Tuesday, 21 April 2015

Allotment update...

So time for another allotment related post, time seems to be flying along this year despite that we've managed to get the plot sorted and pretty much ready for veg and such like, we're just waiting for it to grow and in the mean time I've taken down the shed I was using as a work shop and put it up at the allotment, well more or less any way.

This was the plot at the beginning of March -

Not much going on to be honest.

Apart from the two rows of spuds and the broad beans not much else was going on, so all we did was dig over the ground and weed, I did deploy a minion to help spread a bit of fish blood and bone about, she's very good with the rake.

Minion deployed - 

Doing a grand job.

That was about it for March, like I said not much going on, and so onto April, which has proved quite busy, the broad beans are showing signs of life (bit further along now from when the picture was taken) and they've all been nibbled by broad bean weevils, but this shouldn't affect them in the long run.

Broad beans at the start of April -

I plan on planting two lots this year.

The metal shed I had at home was a little past it's best (I'm going to build a new slightly larger wooden one this year) so I decided I'd take it down and use what I could at the allotment, in the end I got a shed the same width, but half the depth out of it, which is just enough to store some tools and materials, I do plan on using part of the roof as a small garden for growing salad stuff, and I've sectioned off part of the inside of the shed so that I can use it as a raised bed for growing tomato plants in, of course I will need to make a window to let light in.

New (to the plot any way) shed - 

Not the prettiest of sheds.

I've also added a water butt (an old plastic bin) to one side of the shed, as per the councils rules that all sheds should have water collection of some kind, the other half of the roof will be a small roof garden, we figured that with using part of the roof and part of the inside of the shed to grow things we haven't really lost any space in having the shed on the plot.

Water butt in place - 

Does the job.

Because it didn't take as long as we thought to put up the shed we also managed to get some more spuds planted, we've now got six rows on the go, some will be ready earlier than the others, we're also growing three different varieties this year, Swift, Pentland Javelin and Maris Piper, the Swifts and the Pentlands are showing signs of growth now, which is good as I had though we'd planted them too early.

We also put in some more garlic, the stuff we planted last year in the autumn is coming along nicely, and along with the spuds and garlic and shallots we put in some french beans,carrots, pak choi, parsnips, beetroot and we've started of this years squash selection in the greenhouse at home, and lastly we put in a couple of rows of mystery brassica's, it was from and offer my wife put in for so we've those to look forward to as well.

French bean rows - 

Six rows in all.

Squashes sown - 

Not quite as many as last year, we're still eating last years.

Maris pipers in the ground and earthed up - 

Can't beat spuds you've grown yourself.

You may have spotted the bins in the last picture, this year we've decided to try forcing some of our rhubarb plants (we have three now) and so far it seems to be going quite well, it's not something we've tried before so we'll have to see how it turns out, forced rhubarb is meant to be sweeter and more tender, and as we have three plants, but we're only forcing two of them we'll be able to compare, which should be fun though it has to be said the bins probably aren't the best thing to use for forcing.

One of our forced rhubarbs - 

It's much bigger since this was taken.

And here's what the plot looks like now, a few weeds, but an hour or so with a hoe will sort that out, since taking on the plot four years ago the amount of weeding we have to do has gone down, I guess persistence pays off in the end.

The plot - 

Soon be full.

Something else that we've started doing is propagating some of our plants, we actually started last year, but we've had some good results which I plan to write about soon, I personally have found taking cuttings and getting them to grow to be quite rewarding.

Thanks for reading.