Allotment Diary (February – week 4)

Allotment Finances
We’ve harvested a total of £560 of fruit veg this year

We’ve spent a total of £312 this year, mostly one time investments

What we’ve harvested and eaten
We harvested a total of £80 worth of veg this week, excluding everything from the store. We had 30 meals with ingredients from the allotment.

How many people are we feeding?
Our surplus continues to increase so we added another family to our deliveries, we are now feeding ourselves and three other families.

Here’s a photo of one of the three harvests we did this week. We picked new potatoes, broccoli, Romanesco cauliflower, sprouts, lots of types of kale, spinach, mizuna, giant red mustard, chard, kalettes, golden beets, spring onions, celery, rocket, lots of bean tops and loads of lettuce. We also raided the store for: carrots, potatoes, onions, shallots, garlic, red beetroot and dried pears/apples.

What we’ve bought this week
Nematodes 100m2 pack for Steve’s plot. There’s a video on this that will be published soon.

Videos published
I published three videos

What I’ve sowed

What I’ve planted
Charlotte potatoes into two tubs that will germinate in the conservatory. These are the last potatoes that will grow on under cover. The rest will wait until April. However we have enough under cover now to give us continuity of supply and hopefully a decent surplus.

I also grafted two amazing apple tree cuttings, these are an unknown variety, but they are the best keepers I’ve ever tasted! I managed to graft two of them last year too, so I’m eagerly waiting to see if they made it through winter!

I’ve potted on
Bush Tomato Red Robin and a few other random tomatoes from last year. These are growing on really well now and need to be in bigger pots, which is great, but they do take up a lot of space! I also potted on over-wintered peppers.

First harvests of the year
Broccolini, which are an amazing batch of plants that we over-wintered
We’ve started harvesting some of the January King cabbages that don’t have good hearts a leaf at a time, they won’t last long!

Last harvests of the year

What’s left in store
Potatoes – 2 medium sized bags
Carrots – 3 big boxes
Onions – 1.5 large boxes
Shallots – 1 large box
Squash – 1 Crown Prince
Beets – 3.5 big boxes
Dried Apples – 1 big cool bag
Dried Pears – 1 big cool bag

Water reserves
Allotment reserves (Steve) : 2300 litres
Allotment reserves (Jennie): 450 litres
Allotment reserves (Debbie): 400 litres

Home reserves : 150 litres

I’ve installed two 350 litre water butts at home and a 80 litre dip tank for fast filling of watering cans. One butt is filled from the new gutter that Debbie and I installed on the garage roof, the other is filled from the house roof. Because the down pipe is also fed from the bathroom, it needs to be a valve operated diverter. The diverter allows me to collect rain water when I want to, but let excess rain and bath/shower water flow down the drain, however in the event of summer water shortages I can still collect bath water if I want to. The focus on water collection at home is because we are growing most of our maincrop potatoes there this year, in tubs.

On the allotment I’ve emptied one 350 litre water butt – that didn’t have a rain water supply – and brought it home. I’ve also moved water from butts that are attached to the polytunnel to water butts that don’t have a good rain water supply.

What have we processed for preserving


  • We have a substantial number of potatoes growing very well in the polytunnel now and I’m looking forward to getting some of them outside in April so that I can make some room! The Charlottes grow MUCH better than Swift at this time of year, even though the swift mature faster, see comparison photo above.
  • The weather has been amazing, everything is growing strongly now and I’ve even been able to remove some of the fleece. We have added a family to our deliveries now that we are nudging our way into surplus again
  • Almost all of my hardwood gooseberry cuttings have taken, which is great news as my established bushes are getting a bit old now and the ground has a lot of bindweed, so they will eventually get replaced
  • The Romaesco cauliflowers have been really great and we have lots more to come
  • The greenhouse is almost full now, see the video next week for an update on what I’m sowing and growing in March.

I still continue to loose a few lettuces to stem rot, but I’ve come to expect – and plan for – that.

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

4 Responses

  1. Susan Martin says:

    I very much enjoy your garden report and photos. I too have a seaside garden in San Diego–about two blocks from the Pacific. We’re probably a little warmer with low winter temps mostly in the 40’s and 50’s. I often describe my garden as a three family garden since I end up giving away a third to half of my harvests. That’s a good thing as neighbors and family are most grateful. Isn’t it wonderful to bypass the produce aisle in the grocery store? My meals are almost entirely seasonal based on what’s available in the garden. Your harvests are gorgeous and you are very organized. I need to pay attention and get my tomato and pepper seeds planted. We too do rainwater harvesting and currently have about 800 gallons stored on the property. This morning I was out distributing water–my weight lifting–before the next storm. It has been a wonderful winter for California after many years of drought. Last year we had only 3.5 inches of rain in San Diego. Thanks for joining Harvest Monday.

  2. I’m very keen on the purple cauliflowers too! congratulations on the birth of your grandson, mine loves the allotment and at nearly 3 years old has done quite a bit of planting and even more harvesting! : All the best – Steve

  3. Phuong says:

    You are so organized. It’s amazing how well your plants are doing during the winter. Beets and carrots don’t seem to like our heavy soil at all.

  4. I’ve gradually increased my organising, to reduce my workload and give me more flexibility. Now that I’m organised I always feel on top of things, nothing’s a rush, I can take days off when-ever I want knowing that everything will be fine. My systems have been designed to make my life easy and that’s important when when you harvest for 24 people. : All the best – Steve

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

%d bloggers like this: