The Allotment Wife


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A Christmas harvest

K at work today, so I’ve popped down to the allotment to harvest our Christmas dinner – or the veggie parts of it anyway! So here are our lovely sprouts (I LOVE sprouts!) and some cabbage:

Sprouts and cabbage 1 Sprouts and cabbage 2

I had to take the loppers as the stems are so thick, but I love the loppers (ah, that feeling of existential power, eh …) so no problem there. And there’s more to come from the brassica bed too, so that’s good news:

Brassica bed 1 Brassica bed 2

The only problem I had was having to peel back the netting to get at the little treasures. If I’d had any sense, I would have taken the plastic pins fully out first before peeling it off, but I didn’t think of that, so had to spend some time extricating them from the net where they were still attached when I was putting them back. I shall remember for next time! For now, I think it’s just about okay from any predators.

Happy Christmas to all our Allotmenteers and to everyone else too!

Anne Brooke
Gay Reads UK
Tales from the Typeface: a Secretary’s Life and How to Survive It

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Preparing for Christmas

K and I spent about an hour on the allotment today – he raked the leaves from the soft fruit area and I tried to hoe everything in sight without damaging anything – it’s particularly exhausting on the soft fruit bed as there are just so many weeds. Still, I think it’s looking a bit better after we had a go at it, and I think most of the autumn raspberry roots are still intact – I hope!

K also completed one of the two raised beds he was working on last week though the second one still needs more soil at some point. Oh and the brassica bed is looking grand – there are going to be loads of sprouts for Christmas so that’s brilliant as I LOVE sprouts and can never have too many. My plan is to go to the allotment on Wednesday as I’m off work now and harvest two of the four sprout plants and one of the cabbages. The sprouts are F1 so we gather they all grow at the same rate – so I’ll need to remember to take the loppers as the stems are quite thick.

Am hugely looking forward to that for sure! In the meantime, I’ve harvested some more of the winter lettuce which should last us a few days, hurrah.

Anne Brooke Books
The Gathandrian Fantasy Trilogy
Tales from the Typeface: a Secretary’s Life and How to Survive It


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Completed raised bed and raspberry pruning

Back at the allotment this morning, where K has completed the second new raised bed and laid the lining for the new path. We will need to get some suitable gravel to put on that at some point, and he also needs to screw the end panels in more thoroughly in the raised bed, but it’s fine for now.

Path lining Raised bed

While he was doing that, I pruned the autumn raspberries as apparently fruit for these only grows on new wood so they start afresh each year. I think I did pretty well with the task too, though we’ll bring a rake down next weekend to try to sort the leaves and weeds out – but we’ll need to be careful as raspberry roots are quite shallow.

Raspberry patch

Back home, we’ve poured ourselves a generous sherry each to celebrate our hard work. Onward and upward!

Anne Brooke Books
Lori Olding Children’s Author
The Gathandrian Fantasy Trilogy


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Raised beds and soft fruit

We’ve spent a happy couple of hours on the allotment in crisp sunshine today. I did the weeding and also gave the soft fruit area as thorough a clear out as possible – which is a lot easier now the autumn raspberries have shed their leaves.

Soft fruit 1

And K very nobly started building two new raised beds so we can extend our crop choices. And very good they look too, I think.

Raised Beds 1 Raised Beds 2 Raised Beds 3 Raised Beds 4 Raised Beds 5

Of course they’re not finished yet. We need to hammer them in properly – we did our best today with no hammer and no spirit level, so go us! And we also need to add more soil, and think about what we’d like to grow in them. We also need to put lining down and create a shingle/gravel path between them and the shed – so it’s in keeping with the raised beds path which was already there when we took it over.

So a lot to think about for sure! Oh and we harvested the last of the beetroot, a few carrots and a huge bunch of the winter lettuce.

Anne Brooke
Gay Reads UK
The Gathandrian Fantasy Trilogy
Tales from the Typeface: a Secretary’s Life and How to Survive It


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Fresh planting and gap filling

Very frosty this morning, so we’ve had trouble digging in the raised beds – they seem to have held on to the frost more than the open areas on the allotment – maybe it’s the nature of raised beds? Perhaps they hold onto the heat and the chill as well. Anyway, we’ve planted three more asparagus plants to fill up the asparagus bed, and we’ve also created a rhubarb patch at one end of the soft fruit area:

Rhubarb patch

It may not look much yet, but give it time! There were already two rhubarb crowns there, but we’ve added in one Timperley Early and one Raspberry Red.

We’ve also added in one redcurrant and one whitecurrant to the soft fruit area:

New redcurrant and whitecurrant Redcurrant and whitecurrant

And, because K is keen on gooseberries, we’ve put one bush in next to the rhubarb patch:

Gooseberry

Apart from that, I did some more digging in the soft fruit area – which was a lot easier than the raised beds, I must say. And a quick look around the plot tells us that things are ticking along. The Brussels sprouts look particularly good, I think. Today’s harvest was the winter lettuce, two beetroots and a very large carrot. So enough to keep us ticking along!

Anne Brooke Books
Tales from the Typeface: a Secretary’s Life and How to Survive It