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The new season on the plots 2014


By balcony


The new season on the plots 2014.

We are now well under way into a new season of veg growing on our plots so I thought I’d start a new blog here & at the same time record some of the things I’m doing on my own allotment ‘Plot 12A’ as well as on my friend Gerry’s plots. I’ve mentioned before that I help him on his 1 & 1/2 allotment plots. I’ll recount some of our activity here as well.

View up Plot 58 from our shed:

I don’t seem to have taken a photo of Plot 58 from the top so I’ll use this photo of “View up Plot 58 from our shed” to give a little impression of what the plot looks like. Although the photo was taken two weeks ago little has changed in that time as we have concentrated our attention on the smaller half plot 59B.

The autumn/fall of 2013 & the winter of 2014 broke records all over the UK for the wettest since records began! It has also been a exceptionally mild winter & there have hardly been any frosts – especially in this part of the UK. The allotments field is a fair bit lower than the surrounding houses, up to almost a metre in parts. This is especially relevant in October & May when we tend to get frost earlier & later, respectively, than the gardens of the houses above us. We therefore have to contend with a frost trap which, in essence – puts an end to our frost tender plantings about the middle of October & also stops us from planting out frost susceptible plants, like beans & (Sweet)Corn, till the middle of May most years. We therefore only have a window of 6 months max in which to sow, plant, grow & harvest our crops, the other 6 months it is difficult to grow many things.

Due to the very wet winter we haven’t been able to anything on our plots which has put us well behind compared with other years. Nevertheless during this month of March as the weather has improved, & the plots have very good drainage, we have been able to make a start on clearing the weeds that grew during the mild winter & sowing our first few crops. Like most years it has been the first early potatoes we have planted first of all.

About the middle of March Gerry planted a bed full of seed potatoes that he had been adding horse manure to. These were First Early ‘Pentland Javelin’. These he sowed in the first bed, near the plot division.

Potatoes 1st Early ‘Pentland Javelin’ just planted out:

Since then he has worked on improving a couple of more beds with horse manure where he intends to plant more seed potatoes but this time maincrop potatoes ‘Picassa’. As these potatoes generally go in later than the earlies, he wants to get the beds ready before the weather turns wet once again & so that he can also concentrate on some other beds for future crops.

Lettuce ‘Little Gem’ seedlings & Crocuses under the small apple tree in front of the greenhouse:

The Lettuce seedlings were planted out at the same time in the greenhouse & under the apple tree. See the difference between these growing outside & these others growing in the greenhouse (photos taken same day!):

A few days ago I put up a heavy net that has been laying around in the shed for a year at least. As the winds & rains had broken down the finer mesh net I put up last year, to first protect Pea seeds from the pigeons & then to give support to the plants, I removed the rests of the netting & canes & put up this new net in its place. There are Sweetpea seedlings growing from the last year’s plants growing there & I’ve lifted them up from the ground & placed them on the netting in the hope they will continue to grow & later flower.

New net on plot division 58B:

Like Gerry I’ve been working on my own plot as well as helping him. About the same time as Gerry I also planted out a bed of first earlies, in my case some ‘Rocket’ & ‘Pentland Javelin’.

Potatoes 1st Early ‘Rocket’ being sown at far end of plot 12A:

Potatoes 1st Early ‘Pentland Javelin’ being sown at far end of plot 12A:

But I also planted some onion sets at the end of February:

Onion sets ‘Setton’ just sown:

I noticed a week ago that these have now sprouted:

At the time I planted the onion sets I also planted out seeds of Broadbeans ‘Aquadulce’:

When I last looked, last week about Tuesday, there were no signs of them sprouting yet – something that concerns me as after 4 weeks of being in the ground they should have germinated by now.

Last week I also planted some more onion sets, on my allotment & also on Gerry’s. On both allotments I sowed a complete bed the width of the plots & about 4ft wide. The sets were planted approx 6" apart . I got 4 rows in each bed. These sets are called ‘Stuttgarter’.

Onion sets ‘Stuttgarter’ just sown:

At the same planting distances we got some really big onions last year!

Plum tree ‘Black Czar’ blossoming:

This tree is near the top of Gerry’s main allotment. I expect the yellow Plums will be flowering during the coming week also.

More blog posts by balcony

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A very productive blog :)

30 Mar, 2014


I bought a grotty plastic watering can which leaked, so
instead of taking it back for a £3.99 refund I filled it with
compost, and planted a 'Pentland Javelin' seed potato in
it. It began to grow in my living room. I take it out onto
my balcony a.m. and bring it in p.m.
If this experiment is successful I will buy some more
plastic watering cans next year !

31 Mar, 2014


Thanks for your comments on the first allotment blog of the new season. :-))

Snoopdog, I reckon any form of growing plants, be it as decoration or for veg for eating, is real gardening! I've grown flowering plants almost exclusively for around 50 years but I've only been into growing veg for the last 5! A lot more work is required to grow veg but you at least get to eat the results! (With your mouth rather than with your eyes! :-D) )

1 Apr, 2014

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