Allotment Diary (August – Week 3)

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How much time have I spent on the allotments?

It’s actually hard to believe that I’m writing this diary almost at the end of summer, because it seems like the last 6 weeks or so have actually been autumn (see photo of our windswept beach).  This week was another windy, rainy one, with just a few hours a day of sunshine.  That’s meant very little time on the allotment 7.5 hours, but some decent hiking days and lots of housework and work on the home garden.

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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 £5,902.   We’ve spent a total of £935 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 £183 worth of fruit and veg this week, excluding everything from the store. We had 30 meals with ingredients from the allotment.  We’ve finally processed some of the onions and shallots and moved them into the store, so I’ve added those to the total, lots more to go.


We picked: Peppers, sprouts, Main crop runner beans, main crop French beans, 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, tayberries, red currants, chard, baking potatoes, trumbocino, cucumber, raspberries, red tomatoes, early 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,  lots of types of kale, spring onions, mixed herbs 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)!  We are of course not providing these nine families with all of the veg they eat, just what we happen to have as a surplus in any particular week. Only Debbie and I manage to be fully self-sufficient in veg and seasonal fruit.

What we’ve bought this week

  1. A few seeds

Video’s this week

I can’t cope with this weather, so I’ve put the cold-frame tops on!

What I’ve sown

Nothing, although I should have sown quite a bit, next week I need to catch up!

What I’ve planted


These lettuces and spinach were actually planted in cold-frames WITH THE TOPS ON, that’s how bad the weather has been.

I’ve also planted out spare brassicas as space has opened up:

  1. Red Drumhead cabbage
  2. January Kind Cabbage
  3. Savoy cabbage
  4. Winter cauliflowers
  5. Various kales

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What I’ve potted on


First harvests of the year

This section of my diary is about to get very boring, very soon as first harvests are almost all done!  This week is exciting though, because we finally started harvesting the main crop runner beans and the French beans!!


What we’ve run out of in store

The store is rapidly filling up now with garlic, shallots, onions and potatoes, but it’s not full yet so I’m not going to start tracking it until then.


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 store is rapidly filling up now with garlic, onions and potatoes, but it’s not full yet so I’m not going to start tracking it until then.

Water Reserves and Rainfall

I didn’t intend tracking water reserves until the taps go off, however it’s been a remarkable month.  We’ve been totally self-sufficient in water for over a month now due to huge amounts of rain.  However the tap water has still been incredibly useful for harvesting.

  1. Allotment reserves (Steve) :
  2. Allotment reserves (Jennie):
  3. Allotment reserves (Debbie):
  4. Home reserves :

What have we processed for preserving

Debbie has been hard at work preserving, taking advantage of the bad weather to work her way through the surplus that we’ve accumulated.




  1. No watering needed
  2. It looks like we have agreement to keep the allotment sites tap water switched on
  3. One of our cats has decided he likes the winter kale bed at home




  1. The chard – like the beets – is suffering from fungal spot, so I’ve cut it all back to the base, in the hope that it will regrow in better condition
  2. We continue to loose about a plant a week to cabbage root fly
  3. I’ve had to put the tops on some of the cold-frames!

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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

8 Responses

  1. Will DAVISON says:

    Am so glad `I came across you on You Tube. What great (technically) videos you make – and what an inspired and hard working gardener you are. Have you published any plans or info on building the deep beds – are they from 2 inch timber or 1 inch thick timber? (I wonder if the sides are 2 inch thick and the front and backs are one inch thick? Will
    PS great veg too!

  2. Hi Will, take a look at this play list, especially the older videos

  3. It’s been so hot here, it’s hard to imagine having to put covers on the cold frames! But I do know how wind and rain can set back the heat loving crops. We have both the wild green purslane and the golden one here. I sowed the golden kind, and I do prefer it too. It’s such an easy thing to grow I need to start some again for the greenhouse.

  4. I wish we could begin planting the winter crops now. Unfortunately, September can be quite warm and the plants do poorly, developing button heads and the cabbage moths thrive in the warm days. Your wife has been busy too!

  5. Hi Dave, hopefully the cold-frame lids will be off again before the end of the week, I normally put them on at the end of September : All the best – Steve

  6. It can be challenging here too Sue, we often have very nice September’s and then all my winter crops grow too fast and I have a massive glut, another year though and it can be all rain and wind and if I’m not careful I have no salads for winter. A mistake in September is very hard to correct for me, for example last year I had some contaiminated compost and 2/3 of my lettuces failed, it’s impossible to buy them here that late in the season so it was a real scramble! Debbie’s busier than me at this time of year, although I do a lot of the dehydrating she does most of the preserves : All the best – Steve

  7. Jan says:

    Hi Steve. I am really enjoying your posts and all the information you make available. I am a horticulturist by training and am still working almost full time. Well done for making such a positive move.. I have celebrated my 60 th this year and acquired 3 allotments. I am taking them forward on a no dig organic basis. As someone who works on thier own I find it really helpful and enjoyable to see how others approach growing produce. I really like the data base. What a good idea.

  8. Thanks for the feedback Jan, three allotments, wow, thats a lot of food, what’s are you planning to do with it all? : all the best – Steve

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