Allotment Diary (July – Week 3)

It’s been another week with almost no gardening. Anna and Thom went back to London on Sunday, Steph and Graham arrived to take their place (with a 2 day overlap). That meant I got to enjoy some lovely hiking and lots of time in the gym and the pool.

First time since lock down hiking in the lake district

I did manage one day on the allotment, but that was just focused on watering and weeding. As a result I’m about a week behind on my sowing and planting schedule, but at this time of year it’s not much of an issue. Had we been in September that week would matter a lot more.

I was pleased to keep up with the kids in the hills

I also took advantage of taking the kids to the station to drive up the coast and spent an afternoon on the beach and reading in the car, just enjoying the view.

Paddling on the beach

I’ve not been totally lazy though, I did manage to clear three lettuce beds and an onion bed – at home – ready for replanting tomorrow. On the allotment I also cleared a kale bed, which was interplanted with beetroot. I have a lot of planting to do next week!

We have about 200 garlic bulbs for eating and a few dozen for planting next year

Finally I processed the early onions and garlic for storage.

Although purposeful gardening has been limited, we have been busy harvesting. The blueberries, raspberries, gooseberries and strawberries are producing well now and the whole family is eating them fresh from the bushes. Debbie’s also started making a few of her favourite preserves using everything previously mentioned as well as the currants. We are making a lot less this year though as we still have plenty from last year.

Salad harvest

Generally harvests are strong with the notable exception of the carrots. This has been our worst ever year for carrot fly, which has effected all of the summer crop. The autumn, winter and spring crops are under nets so they should be ok. Fortunately I did pop in an extra bed at home, which should be ready in 2 weeks, for now we have only a few carrots for ourselves.

Cooked veg harvest

Finally I’m pleased to report that we have enough tomatoes for eating fresh in salads and looking at the trusses, we should have an abundant harvest in August.

4th trusses looking good

I was surprised to find that our second early potatoes are ready for harvest already. They are about 2 weeks early. We have so many potatoes right now! Fortunately I can leave them in their containers and harvest as needed.

First harvests

I’ve a new way of tracking my first harvest dates now. 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 and one lucky extra person as we have a bit of a surplus.

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

4 Responses

  1. My tomatoes are just now ripening, but like yours the plants are loaded with blooms. It is usually August here when they really start rolling in. It’s good you got to enjoy some hiking time!

  2. The hiking was short lived though, we are having out one week heat wave this week, then hopefully rain!

  3. It is good to have these breaks from the garden. We camped in the Sierra Nevada mountains last week with the garden in capable hands. In Southern California August and December are good months for vacation from the garden.

  4. I’m still trying to find really good months to be away from the garden, I generally try for lots of short breaks and cross my fingers

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