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.

2020-04-18 07.49.05-1 (Medium).jpg

Allotment Finances

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.

2020-04-18 09.32.27-1.jpg

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.

2020-04-19 11.18.43 (Medium).jpg

We picked: asparagusrhubarbpurple 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.

2020-04-19 12.11.00 (Medium).jpg

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.

2020-04-14 18.10.06 (Medium).jpg

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.

Wonderful brassicas for the Hungry Gap: April to June

April allotment tour : the good and the bad!

Why I love planting potatoes in containers

Last harvest of the August planted ‘Christmas potatoes’ : was it worth it?

What I’ve sown

It’s been an extremely busy sowing week and a busy potting on week.




Potato, Second-early potato Charlotte Root
Potato, Main-crop potato Sarpo Mira Root
Potato, Main-crop potato King Edward Root
Cucumber La Diva Cucurbits
Leek Musselburgh Allium
Purselane Golden purslane Salad Leaves
New Zealand Spinach NZ Spinach Cooking Leaves, Salad Leaves
Cauliflower, Florret Graffiti Brassica
Butternut Hurricane Cucurbits
Sprouts Red Rubine Sprouts Brassica
Cabbage Vertus Savoy Cabbage Brassica
Summer squash CENTERCUT SQUASH (trumbocino) Cucurbits
Summer squash Trumbocino Cucurbits
Winter Squash Crown Prince Cucurbits
Main-crop potato Vivaldi Root
Cabbage January King Brassica
Cabbage Red Drumhead Brassica
French Bean Purple queen dwarf French bean Legumes
French Bean Cupidon Dwarf French Bean Legumes
Outdoor (cordon) tomato Crimson Crush Tomato
Cauliflower, Florret Aalsmeer cauliflower Brassica
Cauliflower, Florret Amsterdam Cauliflower Brassica
Broccoli, Florret Summer Purple Brassica
Cabbage Red Fuego Brassica

What We’ve planted

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


Kale Dazzling Blue Kale
Kale Nero black magic
Kale Red Russian
Courgette Black Beauty
Main-crop potato Vivaldi
Potato, Main-crop potato Sarpo Mira
Potato, Main-crop potato King Edward
Potato, Second-early potato Charlotte
2020-04-16 14.28.04 (Medium).jpg
I’ve also planted 6 spare climbing French beans plants into a garden container, in a bubble wrap tent.

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

  1. Fresh apples, week 11
  2. New potatoes

Last harvests

2020-04-17 08.50.30-1 (Medium) (1).jpg

  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
  8. New potatoes from 2019, Week 16
  9. Winter cabbages, week 16

What’s left in store

2020-04-19 12.03.28 (Medium).jpg

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 – 1 large box
  4. Garlic – 1/2 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.

2020-04-18 09.26.04 (Medium).jpg

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.


2020-04-19 10.12.15 (Medium).jpg

  1. We are enjoying exceptional weather for the time of year, actually for any time of year
  2. 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
  3. 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!

2020-04-19 12.00.19 (Medium).jpg



  1. COVID 19
  2. 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!
  3. I also lost one of the courgettes to the frost, I have plenty of spares, so one of those has now been planted.


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

6 Responses

  1. The patio greenhouse looks like a great way to get a little extra space for the seedlings. I’m using some quick growing greens like mizuna, pak choi & arugula to fill our gap, and asparagus helps also. We still have sweet potatoes in storage which gives us some orange and purple food for the diet. I’m growing green garlic with the sprouting cloves, which makes a nice addition meals either cooked or raw.

  2. Karin says:

    Hi Steve
    Could you give details on your website where you source things like fleece, compost, pots, seeds etc. Finding it a bit of a challenge right now.

  3. Your photos are very nice. The harvest trays look very appealing. Never thought about growing potatoes in containers. I should look at the video and consider. Appreciate learning so much from you.

  4. I already do that Karin, see the FAQ document on my web site and linked on all of my videos : All the best – Steve

  5. Potatoes in containers are very space efficient and easy to harvest : All the best – Steve

  6. We’re getting my orange and purples from winter squash and carrots and beetroot! Sweet potatoes are hopeless here, the idea of having them available in March made me laugh, Irish potatoes are fine though.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

%d bloggers like this: