Allotment Diary (May – week 2)

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Allotment Finances

We’ve harvested a total of £2,585 of fruit and veg this year.
We’ve spent a total of £672 this year, mostly one time investments.

What we’ve harvested and eaten

We harvested a total of £175 worth of veg this week, excluding everything from the store. I’m very pleased that we are able to maintain such a good harvest rate as we enter the hungry gap.  We had 32 meals with ingredients from the allotment, a bit low because Debbie and Jennie have been ill with tonsillitis.

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We picked: carrots, green garlic, calabrese, cauliflower, purple sprouting broccoli, sprout leaves, calabrese leaves, radish, radish leaves, lots of types of kale, cabbage, true spinach, perpetual spinach, giant red mustard, chard, spring onions, salad rocket, sorrel, broad bean tops, new potatoes and loads of lettuce. We also raided the store for: carrots, potatoes, onions, shallots, red beetroot, golden beetroot and dried apples.

People are we feeding

We are stable for now at eight families (Us, Elena, Jennie, Tony, Diane, Anne, Chris, Christine) about 20 people and I’m also sharing any extra surplus with fellow allotmenteers and Diane’s chickens!

What we’ve bought this week

  1. Nothing

I’ve published three videos

Building quick, strong and easy bean frames

Planting tomatoes in the polytunnel, using halos and mulching (sorry about the audio levels!)

New plan/objectives for the allotments in 2019


What I’ve sown

  1. Beetroot Bolthardy Root
  2. Beetroot Burpees Golden Root
  3. French Bean Borlotti Legumes

What I’ve planted

  1. The peppers and chillis.  half of these have gone under polythene low tunnels and the rest have gone in front of the tomatoes in the polytunnel.  These are inter-planted with spring onions and French marigolds
  2. The first of the golden purselane beds (one more to plant when space becomes free) these have gone in a cold-frame with the lid on
  3. The first of the New Zealand spinach beds (two more to plant, when space becomes free) these have gone in a cold-frame with the lid on
  4. A small bed of Lobjoits lettuce and Red Salad Bowl lettuce, inter-planted with spring onions

What I’ve potted on

The outdoor tomatoes:

  1. Outdoor (bush) Legend Tomato
  2. Outdoor (bush) Losetto Tomato
  3. Outdoor (cordon) Amish Paste Tomato
  4. Outdoor (cordon) Crimson Crush Tomato
  5. Tumbling Tom Red and Yellow

First harvests of the year

  1. Carrots – May week 1
  2. Green garlic – May week 1
  3. Cauliflower – May week 2

What we’ve run out of in store

  1. Dried pears – March
  2. Winter squash – March
  3. Carrots – May week 2

Last harvests

  1. Celery – May week 1
  2. Last years kale – May week 1

What’s left in store

  1. Potatoes – 1/3 medium sized bags
  2. Garlic – a few bulbs
  3. Onions – 1/3 large box
  4. Shallots – 1/3 large box
  5. Beets – 1 big box
  6. Dried Apples – 1 big cool bag

Water Reserves and Rainfall

I’m not tracking water now that the taps are on:

  1. Allotment reserves (Steve) :
  2. Allotment reserves (Jennie):
  3. Allotment reserves (Debbie):
  4. Home reserves :

What have we processed for preserving

  1. Nothing


  1. We’ve harvested our first cauliflower of the year and I’m well on with summer planting now, all that remains are the runner/French beans, the outdoor squash and the outdoor sweetcorn.  I’m in no rush because I have all of these under-cover already.
  2. The tomatoes which were struggling in pots are now growing very well in the polytunnel beds, I’m hoping the peppers will pick up too!
  3. I’ve continued my habit of sowing the beans in the open ground, rather than transplant them, partly because they do so well without root disturbance, partly to save compost, partly because it’s easy and finally because I have early beans in the polytunnel anyway.
  4. The first of the main-crop carrots have germinated well.  These are the ones we will eat fresh from the ground in late summer/autumn.  Our beds for storage will be planted towards the end of the month.  Germinating carrots is always a struggle!
  5. The cucumbers and gherkins that failed to germinate a few weeks ago have been re-sown and have all germinated.  The cucumelons that seemed to have failed are now growing away nicely – I’m pleased I waited!
  6. This is perhaps my favourite time of year: everything is growing wonderfully, the strawberries and cherries are not far away, pest pressure is low, most of the sowing and planting is finished, nights are still cool – so watering is easy – and the weather is great.  The allotments now take a back seat to other pleasures!
  7. I applied my first batch of nematodes to the alliums and carrot beds, in the rain!
  8. I’ve assembled the new barrow and fitted a new wheel to the old one, so I now have a barrow for the back garden.  I’m going to need it too, now that I have all of those potato tubs to harvest.


  1. I’ve had to rest a bit more than usual due to inflamed tendons in the ankle area, this is most likely caused by the two courses of antibiotics that I’ve taken over the last month. Antibiotics and tendon inflammation don’t automatically seem to be associated, but apparently this is an increasingly common side effect and needs to be managed carefully.
  2. We had another frost, which used to be unheard of in May, but we had one last year at about the same time.  fortunately all my strawberries are in raised beds and so they seem to have been spared.
  3. The nematodes come in two packs, the second one to be used 14 days after the first, fortunately I purchased via Amazon, so replacements are on their way.

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. Love your videos .find them very helpful and inspirational.May I ask if you could consider adding your seed sowing and ultimate planting out dates more frequently, as I would love to add your ideas to my planting plan but uncertain when to sow the seeds especially for winter harvesting in my polytunnels.Thanks Steve. Brian Bancroft.

  2. Hi Brian, I’m definitely working on what you want, but I’m not there yet. Next year I will have much more data and sowing dates for different types of protection etc. However I can offer two things, the varieties database that I’ve created includes sowing and harvest dates, that are reasonably useful. I created a view specifically for you that includes just this information. I will also be doing a video in July/August that will cover everything I know about growing for winter, most of which needs to be done in August/September. In the mean time for winter, I like to sow beets for storage in June, carrots at the end of May, red cabbage in May/early June, chard in July, PSB at the end of May and again in June, lettuce/kale in August and September. : All the best – Steve

  3. Most of the crops you’re harvesting have gone by in my garden as we plant the summer crops. I long for the ones you list. I’m a winter crop person, but I do look forward to the tomatoes and corn.

  4. It’s all about the summer crops here too Sue, I just shot a video yesterday on what we have to look forward to for early summer! Eating only veg that we grow really makes me appreciate the seasons, I’m particularly looking forward to beans!

  5. Sounds like you are making good progress with your plantings. We’ve had to take a break here due to wet conditions, but it will dry out soon enough. Your harvests are always impressive.!

  6. One of the advantages of raised beds and deep wood chip paths, it’s never too wet, not worn boots in the three years I’ve had my allotment

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