The Allotment Wife


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More mulching and a brassica clear-out

I think we’ve done good work on the allotment today. Mulching was our main aim so we’ve put on 5 more bags and done the main chunk of the soft fruit beds, plus around the more mature bushes where the weeds were worst. I think it looks quite respectable now:

Soft fruit bed 1 Soft fruit bed 2 Soft fruit bed 3 Soft fruit bed 4 Soft fruit bed 5

I also did a quick hoe round the rest of the plot and the raised beds, but there wasn’t a lot to do, to be honest. K and I then cleared out the brassica bed, and put the remains of the plants onto the compost heap, so there’s more green stuff on there now which is good. We’ll leave the hoops in the brassica bed for now, as we may as well. Not sure yet what we’re going to replace the brassicas with, but we’ll think of something!

Brassica Bed 1 Brassica Bed 2

Meanwhile, in the raised beds, the narcissi are coming up, though sadly the stocks I planted with them seem to have died a death. No idea why. All the stocks I put in at home have all died too, so I really don’t know what to do about them. Will they come back again? Are they just resting? Who knows … If I don’t see anything else there by February I’ll probably crack and get something else to go in there, but will have to see.

Narcissi 1

However, the sweet williams are going great guns, hurrah! So hope to have lots of lovely flowers to cut from them later on.

Sweet Williams

Finally, today’s harvest of leeks and winter lettuce is small, but perfectly formed. Ideal for Sunday lunch, hurrah!

Leeks and winter lettuce

Anne Brooke Books
Dryathlon 2015: Please give generously to Cancer Research UK during January!

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A Harvest of Leeks

This morning, K and I have continued to mulch the soft fruit area and a couple more of the raised beds, though obviously there’s a lot more mulching to do! The trolley we bought during the week has proved very handy for transporting the compost bags and is foldable so we can keep it in the car easily.

Mulched soft fruit area 1 Mulched soft fruit area 2

Whilst there, we tried to harvest our last carrot but sadly someone else has got there first and it proved full of holes so we composted it instead. However, all was not lost, as we harvested the first of our leeks (hurrah!) and some more of the winter lettuce. The leeks smell amazing.

Leeks Winter lettuce

We’ve also had a rethink about having a greenhouse as it will mean going down to the allotment twice a day during the summer to open and shut the windows and we really don’t have the time – maybe when we retire, eh! Instead, we’ll probably put another raised bed in the space and use it for flowers as it’s in front of our planned seating area. K is also thinking about putting a cage round the whole soft fruit area so we can protect it from the birds, but that needs some more thinking.

And the tulips are poking their heads above the soil for definite now, which is great.

Anne Brooke Books
Dryathlon 2015: Please give generously to Cancer Research UK!


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Manure City

K bought 4 bags of manure yesterday, so we took two of them down to the allotment today (the other 2 are for home, though of course we’ll need loads more!). The big problem was how to transport them from the car, across the playing field/football pitch to the allotments – we used the little trolley for putting our cases on and it worked okay, though it’s not brilliant – the base is too small. We’re going to have to buy a bigger-based one for more stability but I think you can get them fairly cheaply on the Web so that will be our next thing to do.

Anyway, once there, we put one bag on one of our new beds and the other on the corner of the soft fruit area – by the looks of it, we’re going to need about 20 or so more bags, so we’ll certainly be busy over the winter! While there, K turned the compost heap to give stuff more of a chance to break down, and I gave everything a quick hoe, though I was careful around the autumn raspberries as the roots are so shallow.

The exciting news is that the tulips and daffodils I planted for cut flowers for the house are now starting to come up, so I can’t wait to see how they’re going to be. I also harvested the last of the sprouts (half of which were for Sunday lunch today and half of which will be for tomorrow) and some more winter lettuce. I’ve washed that so it will keep for a good few days.

Anne Brooke Books
Dryathlon 2015: Please support Cancer Research UK!


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A new allotment year

On the allotment for the first time in 2015 today – we possibly would have turned up sooner but we’ve both succumbed to the virus this Christmas/New Year so just about on the mend now. Whilst there, I hoed the raised beds and the soft fruit area, and K planted a new tayberry – it won’t fruit this year, but should be okay for 2016.

Tayberry 1 4 Jan 2015 Tayberry 2 4 Jan 2015

Being a more than enthusiastic fan of the Brussels sprout, I harvested another plant for Sunday lunch, and very nice it’s been too!

Sprouts 4 Jan 2015

That means there’s one more plant left to harvest, but we’ve ordered some more so hopefully there’ll be a fresh crop later in the year. I love my sprouts!

Anne Brooke Books
Dryathlon 2015: help raise money for Cancer Research UK!