Allotment Diary (July 2020 – week 1)

Overview of the week

It might have been mid summer, but it’s been pretty lousy weather.  That means the house got cleaned from top to bottom, the gardening plans were fully revised and I got very wet, but we did manage to get out to plant and harvest a bit.

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In particular we did the biggest planting day of the year, 500 carrots, 100 leeks, 200 beetroot and around 40 brassicas; a mix of PSB, cabbages and cauliflowers.

Allotment Finances

Our harvest total for this year is £5,640 + £211 worth of preserves = £5,851, way ahead of target, although truth be told we don’t have targets anymore because we are trying to grow less this year – it’s not going well.

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What we’ve harvested and eaten

We harvested £2487 of veg this week and made £49 worth of preserves.

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We picked:  full sized cucumbers, mini cucumbers, cherries, tomatoes, raspberries, gooseberries, blueberries, strawberries, red currants, black currants, tayberries, second early potatoes, baking potatoes, sweet and hot peppers,  chard, perpetual spinach, shelling peas, New Zealand spinach, golden purselane, new season carrots, French beans, runner beansfresh onions, spring onions, shallots, mangetout peas, Center Cut squash, courgettes, rhubarb, red beetroot, golden beetroot, romanesco cauliflower, calabrese, sprout leaves, lots of types of kale, mixed herbs and a lot of lettuce. We also raided the store for: garlic, winter squash, dried apples and pears. Bold items are new this week.

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What we’ve bought this week

We restocked up on fertiliser, blood fish and bone, seaweed meal and concentrated farmyard manure.

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.

Grow light test results with beetroot

Results of my early baking potato experiment

What I’m Sowing and Growing in July

Biggest planting day of the year (beets, leeks, carrots, PSB, cabbages)

What I’ve sown


What We’ve planted


  1. Cabbage Vertus Savoy Cabbage
  2. Cabbage January King
  3. Cauliflower, Florret Aalsmeer cauliflower
  4. Broccoli, Florret Early Purple
  5. Beetroot Cylindra
  6. Beetroot Bolthardy
  7. Beetroot Burpees Golden
  8. Cabbage Vertus Savoy Cabbage
  9. Cabbage January King
  10. Beetroot Boldor

What I’ve potted on

  1. Lettuces
  2. Radicchio
  3. All sorts of kales
  4. Spinach
  5. Chard
  6. Perpetual spinach

What we’ve run out of in store

  1. Fresh apples, week 11
  2. New potatoes (we have fresh now)
  3. Main crop potatoes (we have fresh now)
  4. Carrots, the last few have gone to seed (we have fresh now)
  5. Onions (we have fresh now)
  6. Garlic (we have fresh now)
  7. Golden beetroot (we have fresh now)

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
  11. Spinach Matador and Red Kitten, week 22
  12. October sown carrots, June – Week 3
  13. Garlic for store, June – Week 3
  14. Broad beans, June – Week 4

What’s left in store

The store is is still on good shape:

  1. Red Beetroot – 1  large box
  2. Onions/shallots – a few hundred bulbs
  3. Garlic – a few hundred bulbs
  4. Dried pears – l large cool bag
  5. Dried apples – 1 large cool bag
  6. Potatoes – 1 large box (new this year)
  7. 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!



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  1. Lots of tomatoes now
  2. The fruit harvest is really booming and we are eating a lot of it fresh
  3. 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!
  4. 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 30-40+ every week


  1. We are growing a little weary of the wind and rain now,  after such a dry spring we definitely welcomed the rain, but enough is enough!
  2. Some of the brassicas have cabbage aphid, which has gone unoticed under the nets. I think it’s time for the nets to come off so we can keep a better eye on them.  The worst affected veg seems to be the red cabbages!
  3. 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.
  4. 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!!

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

7 Responses

  1. Lisa says:

    Gosh, what an amazing system you have!

  2. It’s all available for free to anyone who wants it Lisa

  3. You have been busy in spite of the inclement weather. I have trouble with aphids too when the row covers are on the brassicas. I think it excludes the lady bugs, hover flies and other beneficials that keep them at bay.

  4. That’s true Sue, the plants are open big for pigeons now though, so we’ve decided to take the nets off

  5. Will DAVISON says:

    Great website, Steve.

    Can you offer me a source for the netting (croc) clips I see you use.

  6. They are from Wilco Will : all the best – Steve

  7. That is a lot of planting! No wet weather here, just hot and humid. I’m supposed to be cutting back here, but there still seems to be a lot to do!

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