Allotment Diary (January – Week 1)

We’ve had a very frost week and that’s put quite a check on growth, but we’ve still seen an uptick in our harvest volumes compared to last week and last year.

Last harvest from Jennie’s plot

We normally have only a handful of frosty days a month in winter, but we’ve been enjoying string of lovely sunny days this January and as a result every day is frosty. Some of the veg is thriving with the extra light, but some is suffering a little with the cold nights. The main casualties are the trial lettuces, none of which has proved to be good candidates for winter growing. So I’m pleased I have plenty of new plantings to take their place.

This experience with sowing some veg late has started me thinking that perhaps I need to consider a new season in my veg growing. So far I’ve planted veg in autumn that finishes in May. Now I’m thinking that perhaps I should plant quite a lot in autumn, that finishes in late winter and then replant in late winter to finish in May. This change is interesting because it means I can choose different varieties, a different mix of veg types and get healthier plants in early spring than I would by over-wintering. It’s also a lot more fun to have something to do on the allotment in winter. The biggest change though is the extra yield in spring. Grow light make this possible.

Harvest wise we continue to pick a lovely range of fresh veg, but quantities are tiny and will continue to be until late winter. Last year we stopped harvesting salads for a few weeks, but this year we have just reduced the volume a little, making up the difference with fruit salads. Buying berries is a bit of a shock to the system, but a nice change for a few weeks.

Weekly veg harvest, so quick and easy at this time of year

We are still doing a modest salad harvest though.

Salad harvest, not enough for one a day, but still worthwhile

We did managed to save plenty of food for the new year though, I’m fairly confident that we won’t have any shortages, provided we have few moderately sunny days a week for the rest of winter.

Now that’s it’s January I’m sowing again and while I enjoyed my break in December it’s really nice to be surrounded by seedlings again! I’m particularly pleased with the progress of the November sown brassicas. Here’s what I sowed this week:

Here’s what we planted this week

Here’s our harvests for the year so far, with the most recent at the top.  We hit our target for last year and harvested over £12,000.

Here’s a list of the preserves for last year.

I always like to keep a track of or first harvest dates and you can find a summary of those here:

YouTube videos for the week can be found here:

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

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