Allotment Diary (July 2020 – week 4)

Overview of the week

Slight improvement in the weather this week, I’ve been out cycling a bit and done some long walks.  We continue to sow seeds and replant beds and right now I think we only have one bed free.  We did the big onion and shallot harvest this week,  I experimented with sowing at a higher density than usual and it worked remarkably well, very little impact on size but a huge increase in overall yield.

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In other news my favourite cafes have opened up again, so life is almost back to normal and I feel my life is much more in balance.  When I have plenty of sunshine, relaxation, intellectual stimulation, exercise, social time and growing time my life is hard to beat!

Allotment Finances

Our harvest total for this year is £6,383 + £329 worth of preserves = £6,712 way ahead of last year.

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What we’ve harvested and eaten

We harvested £287 of veg this week and made £41 worth of preserves, which is £328 this week in total.  This is a big jump from last week because it includes the shallots from last week.  It’s £100 up on last year though and I’ve not included all of the main crop onions and shallots yet!

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We picked:  main crop onions, main crop shallots, cucamelons, 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

Compost for carrots

Videos this week

July allotment tour

July Kitchen Garden Tour

Main Crop Onion and Shallot Harvest, with a few extras

What I’ve sown


What We’ve planted

  • I’ve filled a few gaps in the lettuce beds
  • Sown a few hundred carrots (under nets) on Jennie’s plot after shallots
  • Planted 14 Claret purple sprouting broccoli in the old shallot/strawberry bed on Jennie’s plot

What I’ve potted on

  • 5 cucumber plants, to grow on in the conservatory
  • A wide variety of lettuces
  • Early spinach test sowings, not a single seed of Medania germinated, the Giant Winter and Red Kitten germinated well
  • A wide variety of kale for late winter/early spring
  • Early spring cabbages

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 – July Week 2 (we have fresh now)
  9. Crown Prince squash – July week 3

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. Dried pears – l large cool bag
  2. Dried apples – 1 large cool bag
  3. Potatoes – 1 large box – loads more to come
  4. Beetroot – 1 box – loads more to come
  5. Garlic – a few hundred bulbs
  6. Onions – a few hundred bulbs – a hundred or so still to come
  7. Shallots – a few hundred bulbs

Items in bold are new this year, others are from last year

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

23 jars of Jumble Jam


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  • We grow a lot of calabrese and unlike most people who harvest the main head and a few side shoots we harvest dozens of side shoots per plant.  We put this down to the variety – Marathon – and the huge amount of fertility that Field Beans put into the ground as well as the compost, manure and seaweed that we add.
  • The fruit harvest is really booming and we are eating a lot of it fresh, I’m particularly pleased with the blueberries this year, our first year having enough for nightly fruit salads


  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. I left the main crop carrots exposed to carrot fly when they were tiny, only putting the nets on after I thinned them, this was a mistake, they are badly damaged by carrot fly, although still edible, they won’t keep.  As a result I’ve had to plant an extra 500 for winter, but actually it’s demonstrated that maybe I should always do this as I have the space and the spare seeds.

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

1 Response

  1. Planting density is always a matter of trial and error for me. I plant a lot of kohlrabi, and I’m still working out the optimum balance of size vs. yield. It took me several years to get the garlic planting right too. It’s good you are finding more options in daily life. Things are a real hot mess over here, and gardening is my major activity other than walking.

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