Sunday, 19 May 2013

Jam Plan

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Graham spent the morning making jam from the fruit we had frozen in the autumn. 4kg of sugar was used to make this rasberry and blackberry conserve.

Asparagus, May 2013

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Sorry about the blurriness of this picture, but with aspargus, you got to be quick! This isn't even the first pick, but we ate that before I had a chance to take a picture of it.

Monday, 6 May 2013

May Bank Holiday Weekend

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With the weather set fair, we spent a lot of hours on this weekend at the allotment.

Lots of edgig and rotivating were done.

From a planting point of view, it was Peas, Broadbeans and Sweet Peas transplanted from the greenhouse. Seeds were sewn for Spring onions, carrots and poppies.

Onions were hoed, and the weeds taken to the tip. Exhausting.

Sunday, 28 April 2013

The Rotivator

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6 years in, we've decided to invest in technology and have got ourselves a rotivator. It ploughed this bed really quickly. But apparently it is quite tiring taming the machine.

In the bed I planted spinach and beetroot. Aso, in the raised bed, I planted some Radish seeds.

Wednesday, 24 April 2013

Rhubarb - first pick 2013

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Today at the allotment wepicked the first crop from 2013 growth (we're still picking some cabbage from last summer). All rather exciting.

The other good news at the allotment is that the warmth of the last few days has allowed the onions to grow, and it looks like we might be in for a good crop after all (fingers crossed).

The broadbeans are doing well down there too. There's still a lot of digging and prearation to do though before we can put other plants and seeds in.

Saturday, 20 April 2013

Planting out broadbeans #1

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Today, the reserve gardener had a brilliant session at the allotment, preparing beds, cutting grass, and planting out the first batch of broadbeans.

Sunday, 14 April 2013

Spring has sprung, sewing time

Today has been about the first truly warm day (car thermometer said 19 degrees). Whilst we had a little pop to the allotment to put some veg peelings on the compost heap, and have a look at the onions - about 20, today was about sewing seeds in the greenhouse.

The greenhouse is now looking fairly full :-). Today I've planted:
- French beans (cobra) - we eat these during the summer
- Runner beans (Butler) - we freeze these for winter eating
- Courgette (jemmer F1) - we eat as many of these as we can, and then make ratatouille with  the rest. These are a bright yellow colour, slightly sweeter than green courgette, and look far more interesting on your plate!
- Sweetcorn (early extra sweet F1)
- Gourds  (Butternut, and Uchiki Kuri)
- Pumpkin (small sugar).

Note, I didn't need the extra broadbeans I planted - I now have about 45 plants! Going to be a lot of picking!!!!

Sunday, 7 April 2013

Back after 2 week's break

So we went away for a fortnight, and what should be the beginning if Spring. But the UK has had freezing cold weather during this time, therefore I was a little bit weary about what I would find.

At the allotment, the garlic has begun to grow (hurrah); the rhubarb has frost burn, but should be recoverable (hmm); and the spinach and rainbow chard has been destroyed (boo).

In the greenhouse, the broadbeans that I thought were old and knackered have sprouted (bonus bumper broadbean bonanza?);the peas and tomatoes are beginning to do their thing (nice), and everything else is not responding (hurry up).

However, as it is now a little bit warmer (washing is drying outside), and signficantly lighter, I hope that things will catch up, and we actually planned our holiday really well!

Saturday, 16 March 2013

Mid March and a slightly fuller greenhouse

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Whilst it's still a little cold, today I've planted:
- Broadbeans (Bunyards Exhibition) - yes, I know this has already been said once this year, but after a freezing fortnight and no sign of growth, I decided it might be because the seed is old, so I purchased some more this morning from Sainsbury's and it happens to be the same type.
- Squash (Early Flat White) - this is a heritage type, let's see if it grows
- Statice - Art Shades Mixed - some flowers for my garden
- Pea - Klevedon Wonder
- Leek - Caretan
Sweet Pea - Perfume Delight, to encourage the bees at the allotment and for picking for my living room.

Hopefully it will warm and they will grow.

Wednesday, 13 March 2013


Not only is it cold, but yesterday was very windy too, so I spent the night worrying that the minni greenhouse would fall over. Fortunately I had weighed it down with a patio slab, and it has stayed upright.

I want some nice Spring weather now!

Monday, 11 March 2013


Goodness, didn't expect this snow and cold this far into March. The fleece is back out on the onion bed. I'm hoping that the crop isn't ruined.

I've only got the broadbeans in the mini greenhouse, no point planting anything else as it won't germinate in this cold. Hoping that the broadbeans take off too.

Saturday, 9 March 2013

New cover for the mini greenhouse

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New season and I needed a new cover for the mini greenhouse in the back garden. It's looking after the broadbean (Bunyards Exhibition) seeds at the moment.

Thursday, 7 March 2013

Fancy being on TV?

A recent advert was sent through from the Alton Allotment Assocation, asking

"Do you grow your own fruit, veg and flowers and do you know what to do with them? Are you the complete kitchen gardener?

We are looking for pairs who have the skills and the dedication to compete to be the nation's best kitchen gadener. someone who can cultivate the perfect carrot, make their green tomatoes into award winning chutney and turn their dahlias and sweet peas into floral arrangements fit for a Queen.

If you have the skills to compete and are interested in featuring in our BBC 2 series...."

Whilst this isn't for us - don't have the time for a start, we probably don't have the skills either. We make a really good pair, my leading the growing, Graham leading the cooking. But we are probably too 'safe' with what we do with the product at the end of the day.

This is a little bit of a challenge to make sure that we continue to learn and develop on our allotment.

Chilli and tomato planting

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I've used organic coir pots for the first time (a gift), to bring these seedlings on.
Chilli is (Hot) Orange Wonder
Tomato a mixture of Gartenperle and The Amateur (seems appropriate).
I've got them on the windowsill in my dining room, and have put clingfilm on top to keep them warm. When they're a bit bigger, they will be planted into larger pots.

Sunday, 3 March 2013

Tidy raspberry bed

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We spent the morning tidying at the allotment.

The biggest issue with tidying in the raspberry bed is clearing the raspberry routes, these have a tendency to put out shoots so as to colonise new areas, so we dug up masses of these so that something else can go in this bed too - possibly the spinach, but I'm not quite sure yet.

Today's the 3rd March, you can see the rhubarb sprouting in the background, won't be long until we are picking it.

Saturday, 16 February 2013

Garlic and onion bed 2013

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16th Feb 2013, the onions and garlic go in.
Garlic - solent white
Red onion - red karmen
White onion - rumba

I've used a fleece to make the bed a little bit warmer and will leave that on for a couple of more weeks yet.