Allotment Diary (May – Week 3)
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We’ve harvested a total of £2,780 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 £195 worth of veg this week, excluding everything from the store. This is inching up a bit, but we won’t see any significant increases until the fruit kicks in and we start to do some bulk harvests of alliums. We had 25 meals with ingredients from the allotment, a bit low because Debbie has been away on holiday all week.
We picked: strawberries, tomatoes, 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, mixed herbs, rhubarb, broad beans, peas, broad bean tops, new potatoes and loads of lettuce. We also raided the store for: potatoes, onions, shallots, red beetroot, golden beetroot and dried apples. Bold items are new.
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
However Gerry from https://www.growseed.co.uk/ kindly sent me a big box of free seeds and some sweet potato slips to try out. I’ve added them to my varieties database, which you can see the list here: https://airtable.com/shrtVsTqYiAI0VIXh/tbllaCmnrTxhjvzSD?blocks=hide
I’ve published three videos
What I’ve sown
French Bean Amethyst Legumes
French Bean Cobra Legumes
Runner Beans Scarlet Empire Legumes
Carrot Sweet Candle Root
Carrot Sprint Root
- Sweet Corn Swift
What I’ve planted
- I’ve planted the Crown Price squash. These either needed potting on or planting and I took the lazy option, risking planting a little earlier than ideal. I did put them under fleece (for a few days) and this was probably a mistake as the leaves that touched the fleece were scorched by the sun. The rest of the plants look fine though now I’ve taken the fleece off.
- I’d originally intended to plant only Crown Prince squash this year, but in the end I also put in three butternut squash (Metro) down the centre of the bed. The plants look very sickly, so I’m pleased that I have more than enough Crown Prince to replace them if needed.
- I’ve also popped in two courgette plants. We had four last year and that was too many, two probably isn’t enough but we will probably squeeze another plant in somewhere.
- I also planted the second, of three, Trumboccinos this one also went into the polytunnel, the final one will do outside somewhere, we like these more than courgettes.
- I’ve also taken the lazy approach with the beans, planting runners and French directly in the ground. I do however have early plants growing well under-cover so we won’t lack for my tardiness.
- I’ve also planted five Maraton calabrese, four Graffiti cauliflowers and in one of the cold-frames (lids off now) the back of the cold-frame has been reserved for outdoor cucumbers in June
- I’ve planted quite a lot in the kitchen garden beds at home: kalettes, sprouts, kales, carrots, chard and soon golden beetroot and tomatoes, all the basics
- I pulled out the perpetual spinach bed (gone to seed) and replaced with mixed lettuces and a lot of spring onions
- Finally I’ve planted 70 sweet corn (which will eventually be 75 plants), these are planted in clusters of four (two seeds per station) in the squash bed. We have quite a few plants to go in too and lots growing on in pots in the polytunnel, so a nice succession.
What I’ve potted on
I’ve got a lot of spare brassicas that were all looking quite sickly due to neglect. I decided that I would take pity on them and pot them on and bring them home where they can get some more TLC. I’ve no idea where they will be planted – if at all – but it’s always nice to have spares. I have:
- Rubine purple sprouts
- Brendan sprouts
- Fillibasket sprouts
- Reflex curly kale
- Dazzling Blue kale
First harvests of the year
- Carrots – May week 1
- Green garlic – May week 1
- Cauliflower – May week 2
- Peas – May week 3
- Strawberries – May week 3
What we’ve run out of in store
- Dried pears – March
- Winter squash – March
- Carrots – May week 2
- Garlic – May week 3 (we have picked left and green garlic to harvest)
- Celery – May week 1
- Last years kale – May week 1
- Perpetual spinach – May week 3
What’s left in store
- Potatoes – 1/3 medium sized bags
- Onions – 1/3 large box
- Shallots – 1/3 large box
- Beets – 1 big box
- Dried Apples – 1/2 big cool bag
Water Reserves and Rainfall
I’m not tracking water now that the taps are on:
- Allotment reserves (Steve) :
- Allotment reserves (Jennie):
- Allotment reserves (Debbie):
- Home reserves :
What have we processed for preserving
A particular mention needs to go to the super early tomatoes, which we are continuing to harvest every week. We stumbled on a technique for growing these (without lights or a heated growing space) totally by accident, but I’m not publishing it yet because I need to refine/duplicate it next year!
- My main carrot bed has been thinned and protected with enviromesh, it’s also been watered with nematodes, so fingers crossed! We have a lot of issues with carrot fly on the allotments.
- My first NZ spinach and golden purselane beds (under a cold-frame top in the photo above) are really thriving, the purselane will take it’s first light harvest next week, really enhancing the salad mixes.
- All but the outdoor tomatoes, cucumbers, cucamelons and the second beds of NZ spinach and golden purselane are planted now. I have plenty of tomatoes, so I will try some out next week, but hold reserves until June.
- 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. I did though put 5 plants in too, just enough for us.
- I applied my second batch of nematodes to the alliums and carrot beds, this application wasn’t strictly needed because I only applied them a week ago, but the supplier sent me a spare back because the first pack was out of date.
- The kitchen garden beds at home are looking lovely, all of the recent planting have taken and almost all of the potatoes in containers have broken through.
Potatoes hiding behind the blueberries
The kitchen garden beds before planting
- I Probably planted the squash too early, luckily I have reserves
- My second sowing of Peppers failed to thrive and my hope that they would turn around when planted in my hoop tunnels hasn’t been justified so far. Apparently they really like warm soil and so planting in a raised bed – rather than a warm pot – was probably a mistake, we will see!
- My chard is all going to seed and my new chard beds are months away, I need to think about how I can manage this succession better, but it’s tricky because sowing a new batch earlier will just go to seed too, I need an alternative.