An inner city allotment

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September 2019

There was an autumnal chill the other morning and for the last few days there has been a lot of rain. Good job we’d fixed the leak in the greenhouse! No doubt another will spring up somewhere. This quieter time on the allotment is perfect for repairs and plans and seed catalogues with tempting offers and new varieties!

There is no fence between our plot and the next, but we’d put in some plants ages ago along the border. Funny how some things done by accident almost, look great after ward. We had put in some pink cosmos, spare echinacea plants and some sedum cuttings. As you can see, the border looks great, it spread around the sweetcorn and the rhubarb bed. Hopefully it will be just as lovely next year. It’s still going strong now.


Happy accident.

We’ll be eating squash until next year. The wet summer was just what they needed. We would go home and literally the next day they would be huge. We also grew some spaghetti squash, and didn’t do too badly with them.


Butternuts and Spaghetti!

We had planted some chantenay carrot seed in a couple of troughs – something we had vowed not to do. We have NEVER had any success with carrots in all the years we have had an allotment. NEVER. Not one. This year we …drum roll please… actually grew some!! OK, they’re very small – even for chantenay – and it was only a few but it’s a start. We’ll be growing some next year for definite. The secret? Plant the seed and then do nothing except water occasionally but, ignore them. Happy Plotting !


Success at last!


March 2019

Well, March certainly did come in like a lion and go out like a lamb. It felt like there was a storm for about two weeks straight. The wind just seemed to get worse and stopped us from getting stuff done outside quite a few times.


Dwarf Narcissi

We unwrapped the dahlia tubers this week. We only lost one, no doubt it will be replaced. When you see the displays in the garden centres and they’re so cheap, sometimes two for a fiver, how can you resist?

I wish we had somewhere special to keep them, but they were wrapped in old newspapers and stored in a large plant pot in the greenhouse. They don’t seem to have done too badly. We put them individually into pots with some fresh compost to get them ready to begin shooting, then when they’re strong enough they can go in the soil.


Some of the dahlias. Not too pretty at the moment.

The seedlings seem to have picked up after a very slow start. We sowed various brassica seeds about ten days ago and today have already began potting some of the larger ones on in newspaper pots. The tomato and chilli seedlings are still very small, but hopefully with the good weather coming they should pick up … fingers crossed.


The cayennes – the second lot. Lost the first lot to a hungry cat!

Our rose bed, which we assembled from a three broken troughs is beginning to take on a life of its own. The roses are thriving along with the spring bulbs that we planted in it. It’s a forgotten area of the allotment, right at the back next to a huge composting area, but it’s beginning to look o.k., even better now we’ve added an obelisk to its centre. Hopefully the flowers will grow around it and we’ll have fresh blooms for the house this summer.


Happy plotting!

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May 2017

The merry month of May, when it’s crazy in the greenhouse and the hardening off area, (a fancy term for a plastic tent, that will soon become the Aubergine house!) is crammed. The herb ladder is in its new ‘lean too’ place around the back of the shed, it will get a good amount of sunshine there as we’re quite shaded on the main allotment, but it’s great to have some proper fresh herbs again. The sorrel never took off, well I think we got one seedling which is being nursed like an only child, but everything else is going OK.


Nice big crack in the pot of oregano, must change it!

We planted the beans last Sunday; French, green and purple and runner beans from saved seed. All was well until the next day … pigeons! Bl**dy pigeons had decided to snack on them!! Our fault though, we forgot to net them, never having had any trouble with them before. Now they are under a safety cordon of dangly jar lids, old cds, a string grid and netting. Good job there was some spares. Does everyone do this? Grow the spares, just in case? Usually we end up giving them away but we’ll need them this year.


They’ll plug the gaps.

The mangetout have fared much better, maybe the pigeons haven’t got a taste for them. They were planted in a trough over a week ago, and seem to be flourishing. In a way, it was another go at the ‘bean and pea wall’ we tried last year. After seeing a picture on the internet of a spectacular wall of various sweet peas and beans all in various shades of purple we decided to give it a go. We bought some various coloured mange tout in green purple and yellow. It was just that they were all in the same bag!! So the purple wall had some green and yellow in it as well!


Wonder what colour we’ll get this time?


The Purple Pea and Bean wall! ( with added Yellow!!)

The Maypole for the sweet peas has gone up and the varieties we’ve planted are ‘Mumsie’ and ‘Tiller Girls’. We’ve planted more out, ‘Royal Family’, Air Warden’ and ‘Giant Wave’ on a bamboo wigwam next to the Maypole. We became addicted to the scent of the flowers in the house last year, so where there’s some spare space we’re planting sweet peas.


Also now covered in pigeon proof netting!

There’s so much to go out this weekend; the courgettes, borlotti beans in giant pots, lettuce etc. The fennel seedlings are getting stronger and the cauliflower seem to be picking up after a slow start. The squash have finally shown up as well! So, we’ll finish this post with a nice colourful pic of some radish. Nice and colourful, just like the allotment. Happy plotting!


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July (Where has the sun gone?)

There is nothing more enjoyable than getting to the allotment very early, before anyone else is there, and after a good downpour! Everything seems to be blooming, growing, in fact our little plot goes a bit wild now, and that’s how we like it!

The shed's in there somewhere ...

The shed’s in there somewhere …

Runner beans,French beans and sweet peas.

Runner beans,French beans and sweet peas.

The spud bags are being emptied and everyone keeps asking for some … We’ve jammed strawbs and redcurrants and if the sun decides to poke its head out again we may have more. The courgette glut is being dealt with in the form of soups and chutney (doesn’t everyone??)

The Green House! The green house now resembles something from Jumanji. The cucamelons have gone wild. I keep nipping out the growing tip just to stop them bursting through the glass. The cucumbers have been a success this year also. Usually, it’s a struggle but, everything seems to be fruiting.

a wee cuc saying 'hello'

a wee cuc saying ‘hello’

Yes,there was a window there!

Yes,there was a window there!

And as for workspace, there is very little, but that’s great. We hope everyone else is havesting as much as we are, and struggling for space. That’s what we grow for isn’t it?

I used to have space on here.  We eat our lunch here, hence the plates!

I used to have space on here. We eat our lunch here, hence the plates!