Allotment Diary (July – Week 3)

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How much time have I spent on the allotments?

The total for this week is: 16.5 hours, it’s been a busy week.  Unfortunately a few of these hours have been spent writing letters to the council because they have just notified us that they intend to switch off our tap water supply, except in time of ‘drought’ which is undefined.

Allotment Finances

I’ve now added the value of our preserves into our running total harvest value, so that gives us a total for 2019 of £5,055.   We’ve also created preserves with a total value of £201. We’ve spent a total of £885 this year, mostly one time investments and a lot of compost!

What we’ve harvested and eaten

I’ve a new feature in the database that I created to track my harvests, that automatically gives me a weekly summary view of my harvests (I only take one picture per harvest, so this is nowhere near everything we picked, but it’s a nice summary.  Below each photo is the total number of boxes we harvested, often more than shown in the photo.


We harvested a total of £300 worth of fruit and veg this week, excluding everything from the store. We had 35 meals with ingredients from the allotment. This week Debbie created preserves with a value £38 and a profit of £30 after subtracting the cost of ingredients we didn’t grow (sugar, vinegar etc)!

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We picked: Sweetcorn, Crown Prince squash, Aztec broccoligherkins, french beans, Pine berries, Tayberries, red currants, chard, turnip greens, baking potatoes, trumbocino, cucumber, raspberries, gooseberries, red tomatoes, runner beans, red and golden beetroot, mange tout broad beans, celery, courgettes, New Zealand spinach, golden purselane, strawberries, yellow tomatoes, carrots, calabrese, cauliflower, sprout leaves, calabrese leaves, radish, radish leaves, lots of types of kale, spring onions, sorrel,  mixed herbs, rhubarb, shelling peas and loads of lettuce. We also raided the store for: dried apples.  Bold items are new this week.

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People we are feeding

We are feeding nine families (Us, Elena, Jennie, Tessa, Tony, Diane, Anne, Chris, Christine) about 22 people and I’m also sharing any extra surplus with fellow allotmenteers and Diane’s chickens (which supply our eggs)!

What we’ve bought this week

  1. Seeds
  2. Compost for one of the new garden beds that we have created for winter kales!

Video’s this week

Planting cabbage, calabrese, chard, lettuce and beets and a nice surprise

‭Harvesting interplanted (over-wintered) shallots for storing and pickling‬

What I’ve sown

All of my attention is now turning to keeping us well fed in Autumn, winter and early spring!

  1. Potato, Second-early Charlotte
  2. Spinach Red Kitten
  3. Radicchio Palla Rossa
  4. Radicchio Ceasar
  5. Kale Reflex
  6. Kale Nero di Toscana
  7. Kale Redbor
  8. Cauliflower, Florret Romanesco
  9. Broccoli, Florret Early Purple
  10. Winter onion SENSHYU YELLOW
  11. Winter onion TOUGHBALL F1
  12. Winter onion Sturon
  13. Cucumber La Diva
  14. Lettuce Roxy

What I’ve planted

I’m now quite short of space for winter plantings, so I’m clearing existing beds as fast as I can and filling up every gap!

  1. Calabrese, Florret Marathon
  2. Kale Winterbor
  3. Kale Nero di Toscana
  4. Beetroot Mulatka
  5. Cabbage Red Drumhead
  6. Chard Bright Lights

What I’ve potted on


First harvests of the year

Lots of firsts this week.  Golden beetroot, the first few main-crop onions, over-wintered shallots, cucamelons, the first of the cordon tomatoes from the polytunnel, sweet corn and our first Crown Prince squash of the season.


What we’ve run out of in store

The only thing we have in store now from last year are dried apples and a few things in the freezer.  I’m not going to track things going into the store at this point as it’s too complicated.  In October after we harvest the beetroot/carrots etc I will start again.)

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
  6. Onions – June week 2 (we have fresh onions now of course)
  7. Beetroot – June week 3 (we have fresh beets now of course)
  8. Carrots – June week 4 (we have fresh carrots now of course)

What’s left in store

The only thing we have in store now from last year are dried apples and a few things in the freezer.  I’m not going to track things going into the store at this point as it’s too complicated.  In October after we harvest the beetroot/carrots etc I will start again.)

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

We have a new database for our preserves now and Debbie’s been hard at work.  These are the new preserves for this week!




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  1. I’m excited to be getting ready for winter, I washed all of the seed trays ready for the big planting in August!
  2. The shallot harvest was a real joy, we only planted a dozen sets, in a very small corner of the plot and what a harvest!
  3. There are some crops that we really look forward to in summer, the first berries were a great example, but this week we have the first sweet corn and squash.  Everyone particularly loves the sweetcorn, after you’ve had home grown it’s hard to eat shop bought, so this is a treat Debbie in particular has waited a long time for!
  4. Calabrese side shoots have been amazing this year, as have the main heads.  We used a new strategy for the brassica beds, building fertility over winter with field beans.  It seems to have paid off.  We don’t know what the sporuts and kalettes will be like yet, but the calabrese and cabbage are amazing.  The heads have been HUGE and we have had a dozen or more very large side shoots off each plant, which is just incredible.
  5. The beans are finally starting to climb, so it looks like we will have a late crop, which is fine because we still have polytunnel beans for now.
  6. Very few pests this year, except leaf miner

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  1. The council published a policy stating that tap water will no longer be provided, except in times of drought.  This is particularly devastating for anyone who’s self-sufficient and see’s their food supply being put at risk.  Letters to the council have already been sent, making our case!
  2. Still lots of leaf miner about

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

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