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Last look back at winter on the plots - in March!


By balcony


Last look back at winter on the plots – at the end of March!

I thought we’d take a last look at the plots after the winter, (now that the Spring has supposedly sprung!), starting in January 2013:

Leeks & Lentils at beginning of January on Plot 12A:

View along Plot 12A from top, beginning of January

View along my plot from the top, middle of the month!

Here are some photos from February

Leek bed a month later:

A Before photo just prior to harvesting a couple of rows:

An After photo of the Leek bed once a row or two were harvested:

The same bed of Leeks but harvested on the first day of March:

Beetroot ‘Baby Solis’ harvested & chucked straight on the compost heap!

These poor Beets were totally useless even if they don’t look too bad in the photo.

Last year was a total waste of time & space for me trying to grow Beetroot! I’d sown MUCH more than in previous years but harvested practically nothing!

Middle of the month: Carrots & Parsnips sown

Might seem a strange time to sow Carrots but I was itching to put some seeds in & thinking March was just around the corner & the weather would be quickly warming up (!) &, having many packets of Carrot seed & several of Parsnips, I thought I could risk sowing some now. “If they don’t survive,” I thought, “nothing really lost as I’ve plenty more I can sow later.” Just as well as they are unlikely to germinate after weeks of winter weather all through February & March!

A few photos of my plot, 12A, in March:

We had a couple of dry, if rather cold, days at the beginning of March so I took advantage of them to dig in the last of the manure Gerry had brought down a couple of days earlier. I wanted to plant my new potatoes ‘Rocket’ in this bed. I’d started to dig in the horse manure in the middle of February, just before the snow came down, but was unable to finish it till about 3 weeks later.

New/Early Potatoes ‘Rocket’ being planted out at beginning of March, 1st row:

New/Early Potatoes ‘Rocket’ being planted out at beginning of March, 2nd row:

Second bed from the far end of the plot being manured:

Unknown Potatoes planted out in 2nd bed from the far end:

These potatoes came from the online shopping my wife does. She ordered new potatoes & when we saw them they were already sprouting! I kept about a pound of them back that were more the size of seed potatoes & put them in the 2nd tray of ‘Rocket’ that I had chitting in the kitchen. I planted them out once I’d finishing preparing the bed about a week after the ‘Rocket’ seeds were put in.

Onion sets ‘Sturon’ just planted out:

Planting these Onion sets was almost the very last thing I’ve been able to do on my own plot:

Broadbeans planted out:

This was the last time I was able to do anything on my plot during March owing to the extremely cold, strong winds that plagued us all of the month.

I only had 15 plants that had been growing in cardboard tubes in the greenhouse on Gerry’s allotment. I was going to plant out the last of the seeds directly in the soil but I’ve been unable to find them!

Gerry’s plot during the first 3 months of 2013:

This is how the year/month began:

Still here!:

Snow on the greenhouse!:

I tried to write the date in the snow on the greenhouse roof but it starting breaking up before I could finish:

There were several inches of snow covering everything!

Now a few from February:

Bed after being dug over:

I started to dig this bed over during a short spell of dry but frosty weather in December but I couldn’t finish it. I spent half an hour digging but got less than half done before I was forced to give up because of the intense cold.

This bed had bugged me weeks but, finally, I was able to complete it! I felt very relieved when I’d finished! Now it has a pile of manure waiting to be dug in!

Bed of Leeks & Lentils near the greenhouse

There are actually two beds chock-a-block full of Leeks & Lentils.

Brussels Sprouts:

I managed to harvest some sprouts form these plants but the majority came from the one plant that escaped the netting! Although these have been under the netting since I planted them out all the leaves have been eaten away! I saw no caterpillars on them – I don’t see how they could have got through the fine netting anyhow!

Victoria Plum trees:

Some lovely blue sky, quite a rarity during the last three months!

Daffodils & Tulips sprouting & rests of Gladioli:

This bed right outside the shed looked a real mess & was another of those things that bugged me for a long time! I feel a great deal of satisfaction once I’ve been able to finish whatever it is that bugs me!

Daffodils & Tulips sprouting & no more rests of Gladioli!:

Some views of the plot in March:

The same bed as above but nearly a month later:

Onion sets ‘Sturon’ just planted out:

Onion sets ‘Stuttgarter Giant Karmen’ sown:

To finish this blog I’m including some Crocuses that sneaked into the allotment in some old compost I brought down from my balcony!

Some Crocuses under the dwarf apple tree in front of the greenhouse

Not much to show for three months but then I’ve hardly set a foot on the allotments since October 2012! This has been mostly due to the record amount of rainfall during November & December which continued into the New Year. January brought a lot of snow making it totally impossible any work. February was very cold as well & I wasn’t able to do much & March has been so windy & terribly cold that I’ve hardly been able to do anything either.

I hope to start my monthly series of allotment blogs from the end of next month & I hope I’ll be able to show a little more progress than I’ve made over the last 5 months!

