Allotment Diary (April – Week 1)

Allotment Finances
We’ve harvested a total of £1503 of fruit veg this year
We’ve spent a total of £458 this year, mostly one time investments

What we’ve harvested and eaten
We harvested a total of £180 worth of veg this week, excluding everything from the store. This is slightly higher than last week, we could have picked more, but one of our regulars doesn’t need veg at the moment.  We had 39 meals with ingredients from the allotment.

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We picked: calabrese, 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, lambs lettuce, leeks, pea shoots, 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.

How many people are we feeding?

We are stable for now at eight families (Us, Elena, Jennie, Tony, Diane, Anne, Chris, Christine) about 20 people and we will probably stay at this level for a few weeks now, sharing any extra surplus with fellow allotmenteers (Dave).

What we’ve bought this week
Garlic Spray for controlling pests in the polytunnel

Videos published
I published two videos:

Building 3 Allotments in 3 Years and Loving It

Preparing for Climate Change on the Allotment

What I’ve sown

Carrot Autumn King Root
Bunching Onion Ishikura Allium
Butternut Metro Cucurbits
Indoor (bush) Hundreds and thousands Tomato
Outdoor (bush) Tumbling Tom yellow Tomato
Outdoor (bush) Tumbling Tom red Tomato
Lettuce Optima Salad Leaves
Turnip Greens Rapa Senza Testa Cooking Leaves
Potato, Main-crop King Edward Root
Winter Squash Crown Prince Cucurbits

What I’ve planted

It’s been a slow week for planting!  I’ve only planted runner beans, in a fleece tent in a big pot in the polytunnel

I’ve potted on

  1. Ildi and Yellow Delight cordon tomatoes, well on and hopefully very early in pots
  2. Tumbling Tom Yellow and Tumbling Tom Red tomatoes, not so well on but ok.

Notice a theme, apart from one Tumbling Tom Red, all the very early tomatoes that did well are yellow varieties

I’ve also potted on 6 Oca tubers.

First harvests of the year
Pea shoots, and they were surprisingly good

What are we running out of?

Dried pears
Very little garlic now

Last harvests of the year
Romanesco Cauliflower, until autumn

What’s left in store
Potatoes – 1 medium sized bags
Garlic – a few bulbs
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 – none!

Water Reserves and Rainfall
Allotment reserves (Steve) : 2400 litres, down by 100 litres
Allotment reserves (Jennie): 450 litres
Allotment reserves (Debbie): 400 litres
Home reserves : 750 litres

We’ve had a little rain that has topped up our water supplies and hydrated the outdoor beds a little, but they are still quite dry.

What have we processed for preserving


We took our first cold-frame top off to unleash the early peas and trained them onto a new support frame.

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Checking videos from last year most things are 2-3 weeks ahead of where they were last year in the unprotected beds.

The salad quality is amazing at this time of year.  Brassica florrets of all types are amazing.


All of the brassicas are going to seed incredbly quickly.  We have only a few weeks of quality leaves left from the mature over-wintered plants and the spring greens are not quite ready for harvest, so we might not have much of a surplus soon, but we will be ok. That’s why when you are self-sufficient in veg you need to grow a surplus, then it things don’t go to plan we don’t go hungry.

Some of the over-wintered peppers had greenfly.  This seems to be one of the challenges with over-wintering plants and I don’t think I will be moving them into the polytunnel because of 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

7 Responses

  1. Sue Martin says:

    I enjoyed your video on planning for climate change in the garden. The book looks very interesting. I do have concerns about that since excessive heat at the coast and increasing amounts of fog in the summer do skew how I garden. I’ve wondered if I should be altering when I plant my summer garden.

  2. Michelle says:

    You grow an amazing variety of greens and make use of a lot of other veg for greens like pea shoots and broccoli leaves. Pea shoots are one of my favorites and I often grow peas strictly for harvesting the greens.

  3. Hi Michelle, we try to grow an amazing variety of everything, but it’s the season for greens so that’s what you are seeing at the moment, in all we grow 250 varieties each year. I’m liking pea shoots too, I have a small bed growing Alderman peas just for shoots.

  4. Hi Michelle, interesting to see that you are a fan of Kalettes, I love them too, in fact we grow more of them than any other brassica and eat the leaves and tops too. Unfortunately in the UK I’ve not found any source for the individual varieties, the best we have is a pack of mixed seeds, so we end up with beds all maturing at the same time which makes planning more difficult.

  5. I really enjoy your videos, and I got some ideas for tweaking my cold frame design after seeing how you make yours. Thank you for taking the time to make and share the videos! I’m also going to try kalettes next time in my winter greenhouse. I believe it would add to my mix of greens I’m currently growing in there.

  6. Thanks, the videos certainly get a lot more attention than the blog! Kalettes are wonderful, I hope they work out well for you too!

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