Allotment Diary (May 2020 – Week 2)

Overview of the week

I’ve taken a bit of a break this week to rest my knees and back and they are both improving very slowly.  This week has seen steady progress though as I try and clear, recondition and plant one bed a day on my plot and chip away at the long list of jobs on Jennie’s plot as we prepare for the ‘big push’ next week when we clear, recondition, mulch and plant about 60m2 of beds.

We’ve also started to see the need to harvest during the week.  Over winter everything grows so slowly that weekly harvests are fine, but in spring growth rates are so fast that we need to pick sometimes twice a week to keep on top of things.  That’s a nice problem to have of course and since I’m on the plot for 2 hours every morning, it’s easy to fit it in.

Although I’m fairly busy in the mornings now, I’m still managing to fit in a beach walk most days.

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Allotment Finances

Our harvest total for this year is £3,150 and continues to show a significant increase on last year (£2585).  From now on that’s to be expected though as the garden is now very productive.  I continue to try and plant less productive crops on the allotments and I’m definitely investing more to thoroughly mulch the beds to reduce watering.

What we’ve harvested and eaten

We harvested £280 of veg this week, a big increase from last week, but much more than last year’s £175.

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The new back garden beds are incredibly productive, due to the combination of high fertility levels, low pest pressure, great weather and plentiful water.  That’s a combination that’s much easier to achieve at home.  Next year fertility should increase still further as the rough compost we made the beds from should be well composted by then.

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We picked: strawberries, courgettes, green garlic, spring cabbagenew potatoes, cucumbers, new season cauliflowers, new season carrotsasparagusrhubarbpurple sprouting broccoli, radish,  field bean tops, chard, red and golden beetroot, last season carrots, 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, although a few things I bought a while ago finally arrived.  24 red geranium plants, which will go into the galvanised buckets in front of the blueberries and 5 sweet potato plants which I’d given up hope on, but did finally arrive!

Videos this week

Everyone in the YouTube gardening community is being encouraged to create more content while people are on lock down, I’m getting fed up of making ‘daily’ videos though, so I will only make videos of significant activities from now on.

Planting the polytunnel main bed – tomatoes and peppers

Preparing for a late frost and wind chill

Free gardening resources: apps, databases, guides, diary and videos

Growing fruit trees in containers

Sowing seeds: start to finish, seed packet management to hardening off

Early fruit and veg harvests in May

What I’ve sown

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


Lettuce Maravilla De Verano Canasta
Broccoli, Florret Early Purple
Radish French Breakfast
French Bean Cobra
French Bean Cosse Violette Purple Climbing Bean
Runner Beans Scarlet Empire
Purselane Golden purslane
Cabbage Vertus Savoy Cabbage
Cabbage January King
Lettuce Lollo Rossa
New Zealand Spinach NZ Spinach
Courgette Zucchini
Cucumber Cucamelon
Chard Bright Lights
Cauliflower, Florret Aalsmeer cauliflower
Cauliflower, Florret Amsterdam Cauliflower
Broccoli, Florret Summer Purple
Cauliflower, Florret Snowball

What We’ve planted

We’ve done loads of planting this week:

  1. Burpees Golden beetroot
  2. Red Ace beetroot
  3. Golden Puselane
  4. New Zealand spinach
  5. California Wonder peppers

What I’ve potted on

  • Tumblr tomatoes
  • Sweet Million tomatoes
  • Tumbling Tom Red tomatoes
  • Tumbling Tom Yellow tomatoes

First harvests of the year

Strawberries, green garlic and courgettes

What we’ve run out of in store

  1. Fresh apples, week 11
  2. New potatoes
  3. Main crop potatoes

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
  8. New potatoes from 2019, Week 16
  9. Winter cabbages, week 16
  10. Last year’s kale. week 18

What’s left in store

The store is is still on good shape:

  1. Beetroot – 2  large boxes
  2. Carrots – 1/4 large box (we have this seasons carrots now though)
  3. Onions/shallots – 1/8 box (we have this seasons onions now though)
  4. Garlic – 1/8 large box (we have green garlic though)
  5. Dried pears – l large cool bag
  6. Dried apples – 1 large cool bag
  7. Potatoes – 1/8 a large box (we have new potatoes though)
  8. Squash – 4 Crown Prince

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

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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 are enjoying exceptional weather for the time of year, actually for any time of year
  2. We are harvesting a lot of veg from the back garden beds now, the spinach is particularly good
  3. We have started to take our first kale harvests from this year’s sowings
  4. Lot of gifts from friends and family: cup cakes, chocolate muffins, grapes, tomatoes, egg custard, eggs …


  1. COVID 19
  2. I’ve hurt my knees, I need to rest them, but that’s not going to happen until next week
  3. We are expecting a very cold night for mid May, about -3c windchill, hopefully no frost but it’s possible.  Everything is fleeced!

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

4 Responses

  1. Your backyard garden beds are lovely and so well-tended! And so many videos. I’m going to leave your tab open and come back to view several of them. I always learn so much. A lovely photo of your greens on cutting board. Ah…a walk on the beach every day. We’re not quite ready to resume that now. Too many people out at the beaches here in San Diego. Your beach looks lovely.

  2. Lisa says:

    I’m in awe of your bounty and your organizational rigor. What an achievement!

  3. Things look great in the polytunnel! It’s interesting to see the peppers in there along with the tomatoes. I’m going to try a few myself this year, though they might be planted in containers depending of how much bed space is available. I also like the idea of the watering rings for the tomatoes. I’ve buried plastic jugs around the plants before, but this looks like a better solution. I do appreciate your videos. If a picture is worth a thousand words, a video is even better!

  4. Thanks, the rainy cold winters days are for organisational rigor, that frees up the other 300 days for relaxed abundance : all the best – Steve

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