Archive for the Category ◊ Allotment ◊

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• Sunday, February 03rd, 2019

Last night saw record low temperatures in Cambridgeshire. In fact it was 0 degrees Celsius at 9 am in the garden, so I had to wait until the sun had thawed the ground before popping to the plot.

It was a splendid afternoon in the sun. Lots of people had come to the allotment and were busy shovelling manure or buying potato seeds from the allotment society.

I set about weeding the strawberry patch which is on a slight slope. My next task will be to spread a bit of sulphate of potash around the plants in order to feed them to get a good crop. If I have time I also intend to mulch the area in order to prevent the weeds from reappearing too quickly.

Before leaving the allotment I harvested a few parsnips and as I did I uncovered more than I could see in the first place. With the cold weather that we have had lately the parsnips have become really sweet and delicious, the perfect accompaniment for tonight’s roast dinner.

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• Sunday, January 13th, 2019

It’s been a fairly nice Sunday morning and, since as it was warm enough, I have been able to go to the allotment to do a bit of digging. There were quite a few people doing the same, taking advantage of the dry weather to clear their plot a little bit more.

Garlic

As I was digging I noticed a lot of earth worms, which I try not to hurt as I disturb their ground. Unfortunately, there is a lot of couch grass on the plot which is very invasive so most of my effort consists in removing that weed. I also took the time to take a look at the garlic, which has grown well in autumn and which should be over-wintering nicely during the cold weather.

A little bit at a time is the best advice I can give when it comes to keeping the plot in good stead without hurting your back. And regular digging and weeding goes a long way to keep it tidy.

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• Tuesday, January 01st, 2019

Today has been a fairly mild day for this time of year. In fact I have noticed a bumble bee flying in the garden and it also seems that some bulbs such as daffodils are already starting to emerge from the ground.

Red Cabbage

This morning I went to the plot and I saw that I was not the only one busy plotting there as it was a pleasant day. I set about trimming the edge of the path with my spade and weeding as I go along. This is a task that will keep me busy for a while this winter.

I harvested some red cabbage from the plot, which I slow cooked with red onion, balsamic vinegar and cranberry sauce (useful left-over from Christmas dinner). At this time of year it’s good to be able to harvest some vegetables since they are in rather short supply and cabbage is indeed a great winter crop.

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• Wednesday, December 26th, 2018

It’s been a while since I have written anything in my garden blog. I have been so busy this year with my allotment plot that there hasn’t been free time for much else. But it’s been an amazing gardening year and if you had told me how much time I would be spending on the plot I might have been sceptical about my ability to carry on as an allotmenteer.

New allotment plot

Tackling a 10 pole allotment plot from scratch is quite a challenge particularly if the plot is totally empty. No rhubarb, shrub, shed or compost bin occupying the empty 5 x 40m narrow space. So I shall endeavour to make an account of my first year on the plot so that it may inspire others to give it a go too. A satisfying first year it has been with great successes and some disappointment.

We’ve experienced  such hot weather this year here in Cambridgeshire and the rest of the country that the months of July and August proved tricky in terms of watering the vegetables and just keeping things alive. But 2018 has been a good year for growing tomatoes, peppers and sweetcorn in particular. Chatting with my fellow plot holders encouraged me to grow a lot of different tomato plants.In fact I was given small plants from varieties such as Money maker, Roma, and Aisle Craig from friends.I grew these alongside my own plants from varieties of Gardener’s delight, Sungold, and Zebra green tomatoes which got started on my windowsill in March.

But we most enjoyed a variety of tiny cherry tomatoes called Coyote. I obtained the seeds at a seed swap event taking place in Cambridge early in the year and I believe this was an open-pollinated variety seed collected by a fellow amateur gardener. A total of 30 plants carefully staked, watered and fed rewarded us with a bounty of delicious tomatoes, many of which I cooked into a coulis and stored in the freezer. Such a bountiful gardening year it’s been, and on this cloudy Christmas day as I open my presents and find 3 pairs of gardening gloves I look forward to another fruitful year on the plot.

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