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Allotments 2015


By balcony


Allotment 2015

There not having been much to write about the allotments during the winter/early spring I have only now gathered a few photos & something to write about.

Like previous years I plan on writing – at least once a month – a blog on the progress of things on the allotments I’m sharing with my friend Gerry from church. I’m back to sharing with him after having to give up my plot (12A) last September due to time constraints & the demands made on me. I wrote a blog about it last year: Giving-up

As April has been a an unseasonably warm & dry month I’ve been able to get down to Gerry’s allotments a little more often.

View from the top of Plot 58 on 1st April 2015:

Lets start with some colour from March:

Crocuses flowering under dwarf apple tree in front of the greenhouse:

Some Daffodils flowering in front of our shed:

In April lots of lovely red Tulips in the bed in front of the shed:

I’ve been able to do some sowings & some work on the ground. Gerry has done the “Lion’s share” of the digging & has planted lots of potatoes.

Potatoes recently sown:

At the time of taking the photo I didn’t know Gerry had planted his seed potatoes in these couple of beds that’s why the caption reads: “Beds recently manured". All that was visible were remains of the horse manure he’d previously dug in!

I haven’t planted any at all though there is still time yet to put in 2nd earlies & maincrop spuds. Not all is lost!

Garlic ‘Marco’:

I planted out a few cloves of Garlic ‘Marco’ back in December in the bed in front of the greenhouse. Now they are growing nicely.

Leeks at the top of the plot with some Lettuces planted alongside them:

The day I went down to the plot with my son I had intended to dig up the last of the Leeks that I had transplanted from my old plot last September but I discovered Gerry had planted these Lettuces right alongside them! Digging up the Leeks would have disturbed the soil around the too much I thought & they might not survive. I therefore left the Leeks where they were. Oh well, perhaps we can save some seed from them to sow next year! At least we will be treated to some great ball shaped flowerheads for a few weeks!

I sowed a packet of Broadbeans in toilet roll tubes:

As well as some Beetroot seed & Lettuces – 2 different varieties in the greenhouse.

Broadbean plants before/after I’d planted them out:

Beetroot ‘Bolthardy’ before/after I finished planting them out:

The Beetroot germinated very well & I’ve since planted it out on the plot. In fact I made two sowings & planted them out with only a few days of difference between them.

Beetroot Bolthardy 2nd sowing just planted out:

All these seedlings were planted out in a raised bed I made up on Plot 58 between November 2014 & March 2015.

As the Lettuce hadn’t germinated I had none to plant out! One of the two trays of seeds has produced a very few seedlings which for the present are still in their tray. No more seeds seem to be germinating though.

After planting out the Beetroot I sowed a couple of rows of Lettuces directly into the soil this time of both varieties.

I also sowed a couple of rows of Beetroot seed as I have several packets of seeds still:

(My brother has since given me another packet!)

View from top of Plot 59B:

Mixed runner beans just sown at the base of the netting on the plot division:

Jonathan hoeing red onion bed:

I’ve even “roped in” my son, Jonathan, to give me a hand. He is my youngest son, he’ll be 38 this year. He hasn’t helped me on Gerry’s main plot, 58, so far that’s why the only photo I managed to grab of him was while he was busy hoeing the red onion bed near the end of Plot 59B, Gerry’s half allotment.

The first day he came down with me he helped me get the green netting on the plot division between Gerry’s half plot & his neighbour’s plot set up much better. It’s now stronger & better held up than last year. I don’t have any photos of this work as I didn’t think to get “before & after” photos. Though the after ones I can get any time now, obviously! I could even dig out (excuse the pun!) some photos from last year where the netting is quite clear but I doubt anyone would be interested in seeing “before & after” photos of some netting!!!

He also helped me with the raised bed we have made up on Gerry’s side of the plot division. This is something I’ve wanted to do for several years but had neither the time nor the wood with which to do it. Using some of the planks from my old plot we were able to make it up.

Raised bed beside plot division being made up:

Raised bed beside plot division now finished:

Some months ago we changed the flooring in our flat. We had had vinyl flooring since we moved in in 2001. We put vinyl flooring down instead of carpeting as we had 5 little dogs. A few years ago the last of the dogs died but we didn’t change the flooring. During the last 3 months of 2014 we decided it was time to change the flooring so we started to buy carpets which I & one of my brothers put down. We then kept the old vinyl to put down on the allotments. During April I covered most of the paths on Gerry’s half plot with this vinyl making a waterproof access to any of the beds.

Vinyl covered paths on Plot 59B:

Potatoes just planted out:

Here you can see the vinyl flooring on the paths either side of this bed of potatoes. Unfortunately there won’t be enough to cover much of Gerry’s main allotment. All the paths are approximately the width of the rake head +/- 12". This just gives me enough room to turn face forward across the width of the beds so I can reach the centre from either side without having to step on the soil when it is wet.

Views of the apple tree over shed:

This cooker, perhaps a Brambly Seedling, is now starting to flower so I took a couple of pictures which will serve to close this the first blog on the allotments I share with Gerry for this year.

The apple flowers are so pretty when seen close up I thought I’d take a really close up photo:

Next month I hope to be back with the goings on down at the plots. Till then “Keep on gardening!”

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I bet that allotment keeps you busy. I have enjoyed reading your blog; you should put your photos on, before and after. I would like to see them.

6 May, 2015


@Snoopdog: I quite understand your impatience! I took a risk in sowing some runner beans on the plot division between Gerry's 1/2 plot, 59B, & his neighbour's. I full well knew the risk I was running but if they were killed by a frost I still have 100s of seeds saved from last year that I can put in in their place if it comes to that.

Gerry's spuds, I included a photo further up, have now come through & they also got frosted! Fortunately their tips must have just started to push through the soil as they have continued growing without a check & just the tips are browned. They really should be earthed up as soon as possible but I don't get much time to go down nearly as often as I'd like.

@Mariamasom: I quite often do as you say but I couldn't imagine anybody being interested in seeing before & after pictures of some green netting! In future blog posts I will include some before & after photos.

I'm glad you find my allotment blog interesting :-)) Look out for another one at the end of the month.

6 May, 2015

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