Time flies doesn’t it? They usually say “time flies when you are having fun”, but 2016 had its highs and lows for me and flew by! So today is the start of a 365 day book and I’m going to make it a good one! Well, maybe not all 365 but a regular update on what’s happening on the allotment shall do.
So my last (regular) post was back in October when I took the task of clearing a 6 year old jungle, leaving a lovely 12 m x 9 m plot to work with. Since then, there has been a lot of humming and haring (if that’s even the phrase) on what to do with it. I’m a complete novice with growing veg and I just want to grow everything and anything on the allotment. I went over a few weeks ago to rotavate the site, but I definitely need to go back and do it again before the growing season.
I’ve decided that now is the best time to plan the allotment (or any garden for that matter). My seed catalogs have arrived and its a good excuse to get out of watching Hollyoaks or Emmerdale. “Oh honey, If I don’t plan now, it’ll never get done!”, will be my excuse, which will be met with “What happened to all the other DIY jobs around the house you keep talking about?” They can wait for now.
As much as I want to grow everything and anything and have this stunning allotment, (just thinking about it, I feel like a kid in a toy shop) I should really start off small, see how things develop from there. Planning an allotment is a difficult task, I feel, for a novice as there is a massive variety of different crops to choose from. Take carrots for example; Nates; sweet candle; Marion; Autumn King? fly resistant, seeds, seed tapes? Oh I don’t bloody know! I just want some carrots! Trying to decide is like trying to help the other half choose a handbag!
Thankfully, the kind people at Marshalls seeds (Other companies are available) have thought this through and have come up with this nifty “Large kitchen seed collection” for a magnificent £39.95. It contains 25 packets of seeds. So I plan on growing the following: Lettuce Little Gem, Carrot Nirobi, Salad Leaves Baby Leaf Mix, Courgette Zucchini, Broccoli Summer Purple, Climbing French Bean Montecristo, Cabbage Marabel, Squash Hunter, Spinach Perpetual, Spring Onion White Lisbon, Kenya Bean Safari, Beetroot Solo, Radish Ilka, Cauliflower White Step, Broad Bean Masterpiece Longpod, Runner Bean Moonlight, Swede Marian, Turnip Sweetbell, Pea Green Shaft, Leek Terminal, Sweetcorn Lark, Cabbage Duncan, Marrow Long Green Bush, Parsnip Pearl F1, Brussels Sprout Gustus.
I forgot to mention, that by purchasing these seeds, I get a windowsill propagator for £3.99 when I spend over £25 on seeds. That saving a whopping £11! Oh Becca is going to be so pleased! (I would just like to add that I keep buying plants and popping them on the windowsill, and I’ve just started a new hobby of making homemade wines, so to add to the plants I have demijohns around the house brewing wine! propagators are next!)
Adding to my list of seeds, I have decided to grow some onions and potatoes. I would like to have a year round supply of spuds, so I guess I need to grow ‘First earlies’; ‘Second earlies’ and ‘Main crop’. I won’t bore you with the details of what each means, (I’ll wait for another blog post). But I’m having ‘Red Duke of York’ for my first earlies, ‘Kestrel’ for my second and ‘Maris Piper’ for my main crop. For my onions, I’m going for some ‘Fen Early’ onions. These should keep right through until the end of winter.
The next step on my allotment journey is to draw a plan of what I’m growing and where. I’ll decide on whether I’ll go for raised beds or not, where the man cave is going and other fun and exciting things that will happen on plot 3a.