Allotment 2013 – seed order

I havent been able to get onto the plot to do any more as it has been so wet, we had snow last week which has now been washed away.
Its been so long since I went, I am quite nervous to go down there for the first time this year, as my imagination is running wild with what may have been happening since my last visit.  Will the lovely neighbours have donated another sofa or bed for me to clear away, did the fireworks of November and December leave any debris, have my onions shallots and garlic started growing or withered away, have all the weeds returned vigorously to the ground that I turned over?
I am also very reluctant to start pushing my spade in the soil again, as I know there were frogs and I understand that they bury themselves for the winter, and I would hate to accidentally chop any.
I must make the effort and get myself down there though, stop procrastinating.  Even if it is just for an hour.
I have however been drooling over the seed catalogues, and finally took the plunge with a big order from DT Brown –
the Ultimate Allotment Collection >
and the Beat Food Inflation Vegetable Seed Collection >
What is in these 2 collections:

Broad Bean Bunyards Exhibition
French Bean Safari
Mangetout Pea Delikata
Runner Bean Galaxy
Beetroot Wodan F1
Calabrese Aquiles F1
Cabbage Minicole
Cauliflower All The Year Round
Carrots Chantenay Red Cored
Carrot Maestro
Courgette Zucchini
Lettuces Tom Thumb
Lettuce Soleison
D.T. Brown Salad Mix
Rocket Skyrocket
Leek Lyon (Prizetaker)
Parsnip White Gem
Pepper Antohi Romanian
Radish Fluo
Spinach Swan
Spring Onion Elody
Spinach Harrier
Sweetcorn Swift
Tomatoes Bejbino
Tomatoes Ferline
Runner Bean, Equator
French Bean, Montano
Broad Bean, Bunyards Exhibition
Pea, Oregon Sugar Pod
Beetroot, Boltardy
Calabrese, Ironman F1
Brussels Sprout, Nautic F1
Cabbage, Tundra F1
Cabbage, Golden Acre
Cauliflower, All Year Round
Carrot, Early Nantes 5
Carrot, Autumn King
Courgette, Defender F1
Cucumber, La Diva
Salad Leaves, Mixed Salad Leaves
Lettuce, All Year Round
Lettuce, Barcelona
Salad Leaves, D.T. Brown Salad Mix
Leek, Porvite
Spring Onion, White Lisbon
Spring Onion, North Holland Blood Red (Redmate)
Parsnip, Javelin F1
Peppers, D.T. Brown Sweet Pepper Mix
Squash, Butterboy F1
Radish, Fluo F1
Spinach, Swan F1
Sweercorn, Swift F1
Swede, Tweed F1
Turnip, Market Express
Tomato, Sweet Million F1
Tomato, Ferline F1
Onion Sets, Hercules
Shallot, Topper
Garlic, Solent Wight
Potatoes, Pentland Javelin
Potatoes, Charlotte
Potatoes, Maris Piper

Substitute varieties may be supplied.

I ordered these 5 days ago and they are supposed to arrive between 7-10 days so I hope to receive them any day now, and cant wait to get sowing.  I will start with the broad beans. And hopefully be able to blog about my successes and not failures.

The initial outlay is quite substantial, but I figure it has almost everything that I intended to grow this year and works out to about £1.44 per week, and will probably give me way more value than buying what I need from the shops each week, (everything seems to cost £1 a pack these days)  if I can manage to keep things going for the full 52 weeks or even 45+ weeks, and providing I manage to grow any of them, of course.  I reckon with all the problems with the weather and economy the prices will continue to rise way above what I am prepared to pay for my veggies, so with a bit of effort and good fortune I will be well fed for less £££.   I may even have too much — well I can dream cant I.   With a bit of luck I will be able to reduce my meat bill too, as I will be so stuffed with veggies and not have room for meat.
I must get my camera going again too.


Year 2013

Well , Hi again, It has been quite some time since I posted anything here, sorry for that. Nothing much that I can do on the allotment other than a bit of digging which I think its too wet really so I havent been doing, and the cooking at home has been mostly Christmas food and quick stuff like fish out of a box and pizza and frozen chips. So I am hoping to be getting back to normal now that my youngest is back in college and my eldest heads back to uni this weekend. I did start learning to crochet over the holidays, so maybe I will be adding a new section on basic beginner crochet stitches and patterns this year too. And I also discovered that I can get free Kindle downloads and I dont even need to have a Kindle to read them, just an app on my laptop; any way of cutting expenses or getting things for free is all good in my book. Anyway, thats all for today, I will try and be a more regular blogger this year.

The Alliums are in

  I got my alliums in today – onions Radar, shallots Yellow Moon, garlic Provence Wight.   There were supposed to be 100 onion (I didn’t count them but I got 6×10′ rows) 25 shallots (2 and a bit rows) and 3 bulbs of garlic (again didn’t count the number of cloves but it gave me 2 and a bit rows).

When I was done planting them I looked around and wasn’t sure what to do next; my only thought for the last week has been getting the root bed fit to sow the alliums.  I use the term ‘bed’ very loosely, I am sowing directly into the ground, not in raised beds, and the rest of the plot is still only very roughly dug with great big clods all over the place.

But I marked the rows with string and sticks so at least I will know where they are.  I dare say I ought to get some proper plant labels and such and be a bit more tidy and neat.  That’s hard for me at the best of times, I am not the tidiest of people in normal life, so I guess the plot will reflect that too.

For the next few weeks when the weather allows I will be working on re-digging what I already dug, as the grasses and weeds are already starting to come through again.  It should be easier this time though, with all the big clumps having been removed first time over, and the ground has been broken once so next time hopefully will be less hurtful on the back.
I also need to go round the edges and get rid of the brambles and miscellaneous unknown bits that where on my ‘do that later’ list.

There is still lots to be done as you can see, with luck and perseverance I will get it sorted in time for spring sowings.  I have so much planned ~ potatoes, beans, squashes, tomatoes, salads, roots, corn, brassicas, herbs and fruits.

I also need to look into companion planting and getting some flowers that will encourage the right kind of insects in to keep pests down for me.

I got an allotment !

Hello, I got an allotment !
I am so lucky to have got one, and didn’t have to join a waiting list. I was just in the right place at the right time, and I realise how fortunate that makes me.  I have read the magazines and forums and I know lots of people have been waiting years for a plot.
I will put up some before and after photos when I have done a bit of work on it.  Its very untidy and needs a lot of clearing up.  I wasn’t expecting a perfect plot, but oh gosh, it is a mess. It looks like it has been neglected for years.  There is lots of junk on it, and lots of weeds.  I plan to clear it up over the winter, and get at least 1 compost bin started. And hopefully I will clear enough to get a row of onions in to overwinter.
As it all happened so suddenly, I haven’t got any seedlings started off in modules ready to go in – it would have been nice to get some cabbages, but I think its too late in the year for that.
The site is not too far from home, so its very convenient and I should be able to get there most days for 2 or 3 hours.  I am so looking forward to growing vegetables and fruit and cooking healthy meals with what I have grown myself.
I plan to keep a regular record on this blog of what I do each week on the plot, and post recipes of what I cook, but it may be quite a while before I am cooking with what I have grown.