Allotment Diary (March- week 1)

Allotment Finances
We’ve harvested a total of £667 of fruit veg this year

We’ve spent a total of £385 this year, mostly one time investments

What we’ve harvested and eaten
We harvested a total of £135 worth of veg this week, excluding everything from the store. We had 33 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 five (Elena, Jennie, Tony, Diane, Anne)other families.

Here’s a photo of one of the four harvests we did this week, I particularly like this one because it includes some firsts for us. We picked calabrese, broccoli, Romanesco cauliflower, broccolini, sprouts, sprout tops, romanesco leaves, calabrese leaves, red cabbage leaves, radish leaves, lots of types of kale, cabbage, spinach, perpetual spinach, mizuna, giant red mustard, chard, kalettes, spring onions, celery, rocket, claytonia, 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
A 300 litre water butt for Steve’s plot

A flit sprayer, which will be very useful for the Bacillus Thuringiensis.

Videos published
I published two videos:

What I’m Sowing and Growing In March
How I Sow Seeds – The ‘Definitive’ Guide

What I’ve sowed
Celariac Root Asterix
Guardsman Allium Bunching Onion
Lila Allium Bunching Onion
Red Drumhead Brassica Cabbage
Marathon Brassica Calabrese
Graffiti Brassica Cauliflower, Florret
Nero di Toscana Brassica Kale
Red Russian Brassica Kale
Nero di Toscana Brassica Kale
Dazzling Blue Kale Brassica Kale
Musselburgh Allium Leek
Lila Allium Main crop Onion
Red Barron Allium Main crop Onion
Sturon Allium Main crop Onion
Zebrune Allium Main crop Shallot
Bedford Brassica Sprouts

What I’ve planted
I moved all of my over-wintered red cabbages out of the polytunnel and cold-frame and onto the brassica bed on Jennie’s plot. It’s too hot and dry for them under cover now.

I’ve potted on
I moved about 10 field bean plants to fill gaps in the broad bean beds, we will try eating them, but we can also save seeds for next years field bean bed.

First harvests of the year
We harvested our first calabrese this week!

Last harvests of the year

What’s left in store
Potatoes – 1.5 medium sized bags
Carrots – 2.5 big boxes
Onions – 1.25 large boxes
Shallots – 3/4 large box
Squash – 1 Crown Prince
Beets – 3 big boxes
Dried Apples – 1 big cool bag
Dried Pears – 1 big cool bag

Water reserves
Allotment reserves (Steve) : 2500 litres
Allotment reserves (Jennie): 450 litres
Allotment reserves (Debbie): 400 litres

Home reserves : 600 litres

We are full to the brim!

I’ve moved a dip tank to the back of the garage, which is filled from the over-flow of the big 350 litre water butt. To replace it I bought a new 300 litre dip tank. This new tank will make all the difference as it’s filled from half of the polytunnel. Last year I lost a lot of water that over-flowed from the previous 80 litre dip tank, which was much too small.

What have we processed for preserving

We’ve had some rain! This is a big deal as everything was getting quite dry under-cover due to the exceptionally hot February. The anticipated rain allowed me to fully hydrate the cold-frames, low and high tunnel and the water supply is full again!

The food highlight has to be the abundance of calabrese, broccolini, PSB and romanesco cauliflowers and their associated leaves!


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

6 Responses

  1. Michelle says:

    Wow, very impressive harvests for the depths of winter!

  2. We harvest every week of the year, averaging about £200/week : All the best – Steve

  3. I’ll second what Michelle said – your winter time harvests are very impressive! That Romanesco is beautiful, and the other brassicas too.

  4. Thanks Dave, I’ve worked hard over the last two years to improve my winter harvests. When I started gardening 3 years ago it just didn’t register that some people don’t grow their own food all year round, so I just got on and did it. Deciding to be self-sufficient in veg was a great decision for us, it really focused our minds on what was needed, now it’s relatively easy and we harvest for a few other families, even in mid winter.

  5. Susan Martin says:

    The Romanesco and PSB are lovely–especially together in the basket. I’ve had poor performance with PSB here. The plants get very large but only about half produce any sprouts. Any tips? You have an elaborate system for rainwater harvesting. It does make such a difference and don’t the plants prefer rainwater? With a good rain we fill our 800 gallon capacity on site then hustle to distribute before the next storm. How wonderful that you can include five families in your harvests.

  6. Perhaps too much nitrogen and not enough phosphate for the PSB? Also are you leaving it long enough, I sow my main crop in June and harvest in March/April/May, I have a few less productive early varieties too. I do get some florrets early, but the bulk harvest comes later. Claret does best for me : All the best – Steve

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