Allotment Diary (April – Week 4)

We were away for three days last week, attending our eldest daughters wedding in Oxford. I’ve only been to Oxford once before and the whole stay was wonderful, Oxford is beautiful, especially when the sun is shining and the wedding was a dream.

Oxford views from one of my favourite walks

We got to enjoy three days of walking in addition to the wedding itself, the ceremony was in the chapel of one of the Oxford University colleges and the reception was in a local park. If we could only predict the weather, I think there’d be nothing better than wedding picnics!

Oxford views from one of my favourite walks

Back home the week has involved a lot of watering, as usual we’ve had almost no rain this spring so far and there’s nothing much on the horizon either. Fortunately the allotment water supply has now been switched on and the stressful waiting is over.

With my youngest daughter (not the one getting married)

Aside from watering I’ve been planting a lot of potatoes in containers at home (where we have plenty of water) and pricking out and potting on. We skipped our usual weekend harvest, so we’ve just been harvesting daily as needed. It’s struck me just how inefficient daily harvesting is compared to our single bulk harvest on Sunday. When we do a single pick and pack, everything is supermarket convenient for the rest of the week and I think the quality improves too. Well washed and sealed veg actually seems to improve with age for about 5 days and then slightly declines for the last two.

We skipped a harvest, so this is from the previous week.

The big news of the week is the success of my early baking potato growing technique, I harvested enough this week to last us for two weeks. We have two more containers in the conservatory, that should – in theory – have an even better yield and then we will be on to our normal potato harvesting routine. We also have new potatoes of course.

Our first ever harvest of baking potatoes in April

I’ve a new way of tracking my first harvest dates now. With a few exceptions I’m only tracking first harvests from sowings in 2021, but it’s still useful. The beauty of this new system is that it’s fully integrated with my sowing records, so I automatically get ‘sowing to harvest’ and ‘planting to harvest’ data. New firsts are at the top.

Here’s what I sowed this week:

Here’s what we planted this week.

We are now at full harvest volume, feeding everyone on our target list for this year. We have a way to go before we are growing everything they eat each week, but for dozen or so things that are available in the hungry gap, we are happy.

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.

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

3 Responses

  1. Sounds like a wonderful wedding time and a gorgeous setting. Interested in your harvest efficiency observation. I think we all find that home-grown produce has a longer life than anything we purchase in the grocery store.

  2. It was Sue, I’m fairly busy and so harvesting for me needs to be efficient. As I eat a lot of fresh uncooked food the cleanup is particularly inefficient when done every day

  3. It’s good that the weather cooperated for the wedding. I’m with Sue, I think the home-grown produce does last longer that what we buy. Which makes sense since it hasn’t had to travel far to get to our plates!

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