Allotment Diary (March – Week 2)

We’ve had a lot of rain this week, which has frustrated many, but suited me just fine. Since the allotment is now fully planted my main issue is actually water and I’d used nearly 600 litres last week, rehydrating the beds after winter. The heavy rain has now topped up all of my storage tanks, which is great. The rain’s not been continuous either, rather sunshine and showers, so growth has continued, we’ve plenty to eat and I’ve had plenty of time to go out walking.

This week I’ve also made my book public, this blog post provides an introduction to it.

I’m so lucky to have so many beach walks on my doorstep

At the start of the week I even managed to do a bit of planting, filling in the last few gaps on my plot. I put in half a dozen calabrese and a big patch of peas for shoots, which are one of the few plants that give a good crop before June.

These peas for shoots are all planted now

All of my walking this week has been on the dunes, or walking to and from the allotments, I really can’t complain, but I am looking forward to getting in the car and driving somewhere soon, it’s not long to wait now. I’ve had my first jab and my second is scheduled for May, two weeks before our first holiday since lockdown.

Walking to the allotment by a very circuitous route

We still have a stay at home order in place here, so no day trips, just walking around the local area. That does mean though plenty of time for sowing seeds and potting on. This week I pricked out a few trays of spinach, a tray of brassicas and potted on the first batch of sweet and hot peppers.

My first batch of peppers are potted on now and no longer under grow lights

Staying home also mean no trips of the bakery, so I made my own bread instead

As good as cake and not much better for me, but perfect for a rainy day

Harvests are going well, comparable now with last year’s although we are very short of field beans, which were knocked out in the big freeze. Even so we have about 1/3 of the quantity planted that we had last year, so we will never compete. Most crops though we have more of.

Only one more harvest of leeks left next week, but we will soon be switching to green garlic

The biggest difference, harvest wise, is that I ran a lot of experiments last year and quite a few failed. This year I have the benefit of only growing tried and tested plants, so I have quite a bit more in the ground. As a result I’ve high hopes for a very productive spring. Especially having watched the long range weather forecast for next week.

Looking at the harvest below though I really do need to try and grow more colours in spring, everything looks very green! Our purple sprouting broccoli is nearly ready though, so that’s not so bad.

spring greens of all shapes, varieties and sizes

One of the most important crops to be planted this week are the potatoes that will be harvested at baking potato size in July. I also have a couple of experiments going, trying to get bakers in April and May, but these may not work. After two experiments last year I’m confident in my timings for July now.

Also loads of videos released this week, lots of them are short technique videos that are really only for embedding in my book, but they end up on youtube anyway. My book is now visible to everyone who wants to read it and I shot a video explaining why I finally decided to write it.

Lots of sowing this week, especially my main crop 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

6 Responses

  1. Roxi says:

    Hey Steve, great post as always, thanks for sharing the details of your gardening journey, which is really eye opening for newbie gardeners such as myself. Those peppers are wonderful by the way :0

    I’ve seen you recommending a Mars Hydro SP150 for growing seedling in a previous post, and also recommending to keep it about 20 inch from the plants. I was wondering if you could clarify on this since it would mean to give plants a whole lot of light, as after doing some math regarding the light readings (DLI, PPFD etc.) on that particular lamp, basically you are providing 2 or 3 times the light usually advised, which anyway seems to be working more than well for you. Do you ever calculate how much light you are giving in numbers? Just to make to try replicate it and get similar results to yours.


  2. I’ve never done the maths Roxy, Mars recommends 24” for seedlings and 18” for older plants

  3. Congratulations and thanks for publishing your eBook. So many videos available too. I plan to come back and learn from them when I have a chunk of time. Maybe this afternoon as we’re expecting a few hours of welcome rain.

  4. Thanks Sue, I wrote most of the book over a few rainy winter days, so it seems fitting to read/watch it when it’s raining too : All the best – Steve

  5. Let me add my congratulations on your ebook! I look forward to checking it out myself. We’ve had rain here with little sunshine. Thankfully it has been warm and things are growing under cover.

  6. Thanks Dave, it’s very much a work in progress, but that’s the beauty of publishing online

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