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Allotment 2011 - My second season! April - May!


By balcony


I haven’t written a blog on the allotment for several months now so I’ll make up for lost time by making this a double blog. I hope to go back to fortnightly blogs in June.

March was a rather disagreeable month with rain & cold weather but April was, officially, the hottest April on record since they began 130 years ago! The soil on the plot looks & feels like grey sand! Near the end of May now & still we have had no rain! We have had a few very light showers which have made absolutely no difference to the soil & I have to cart cans of water around the plot. Last Saturday, 21st, I spent over 2 hours watering the plot!

I’ll make a start by showing some of the changes that have taken place since my last blog in March:

It wasn’t my intention to include frosted potatoes at the start of this blog! No, what I meant to show was the Buddleia that Gerry cut back so very drastically last autumn! Up to now only one of the 3 stumps he left has sprouted. Just as well because I planted potatoes all around the area it covered when in full growth last year!

Although it doesn’t show up very well on this reduced size photo, two rows of potato tops were badly damaged by the frost we had on the night of 4th May.

Onions Alisa Craig

Lettuce Cos “Ruboneo”

This is the Lettuce variety that my wife brought me back from Spain last September.

Lettuce Cos “Ruboneo” seedlings before & after planting out:

Same day:

Here they are – a month later!

Three weeks later!



Just this week I’ve noticed that one of the plants in this patch is bolting!

Onion sets Turbo

Gerry brought a couple of bags of Onion sets down to the plot & I planted them for him:

Beginning of April 2011:

3 weeks later:

1 month later:

Sweet Peppers

Bed 1:

Bed 2:

Three Sisters

Have you ever heard of the Three Sisters method of planting? It consists of planting a spreading plant (Water Melon in my case), Sweet Corn & then a climbing bean (which uses the Corn to climb up). I’m trying it out this year for the first time. The beans haven’t germinated yet giving the Corn time to grow tall before the beans start climbing.

Potatoes Earlies Rocket in front of shed

Day of sowing:

No photos during April!

Now at beginning of May:

10 days later:

2 days afterwards:

View from shed

Here are some views up the plot from inside the shed:

1st April – still looking rather bleak!

Three weeks later!:

Tomorrow I’ll take one for May. I haven’t got around to doing one this month!

There you have, in a nutshell (a rather big one!), the progress made on the plot during April & May 2011.

I hope to go back to fortnightly blog in June. So watch out around the middle of the month for my next instalment!

More blog posts by balcony

Previous post: Mother's Day in Cuenca, Spain (2nd Part)

Next post: My very own plot!



Might not be getting the rain but its all looking good Balcony so you have got some good earth there, pleased for you, lets hope its all good underneath and you get a good harvest after all that work. Hows your Balcony doing this year?...

27 May, 2011


Your allotment is looking great, Balcony....the lettuce from Spain is looking particularly tasty :)

You've worked very's a lot of hard graft to prepare the ground but even worse for you is the difficulty of keeping everything watered. You are definitely doing everything right.

27 May, 2011


hope it rains for you

28 May, 2011



28 May, 2011


thats very impressive ~ i like the bottle labels ~ i should think they scare the birds away at the same time if they rattle on their sticks ~ very clever.

28 May, 2011


I have nothing but admiration for you & Gerry ... the weather has been against you for weeks now! OH and I have taken on a very neglected plot so we shall be following your progress with much interest. The 'Three Sisters' planting method is very intriguing ... shall be watching out for more on this. Am keeping this on Favourites for reference. : o )

28 May, 2011


ohh looking good, hope the weather is good to you..

28 May, 2011


Good work, Balcony!

29 May, 2011


Well done Balcony its all looking great and flourishing despite the lack of rain, can see such a big difference since you first took the plot over, it now looks so professional and a nice place to work;0)

30 May, 2011


Thank you all for your nice comments!

As we haven't had more than a few light showers in 2 months I've been forced to lug 2x10lt cans of water dozens of trips up & down the plot for weeks & as I've planted out a lot of seedlings during May I've had to work even harder!

As I didn't get around to making up any blogs on the plot for a couple of months I thought that by adding a few photos of each crop at different moments it would give a better idea of how they have progressed during April & May.

Today, Bank Holiday Monday, we are having a little of the desperately needed rain we have been longing & praying for! Although we were forecast rain earlier in the day it didn't start till about 1.30p.m. since then it doesn't seemed to have stopped! It's now gone 6.30p.m. It's good it's not just a shower or two like we had last Thursday - I got caught in two brief showers! The 1st as I was on my way downtown, later when I was finishing off my business & went to catch the bus back home. Then on Friday during the afternoon when I was just about to go home after having been a couple of hours on the allotment. I had to stay in the shed for ten minutes till it passed over. None of these showers made the slightest difference on the plot - the "soil" continued to be like grey sand! With a bit of luck today's rain will have got down a couple of inches into the soil & the plot will no longer resemble a grey desert!

30 May, 2011


Shirley, as you are interested in the Three Sisters planting method I found this link on another site I post on:

I printed it out to see if I could do something like it on the allotment.

I planted out my Water Melons last week & between the plants I planted Sweet Corn & close to the Corn I put in a Runner bean seed. I put in seed rather than a plant so as to give the Corn time to get established & begin to grow before the beans take off! I'll post more photos as the summer goes along in my fortnightly allotment blogs.

Just last Friday I planted out the last few Water Melon plants that had been left in the GH. I'll see if perhaps on Tuesday or Wednesday I can plant out the Sweet Corn & the Runner beans I have germinating in toilet roll tubes in the GH.

Perhaps today's rain will help the plants get established quicker.

30 May, 2011


Well, the Native Americans knew a thing or two! Thanks for this, Balcony, I'll show it to OH later and see what he thinks. I'm interested in it . . . .

30 May, 2011

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