Allotment Diary (June – Week 1)

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Allotment Finances

We’ve harvested a total of £3,460, smashing all previous records for spring!  Harvesting this much gives me immense freedom to spend money to save time and increase food quality and variety, without a hint of guilt. Of the £3,460 about £2,000 is a direct saving off our food bill.   We’ve spent a total of £758 this year, mostly one time investments.

What we’ve harvested and eaten

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We harvested a total of £250 worth of veg this week, excluding everything from the store. This is inching up a bit each week and the harvests have hardly even started really.  We won’t see any significant increases until the fruit kicks in and we start to do some bulk harvests of alliums.  We had 35 meals with ingredients from the allotment.

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We picked: Courgettes, New Zealand spinach, golden purselane, strawberries, onions, tomatoes, carrots, green garlic, onion scapes, garlic scapes, calabrese, cauliflower, 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, 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

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  1. Hanging baskets for cucamelons, these are self-watering.  In October I will take out the self-watering system (to create more depth) and sow the baskets with carrots

I’ve published three videos

Spring update on the allotment finances

How I use containers in the polytunnel

Inter-planting in the polytunnel

What I’ve sown

  1. Runner beans
  2. French beans

Both of these are to fill in gaps, where I’ve had poor germination in the ground

What I’ve planted

  1. Rubine red sprouts
  2. Bedford sprouts
  3. Calabrese
  4. Trumboccino squash in a container in the polytunnel
  5. Cucamelons in hanging baskets
  6. Bolt hardy beetroot
  7. Golden beetroot

Half of the brassicas went into the old chard bed, the rest are to fill in gaps where existing plants have been ravaged by cut-worms

What I’ve potted on

  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. Cabbage January King Brassica
  9. Cauliflower, Florret Romanesco Brassica

First harvests of the year

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My new first harvests database!

  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
  11. New Zealand spinach – May week 5
  12. Courgettes – June week 1

What we’ve run out of in store

  1. Dried pears – March
  2. Winter squash – March (we still have some in the freezer)
  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
  4. Purple sprouting broccoli – May week 4
  5. Chard – June week 1

What’s left in store

  1. Potatoes – 1/4 medium sized bags
  2. Onions – 1/4 large box
  3. Beets – 1/2 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. Nothing


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  1. I’ve cut the tops off the early tomatoes so they can concentrate on being early, rather than growing, not sure if this will actually work
  2. The New Zealand spinach and golden purselane beds have grown incredibly well and we are already taking substantial harvests off them, well in advance of the true spinach harvest finishing
  3. We have picked our first two courgettes
  4. The runner beans are almost ready for harvest, as are the mangetout broad beans and the early French beans: so the race is on for the first beans pods of the year!
  5. We have huge harvests of broad beans now and mangetout peas/strawberries make up a big part of my breakfast every day!
  6. The squash looks like it has survived it’s shaky start and is now growing well.  I will have to use a few of my spares though, but they have grown very well in the polytunnel
  7. The new carrot beds have all germinated fairly/very well
  8. The last spinach bed has germinated very well
  9. The kitchen garden is now fully planted!


  1. I had to use maybe half of my spare brassica plants due to slug/cut-worm damage in the main bed
  2. I’m continuing my battle with greenfly, it’s not gone, but hopefully it’s manageable
  3. I’ve noticed leaf-miner damage all over the place, even on the spinach and I’ve got quite a lot of damage to the early beetroot and celery in the polytunnel, both should survive although I’ve had to pick off a fair number of their leaves.  This is definitely worse than last year
  4. At least 70% of the early carrots have gone to seed,  this seems to be an issue with Early Nantes 2, when exposed to the elements.  By contrast the Napoli which I sowed in October were fine as are the same Early Nantes 2 that were in containers in the polytunnel

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

2 Responses

  1. I’ve topped peppers and cucumbers before, but not tomatoes. It will be interesting to see how it works for you. I need to take note of your New Zealand spinach, since I want to try and grow it here.

  2. NZ spinach is the star of the show as far as I’m concerned, definitely the most bang for the buck and you can eat it in salads, stir fry it, use it in smoothies and freeze it for winter. A few plants go a long way and it doesn’t have any natural pests! Just be sure to plant to true spinach in August to replace it once the frosts start! : All the best – Steve

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