Full Allotment Tour and a Quick Update On The Kitchen Garden
In this video I do a full tour of the three allotments, the polytunnel and the kitchen garden and store. It’s a long video, but it’s worth it because it finally feels like not only has spring arrived, but warm weather has arrived too. The word on the allotments is that we are running 3-4 weeks behind a typical year and I can well believe it. When I look at last year’s videos it definitely looks that way to me.
Fortunately this year I’ve more space under cover and more over-wintered brassica’s so I’ve managed to keep harvest levels simillar to last year.
My allotment is in transition as I pull out over-wintered veg and replace it with spring planting. In a month the early spring planting will transition to summer plants, it’s an exciting time.
There’s a bit of bad new too though, I’ve had a nasty attack of downy mildew on the red lettuces, with a little on the green ones. As a result at least half on my harvest has ended up being thrown out. Still I’m hoping that aggressive cropping of the infected leaves will save the plants! In other bad news cats have taken a fancy to the polytunnel and I’ve had to tape quite a few min prick sized holes and one slice! I’ve put up some cat silhouettes to reduce the issue, they look quite nice too!
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.