Allotment Diary (April 2020 – Week 2)

Overview of the week

I’ve been so busy that I actually forgot to write the diary for this week until Dave reminded me.  Even worse we did the harvest a day early too, so this entry is even later than you might think!  It’s been a good week though, the brassica harvests are holding up but they will likely be in freefall by next week, but the salad greens and spinach are holding up very well.

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The weather has been excellent, very sunny, maybe too sunny but cold at night.  Tonight is the first frost for a few weeks though, which has been a real bonus.

Allotment Finances

Our harvest total for this year is £2,078 which is a really great result for the time of year. We will definitely have a dip in harvests within two weeks though as the winter veg is coming to an end and it’s always a race against time to get the spring planted crops to take over in time.

What we’ve harvested and eaten

We harvested £245 of veg this week, which is effectively the same as last week and only a modest increase over last year.  The photo shows just a small fraction of what we harvested, it’s no longer possible to fit everything into one shot.

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The salads are a particular treat.  We are still mainly eating lettuce that was sown in August and September of last year, although the best lettuce we have was January sown.  Our new season salad beds are at home and are probably only a week or two away from harvest.

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We picked: asparagus, rhubarbpurple sprouting broccoli, radish,  field bean tops, kalettes, new potatoes, chard, red and golden beetroot, carrots, cabbage, sprout leaves, calabrese leaves, lots of types of kale, spring onions, mixed herbs, true spinach and a lot 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

Nothing, but we’ve received some nice gifts.  A couple of Bluetooth thermometers and a WIFI gateway, that sends me an alert anywhere in the world, when any of my growing locations passes a low/high temperature threshold that I configure.  This is very useful on cold/sunny days!

A garden centre friend of mine has also gifted me ten extra containers, so I can grow more peppers and tomatoes in the garden, which is lovely.

Videos this week

Everyone in the YouTube gardening community is being encouraged to create more content while people are on lock down, fortunately I’m actually doing things that warrant a video, so I’m doing my bit.

Planting onions and shallots, grown from seed

New kitchen garden : full reveal

I’m overrun with peppers, time to get them potted on!

What I’ve sown

It’s been a busy sowing week and a busy planting week.


Broccoli, Florret Santee Purple Sprouting Broccoli
Calabrese, Florret Marathon
Calabrese, Florret Green Sprouting
Cauliflower, Florret Romanesco
Calabrese, Florret De Cicco
Broccoli, Florret Atlantis
Chard Perpetual spinach
Cucumber Femspot
Outdoor (bush) tomato Tumbler tomato
Beetroot Burpees Golden
Spinach Matador
Beetroot Red Ace

What We’ve planted

We’ve done loads of planting this week,  most of it onions!


Kale Nero black magic
Kale Dazzling Blue Kale
Kale Winterbor (curly kale)
Main crop Onion Rijnsburger
Main crop Shallot Zebrune
Main crop Onion Ailsa Craig – onion
Radish French Breakfast
Bunching Onion Performer
Bunching Onion North Holland Blood Red
Bunching Onion White Lisbon
Bunching Onion Lila
Debbie also planted 210 red onion sets (heat treated)

What I’ve potted on

  • I’ve potted on the grafted tomatoes and all of the indoor tomatoes, although some might end up being planted outside.  I’ve yet to sow my outdoor toms.
  • I’ve also potted on about 1/3 of the peppers, these are destined for the polytunnel, which is currently full of cauliflower and calabrese, so the peppers will need to stay in pots for a while.  The peppers destined for low tunnels will be planted in early May.

First harvests of the year

The first dozen asparagus broke through!

What we’ve run out of in store

  1. Fresh apples, week 11

Last harvests

  1. Oca – we now only have tubers for planting next year, week 1
  2. Artichokes – we now only have tubers for planting next year, week 7
  3. We harvested the last of the beetroot that we left in the ground, week 4
  4. Romanesco cauliflower, week 10
  5. Sprouts, week 12
  6. Cauliflower (planted 2019), week 12
  7. Carrots from the ground, Week 14

What’s left in store

The store is is still on good shape:

  1. Beetroot – 3  large boxes
  2. Carrots – 1.5 large boxes and a few dozen in a sack.
  3. Onions/shallots – 2 large boxes
  4. Garlic – 1 large box
  5. Dried pears – l large cool bag
  6. Dried apples – 1 large cool bag
  7. Potatoes – 1/4 a large box
  8. New potatoes – 3 tubs
  9. Squash – 5 Crown Prince

Loads of stuff in the freezer too and dozens of preserves.

Water Reserves and Rainfall

The taps have now been switched on, so I won’t be monitoring our reserves as they will be fully depleted by the end of the month.

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What we’ve 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.


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  1. We now have tap water on at the allotments, which is great.  I would have run out of winter saved water in about two weeks.
  2. We are enjoying exceptional weather for the time of year, actually for any time of year
  3. All of the onions and shallots are now planted, well over a thousand bulbs.  About 200 of them went into the front garden. Planting the front garden with edibles is a first for us and very exciting!
  4. Our runner and French climbing beans in the polytunnel are now nearly 4ft high and we have our second truss of tomatoes on our early plants as well as more than a dozen baby cucumbers
  5. The taps were turned on just in time, allowing us to give the garlic and broad beans a deep water and I think we’ve saved them.  The beans are in flower now, so they appreciate the water!
  6. The dwarf french beans (under a low tunnel) are growing slower, but seem happy enough
  7. I’m loving my new grow room!

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  1. COVID 19
  2. The garden beds have been suffering from lots of birds pecking for worms and the plants are either being damaged or covered with compost.  I’ve covered them with a bird netting.

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Steve Richards

I'm retired from work as a business and IT strategist. now I'm travelling, hiking, cycling, swimming, reading, gardening, learning, writing this blog and generally enjoying good times with friends and family

2 Responses

  1. It’s amazing you’re still getting lettuce from those sowings last year. Are you cutting and letting them resprout? I’m doing that with some of mine here. I do have a hard time remembering what day of the week it is, between being retired and the limited outings these days. I try and write my HM post on Saturday, but then one week I forgot to enable Mr Linky for the post. Mind you, it’s just one box to tick too! I’m so happy we have the asparagus to bridge our gap, though I do have some ‘quick’ brassicas like mizuna coming along and pac choi is another one I often plant about this time. I’m also doing brassicas for sprouts and microgreens.

  2. Hi Dave, yes we harvest almost all of our lettuces continuously by taking off just the outer leaves every week (2 weeks in mid-winter) they’ve all been harvested about 16 times from November to April. You always seem to have a nice selection of veg, this year I’ve had to focus on feeding all of our completely locked down at risk friends and family, so it’s fulfilling, but boring. Next year I’m focusing on further enriching our immediate families year round diet : All the best – Steve

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