Allotment Diary (May – Week 4)
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We’ve harvested a total of £2,983 of fruit and veg this year, so we will definitely make the £3,000 mark before summer starts. That’s twice what we harvested last year, which confirms that my strategy of growing slightly less over winter, in order to optimise for spring has paid off big time. We’ve spent a total of £672 this year, mostly one time investments.
What we’ve harvested and eaten
We harvested a total of £203 worth of veg this week, excluding everything from the store. This is inching up a bit, but one of my friends was on holiday this week so otherwise we would have been much higher. We won’t see any significant increases until the fruit kicks in and we start to do some bulk harvests of alliums. We had 37 meals with ingredients from the allotment.
We picked: Golden purselane, strawberries, onions, tomatoes, asparagus, carrots, green garlic, onion scapes, garlic scapes, calabrese, cauliflower, purple sprouting broccoli, sprout leaves, calabrese leaves, radish, radish leaves, lots of types of kale, true spinach, chard, spring onions, salad rocket, sorrel, mixed herbs, rhubarb, broad beans, mangetout peas, shelling 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
I’ve published three videos
What I’ve sown
Broccoli, Florret Claret Brassica
Cabbage Red Drumhead Brassica
Cabbage Tundra (savoy) Brassica
Calabrese, Florret De Cicco Brassica
Cauliflower, Florret North Forelander Brassica
Kale Winterbor Brassica
Broccoli, Florret Early Purple Brassica
Potato, Second-early Charlotte Root
Cabbage January King Brassica
Cauliflower, Florret Romanesco Brassica
Spinach Red Kitten Cooking Leaves, Salad Leaves
Carrot Resistafly Root
Kale Redbor Brassica
What I’ve planted
Tomato Outdoor (bush) Tumbling Tom red
Tomato Indoor (bush) Hundreds and thousands
Tomato Outdoor (bush) Tumbling Tom yellow
Tomato Outdoor (bush) Tumbling Tom red
Cooking Leaves Turnip Greens Rapa Senza Testa
Tomato Outdoor (bush) Legend
Tomato Outdoor (bush) Losetto
Tomato Outdoor (cordon) Amish Paste
Tomato Outdoor (cordon) Crimson Crush
Salad Leaves Purselane Golden
- Cooking Leaves, Spinach, New Zealand Spinach
Cooking Leaves, Salad Leaves Chard Rhubarb
- Brassica Broccoli, Florret Aztec
- Oca, only five large pots, but this will allow us to harvest a good stock of tubers for next year when we will grow these for real!
What I’ve potted on
- Graffiti cauliflower
- Red Drummand cabbage
- Aztec broccoli
- Sweet potato slips
Unfortunately a lot of the brassicas were decimated by slug damage!!
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
- Mangetou Peas – May week 4
- Broad Beans – May week 4
- Onions – May week 4
- Garlic Scapes – May week 4
- Golden Purselane – May week 4
What we’ve run out of in store
- Dried pears – March
- Winter squash – March
- Carrots – May week 2
- Garlic – May week 3 (we have still have pickled garlic and green garlic to harvest)
- Shallots – May week 4 (strictly speaking we didn’t run out, they just sprouted and got bad greenfly)
- 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
- 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
- Dehydrated Pineapple (not home grown)
The golden purselane is back in the salad mixes, this is a particular favourite of mine, especially when it starts to set seed (lovely and salty). The strawberries in the polytunnel are amazing, wonderfully sweet and abundant, the cool/fresh managetout peas are the perfect compliment to them! The broad beans are now dripping with pods, by far the best harvest we’ve ever had.
The general range of foods is now accelerating rapidly and after a few months of mainly green food, it’s wonderful to have so many colours back in our diet!
We have a huge number of cauliflowers now, we can’t keep up, so a few are splitting. When this happens we break them up into individual spears and use them like broccoli.
The squash looks like it has survived it’s shaky start and is now growing well, especially as we finally have some rain, after a completely dry May!!
- I potted on a batch of brassicas and then left them in a shady corner to recover, unfortunately slugs like shady corners and I lost at least a third of them!! That’s a whole months successions disrupted. However this will only reduce our surplus, we will be fine.
- A lot of the plum trees have some sort of virus, we have such a diversity of fruit though we won’t be overly disrupted
- Half of my gooseberry plants have a grey mould, which the same plants also had yesterday. However we have a huge harvest on the other half which seem unaffected. We are also diversifying our gooseberries and now have some at home and on Debbie’s plot. Finally 90% of our cuttings have taken. I’m planning to take up the affected bed and replace them with something new and exciting for next year!
- A few of my maincrop brassicas seem to have slug damage under the nets. Fortunately I have a fantastic set of reserve plants all ready to plant. I’ve scattered a few pellets under the nets to try and reduce the damage.
- A few of the early carrots have started to go to seed, that’s the price I pay for having early crops sometimes. Even some of the Dazzling Blue kale is running to seed. I happily expect these losses though and have replacements ready.
- Some of the over-wintered onions have started to go to seed, mainly the red ones, which always happens, again the price we pay for early harvests.
- 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!