Allotment Diary (March 2020 – Week 3)
Overview of the week
It’s not been the best of weeks, the weather is still variable and I’m still suffering from the primary affects of an infection and the side effects of the treatment, but I’ve made the best of it and kept busy. I’m particularly excited to have rationalised, tidied and ultimately transformed the conservatory (which is my den) into an amazing grow room. I love being surrounded by my seedlings and watching them grow from day to day on the allotment, but it’s even better to do this at home. In addition to feeding me psychologically I can also control the environment in the conservatory much better. I have excellent ventilation, electricity for fans and cost effective heating. I’m really excited by the possibilities.
Our harvest total for this year is £1207, which is still two weeks ahead of last year. Everything is finally starting to pick up and next week is expected to be even better.
What we’ve harvested and eaten
We harvested £168 of veg this week, which is a good increase over last year. The challenge we have now is that we have already run out of harvest containers! The harvest photo below shows just the fresh food, plus a few goodies from store. Note that the table is stacked two boxes high! This is the bottom layer:
This is the top:
We picked: Spring cabbage, purple sprouting broccoli, radish, winter 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
Quite a lot this week, a pack of gherkins, a small tray of celery seedlings (I don’t need many so it’s one of the few things that I buy), module trays and fleece. I also bought the unit for my conservatory!
My conservatory shelves and window sills are also well stocked:
I’m particularly pleased with the shelf (where I have peppers) because I can now keep it cool with little USB fans, which are on WIFI switches that work on a schedule.
Video’s this week
What I’ve sown
It’s been a busy sowing week! I’ve finally sown some of my favorite tender crops to grow in containers in the polytunnel. They don’t deserve bed space, but they are worth a few months in containers before they move outside.
What I’ve planted
See the videos, I’ve done quite a lot of planting this week: peas for shoots, peas for pods (at the back of cold-frames), lettuce, third succession of radish and first succession of spinach this year.
What I’ve potted on
First harvests of the year
First of the spring cabbages.
What we’ve run out of in store
- Fresh apples, week 11
- 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 – 6 Crown Prince
We also have 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): 1 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.
- The first cucumber appeared this week!
- We finished harvesting our fist batch of radish this week, before our first harvest even started last year. We planted our third succession, the first succession is growing strong and should be ready next week.
- I’m finally planting at a decent rate, but not as fast as I’m sowing! I need to get more seedlings grown and planted!
- Two weeks ago I potted on the kales that replaced the batch that were scorched. Unfortunately they were potted on using last years compost and it grew mold, which killed the plants! So I’ve had to sow the THIRD batch, which can no longer be considered remotely early!! Fortunately we have a lot of perennial kale now, so having early annual kale is less important. Also about 9 of the early kale plants that were scorched seem to still be alive, 6 are even thriving, so all is not lost!