I have gardening withdrawal symptoms. The water table has been so high that we’ve not been able to do much work on the allotment since November, and the recent rains have left us flooded for the third time. In fact, we’ve been flooded for so long that the water is growing algae! Our greenhouse was … More Allotment Aquatics
March saw the plot’s second anniversary in our care. Sometimes I worry that progress is slow, but when I look back at photographs of our first day I realise just how far we’ve come. 2017 was beset with rabbits, but for the most part we’ve since kept them at bay. I know it’s early spring … More Plot Anniversary: photo tour
It’s been a while since I’ve blogged and that’s because I wanted to write about jobs as we completed them. Allotments, as it turns out, aren’t as ordered or linear as that – or maybe it’s just our concentration spans. We’ve been busy, that’s for sure, but I’m not certain we can officially tick anything … More The Perpetual State of Incompleteness
We can’t believe it either. I assume the long hot days of the heatwave made them too lethargic to attempt to break in, or maybe they found an easier plot to target because even when the heatwave crashed and the days became cooler, the rabbits still didn’t come. I’m not going to curse this by … More We did it: A Summer Free From Rabbits!
Back in February I revealed my allotment plans for the year. I didn’t want to leave too much wriggle room as I was worried without structure I’d sow the entire contents of my seed tin (it’s a secret, overcrowded place where no one dares venture alone). My plans, therefore, had to be adhered to without … More Going Off Piste, and Other News from the Plot
In my last post I wrote about being negligent and accidentally cooking our tomato seedlings on the boat roof during the first sunny day of spring. Never again, I said, would I be such a terrible plant mother and allow such a thing to happen. Never again… These are photos of my sweet peas … More Lesson Clearly Not Learned, and Other News from the Plot
We pre-ordered a set each of ‘Ariane’ and ‘Mondeo’ asparagus crowns from Thompson & Morgan in January and thought it would give us plenty of time to build an asparagus bed. It did of course, but then it rained and snowed and rained a bit more, and as I recall we had even more snow and it’s … More The Not-Quite-Finished Asparagus Bed Adventure.
We did it, we made it through our first year of allotment gardening without killing everything or each other (excluding that time I nearly took Rob out with a ladder). Has it been a successful year? Well, we’re still on speaking terms and it hasn’t ended in divorce so that’s a pretty positive close to … More One Year on the Plot: Our First Year Reviewed
Intruders came on Friday, under the cover of darkness, and forced the lock on the main gates. They must have been on site a while because only a few plots escaped their attention. Plots on our snicket were raided – all the ones with sheds… Except ours. We know this because they left the gates … More Break-ins, Boobytraps, and Other News from the Plot
I started keeping an allotment journal after reading Richard Chivers’ post on the subject last year and it’s been an invaluable tool, so this year I’ve gone a step further and also made an allotment plan and spreadsheet. The plan and spreadsheet’s main purpose is to keep me on top of planting and sowing times, and … More Allotment Plans 2018
Work on the living fence has been going well, and we’ve not seen any recent evidence of rabbits on the plot. However, when I arrived today two very cute muntjac deer bounded away down our snicket. I stood for a while and contemplated their beauty as they disappeared amongst the treeline. And then I checked … More Oh, Deer!
It’s been a busy week on the plot as shed work continues. I’ve painted the inside walls to protect the pallet wood. We’ve used four 5 litre cans of Cuprinol wood stain so far (in shade Silver Copse). Rob helped paint the ceiling as finishing it meant he could start laying the floor. I’ll need … More Shed Update, Cold Frame Construction, and Other News from the Plot
We have both had flu for the last couple of weeks and it has prevented us from doing any work on the allotment. It has, however, given me the opportunity to pull the rocking chair close to the stove and delve into a few gardening and allotment books. Three of these were Yule gifts, and … More Allotment Reading
Since we have only had our plot since March last year we are still trying to find our feet. Our philosophy in 2017 was ‘try it and see’, and this best sums up every decision we made, every plant planted, and every structure built. 2017 was about getting to know the plot (clayey, compacted and … More 2018 – Allotment Aspirations
We were very excited last year to be given a plot with a well, but since the gravel extraction work in the quarry behind us intensified we have watched the well dry up. I also noticed that something slimy and possibly alien had moved into the hole so, for the greater good of mankind, we … More Goodbye Well, Hello Sinkhole
We have been collecting pallets since April with the goal of eventually turning them into a shed and, as you can see from the featured image, we are nearly there. Our family worked enthusiastically and tirelessly (and without being put under any duress) to build our shed over a very cold weekend at the beginning of … More Building a Pallet Shed, and Other News from the Plot
I spent Monday afternoon at the allotment re-doing and changing work we had previously completed. We do try and get things right the first time round, but plans have a habit of going awry. I guess this is because we are still getting to know the site and all its idiosyncrasies, and because this is … More The Convoluted Route (of Leaf Mould Bins and Compost Bays)
I was beginning to feel a little overwhelmed by the plot. I have no routine, I’m out of my depth, and I don’t fully know how the year affects the site. With the turning of the season into autumn I was left floundering and wondering, “what do I do next?” Luckily for me, that question … More Falling into Autumn with a Bump
It has been 6 months since we took on the plot. It feels like we have made decent progress in this time, but there is still a long way to go. We are lucky that there are no hard rules imposed by the allotment association regarding weed control and levels of cultivation – we can … More It Has Been 6 Months
If you have read any of my previous blog posts you will be no stranger to the fact that we have a rabbit problem on an industrial scale. There is a warren in one of the abandoned plots adjoining ours. The allotment association has no plans to tackle the issue and has left it to … More Rabbit Proofing Methods: Tried and Tested.
This week I’ve been digging a new flowerbed. I’ve been dying to get started on the area around the hazel tree near our gate. This end of the allotment has been neglected since we took the plot on in March. The ground is heavy clay and tough to dig, although there’s been plenty of thistle … More Starting the Flower Beds
We have potatoes! These are our second early Maris Peers. We waited a week or so after the flowers had faded before digging, and this just happened to coincide with family visiting so we had extra hands to rummage and join us in our first toast to the land. And, for favourable future harvests, we buried … More Our First Harvest, and Other News from the Plot
We were lucky enough to have an extra pair of hands on the plot last Thursday when our friend Chris popped over for “a tour.” The inverted commas are because we waited until we’d locked him into the allotment site before breaking the news that we actually meant manual labour. Chris is an ex-florist and … More Gifts and Helping Hands