Allotment Diary (October – Week 1)

How much time have I spent on the allotments?

Lots of time on the allotment this week as I cleared and replanted the whole of the polytunnel and quite a few cold-frame beds as well, we also did a good harvest, Debbie rehung her shed door and I put new hinges on mine too.  It’s time to enjoy sunrises too though, so there’s been plenty of walks and bike rides.

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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 £7,330 +£662 = £7,992.   We’ve spent a total of £1,185 this year, mostly tools, seeds, water storage, nematodes and a lot of compost!

What we’ve harvested and eaten

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We harvested a total of £212 worth of fruit and veg this week, excluding everything from the store, a bit less than previous weeks because we’ve not done any bulk harvests. We had 30 meals with ingredients from the allotment.  We still have a lot of onions and shallots to process and store, so these are not yet included in totals.

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We picked: Grapes, field bean tops, pears, peppers, apples, sprouts, kalettesmain crop runner beans, main crop French beans, new potatoes, main crop tomatoes, chard, cucumber, raspberries, red and golden beetroot, courgettes, New Zealand spinach, red cabbage, carrots, calabrese, sprout leaves, calabrese leaves,  lots of types of kale, spring onions, mixed herbs and loads of lettuce. We also raided the store for: main crop potatoes, onions, shallots, garlic and dried apples and pears. Bold items are new this week.

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People we are feeding

We are feeding eight families (Us, Elena, Jennie, Tessa, Tony, Diane, Anne, Chris) about 18 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 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

Hinges to repair the door on my shed

Video’s this week

Preparing the polytunnel for winter – Part 1 – clearing and bed preparation

Planting the polytunnel for winter – part 2

What I’m Sowing and Growing in October

What I’ve sown

It’s been a relaxed sowing week, but we continue to sow veg for over-wintering as small plants, which will hopefully give us a very early harvest next year.  The sprouts were a massive success this year.


Sprouts Brendan (clumps of 3) Brassica
Lettuce Black seeded simpson Salad Leaves
Beetroot Detroit Globe Root

What I’ve planted

It’s been a big planting week as we re-planted the polytunnel with brassicas and salads and some of the cold-frames were cleared and replanted too.


Kale Reflex Brassica
Kale Nero di Toscana Brassica
Lettuce Bijou Salad Leaves
Kale Redbor Brassica
Lettuce Grenoble Red Salad Leaves
Lettuce Winter Marvel Salad Leaves
Lettuce Freckles Salad Leaves
Rocket Salad Rocket Salad Leaves
Lettuce Grenoble Red Salad Leaves
Kohl Rabi Azure Star Brassica
Spinach Medania Cooking Leaves, Salad Leaves
Kale Dazzling Blue Kale Brassica
Lettuce Roxy Salad Leaves

What I’ve potted on

Tomatoes, salad rocket, calabrese, cauliflower, calabrese

First harvests of the year


What we’ve run out of in store


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)
  9. Celery – August week 4
  10. Golden Purselane – 1st September
  11. Sweet Corn – 20th September
  12. Courgettes – 28th September
  13. Runner beans – 6 october
  14. French beans – 6 october

What’s left in store

The store is rapidly filling up now with preserves, dried fruit, garlic, shallots, 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 washing the harvests.

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

What have we processed for preserving

We are still making preserves at quite a rate, I’m finally dehydrating a lot of pears!



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  1. Right on schedule Debbie and I cleared the polytunnel and replanted it with the winter essentials, we also brought the carrots inside and installed the hanging shelf where we grow our over-wintered brassicas
  2. We’ve installed most of the cold-frame lids now, as the heavy rain, leaves, twigs and high winds would soon kill/stall the young seedlings in the cold-frames
  3. There’s been so much rain in the last few weeks that I’ve almost filled my two IBC tanks, which is just ridiculous!
  4. I’ve finally got around to tidying up the shed at home, making lots of room for storing our root crops
  5. The allotment society has announced that they are switching the tap water off at the end of next week, which is perfect timing, much better than last year

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  1. Too much rain, but still enough nice days to get out and 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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