Allotment Diary (January 2020 – Week 4)
Overview of the week
It’s been a busy week, I’ve had two days out walking, lots of swimming and a day barrowing wood chips to Debbie’s plot and my plot as well as one of our allotment friends. We’ve also done the biggest harvest of the year so far. I need a rest and I’m going to get one, as we will be enjoying a bit of rain over the next few days. That bit of rain means that I will get to finish this years release of my allotment database!
Our harvest total for this year is £372, which is just under twice last year’s harvest rate, by the end of the month we should have covered all of our allotment costs for the year, which is not bad going for January!
What we’ve harvested and eaten
We harvested a total of £125 worth of fruit and veg this week. Light levels are still low, but it’s amazing how they increase between now and the end of February, right now we have 8 hours and 29 minutes of light, by 1st March that will be 10 hours and 51 minutes and those two hours make a huge difference. Right now most of the light just keeps the plants alive, there’s little left for growth, so those extra 2+ hours might double/tripple growth.
We picked: cauliflower and romanesco cauliflower, 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
Another lorry load of wood chips
10 bags of mushroom compost
Video’s this week
It’s been a quieter week on youtube as I just release a few housekeeping videos and an update on the kitchen garden project,
What I’ve sown
I sowed a lot this week, finishing my January to-do list a little early. I re-sowed a tray of Navara lettuce to as the old seed I used the first time didn’t germinate very reliably.
What I’ve planted
I planted one of the trees that I grafted two years ago into it’s final container on the drive. It’s either the variety that I call Dave or Keith, not sure which as the label faded!
What I’ve potted on
First harvests of the year
Nothing new this week
What we’ve run out of in store
- Oca – we now only have tubers for planting next year, week 1
- Artichokes – we now only have tubers for planting next year, week 4
- We harvested the last of the beetroot that we left in the ground, week 4
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.
- I’ve finally got around to writing a FAQ document and filming and associated video
- I’ve also got around to writing a simple full year sowing timeline and associated video
- The kitchen garden beds are now almost all filled, some will have to wait until the last crops are harvested
- I’ve finished cleaning up all of the strawberrries outside and the earlies are in the polytunnel
- Harvest volumes are much better than last year
- We are done with our January to-do list, with just pruning to finish in February
- We have an incredible number of slugs at the moment, they are not affecting harvests much, but they make the cleanup a long process. As the weather warms up though they will be a real issue, so I need to plan on re-planting beds a little earlier than usual I think