Allotment Diary (January 2020 – Week 3)
Overview of the week
We’ve had some great weather this week, so rather than distract ourselves and go hiking, we’ve knuckled down and made real progress on all those jobs that we should have already finished by now! The main focus has been on laying down wood chip on Jennie and Debbie’s plots and building all of the new beds in the kitchen garden. Fortunately I did manage a few beach walks too!
Our harvest total for this year is £247, 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 £110 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 and we are starting to see some signs of new life.
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 lorry load of wood chips
30 bags of mushroom compost
10 bags of horse manure
Quite a bit of wood for making raised beds for the kitchen garden
Video’s this week
It’s been a bit of a crazy week on youtube!
What I’ve sown
Nothing, I’m a little behind, but not to worry everything grows so slowly in January a few days don’t matter.
What I’ve planted
What I’ve potted on
My early lettuces had grown a little leggy, so I pricked them out and replanted them deeper in the same tray.
First harvests of the year
What we’ve run out of in store
- Oca – we now only have tubers for planting next year
- Artichokes – we now only have tubers for planting next year
- We harvested the last of the beetroot that we left in the ground
What’s left in store
The store is now full:
- Beetroot – 5 large boxes
- Carrots – 2 large boxes
- Onions/shallots – 4 large boxes
- Garlic – 1 large box
- Dried pears – l large cool bag
- Dried apples – 1 large cool bag
- Potatoes – 2 large boxes
- Squash – 13 Crown Prince
We also have a few apples, 1 1/2 beds of mature carrots and loads of ‘Christmas potatoes’ still in their containers. 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:
- Allotment reserves (Steve) : 4.5 cubic metres
- Allotment reserves (Jennie): 0.8 cubic metres
- Allotment reserves (Debbie): 0.5 cubic metres
- 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.
- The kitchen garden beds are built, now we just need to fill them
- My seeds are all organised and logged in my database, lots of spare seeds to give away!
- Harvest volumes are much better than last year
- We’ve has some fairly sunny days this week, so we’ve actually had good growth on some of the beds
- We are almost done with our winter to-do list, with just pruning to do now really
- We’ve had some lovely mornings on the beach
- I had to spray the greenhouse lettuces for greenfly (soapy water) the Grenoble Red were particularly badly affected and not really an issue last week!