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blimey mate it is certainly hard to get going this year i hope the spuds survive i cant see mine going in just yet soil here very cold even frozen under the surface i did put a packet of broad beans in about 3 weeks ago when i thought it was warming then weather turned cold and snowed for 3 days on and off so i think i may have lost them bring on some better weather please

1 Apr, 2013


Lots of work to be done on the allotments now that you are able to get out on them. Hope you have a bumper harvest. :O)

1 Apr, 2013


You've made a start. I hope the cold weather hasn't ruined things for you.
Pitty about the beetroots but you had a good crop of leeks :o)

1 Apr, 2013


As you say Snoopdog, it IS hard getting started this year! I think (& HOPE!) my potatoes will be alright. It's a month since I planted them & there was no sign of them breaking through the surface when I was down there yesterday. This could be equally good or bad news! I'll explain: Good news because it means they are still protected & haven't been frosted & that my last light covering has protected them, Bad because they may have rotted! I hope that's not the case though! We shall see in the coming weeks (or not, as maybe the case!) whether they sprout.

I hope your broadbeans come up! They seem to be a pretty hardy bean as they can be planted out in the autumn for an early harvest the following spring. I think I may do just that this autumn!

I planted out 15 plants a couple of weeks ago & they have survived this last round of cold including snow & nightly frosts!

You are quite right, Oliveoil, it is indeed a lot of work! Even worse because NONE of it got done over the winter at all! I, too, am looking forward to a bumper harvest this year! :-))

Hywel, other than putting everything WWWAAAAYYYY behind, I haven't noticed anything being ruined - other than the broken glass caused by the wind in the greenhouse!

I was rather upset at the very poor showing of my Beetroot last year but I hope things will go better with me this year! I have a trayful of seedling that need to go out as soon as possible in the greenhouse. I sowed another tray of beetroot yesterday, 'Chioggia', which is one with pink & white rings! I'd wanted to get some seed last year but I hadn't seen it on sale here. But this year they had a few packets in Wilko's in town so I got a packet.

I also sowed some more Broadbeans, I finally found the packet yesterday! I sowed another trayful. I hope to plant then out in a few weeks time. I had intended to sow the few remaining seeds in the bed on my plot near the ones I planted out a few weeks ago but didn't have time in the end. I also sowed another trayful of Peas as well. The first two trayfuls I'd like to plant out next week but that will depend on the weather & if it does get milder as we are forecast!

Another trayful of Lettuce seeds 'Little Gem' were sown in the greenhouse. I planted the first trayful out yesterday. Some I put in the greenhouse border, others I put directly into the ground in the bed in front of the greenhouse, under the dwarf apple tree. I hope they will do alright. I still have a trayful of another Lettuce called 'Ballon', which are a bigger variety of Cos Lettuce. Once I plant them on my plot I want to sow some more seeds the same day so as to keep a succession of them coming all summer.

4 Apr, 2013


You don't do things by half, mate, do you?
I hope you get the huge harvest you've worked so hard for.
Good luck, Balconey! :-)

9 Apr, 2013


With things like Lettuces you have to sow few & frequently otherwise you get a glut that you can't cope with followed by weeks with nothing at all.

The small Lettuce, 'Little Gem' will mature long before the 'Baloon' ones which are bigger plants. Beetroot is another one that needs to be sown in the same "little & often" is I believe the keyword. That way you get small tender roots for summer salads - last year the great majority of my efforts turned out to be a waste of time, energy & space! Other guys had them the size of cricket balls!

Potatoes need to be sown very early to get some in June & then the maincrop can be planted out in April. I'm going to plant out the 2 varieties of maincrop I bought at a potato fair in town earlier this year.

It's almost time to sow seeds of runner beans, Sweetcorn & other tender plants that wont stand for the cold weather. It's all go over the next few weeks!

9 Apr, 2013


Thanks for the invaluable info, mate.
I'll be well prepared for next year.

10 Apr, 2013


Glad to be of service.:-))

11 Apr, 2013


How large is your allotment?

12 Apr, 2013


It's a half allotment as our council no longer rents whole allotments. There was a high demand for plots that the council couldn't attend to so now whenever an allotment is left vacant they split them into two, so when I applied for one that is what I got.

Even with that policy they have opened a new field of allotments that once was allotments but which was closed down at least 10 years ago as people were no longer attending their plots.

On the field where I have mine, people take them up but few seem to persevere after a couple of months. So the plots get full of weeds once again & stand idle for the better part of a year. It's a shame.

I'm not sure of the measurements but I think it measures 25ft long by 15ft wide. But I may be mistaken. Whatever it's half the size of a full plot & I have to pay £12 a year which will increase by £1 I think next September.

14 Apr, 2013


I came back to Glasgow late '92 & enquired about an allotment, to be told there was an 18yr waiting list!
The city council has sold off three sites, since, to developers!!!
Probably a 30yr list by now.
As for those who go in half-hearted, I've never understood that attitude.
Is it because they expect instaneous results or because it's too hard or too committed a job for them?
It was the same, when I was doing the forestry.
It's a hard, manual job with lots of study, yet so many think they just have to turn up, plant or fell a couple of trees & Bob's your uncle.
We'd bet which of the newbies would last the course. Lol.
Nothing serious, you understand, at least not in my squad. A pint & the satisfaction of winning.
Allotment? I'd give my eyetooth for such a chance! Lol.

15 Apr, 2013


You ought to move down here then! LOL! :-D)

But I agree with you that it's a shame that people who would really use a plot can't get one because it's tied up for a year - even if it is only generating weeds (& their seeds!) for the better part of a year!

17 Apr, 2013


I guess it must be an eye-opener for some folk, when their fruit & veg isn't a uniform shape & size, like they're used to from the supermarket. Lol.

20 Apr, 2013

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