work. Spent 8hrs down there and got most of it done. I’ve taken a couple of overview shots to show the fruits of my labour. Doesn’t look that impressive but I did really work hard!!

  • Did a decent bit of weeding, digging over was I went. Concentrated on the area where I’m planning to plant out the tomatoes. Still a line of weeds to deal with this weekend.
  • Weeded the fiddly bits between carrots etc, quite delicate work, which should pay off in the long run.
  • Planted out – Brussels, cabbage, spring onions, beetroot, Kohlrabi, leeks, marigold, 2 giant pumpkins (put them in the broad bean bed).
  • Sowed out – Leeks, kohlrabi, sunflowers, coriander (all around the carrot beds).
  • Put some netting around the strawberries (not a very good job, mk 2 will be better.
  • Raked up potatoes.
  • Put fleecing over some newly sowed carrots (I noticed some crows on the scrounge).

After - Almost done.

After all the excitement at the allotment we managed to compose ourselves and started work on a job list.

Plant out: Gherkins, yin yang beans, Borlotti beans, sweetcorn, pumpkin, cabbage, leek, and marigolds.

Sow out: more peas (want a constant supply of them), parsnips, more carrots, radish, sweetcorn, beans.

Prepare beds for the first of the tomatoes; design and make the poly-fence that I will try to grow them against.

Rake-up potatoes. I need to get some advice on this first. I think I need to rake-up earth to cover the sprouting potatoes.

Make some new pages on the blog. I’m planning to show the finances and time spent, along side the quantities (prob weight) of the harvests. Also want to put a page for each plant to show the progress, it’s quite cool to see how far everything has come.

Pray for some rain. None forecast for the rest of the week. We’ve had clouds around the last few days but they gave next to nothing. I’m definitely now into treating the plants a bit mean, making them work for their water, but my nerves are being tested. I might have to sneak up with my watering cans and give it a good water!!

I’ve just repotted the tomatoes, in 1ltr pots. Treated them to some nice organic compost. The flowering plants were the Garden Pearls, which I think naturally flower a bit earlier than the rest. I’ll leave them to it now. Just have to decide when to plant out, my first batch are getting a bit big for my min polytunnel.

I’m planing to plant all the tomatoes out on the allotment. We are only allowed small poly-tunnels on our plots, to get around this I’m planning to create lots of south facing poly-fences. They will also shelter from the prevailing wind (South-SW). I’ll probably try to plant out one of each variety and see what happens, adding when there is a success.

Did a stock check. Now have 44 tomato plants in 1ltr pots, and other 30 odd that are almost ready to be pricked out and re-potted. Will do full stock check soon.

We harvested our first crop from the allotment today, some healthily sized radishes. We were very excited, after I had taken a picture or two we washed them with the watering can and ate them. Very spicy. Just need to find some inventive uses for them now.

1st Radishes

It’s all going on in the polyhouse. Everything is germinating now, this week has seen sunflowers, gherkins, aubergine, courgette, corriander, basil, more chillies, more tomatoes, peas and lettuce. Also planted some purple sprouting broccoli. Each morning I take everything out into the polyhouse and every evening bring them back in. It’s starting to turn into quite a job, and it’s going to get harder as the weeks go on. The first batch of tomatoes planted in Jan are almost ready to go into bigger pots, whilst the next batch from March need moving from germinating trays. I’ll have quite a few separate pots to move around and will have until it’s time to plant out. I’ll need to work out some sort of shelter for them so that I can plant them out a bit early, preferably by May.

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