Allotment Diary (May – Week 4)

If you received this via email click here to get all of the images and videos!

Allotment Finances

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.

2019-05-20 13.45.22 (Medium).jpg

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

  1. Nothing

I’ve published three videos

Kitchen garden tour and update on our veg store

My allotment journey in books and TV shows

May allotment tour: as we finish preparing for summer

What I’ve sown

  1. Broccoli, Florret Claret Brassica
  2. Cabbage Red Drumhead Brassica
  3. Cabbage Tundra (savoy) Brassica
  4. Calabrese, Florret De Cicco Brassica
  5. Cauliflower, Florret North Forelander Brassica
  6. Kale Winterbor Brassica
  7. Broccoli, Florret Early Purple Brassica
  8. Potato, Second-early Charlotte Root
  9. Cabbage January King Brassica
  10. Cauliflower, Florret Romanesco Brassica
  11. Spinach Red Kitten Cooking Leaves, Salad Leaves
  12. Carrot Resistafly Root
  13. Kale Redbor Brassica

What I’ve planted

  1. Tomato Outdoor (bush) Tumbling Tom red
  2. Tomato Indoor (bush) Hundreds and thousands
  3. Tomato Outdoor (bush) Tumbling Tom yellow
  4. Tomato Outdoor (bush) Tumbling Tom red
  5. Cooking Leaves Turnip Greens Rapa Senza Testa
  6. Tomato Outdoor (bush) Legend
  7. Tomato Outdoor (bush) Losetto
  8. Tomato Outdoor (cordon) Amish Paste
  9. Tomato Outdoor (cordon) Crimson Crush
  10. Salad Leaves Purselane Golden
  11. Cooking Leaves, Spinach, New Zealand Spinach
  12. Cooking Leaves, Salad Leaves Chard Rhubarb
  13. Brassica Broccoli, Florret Aztec
  14. 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

  1. Graffiti cauliflower
  2. Red Drummand cabbage
  3. Aztec broccoli
  4. Sweet potato slips

Unfortunately a lot of the brassicas were decimated by slug damage!!

First harvests of the year

  1. Carrots – May week 1
  2. Green garlic – May week 1
  3. Cauliflower – May week 2
  4. Peas – May week 3
  5. Strawberries – May week 3
  6. Mangetou Peas – May week 4
  7. Broad Beans – May week 4
  8. Onions – May week 4
  9. Garlic Scapes – May week 4
  10. Golden Purselane – May week 4

What we’ve run out of in store

  1. Dried pears – March
  2. Winter squash – March
  3. Carrots – May week 2
  4. Garlic – May week 3 (we have still have pickled garlic and green garlic to harvest)
  5. Shallots – May week 4 (strictly speaking we didn’t run out, they just sprouted and got bad greenfly)

Last harvests

  1. Celery – May week 1
  2. Last years kale – May week 1
  3. Perpetual spinach – May week 3

What’s left in store

  1. Potatoes – 1/3 medium sized bags
  2. Onions – 1/3 large box
  3. Beets – 1 big box
  4. Dried Apples – 1/2 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. 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.

2019-05-20 11.20.23 (Medium).jpg

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!

2019-05-25 15.44.21 (Medium).jpg

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.

2019-05-20 13.23.24 (Medium).jpg

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!!


  1. 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.
  2. 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
  3. 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!
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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!

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

4 Responses

  1. Don’t you love Graffiti cauliflower? Such a brilliant magenta color. My favorite way is roasted if I don’t eat it all in salads. Your individual baskets are displayed and photographed beautifully.

  2. I do indeed, it’s my favourite cauliflower, I will have to try it roasted! Thanks for the kind feedback on the photography, it makes for a nice record of what we’ve harvested : All the best – Steve

  3. We have the golden purslane popping up around the garden. I love it too, and sometimes munch on it while I’m out there. I had some go to seed a few years back and we’ve had it ever since.

  4. It’s one of my favourite snacks when I’m in the garden. Right now I’m eating manegerout peas, strawberries and purselane snacks 🙂

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

%d bloggers like this: