Allotment Diary (February – Week 3)

What a difference a week makes. The wind direction changed to a southerly, the temperature rose and we enjoyed cloudy skies with a few sunny spells. Perfect planting weather and it needed to be, because I had quite a few seedlings desperate to be planted, but held back because of the ‘big freeze’.

I managed to spend two half days on the allotment planting, which is my favourite job on the plot. Taking an old bed full of scrappy plants and weeds, clearing it and leaving it pristine and full of promise.

It’s also been a very busy week off the plot. On Tuesday Jennie (middle daughter) had her baby girl and she and her husband were in hospital for the whole week. As a result we had our grandson for the week and Debbie was doing his school work with him every morning. Meanwhile Tessa (youngest daughter) and I were busy giving Jen and Jon’s house a top to bottom spring clean as a nice surprise for them when they returned. Baby is still in hospital for a few days, so Debbie is doing taxi duty at the moment and no doubt I will be next week. It was also Debbie’s birthday, so – since we can’t go out – I cleaned the house and her car for her.

Not perfect weather for cycling, but exhilarating non-the-less

I did manage a couple of cycle rides this week, but no long walks. I cycled along the sea-front to Blackpool and that allowed me to stop off at the hospital to run errands for the kids. I got some fresh air and exercise and had picnics on the prom.

Lots of sowing this week, here’s a few of them

Anyway, back to gardening. In addition to a fair amount of planting, I also did a lot of sowing and pricked out the peppers. This is my second batch, the first batch are growing very strongly. I was expecting to need to sow a third batch in March but as it happens I don’t need anymore now. This is great news, because growing space is getting short now.

Pricking out the peppers

I was expecting to need to sow a third batch in March but as it happens I don’t need anymore now. This is great news, because growing space is getting short now.

January’s peppers, looking good

We only harvested for Debbie and I last week due to the freeze, but even so it wasn’t so bad. I took the first harvest off my grow light salads (on top of the wardrobe) and they were excellent, I picked about 10 litres and another 6 litres from the allotment. So far I’m expecting that we will be able to supply almost all of our winter lettuces from this LED setup, which will completely change the mix of veg that we are able to grow over winter.

Tiny harvest, after the big freeze

Plenty of sowing this week, I’m almost finished now for the month, just a few carrots, turnips and radish to go, 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

8 Responses

  1. Dofam says:

    How wonderful to read your updates, I find it fascinating to see how many plants you manage to “squeeze in” in your plans. I have a question though: are you going to grow those peppers indoor? As where I live (Zone 9, last frost 1st of April) January would be way too early to sow pepper and plant them around Feb. I’m asking because i’m still waiting to sow pepper and tomatoes, but I don’t want to end up being late, haha! Any suggestion would be greatly appreciated. Thanks

  2. The peppers will be grown indoors until late May, by which time the whole house will be full to the brim with them! March is fine for peppers, April for Tomatoes

  3. David says:

    I absolutely loved the idea of growing lettuce with LED during the winter. As a Lettuce lover that can’t do without it even for a day, I’d be very interested in growing some LED wardrobe lettuce too next year. Can I ask what kind of LED setup are you using that is giving you so much success? Like the kind of lamp etc.

  4. A light like a Mars Hydro sp150 would do it. We eat a big salad almost every day of the year, but it takes a lot of plants in winter to harvest daily, the LEDs have solved that

  5. David says:

    Oh great, thanks! Sounds like a good option for me as those lamps are available in my country. Would you keep it at full intensity? and at what distance from the plants? I apologise for the many questions, I hope I’m not asking too much.

  6. I’ve got a slightly more powerful light myself and it’s at 80% and at 18”.

  7. Those pepper plants are looking great! I see you are starting some Red Veined Sorrel. Have you grown it before? I haven’t grown it but I do have seed to try it this year.

  8. I have Dave, but only in winter, it looks lovely and has a nice zing to it. We generally only add 2-3 leaves per salad mix

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