A quick summary of 2020…
- I planted out some more broadbeans after mice/rats eat some of the ones I direct sowed at the end of last tear. I started some new ones off in pots a couple of months ago and planted them out.
- Found out that bags of mushroom compost had gone up from £1.50 to £2 and yet the amount in the bag had remained the same.
- Dug up the remaining parsnips
- Cut back the hop plant in the garden, probably not back enough as it didn’t spread as much this year that it did last.
- Pulled the remaining swede and kale
- Put down wood chip of paths
- We did so well the previous year with strawberries that we doubled the size of the strawberry bed. I bought new plants and potted them up in pots at home. We went to a garden centre we had never been to been to before (and thought we might revisit soon, although that would never happen) and got compost to fill the new bed. Unfortunately we ended up with no strawberries this year.
- Cut some purple sprouting
- Sowed radish and salad seed. Thought it had been so wet that I was probably a bit behind my mid month. Sowed beetroot, sprouts, tomatoes and chilies in pots. I think I left it too late for chilies as we didn’t have the biggest plants.
- Prepped beds for onions and potatoes
- Nearing the end of the month things in the world were starting to look a bit worrying. While we started to revisit the “zombie invasion” plan should we need it (and it seemed at the time it might actually be a likelihood), we spent the last “normal” day at the plot at the end of the month planting potatoes and onions. Growing your own food suddenly seemed more important than ever.
- “You can go to the allotment, but should you”? is what I was thinking, and I felt probably not. Not knowing what restrictions would be in place within the next 24 hours, I rushed up to pull the remaining leeks. The zombie invasion plans were being put in place and it was starting with making sure we would be self sufficient with leek and potato soup until it all blew over… I prepped the plot to look after itself for a couple of months.
- We dug up the lawn in the garden, we brought the allotment to us
- The soil seemed quite poor so I waited in the queue for the B&Q website, there were 107506 people in front but after an hour or two we got in and bought some compost.
- Using last year’s seed, I sowed parsnip, carrots and radish in the rough new bed Planted the left over potatoes and onion sets
- Sowed, in pots, more beetroot, cabbage, broccoli, french beans, butternut squash
- Built a compost bin for the garden
- By mid month I planted out pea seedlings. The soil in the garden seemed to be a bit more manageable.
- On some nicer days, we were for the first time ever, using the garden to sit outside for lunch – noticing the blossom on the cherry tree
- The bed in the garden was fully dug over by the end of the month and looking promising. The end of the month also saw the first lot of parsnips germinating, the first plants in the garden.
- planted out french beans
- ventured back to the plot, surprised at how overgrown the whole site was after just one month, nearly had to hack my way to our plot. Did a lot of weeding.
- pulled our first lot of radish of the year.
- planted out various seedlings, noted the weather feeling hot
- noted that the plot looked empty now that things were growing at home instead
- also noted that the rhubarb was not doing as well as it had previous years
- planted out sprout plants. I put out six of them but they ended up over crowded with other plants later on in the year and so we didn’t get a fantastic harvest. Really need to space them out much much more next time.
- planted out cucumber plants which never took off at the plot but did really well in the garden. The really hot summer yet to come probably meant lack of water at the plot.
- planted out runner beans and butternut squash in the garden. Hoping this year we might have luck with butternut squash and it turned out that we did.
- by the end of the month I felt like I was still not on top of the allotment plot having left it the previous month and had only had fleeting visits since. I spent a good morning there and felt better for it.
- potatoes at home flowering furtherpotatoes that we found at the back of the cupboard and popped in were starting to show.
- A super hot month where the high 20s in the evenings seemed quite cool. It was not a surprise that the small celeriac plants I put out mostly got frazzled in the sun. A bit of a shame as we liked them last year and so I wanted to grow more this year. It was bad luck that straight after planting out we had the hottest weather ever. The potato plants didn’t seem to like it either but came back to life. The strawberries were struggling, not helped by the trees from the field overhanging and shielding them from any rain at all.
- Planted tomato plants out, I got all the plants mixed up and so wasn’t quite sure what plants were going where. Put some at the plot and kept some in the garden.
- Sowed carrots where there was once celeriac.
- Netting on the gooseberries had blown off, allowing the birds to get in.
