Allotment Diary (August – Week 1)

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How much time have I spent on the allotments?

The total for this week is: 18 hours, which is very high because we have been preparing for Open Day and because I spent 8 hours on site during Open Day..

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 £5,597.   We’ve spent a total of £931 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. I only take one picture per harvest, so this is nowhere near everything we picked, but it’s a nice summary.



We harvested a total of £175 worth of fruit and veg this week, excluding everything from the store. We had 35 meals with ingredients from the allotment.  Actually we also harvested two beds of shallots and all of the main crop onions and half of the pickling onions, but I’ve not yet had chance to price these up, maybe next week!.

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We picked: Main crop onions, Calcots, a few of the Main Crop potatoes, Cucamelons, main crop tomatoes, main crop shallots, over-wintered shallotsSweetcorn, Crown Prince squashAztec 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, 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. Nematodes

Video’s this week

What I’m Sowing and Growing in August

A rare potato reveal, after the worst potato weather I can remember

Preparing for a self-sufficient winter – Part 1 – The Polytunnel

Allotment Open Day and Main Crop Onion Harvest

What I’ve sown

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


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, I cleared a few beds this week, but with the weather being so bad I held off on planting

  1. Broccoli, Florret Claret Brassica
  2. Calabrese, Florret De Cicco Brassica
  3. Radicchio Palla Rossa Salad Leaves
  4. Radicchio Ceasar Salad Leaves
  5. Potato, Christmas Charlotte (CHRISTMAS) Root

What I’ve potted on

All manner of brassicas this week: cauliflowers, kales, red cabbage, broccoli, winter cabbages

First harvests of the year

I harvested half of the main crop shallots this week, but I didn’t get a photo, or figure out how much they are worth, so that will be added to my totals for next week.  I also harvested some more of the maincrop tomatoes.



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

Nothing this week, although Debbie is busy processing onions as I write this!



  1. Open day was great, I had about 100 people visit my plot and was run off my feet all day long
  2. We harvested the first of the main-crop potatoes, these have finished much earlier than last year due to the freaky weather, but the harvest was good and we have loads left that are not yet ready for harvest
  3. We harvested all of the main-crop onions, we have one bed left of main crop shallots and a lot of onions for pickling still in the ground.  The harvest was good apart from Lila which ran to seed
  4. We took the nets off the main brassica beds, as they have reach the top now.  We do this every year as we find it’s easier to manage pests with the nets off now and it’s much easier to harvest!
  5. Now the onions are out of the ground I just have enough time to take a quick crop of lettuce and spinach off those beds, before I plant then with field beans in October



  1. Lots of worried people have been talking to us about the plans to remove the water supply from the site, the general opinion seems to be that we should get organised
  2. Despite the nets moths are getting into the lettuce beds and we have lots of big grubs to try and find and remove!
  3. 50% of the red onion, Lila ran to seed
  4. The caterpillars have arrived, so we’ve started to spray with BT, a few plants inevitably suffered before we noticed.

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. You’ve been busy! Your harvests are beautiful and I’m sure very satisfying.

  2. They certainly keep us well fed Sue 🙂

  3. Those are good looking onions and potatoes! I struggle with onions here and have decided to buy them instead. For the amount we use it is cheaper, given the cost of seeds or plants and the time involved. I had to pull a few summer squash plants this week that were still producing to make room for fall brassicas. It was a tough decision but we still have tromboncinos now and the winter squashes to come, and plenty of zucchini in the freezer for soups.

  4. When I saw the prices of organic onions I didn’t want to bother with growing them either Dave, but my wife insisted. I resigned myself to it and now I quite like to grow them, revelling in the challenge of growing everything from seed, and searching for ever higher yields. Pulling plants to make room is one of the jobs that pains me the most, I see all that potential dumped in the compost bin, but it’s an essential skill for the year round gardener! : All the best – Steve

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