Allotment Diary (February 2020 – Week 1)
Overview of the week
The weather has been very changeable this week so I’ve taken the opportunity to get a lot of odd jobs out of the way. The most important of which was releasing the new version of my allotment database (see videos etc later). I’ve also managed to get the gooseberries pruned and none too soon, because they are coming into leaf, due to the extremely mild winter we’ve had. No other allotment jobs though, except a bit of a weed, watering the cold-frames and harvesting.
Our harvest total for this year is £468, which is just under twice last year’s harvest rate, we have now covered all of our main allotment costs for the year: rent, wood chip, compost, fertiliser, nets and seeds.
What we’ve harvested and eaten
We harvested a total of £95 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 53 minutes of light, by 1st March that will be 10 hours and 51 minutes and those two hours make a huge difference. We are really feeling that lack of light too, especially in the lettuce beds, which are very slow at the moment.
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 a little 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
4 bags of compost for potato containers
A few seeds, which brings to a close all of the seeds we need for this year, although we will probably buy some for next year
A new fleece for protecting the potatoes
Video’s this week
What I’ve sown
What I’ve planted
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
- New potatoes – 7 tubs
- Squash – 10 Crown Prince
We also have a few apples, 1 bed 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 published my new allotment planning and management databases, all the details, videos etc are here: https://steves.seasidelife.com/2020/01/26/how-to-plan-your-fruit-and-veg-garden-with-my-new-free-tools-demo/
- I’ve also got around to writing a simple full year sowing timeline and associated video: https://steves.seasidelife.com/2020/01/18/all-year-round-vegetable-sowing-planting-guide/
- The lawns got their first cut of the year
- The brassica harvests are particularly lovely. This week I picked lots of the little cabbages, cauliflowers and romanescos.
- Harvest volumes are much better than last year
- All of the pruning is finished!
- All of the potatoes have arrived and are unpacked and chitting in their trays
- This has been our worst year for losing lettuces to fungal problems, I’m assuming that warm and damp weather is to blame
- I aggravated my groin strain from December, swimming sprints, that will teach me to rush back into high intensity exercise. It was soon pain free again though.