Allotment Diary (March 2020 – Week 2)
Overview of the week
I’ve been in the local area all week since I’m not allowed to do anything strenuous like riding my bike, hiking or otherwise taxing my tendons. That said it’s been a wonderful week. The weather’s been very kind to me and I’ve slowly worked my way through my whole to-do list for March, so I’m all caught up and feeling good. I was particularly pleased to get the first cucumbers growing, since they’ve been missing from my salads since November and I’m really looking forward to them again!
Our harvest total for this year is £1040, which is two weeks ahead of last year. The endless gales definitely stalled growth this year, but we noticed a significant increase in harvests today, we just need the spinach to pick up now.
What we’ve harvested and eaten
We harvested £138 of veg this week, which is almost exactly the same as last year. The harvest photo below shows just the fresh food, plus a few goodies from store.
We picked: Purple sprouting broccoli, radish, cabbage, cauliflower, field bean tops, sprouts, kalettes, new potatoes, chard, red and golden beetroot, 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
A few seeds. Now that my database tracks all of the seeds that I acquire I’ve decided to log the cost of them too. This year I’ve purchased £62 of seeds so far, but I get a huge number for free as well. This is the haul for the week.
Video’s this week
What I’ve sown
It’s been a busy sowing week, mainly focused on all of the brassicas that we will be planting for winter consumption.
- Cabbage Red Drumhead Brassica
- Cucumber La Diva Cucurbits
- Sprouts Brendan Brassica
- Broccoli, Florret Santee Purple Sprouting Broccoli Brassica
- Kalettes Kalettes Brassica
- Cabbage Red Fuego Brassica
- Bunching Onion Performer Allium
- Kale Hungry Gap Brassica
- Sprouts Fillbasket Brassica
- Calabrese, Florret Marathon Brassica
- Kale Winterbor (curly kale) Brassica
- Kale Sutherland Kale Brassica
- Spinach Red Kitten Cooking Leaves, Salad Leaves
- Potato, First-early potato Arran Pilot Root
- Bunching Onion Lila Allium
- Hot pepper Anaheim pepper Pepper
- Pea Gerry Pea Sprouts Legumes
- Lettuce Maravilla De Verano Canasta Salad Leaves
- Lettuce Bijou Salad Leaves
What I’ve planted
I’ve planted two beds of early sprouts, which we grow for leaves in spring and early summer, while we are waiting for the kale to mature. The sprouts are interplanted into a lettuce bed that’s past it’s best but still delivering, the sprouts replace spring onions that we’ve just finished harvesting.
I’ve planted out my spare tray of broad beans into gaps in the over-wintered bean bed, I’ve not got close to all the stations growing, although the beans will get quite a battering next week, so it will be interesting to see how many make it through.
I’ve also started to plant out peas that will be grown for shoots, I have another tray to be planted next week. The peas are under fleece in the back garden. Only a 1/3 of the fleeced area is currently planted, the rest is just there to warm the ground.
What I’ve potted on
First harvests of the year
We are now harvesting a decent amount of purple sprouting broccoli!
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 7
- We harvested the last of the beetroot that we left in the ground, week 4
- Romanesco cauliflower, week 10
What’s left in store
The store is is still on good shape:
- Beetroot – 3.5 large boxes
- Carrots – 1.5 large boxes
- Onions/shallots – 2.5 large boxes
- Garlic – 1 large box
- Dried pears – l large cool bag
- Dried apples – 1 large cool bag
- Potatoes – 1.5 large boxes
- New potatoes – 5 tubs
- Squash – 8 Crown Prince
We also have a few apples, 2/3 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): 2.5 cubic metres
- Allotment reserves (Debbie): 0.5 cubic metres
- Home reserves : 0.9 cubic metres
I’ve moved a lot of water from our collection tanks to long term storage on my plot, so as to make room for this weeks rain. I’ve also started actively watering, now that the sun is out!
We’ve added an additional 2 cubic metres of storage to Jennie’s plot now that we are able to pump water from the collection tanks to storage tanks.
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’m particularly pleased that we still have new potatoes, in fact I’m now confident that we will have enough from our August planting (stored in compost) to last until we harvest our January planting in April.
- I’ve repotted and tied in all of the blackberry plants in the garden and on my plot.
- The new lettuce bed in the polytunnel is growing very well, I expect we will be harvesting from it by the end of the month, before we need to start clearing some of the old winter beds for replanting.
- I’ve covered my storage area with landscape fabric. This is where my low tunnels get stored over summer and last year I had a big problem with weeds!
- None this week