Allotment Diary (May – Week 1)
After a fairly busy March and April things are now returning to their relaxed normal. A few seeds to sow and prick out each week and one/two beds to clear and plant. This is how I like it, a couple of hours a day of ‘work’ and plenty of time for relaxation, adventures and babysitting.
In fact I took willow to the allotment for the first time this week, I snuggled her in a wrap and walked with her for about 2 miles to the plot and did all of my allotment chores without incident, she was as good as gold.
I’ve also enjoyed a couple of good cycle rides and a good hike too, the only chore this week has been watering, but if the forecast is to be believed in the next ten days we could see nearly two inches of water, which equates to about 10 IBC tanks (10 cubic metres) of water for our plots. This just demonstrates the complete futility of trying to save water over winter, when just one summer rain storm will deliver twice my total storage capacity.
My main focus this week has been clearing old brassica beds which have all gone to seed, they look lovely, but they also need replanting, so I will be clearing them gradually over the next two weeks, leaving some for the bees as long as possible!
Harvest wise we are enjoying huge abundance. We’ve run out of most things in store now – except beetroot – but our spring crops have arrived, so we aren’t short of anything. We’ve harvested another tub of early potatoes and that went as well as the first one, so I think I can safely say that early – large – potatoes work well in the conservatory.
I’m particularly happy with the calabrese and turnips this year.
The new season carrots are also a real delight, super crisp and sweet. We harvested our first batch today and also picked the last of the cooking carrots from our August sowing.
We’ve run out of onions in the store now, so it’s wonderful to have such an abundance of green onions, we are picking the bigger ones for cooking, the small ones for salads and as a result leaving the early main-crops to bulb up for June and July. I’ve noticed how much better the green onions grown under cover are, crisper and more delicate taste, the ones grow outside all winter are a bit stronger in every dimension.
Finally we’ve almost run out of garlic bulbs in store, but last year we took the smallest of the bulbs and planted them to harvest green from April until June and it’s really paid off. Rather than a few dried up bulbs we now have huge bunches. We use the bulbs for garlic and the tops as sweet leeks in stir fry and steamed.
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: