Allotment Adventures: It’s raining, it’s pouring

It rained for most of the weekend. So we went to the plot to check damage and re-up the bird feeders.

Then we planned. We worked out want we want to grow and then went through all the seeds we had and bought all we needed to buy.

So here’s were we are:

Potatoes. We aren’t going big on potatoes but we are growing more than last year. Like last year, we’ll grow them in bags because we just don’t have that much space so the plan is for five bags. (3 nicola and 2 anya) both are second early and should be more than sufficient for mine and Ma’s potato needs…

Tomatoes. We loved last year’s tomato crop, admittedly 37 plants was probably too many tomato plants but in fairness we didn’t plan for that many. This year we are going for three beds which is roughly 30 plants. I’m hoping not to end up with more than that and I need to make a concerted effort to get rid of my spares this year!There will be one bed each of cherry tomatoes, plum tomatoes and eating tomatoes. The cherries will be Ildi and Santonio’ F1 Hybrid, the plums will be San Marzano Red Plum and last year’s Amish Paste and Orange Banana, the eating will be all of the above and Black Russians.

Winter Squash. This was the surprise crop of the year, Ma really wasn’t sure about them and we planted 5 plants but she’s now a squash convert, so we’re sowing butternuts (Hawk F1 because the seeds were part of Ma’s secret santa this year, she’s a squash evangelist! We’ll also use up the Boston Squash and Baby Blue Hubbard seeds from last year and we’ll adding uchiki kuri too. Yes space is going to be an issue but we’ve finally found a use for the problem area at the front of the plot that isn’t going to be paved or grassed over this season, and the squash will at least keep the weeds down! We’ll also grow them in the big tubs (hopefully up the arch!) and next to the compost pile like we did last year. Summer Squash. No surprises here, courgettes (all green bush), patty pans (patisson blanc) and crookneck. Greenhouse crops. We’ll going to attempt peppers again (long red marconi) and aubergines (black beauty) and see what happens.

Salads. We’ll grow our usual salads leaves and spinach, we will try to grow more successionally but we are not growing nasturtiums as salad leaves this year. We will have a go at land cress and watercress and see what happens. I probably won’t grow rocket to eat, it get eaten by flea beetles and isn’t great to eat when it’s all full of holes. But the bees seemed to like it flowering last year so I might plant it at the edges of the plot to let it go to flower.

Beetroot. We’re going to grow two beetroot beds this year. Ma loves it so this is a case of the more the better. Boltardy and Choggia

Peas and beans. We love growing these and will like last year try to grow more successionally. This year we are growing a climbing french bean (blue lake) and a dwarf french bean (canadian wonder). We haven’t bought peas yet but I’ll probably go with oregon and early onwards like last year. This year we are also going to grow borlotto beans (firetongue).Kale and Chard. Another thing that we discovered that we love to eat and grow. Kale will be cavolo nero and chard will be bright lights and white sliver 2.. Leeks. Last year was the first time I grew leeks and I’m keen to repeat the experience. Three types, bleu de solaise, musselburgh and autumn mammoth 2 (snowstar)Cucumbers. Again something we couldn’t get enough of last year. We’re planning on Boothby’s Blond, Telegraph Improved and Miniature WhiteHerbs. The herb patch has rosemary, sage, oregano, thyme, tarragon, lemon verbena, chives and lavender. Hopefully the borage will self seed again but if not I’ll sow some. I’ll grow coriander, flat leaf parlsey, dill (with the cucumbers), basil with the tomatoes and I may play about with carraway and garlic chives.Carrots, radishes and spring onions. I’m growing these in buckets this year. Carrots are Purple Dragon, Autumn King 2, Paris Market – Atlas and Royal Chantenay.  Radishes are Scarlet Globe and Sparkler 3, spring onions are evergreen bunching.

Flowers. After last year, we decided no more cosmos or nasturtiums. We are going with cornflowers (double blue), stock (brompton mixed), sweet peas (giant waved mixed) and marigolds (french petite mixed). I suspect that the californian poppies will come back and have no problem with that! I’m also hopeful that the grape hyacinths, anenomes, freesias, day lily and dutch iris will come up again this year. We are also going to plant some gypsophylla because they are pretty and if I can find room and time, I want to plant a couple of dailias but I’m not sure about care of those. And this will be the year I get around to daffodils, I promise!

New things to grow. Other than the borlotto beans, I’m hoping to try to grow sweetcorn and cucamelons this year too.

Hopefully, we will also have some gooseberries, raspberries, plums and rhubarb too!

So lots to do right now. I’m really trying not to jump the gun with all of this until we’ve sorted out the heavier work we need to do on the plot, new beds, dig up the raspberries, burn rubbish, paint the shed, clean up the herb patch. The list is long and we have a lot to do between now and having the plot look like this again.

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About nicdempsey

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2 Responses to Allotment Adventures: It’s raining, it’s pouring

  1. Pingback: Friday Links | Nic Dempsey

  2. Pingback: Monthly Goals – January/February 2018 | Nic Dempsey

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