Allotment Diary (June 2020 – Week 4)
Overview of the week
I left lytham St Annes for the first time since lock down this week, to hike with a friend. We went to the Rivington reservoir system and it was interesting to check up on the water levels, given the three month drought. They were low but I’ve seen them a lot worse and we’ve had a fair bit of rain since then too.
I also found time, between the showers, to clear the garlic/broad bean bed, weeded and levelled it. I need to mulch it soon because we will be planting beetroot and winter/spring flowering brassicas and cabbage next week. I also planted a strip of 500 carrots along one edge, under a compost mulch.
All the photos – bar one – that follow are harvests from the back garden, which is coming along very nicely!
Our harvest total for this year is £5,352 + £163 worth of preserves = £5,515 or just over half our target for the year, almost exactly half way through the year.
What we’ve harvested and eaten
We harvested £240 of veg this week and made £52 worth of preserves.
We picked: full sized cucumbers, currants, the last of the first early potatoes, sweet and hot peppers, the last few broad beans, raspberries, gooseberries, blueberries, second early Charlotte potatoes, perpetual spinach, shelling peas, New Zealand spinach, golden purselane, new season carrots,cherries, baking potatoes, tomatoes, French beans, runner beans, fresh onions, mangetout peas, strawberries, Center Cut squash, courgettes, baby cucumbers, rhubarb, red beetroot, sprout leaves, lots of types of kale, spring onions, mixed herbs and a lot of lettuce. We also raided the store for: squash, dried apples and pears. Bold items are new this week.
What we’ve bought this week
I bought 200 plant labels. I normally cut up milk bottles for labels, but I can’t keep up!
Videos this week
Now it’s summer I’ve finished making daily videos. In part that’s because the lock down is easing and life is returning to normal, but also there’s just less of interest to show, everyone can and is growing food in summer.
What I’ve sown
I sowed the last of the main-crop carrots, this batch are for winter. I still have some to sow in containers for harvest in late winter and early spring.
Sweet Million (actually took cuttings)
Palla Rossa radicchio
Dazzling Blue Kale
Winterbor (curly kale)
Pentland Brig kale
Black seeded simpson
Fillbasket (clumps of 3)
What We’ve planted
- Loose leaf lettuces in the garden in place of spinach and green garlic
- Golden purselane in the garden
- Hearting lettuces on the allotment
What I’ve potted on
What we’ve run out of in store
- Fresh apples, week 11
- New potatoes (we have fresh now)
- Main crop potatoes (we have fresh now)
- Carrots, the last few have gone to seed (we have fresh now)
- Onions (we have fresh now)
- Garlic (we have fresh now)
- Golden beetroot (we have fresh now)
- 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
- Last year’s kale. week 18
- Spinach Matador and Red Kitten, week 22
- October sown carrots, June – Week 3
- Garlic for store, June – Week 3
- Broad beans, June – Week 4
What’s left in store
The store is is still on good shape:
- Red Beetroot – 1 large box
- Carrots – None
- Onions/shallots – None (we have fresh onions though)
- Garlic – None (we have green garlic though)
- Dried pears – l large cool bag
- Dried apples – 1 large cool bag
- Potatoes – none (we have new potatoes though)
- Squash – 2 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
Debbie is now doing a lot pf preserving again, this is the produce for the year so far!
- The fruit harvest is really booming and we are eating a lot of it fresh
- Now that we are growing so much food from the back garden we are accepting gifts from friends in return for our gifts of fruit and veg, that means we are now self-sufficient in all fruit and veg!
- I’m eating such wonderful food at the moment, just a little of a lot, typically at least 15-20 home grown fruits and veggies every day and 20+ every week
- The weather is returning to normal, a mix of sunny, cloudy, rainy and windy days in all permutations and combinations – much better
- We are in the middle of yet another bad storm, very high winds are causing quite a bit of damage, so emergency repairs in the rain have been needed. The potatoes have suffered the most, having grown very large in the sunny spring.
- The early carrots have some downy mildew on the leaves, they are still alive – just – and big enough to be useful, but I hope it doesn’t spread to the main and late crops!!