Allotment Diary (July 2020 – Week 2)

Overview of the week

The weather is very gradually improving again after the cold and windy few weeks we’ve just had which really set everything back quite a bit.  The beans and sweet corn are looking especially battered and the squash fruits are still tiny.  The polytunnel is however churning out a small but steady supply of tomatoes and cucumbers, but only just enough for salads.  The berry harvest however has been exceptional and has kept us in daily fruit salads with plenty to spare for preserves.

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Despite the wind I’ve managed a few decent cycle rides though, which always cheers me up and I’ve lost 6lb of the 10lb that gradually accumulated over winter and lock down!

Allotment Finances

Our harvest total for this year is £5,867 + £275 worth of preserves = £6,142 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 £227 of veg this week and made £64 worth of preserves, which is £291 this week in total, a small dip on last week, mainly due to a big reduction on the salads.

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We picked:  Brussels sprouts, 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, red beetroot, golden beetroot, 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

Nothing, but I was gifted another temperature controlled plug which will eventually make its way into the garage grow room and a wifi enabled power strip that controls everything in the conservatory grow room.

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.

Brassica and Radicchio grow light trials with the Mars Hydro SP150 lights

Polytunnel tour, favourite tomatoes and comparison of indoor and ‘outdoor’ peppers

What lies beneath : we take the nets off the winter brassicas and deal with the mess!

The to relax and watch something a bit different

A typical day in my allotment life

What I’ve sown

Latah tomatoes for the conservatory and Cobra French beans for the polytunnel

What We’ve planted

I cleared the pea shoots, dwarf peas and old lettuce beds in the back garden and replanted with radicchio, lettuces and golden beetroot.

What I’ve potted on


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)
  8. 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
  15. Rhubarb, July – Week 1
  16. Cherries, July – Week 2
  17. Shelling peas, July – Week 2

What’s left in store

The store is is still on good shape:

  1. Onions/shallots – a few hundred bulbs
  2. Garlic – a few hundred bulbs
  3. Dried pears – l large cool bag
  4. Dried apples – 1 large cool bag
  5. Potatoes – 1 large box (new this year)
  6. Squash – 1 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. The calabrese are outstanding and we have green sprouting broccoli close behind, after that calabrese side shoots and after those the next succession of calabrese …
  2. The fruit harvest is really booming and we are eating a lot of it fresh
  3. 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. The continual wet weather has not been good for the golden purselane crop, which likes it dry and sunny,   next year I’m going to grow it in a cold-frame with the lid available to protect it – even in summer
  2. The Red Drumhead cabbages almost all got a bad infestation on cabbage aphid and we lost the lot as well as a few Brussels Sprouts, we have alternative red cabbages though and plenty more sprouts.
  3. 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!!
  4. Although we have enough lettuce the bad weather has not been kind to the recently planted batch, they will hopefully recover

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

5 Responses

  1. We gardeners are always at the mercy of the weather it seems. It has turned hot here, which favors summer crops but makes lettuce bitter and not worth growing. Your cold and windy sure doesn’t help the heat lovers. I am also curious about your experience with oca root. I have heard of it but never grown it.

  2. I did enjoy the two videos on a typical day in the allotment. I will try garlic spray on my carrots next fall and may have a go at potatoes in containers. I’ve been unwilling to devoted raised bed space to them in the past.

    Those are sunsets, correct? Oh to have beaches so open and unoccupied. Two blocks from the ocean, Sunset Cliffs here in San Diego has been overrun in the last few years and especially now with the pandemic and heat inland. Instead of walking there 3-4 times a week I avoid completely because it is difficult to social distance. You can see photos of Sunset Cliffs (mostly without people) on my Instagram personal account @suemartin50. England is high on my list of places to visit when the pandemic abates. Looking at the weather map I can see how you do get some battering off the ocean that far north. All the best to you this garden season.

  3. We like it, very crunchy with a lot of zest, I like it in salads in place of radish, which doesn’t grow here in mid winter when the oca is at its peak

  4. We are perfectly positioned here for sunrises and sunsets, depending on the season so the photos are a mix. I like potatoes in containers at home as they are so compact and they look quite impressive

  5. Lisa says:

    So impressive! I admire your methodical approach.

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