Next year the allotment will be planned on new lines. The the allotment is approximately 18m by 12m. The northern 18 by 6 m half will continue to grow the asparagus and raspberries. A new strawberry patch will be planted infront of the shed. The southern 18m by 6m half will be divided into 6 off 3m by 6m strips. These will be labelled (a} to (f) from west to east. Next year the plan for each strip would be (a) roots following the brassicas, (b) beans, (c) squash, (d) potatoes, (e)garlic and onions and (f) brassicas following overwintering field beans.
Continued picking runner beans and tomatoes. Harvested the Wilja potatoes, dug over the land where they had been and sowed mustard seeds. Harvested the squashes, including the butternuts, the crown princes, the very large turkish hats, the onions and the little gems. Dug a 6m long trench, filled it with compost in preparation for next years runner beans.
5 good sized elephant garlic bulbs were harvested, one was retained to give 5 cloves for planting in later in the year. First slim pickings of runner beans was made early in the month and better pickings continued through the month. Squashes filling out and spreading their foliage.
Picked a few broad beans early in the month. Work in the allotment was interrupted this month by a week in the New Forest. Before departure 3/4 of the field beans were cleared from a 8ft by 16ft patch of ground into which 20 brassicas were transplanted. These were 4 off "Galleon" cauliflowers, 4 off "Romanesco Celio" cauliflowers, 4 off "January King" savoy cabbages, 4 off "Rigoletto" savoy cabbages and 4 off "Darkibor" curly kale. These were covered with a 8ft by 8ft cane netted framework. They were fortuneate to survive a hot dry week of neglect. The cleared field beans were composted and those remaining allowed to turn to seed which were collected and saved for planting later in the year. A good bowlful of blackcurrants were picked, topped and tailed and added to three blackcurrant crumbles. Also harvested some garlic and the "Charlotte" potatoes. The garlic was a little disappointing but three bulbs of "Solent Wight" were saved for planting later this year. The crop of "Charlottes" was very good. Dugover the land where the broad beans and the "Charlottes" had been and sowed some mustard seeds. Pulled 3 good beetroot. Picked only a few good bowlfuls of raspberries earlier in the month, later pickings were added to raspberry vinegar.
Work didn't start on the allotment until halfway through the month. Then a good day motor-mowed the paths, weeded the asparagus and raspberry beds, hoed the garlic and onions, planted 6 squash plants, planted 9 tomato plants and sowed a few borlotti bean seeds. Continued to pick asparagus and rhubarb until towards the end of the month.
Runner bean sown on On Monday May 13th included 40 Thomson and Morgan "Polestar" seeds on the west side of the frame and on the eastside, 10 saved seeds of Moonlight, Red Rum and Princess Di. Also hoed around the onions and garlic. Mowed and trimmed the grassed paths around the allotment. Dug over where the sweetcorn and squash are to go. Hilled up over the two rows of now showing "Wilja" potatoes. Harvested rhubarb and the asparagus.
A 40 pole 12 ft long runner bean frame was constructed between block E holding the manure pile and block f where the sweet corn is to go. A row each of beetroot, carrot and parsnip were sown, leaving room for one more row of carrots to be sown in May. Eleven rows of 18 "Sturon" onion sets, on a 6 inch by 6 inch grid were planted on the half plot behind the garlic. These were hoed around to clear the weeds growing between them. Two 4 metre long rows of 2.5kg "Charlotte" seed potatoes were planted alongside the 2 rows of "Wilja" potatoes in early April.
In the hope that the weather is getting warmer , seven seed trays were filled with general purpose peat and seeds were sown. Three seeds of the squash: "Turk's Head", "Atlantic Giant", "Gemstore", "Autumn Crown", "Sprinter", "Cobnut", "Kabocha" and onion and 5 seed of the courgette "El Greco" were sown in 2 trays. Ten seeds of the tomatoes "Gardeners Delight", "Black Cherry" and "Rainbow Blend" were sown in 2 trays. Twenty three seeds of the sweetcorn "Sundance" were sown in a fifth tray. Two further trays were sown with 10 seeds each of the brassicas: cauliflower "Galleon", cauliflower " Romanesco Celio", savoy cabbage "Rigoleto", savoy cabbage "January King" and curly kale "Darkibor". Cabbage "Spring Hero" will be sown in August.
What should have been sown this month was outlined in the general plan. The very cold weather throughout March put a stop to that. Three rows, 2 by 4m and 1 by 2m, of 2.5 kg "Wilja" seed potatoes were sown on March 30th in the hope that April will be warmer.
Not alot was done on the allotment in late January and early February because of the rain and standing water. The road infront of the the plot was closed to the vehicles to stop 4*4s churning up the mud. However with a clear blue sky on 19th and I was able to complete the digging where the onions and root crops are go and to spray diluted Roundup concentrate onto the asparagus, raspberry and blackcurrant beds using watering can with rose.
Purchased a 2.5kg bag of Wilja maincrop seed potatoes and a 2.5 kg bag of Charlotte salad seed potatoes.
Not alot was done in the allotment in November and December because of the continual rain, apart from sowing two double short rows of broad beans and covering them with a cloche. The photograph of the allotment at the start of the year shows it's general state.
Some tasks were carried out early this month, before the snow and rain appeared were:-