Allotment Diary (March – Week 4)

Allotment Finances
We’ve harvested a total of £1150 of fruit veg this year
We’ve spent a total of £426 this year, mostly one time investments

What we’ve harvested and eaten
We harvested a total of £190 worth of veg this week, excluding everything from the store. We had 39 meals with ingredients from the allotment.

We picked: calabrese, romanesco cauliflower, broccolini, purple sprouting broccoli, sprouts, sprout tops, romanesco leaves, calabrese leaves, red cabbage leaves, radish, radish leaves, lots of types of kale, cabbage, true spinach, perpetual spinach, mizuna, giant red mustard, chard, kalettes, spring onions, celery, salad rocket, sorrel, claytonia, leeks, lots of bean tops and loads of lettuce. We also raided the store for: carrots, potatoes, onions, shallots, garlic, red beetroot, golden beetroot and dried pears/apples

2019-03-18 12.53.40.jpg

How many people are we feeding?
Our surplus continues to increase so we upped  our friends and family deliveries, we are now feeding ourselves and Seven (Elena, Jennie, Tony, Diane, Anne, Sally, Christine) other families.


What we’ve bought this week
Compost for planting potatoes in tubs

Videos published
I published two videos:

What to plant in a polytunnel?

3 Year Anniversary Allotment Tour

What I’ve sowed

Graffiti Brassica Cauliflower, Florret
Rudolph-potato Root Potato, Main-crop
Sarpo Una Root Potato, Second-early
Zebrune Allium Main crop Shallot
Alderman Legumes Pea
San Marzano Red Plum Tomato Indoor (cordon)
Red Cherry Tomato Indoor (cordon)
Sungold Tomato Indoor (cordon), Outdoor (cordon)
Indigo Pear drops Tomato Indoor (cordon), Outdoor (cordon)
Sun Cherry Premium Tomato Indoor (cordon), Outdoor (cordon)
Red Russian Brassica Kale
Reflex Brassica Kale
Kalettes Brassica Kalettes
Tumbling Tom red Tomato Outdoor (bush)
Tumbling Tom yellow Tomato Outdoor (bush)
Fillbasket Brassica Sprouts
Trumbocino Cucurbits Winter Squash

What I’ve planted

It’s been a good week for planting!

  1. One large bed of early kale, under cover: Hungry Gap, Nero and Dazzling Blue!  These were inter-planted with French Breakfast radish
  2. A small bed of salad rocket and a large bed of mange tou Stereo Broad Beans
  3. A small bed of Grenoble Red lettuce, under a mesh tunnel and fleece.  I also interplanted the sprouts with Valdor lettuce
  4. A tub of Amythst French beans in the tunnel
  5. A bed of mini-savoy and cauliflower
  6. Four tubs of Sarpo Una were planted outside and I moved two tubs of Charlotte potatoes that have been growing in the conservatory outside
  7. Two courgettes into tubs in the polytunnel
  8. A row of celery into the main bed in the polytunnel.  This was planted on the same day as last year’s row, which has been harvested in a cut-and-come-again fashion all year and is still going strong!

Debbie also put in support frames for the broad beans.

I’ve potted on
I’ve potted on another batch of brassica seedlings, which are now under lights, until I get around to moving them to the polytunnel.  I also potted on a batch of brassica plugs into larger pots where they will live until May, when I have space for them.

First harvests of the year
Radish again, last week it was Scarlet Globe and this week it’s French Breakfast.  I managed to harvest these on the same day as last year, however last year’s were pampered in a hot bed, this years were in an unheated cold-frame.  The difference? this year I started them at home in plugs, much easier than building a hot bed!

2019-03-21 12.50.22.jpg


What are we running out of?

Nothing yet

Last harvests of the year

What’s left in store
Potatoes – 1 medium sized bags
Carrots – 2 big boxes
Onions – 1 large box
Shallots – 3/4 large box
Beets – 3 big boxes
Dried Apples – 1 big cool bag
Dried Pears – 1/2 of a big cool bag

Water reserves
Allotment reserves (Steve) : 2500 litres
Allotment reserves (Jennie): 450 litres
Allotment reserves (Debbie): 400 litres
Home reserves : 750 litres

We are full to the brim, but I’ve had to move some surplus water from the site IBCs to mine, they will fill up again very soon.

What have we processed for preserving


The weather has been great, so everything is growing very well and it’s been ideal for planting and harvesting!

More of our early plants now have tomatoes, however these plants are not really for fruits, we are just using them as a source of side shoots that we pinch out, drop in water and plant a week later.

Abundance, despite the terrible weather I’ve harvested more this week than I did in May last year and that’s 5 times as much as the previous year.

I’ve been trying to figure out how to fill the summer onion bed next year.  This bed sits empty all winter, to be finally planted in April.  It’s the bed that has the summer squash in it.  This year I’m planning to fill it with cabbages, that can be harvested loose for spring greens and florrets in March/April.

I finally got around to tidying up the polytunnel, shed and plot.  Debbie and I weeded everything.  So we are well ahead now and it’s very relaxing to be in that position so early.

The mild winter means we still have white fly and a few dots of cabbage aphid around.

It’s too cold and windy to take the cold-frame lids off, so we still need to water.  That said, it’s not rained all week anyway, so we would have had to water regardless.

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

3 Responses

  1. Inspiring as always. Enjoyed the allotment tour.

  2. I really enjoyed the allotment tour too. It is amazing to see all the various things you are growing, and to see all the crop protection devices you are using. You have cold frames, low tunnels/cloches, high tunnels, in all different sizes and shapes. I love my greens like you do, though the ones I grow are somewhat different due to climate. I recognize Winter Marvel lettuce, which is one of the hardiest I grow. I need to check out the Grenoble Red and see how it does here in our climate. Thank you for sharing a look at how you are doing things!

  3. I hope the Grenoble Red works for you Dave, it’s great in summer too! : All the best – Steve

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