Allotment Diary (June – Week 1)

It definitely feels like the gardening is over now for a while. The kitchen garden only needs attention for about 20 minutes a day and that’s almost all watering containers. I finished the allotment planting early in the week, so it’s all watering and weeding there too. We have much more weeding on the allotment because of the deep rooted perennial weeds, which we don’t have at all at home. So for now it’s all about harvesting and in this weather – early in the morning – that’s a joy.

Note the abundance of staples

I’ve spent most of my ‘at home time’ on the patio reading, but I’ve also done plenty of hiking and cycling in the mornings, swimming in the afternoons and having a well earned nap in the sun (under shade) every day too.

My reading and entertaining corner

Harvests continue to be strong and I’m particularly pleased to have an abundance of staples now: garlic, onions, carrots and potatoes are a first for us at this time of year and we will soon have plenty of beetroot. This was the strategy last year too, but COVID de-railed those plans, so it’s nice to finally get here.

Lunchtime salad bases

For the last two years we’ve been trying to switch the summer allotment over to crops that benefit from growing under cover (early legumes, early summer squash, tomatoes and peppers) and crops that don’t need much attention (winter brassicas, winter squash, alliums, root veggies and perennials). The high value crops that need attention are all at home.

Great hiking weather this week, early in the morning

I still have some fine tuning to do, but to a rough approximation that’s what we’ve achieved this year and it’s great. The allotment only really needs an hour a day of attention now and we combine that with our evening walk.

Cycling up the coast and the cafes are open now too!

I’ve also earned enough from my gardening club membership scheme to buy myself an eBike. Although I’m capable to riding unassisted I find that I’m always making excuses not to use the bike because of the wind. So with an eBike the hope is that a moderate head-wind will no longer put me off.

My first visit to a non-essential shop for a very long time!

I discovered a local manufacturer only a few miles away and they had a rather fancy shop a short drive into the countryside, so I will have a new bike in late August. My youngest daughter is providing a good home for mine.

My old – all human powered – bike, which looks remarkably like my new one!

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. We will never harvest as much again as we have less land now, our objective has changed now.

Here’s a list of the preserves for last year. We don’t have any preserves this year yet, although Debbie is certainly making a lot of stewed rhubarb and dried parsley for immediate use!

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

5 Responses

  1. Colin says:

    Ebike’s are great way forward also have you considered adding a Bicycle Trailer for transporting your harvests?

  2. No chance Colin, the harvest fills the car boot, the parcel shelf, the back seats, the passenger seat and the passenger seat foot well: all the best – Steve

  3. You have a lovely area to enjoy your at home time! I’m in the home stretch with our garden but still have a couple of weeks to go. We got an indoor exercise bike earlier this year for days when we can’t walk outside. I do miss riding my bicycle outside, but as I get older I’m more concerned about an accident.

  4. In with you there Dave, fortunately I live 2 minutes away from a 20 mile off road paved cycle path that runs along the coast, so quite safe, especially in the off season

  5. How nice that you have an off road paved cycle path. I’d ride often if we had that but I share Dave’s concerns in our more urban environment. Biking can be so relaxing and such good exercise. In the US there is a Rails to Trails organization that converts old rail beds to bike paths. I done some of them in Oregon with my sister.

    It is nice when the garden gets to the point where all is growing on and the gardener can relax a bit more.

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