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Lotties in winter


By balcony


Lotties in winter

At long last I found time to do the promised blog of our allotments at the end of the year. Today is Boxing Day & it’s a very quiet day, in spite of the strong winds forecast! We began the day with a fair amount of sunshine though this only lasted a few hours before the clouds came over. No rain though. In the late afternoon we had a little sunshine once again before the night time pulled its veil over the evening sky.

Beetroot Bolthardy harvested

This first photo is of the last of the Beetroots that I had been growing at the top of the plot. They’re in the bag because I forgot I wanted a photo with them just taken out of the ground.

All in all I’m pretty pleased with the way they have gone this year & will again sow them at intervals in coming years.

Broccoli Purple sprouting

The Broccoli was given to me by a guy on the conjoining plot. I happened to read about their anti-cancerous properties just before going down to the plot. This guy was planting something, I didn’t know what, when I asked him if he knew about the anti-cancerous properties of Broccoli. He said he did & that he was planting his Broccoli at that very moment! He offered me the last half a dozen he had left over & so I planted them here. Mine have done better than his!

Godetias flowering

The Godetias I sowed originally in the greenhouse to later take home & put on the balcony but which I put in the plot have been flowering for some time. I must say this has surprised me as I expected them to die at the first whiff of frost! They have survived at least 3 frosts – one of which was forecast to be 3 degrees C below freezing!

Lettuce Tom Thumb

These miniature Lettuce, Tom Thumb, are still going strong after several frosts.

Lentils & Calendulas at top of plot

This is the top of the plot where I sowed Lentils & Pinto beans. I had potatoes growing here a few months earlier. After lifting them & raking out the soil level I sowed some rows of Legumes. The Pinto beans didn’t survive more than one very, very light frost but the Lentils are not fazed by a few degrees of frost! The Calendulas have been there all year! They came up with the spuds & I left them after lifting the spuds.

French Marigolds in flower

I sowed these French Marigolds in a seedtray with the intention of pricking them out into bigger flowerpots hoping, with the protection of the greenhouse, to get some flowers from them during the winter. I was so occupied with the digging of the allotments that I never got around to doing it! So, here they are flowering, still in the seedtray!

Annual Chrysanthemums

A guy from Spain sent me some seeds of these Annual Chrysanthemums last year. I grew them on the allotment & some seeds fell into the ground & survived the winter/spring/summer to come up amongst the Carrots I sowed there. As they still hadn’t flowered when I lifted the Carrots I decided to try & save the plants. I put them in the greenhouse, in the growbag where Tomato Mallorquin had been growing all summer. They are flowering at the time of writing this blog!

Garlic sprouting

During November I put in a few Garlic cloves from a head of Garlic one of our sons brought over from Spain when he came to spent a couple of weeks holiday with us. He said they were probably the best Garlic you could buy in Spain! I told him at the time it was far too early to plant them but I would do it when the time was right. So here they are just poking through the ground right in front of the greenhouse.

Peanuts at an end

Many of you following my allotment blogs during the year will remember my experiment with growing Peanuts on the allotment, well I can report that the experiment has been unsuccessful! Not surprising to anyone I suppose, but I did get at least ONE (1) peanut!!!

You must realize that I also started them very, very late. I’m determined to have another go next year & will start the seeds off much earlier, I may even give them some protection from the elements as well.

Pinto beans harvested

Here are some of my Pinto beans as I was removing them from their seed pods in the greenhouse. I left them to dry for a couple of months before I removed them from their seed pods. Really I was too busy, & lazy!, to do it earlier! They had been picked more than a month before.

Pinto beans bagged!

Here is a bag with some of the beans once I took them home & put them in a bag. We have had a meal with some & there are still some waiting for me to remove the beans from their seed pods!

Tomatoes Mallorquin in Green House

This is the last photo of the tomatoes Mallorquin. I sowed them in January 2011 in the greenhouse. They were from the packet of seeds my wife brought me back from Spain in September 2010.

Tomatoes Mallorquin harvested in Green House

A few days later I decided it was no use keeping them on the plant any longer so I picked them & here they are laid out on the bench in the greenhouse.

Runner beans

These were the last of the runner beans for this year. I collected the last few seedpods to save for next year & I’ve now cleared the ground of them. We had a huge crop from them!

Fig trees with frost protection

These “wigwams” are the winter protection for the two Fig trees we have. After two year of losing the fruit in the very late spring frosts I thought I would protect them this year & see if we can get something to eat from them. I shan’t take the fleeces off them until the middle of May next year. The two previous years we have had frost as late as the first week of May!

Tomatoes Mallorquin in greenhouse just harvested

These are the very, very last of the tomatoes Mallorquin. I harvested them on 5th December. I then removed the plant from the growbag & threw it away.

Godetias at top of plot

I showed you a photo of these Godetias at the top of the plot further up but this photo was taken several weeks, & several frosts later! Even on Christmas Eve they were still flowering!

