Spring Finally Arrives At The Allotments

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Well it’s been a challenging end to winter, with the coldest weather anyone around here can remember. The wind chill has been particularly challenging, so anything tender that’s not under cover has suffered, the chard and broad beans being good examples.

Under cover though nearly everything has survived well. I’ve lost a handful of salad greens in total and they’re easy to replace from my spares.

Managing successions is always a challenge, but I’m fairly pleased with my progress so far. This is only my second winter, so I’ve not done thing’s perfectly, but it’s working out ok. Last years plants should last for another two weeks, after which this years plants will be in full production, it’s an exciting time!

Almost every window sill in the house is covered with seedlings, all waiting for beds to come free, of for things to warm up a little outside, so they can be planted out under fleece.

Finally we’ve finally cleared and levelled the ground for the polytunnel, which is arriving tomorrow!

If you are new to my allotment videos you might find a bit of context useful. We have three allotments in my family, mine (Steve), my wife’s (Debbie) and my middle daughter’s (Jennie). We also have a small kitchen garden at home. They are all managed in an integrated fashion, so don’t expect to see the usual mix of veg on each plot.

On Jennie’s plot, for example, we focus on potatoes, squash, alliums, and brassicas. This video provides an overview https://youtu.be/q1k-2vIoSQ8. I do an update of the allotments, roughly one a week, you can find the tours here https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLFhKoRR-NiCJn5Y6rZf0RCCqycu3xvofX.

Our approach to allotment life is to: grow as much as we possibly can, to be self-sufficient in veg all year round and in fruit in summer, to give away our huge surplus to friends and family, and to have as much fun as possible.

My wife and I spend about 4 hours a day, 4 days a week on the plots (on average) and we keep nudging that down as we eliminate non-productive work: like grass cutting, weeding and watering as much as practical. We are both newbie gardeners, only starting the allotments in 2016.

I’m a bit obsessive about the nutrient density of the veg that we grow and making the plots easy to work because it’s through this allotment lifestyle and food that I’ve overcome a debilitating auto-immune disease.

I’m always aware though that it might not last so I make sure that I don’t work too hard, eat the most organic fruit and veg I can and design the plots so that I can still work them if I flare up again.

Steve Richards

I'm retired from work as a business and IT strategist. now I'm travelling, hiking, cycling, swimming, reading, gardening, learning, writing this blog and generally enjoying good times with friends and family

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