Allotment Diary (January 2020 – Week 2)

Overview of the week

I’ve been away on holiday this week in sunny Scarborough and I had a lovely time, hiking the Cinder Track from Scarborough to Robin Hood’s Bay and several other hikes and adventures.  I took the opportunity to take a rest day in York and toured the Caffe Neros while working on a new update to my allotment management tool.   The word ‘allotment’ appears in a lot of the things that I write, but in 2020 I’m planning to change that because everything I do is just Fruit and Vegetable gardening, the fact that it’s done – in part – on an allotment is irrelevant.

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Allotment Finances

Our harvest total for this year is £138, which is about twice what we were harvesting last year, so that’s a good start!   We aren’t tracking spending this year as we already know that we spend so much less than we save, that it’s irrelevant.

What we’ve harvested and eaten

We harvested a total of £85 worth of fruit and veg this week. Typically late December and early January are our leanest months, things pick up a little at end of January depending on the weather, but it’s March when we see a huge increase in harvests.  I actually really love these micro harvests, because they give a much better impression of what Debbie and I actually get through in a week (a little bit more than this, because it doesn’t include anything from the store and we will pick more salad mid week).

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We picked: field bean tops, sprouts, kalettes, new potatoes, chard, red and golden beetroot, red cabbage, savoy 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: squash, main crop potatoes, onions, shallots, garlic and dried apples and pears. Bold items are new this week.


What we’ve bought this week

A few seeds

Video’s this week

January allotment and polytunnel tour: the tidy up begins!

When and how to grow Brussels sprouts

Sow early or sow late and over-winter: which is best?

What I’ve sown


My first batch of early potatoes

  1. 2 tubs of Arran Pilot
  2. 2 tubs of Swift

What I’ve planted


What I’ve potted on


First harvests of the year


What we’ve run out of in store


Last harvests

  1. Oca – we now only have tubers for planting next year
  2. Artichokes – we now only have tubers for planting next year

What’s left in store

The store is now full:

  1. Beetroot – 5 large boxes
  2. Carrots – 2 large boxes
  3. Onions/shallots – 4 large boxes
  4. Garlic – 1 large box
  5. Dried pears – l large cool bag
  6. Dried apples – 1 large cool bag
  7. Potatoes – 2 large boxes
  8. Squash – 13 Crown Prince

We also have a few apples, 1 1/2 beds of mature carrots, 1/2 of a bed of beets and loads of ‘Christmas potatoes’ still in the ground.  Loads of stuff in the freezer too and hundreds of preserves.

Water Reserves and Rainfall

The taps are now off on the allotments, so we are now totally dependent on rainfall until April, we are well stocked though:

  1. Allotment reserves (Steve) : 4.5 cubic metres
  2. Allotment reserves (Jennie): 0.8 cubic metres
  3. Allotment reserves (Debbie): 0.5 cubic metres
  4. Home reserves : 0.9 cubic metres

It’s worth noting that we have a huge amount of roof area for collecting water at home, so we don’t need anywhere near as much winter storage there.

What have we processed for preserving

Nothing, but as space comes free in the freezer we will however start to process carrots, garlic, onions and squash into soups and the freezer.



  1. I had a nice walking holiday, but it’s good to be home
  2. I’ve finally started to tackle my disorganised collection of seeds
  3. Harvest volumes are much better than last year
  4. Our 2 week harvest holiday is over and it’s good to be doing them again!
  5. We’ve has some fairly sunny days this week, so we’ve actually had good growth on some of the beds
  6. Almost all of the broad beans and garlic are now through, my module sown broad beans are just germinating and will fill gaps in Febuary
  7. We’ve had some lovely mornings on the beach

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  1. A lot of the Freckles lettuces and Bijou are in poor condition,  it could be the warmish/damp weather, or a bad batch of seeds, I have replacements sown though
  2. Last year I lost a lot of brassicas to cut worms and seeing the problems this year I’m going to place plastic bottles around the plants to try and protect them

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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

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