- Started cutting off the overhanging branches from the trees in the field
- Picked the last lot of broad beans
- Potato plants at home flowering
- Garden looking good but had a feeling the plot was missing out, visits are still quick and not often. By mid month I had spent a lot more time at the plot, weeding and tidying
- We had rain by the end of the month which meant picking raspberries, lots of red and white currants.
- Picking peas
- Had “night of the potatoes” where we visit in the evening for the potatoes (it’s just become what we do). Dug potatoes at the plot.
- Had “night of the onions” too (first time we have done it in the evening, I see another tradition starting…)
- Really windy and cold weather at the start of the month
- Still picking lots of currants at the plot and cherries in the garden
- Planted out leek plants that had been growing in pots since March
- Pulling beetroot and picking beans
- Butternut squash plants at home spreading out, plant a plot died.
- My id month, hot weather back and lots of evening visits watering
- Picking cucumbers
- Dug up potatoes from the garden
- By the end of the month, planted out swede
- Started widening the path at the plot with woodchip
- Rain one day, hot and sun the next…
- Picking blackberries and courgettes
- Carrots and parsnips at home not looking the best, I wondered if they were all a bit close to each other and having been under netting for so long there was not enough air circulation. When we came to harvest later on in the year we got a good harvest even so.
- Built a herb planter at home
- Lots of watering
- Picking lots of courgettes, raspberries, tomatoes and cucumbers
- Parsnips at home looking better now we have uncovered them
- Started collecting horse manure from a pile in a local field and spreading on empty beds at the plot. Was able to raise the height of the bed where the onions were
- Emptied our compost bin and was able to use this on some of the beds
- 6am start because by 10am it was too hot!
- Parsnips at the plot not many germinated. We suffer from small black beetle things that eat these and I think this might have happened here. They attack the carrots too. Next year I will have to cover them
- Using tap water for the bed at home as the water butt has run out of water. Visiting the plot in the evenings as it’s too hot during the day.
- Turnip plants put out both on the plot and at home
- By mid month the water butt was completely full again
- Started to build proper edges to the bed at home, including leveling it off (the garden is on quite a hill it appears). The bed was still full of plants and so don’t expect to finish this job until March time
- Tidied up the composting end oft he plot
- Most of the food we are eating at the moment is coming from the garden, picked as needed
- Cucumbers at the plot suffered from wind and cold, those in the garden spreading all over the place
- Plot seemed quite empty, garden seems full. Covered and mixed in bag and bag of horse manure at the plot
- Added a lot more compost to the strawberry bed which had dried out quite a bit during the year
- Fennel which went to seed seems to have started growing again
- Planted broad beans, about a month earlier than I would normally do and so will be interesting how they go
- Picking tomatoes every day in the garden
- Sowed onion seeds in pots
- Pulled some of the late sowed carrots that replaced the frazzled celeriac, pleased with the size. They were to become our main crop of carrots, better than those planted at home
- Picked our first ever butternut squash from the garden
- Planted garlic
- Planted out onion sets and onion plants from seed
- Pulled the last lot of carrots from the plot
- Planted out more broad beans (this is the normal time I would do it)
- First bonfire of the year at the plot
- Leeks looking like they are suffering from allium leaf minor – as a ‘core’ crop it was a bit disappointing
- Turnips and swedes looking good, along with garlic and onions
- A new batch of raspberries picked
- Pulled most of the carrots at home, along with beetroot still
- Pulled fennel and decided it is a taste we don’t particularly like and so won’t grow again. Great looking plant though, a shame
- Pulled parsnips at the plot. While the majority did not either germinate or got eaten by the mystery black beetle things, those that made it through where all long and pointy. Quite pleased.
- Started to dig out the deep weed roots around the gooseberries, with the plan to move the gooseberry plants and place next to the rest of the fruit. The the end of the month this had been done. This will make it easier to net just one lot of bushes in the summer.
- Picking a lot of turnips both at home and on the plot.
- Picking swedes and sprouts
- Pruned raspberry canes.
- By the end of the month it was too wet to do much else. We did get change to pull the parsnips at home, quite pleased with the result – remembering these were sown in rough soil that had just the day before been a garden lawn.
- Cleared most of the bed at home, dug over.