Allotment Diary (April 2020 – Week 3)
Overview of the week
It’s been another week dominated by growing food and there’s been plenty of variety, good progress, a surprising hard frost and a dip in motivation levels. The weather has been excellent, very sunny, maybe too sunny but cold at night. Fortunately I am now getting up early enough to enjoy walks on the deserted beach and still get to the allotments in time to open up.
Our harvest total for this year is £2,317 which is a really great result for the time of year. We will definitely have a dip in harvests next week though as we are removing the big winter brassica bed and have just harvested the last of the winter cabbages.
What we’ve harvested and eaten
We harvested £240 of veg this week, which is effectively the same as last week and the same as last year. The photos show just a small fraction of what we harvested, it’s no longer possible to fit everything into one shot.
The salads are a particular treat, especially the beds that were sown in January, which are noticeably more tender than the over-wintered beds. The February sown outdoor beds will be ready to start harvesting next week.
We picked: asparagus, rhubarb, purple 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
Eighteen bags of compost, some for the last few potatoes but most for the container grown peppers and tomatoes that will be grown outside in the garden. Debbie also bought a little ‘patio greenhouse’, which we’ve secured to the garden wall with a batten, it’s not going anywhere! The little greenhouse is perfect in this mild weather for seedlings like beetroot, chard, spinach etc that find it too hot in the conservatory.
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.
What I’ve sown
It’s been an extremely busy sowing week and a busy potting on week.
What We’ve planted
We’ve done loads of planting this week, most of it onions!
What I’ve potted on
- I’ve potted on the final three grafted tomatoes
- The first succession of the summer flowering brassicas are potted on: PSB, Cauliflower, green sprouting broccoli, calabrese, cauliflower, romanesco
- I’ve also potted on another 12 peppers
First harvests of the year
What we’ve run out of in store
- Fresh apples, week 11
- New potatoes
- 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
- Sprouts, week 12
- Cauliflower (planted 2019), week 12
- Carrots from the ground, Week 14
- New potatoes from 2019, Week 16
- Winter cabbages, week 16
What’s left in store
The store is is still on good shape:
- Beetroot – 3 large boxes
- Carrots – 1.5 large boxes and a few dozen in a sack.
- Onions/shallots – 1 large box
- Garlic – 1/2 large box
- Dried pears – l large cool bag
- Dried apples – 1 large cool bag
- Potatoes – 1/4 a large box
- New potatoes – 3 tubs
- 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.
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.
- We are enjoying exceptional weather for the time of year, actually for any time of year
- We now have three trusses on each of the three early tomatoes, but they are small, only about 6-9 flowers per truss at the moment
- I’m loving my new grow room. Managing the temperature in it is fairly easy, since at least one of us is always at home. Post lock down it will be a lot more difficult!
- COVID 19
- Last weeks highlight was the dwarf French beans growing well in their low tunnel, this week a hard frost made them a lowlight, I lost the lot, despite them being under one layer of plastic and a second layer of fleece. However the climbing French and runner beans in their bubble wrap tents in the polytunnel and outside in the garden at home are fine!
- I also lost one of the courgettes to the frost, I have plenty of spares, so one of those has now been planted.