French Marigolds & Cosmos on Christmas Eve

The French Marigolds I showed you a few photos earlier were still flowering on Christmas Eve & there were a few Cosmos amongst them! They had been affected a little by the frosts lately but, as you can see, continued to flower!

Sweetpeas “Royal Family” just sown

I finally sowed my Sweetpeas. I had tubes & compost all waiting in the greenhouse but I had no seeds till the 15th December! On the 20th I sowed about a 1/3rd of the seeds. The tubes are placed in a standard seedtray in which over 20 tubes fit.

Onion Alisa Craig sown on Christmas Eve

When I spent an hour or so on the plots on Christmas Eve I sowed a few of my Onion Alisa Craig seeds in a seedtray. This is a little later than last year I think when I believe I sowed them a week or two earlier. I was quite pleased with the results of the sowing when I lifted the bulbs in July. I want to sow more this year as our stock ran out about a month ago!

Well that’s the last from the plots I share with Gerry for this year. I have to make up one last one with what I’ve been doing on my very own plot (12A) which I got from the Town Council on 1st September.

Wishing you all a happy end to the year 2011 & a fantastic New Year 2012.

More blog posts by balcony

Previous post: Seed sowing time is here again!

Next post: End of first season on Plot 12A



that is an inspirational blog. I am on a waiting list for an allotment, but I have about 5-10yrs to wait. probably just in time for my retirement.

happy growing next year

26 Dec, 2011


so productive balcony, i can see your real love of gardening and all your hard work.

26 Dec, 2011


i cant believe you still have toms Balcony & marigolds flowering..i remember you starting the peanuts off as i was sowing some as well..mine were no good either..i started some sweetpeas off in Sept & have been cutting the tops off them..just hope they survive the winter in the cold g/ onion seeds went in today.. Kelsae.I think you have done a brilliant job with your plots...:o)

26 Dec, 2011


You have had a very good year Balcony and what a treat to still have so many flowers, a very cheery sight to greet you. Hoping you have a good year on both your plots in 2012 and Best wishes to you and your wife for the New Year...

26 Dec, 2011


Thank you all for your comments. :-))

Sorry you have to wait so long, SBG, to get an allotment. I should considerer myself lucky to get one after only a year on the waiting list here! All newly assigned plots are no longer full plots but half plots, which is what I have.

Thank you, Stiki! :-)) I do indeed love growing things though there are few vegetables my wife & I like that can be grown on an allotment.

@Joanella, I no longer have any Tomatoes growing either in the GH, on the plot or on my balcony at home. I you look again at the photos you will see the latest date is 5th December. However the French Marigolds & the Cosmos were still flowering on Christmas Eve as were the Godetias at the top of the plot.

Shame your peanuts didn't do well either. Did you get any at all? I got one at least! Will you try again next year?

I discovered a few days ago, thanks to Alan Titchmarch writing in a Gardening mag that the traditional date for sowing onion seeds is Boxing Day! I didn't know that before! Nevertheless I sowed mine a few days earlier. I think I sowed them even earlier during December last year!

Thank you, Lincslass, for reading my blog! :-)) The few flowers I have are indeed as you say "a cheery sight to welcome " me when I go down. I think I may be the only person on the field with flowers at present. There may well be some that have Calendulas in flower. I haven't paid much attention to what others may have being so engrossed in the plots I tend! The Godetias have surprised me for staying alive, & flowering, even after several frosts! Although I have grown them most years on my balcony never have I had any after putting in the autumn/spring bedding in October. Knowing they will survive a few frosts I'll make sure I have some on my balcony for further years as well as on the allotments!

Thank you for the New Year's wishes & we wish you a Happy New Year as well! :-))

WE also wish everyone here a Wonderful New Year 2012 as well! :-))

27 Dec, 2011


No Balcony i didnt even get one peanut..nothing grew from them..& no i wont try them again..yes it is sort of a tradition with sow them on Boxing Day..:o)

27 Dec, 2011


Are you going to give up sooo easily??? They don't need much other than heat & loose soil. I'm going to have another go next year but I shall sow them a lot earlier than I did this year!

28 Dec, 2011


What a veriety of stuff you've had. Good luck for 2012 :o)

30 Dec, 2011


Thanks, Hywel! We have had a lot of stuff as you say & next year I hope there will be even more! Just a day or two ago we finished the very last of the tomatoes Mallorquin. It's true that a few weeks we had to start buying them again as the tomatoes were too green to use but they ripened & now are all gone! I have two packets of tomato seeds "Gardener's Delight" to sow yet.

We are still eating potatoes from the allotment as well! There will be potatoes for months to come still! They may even coincide with the new potatoes I'll be sowing end of February!

I finished the last of the Beetroot form Gerry's allotment a couple of weeks ago & have now pulled up the row of Beetroots left by the previous tenant. There is still one more row to pull up - a row I put in myself alongside the bean support. They look very promising.

31 Dec, 2011

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