The Allotment Wife


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March Begins

Really good weather today in spite of the storm we were forecast, so we made the most of it at the allotment by doing some weeding (me) and repairing some of the raised beds (Husband).

The walk across the field to the allotments is still like a marsh though! Thank goodness for Wellington boots – though of course the rhubarb is lapping up the rain. Definitely hoping for a better crop this year.

Rhubarb

Meanwhile, the tulip shoots are growing and some of them are even in bud, well gosh. Have to admit that the ones in bud aren’t the ones we actually planted in November though!…

Tulips 1

Tulips 2

Anyway, here is a mini-harvest of daffodils:

Harvest

And here they are in a vase at home:

Vase

Have a lovely start to March, everyone!

Anne Brooke Books


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Making the Most of Failure

As you may remember, our sprouts this year (for the second year running) have been a total failure (sob!…), so much so that they just look like tired cabbages:

Sprouts

So we’ve finally admitted defeat and taken them out to see what we could salvage, if anything. In fact, once home, I have salvaged some decent looking greens and a selection of very tiny sprouts that look SO cute, LOL!! We could probably eat them raw – they are that small! Here they are on our kitchen draining board:

Sprout harvest

So it just goes to show that there’s always something you can make of disaster …

Anyway, in other news, the daffodils are going strong:

Daffodils

And there is a rather nice display of tulips on their way in a bed where we did NOT plant them – I blame the squirrels though it’s more likely to be my total inability to find all the bulbs when digging them up, to be honest!

Tulips

Here is the harvest:

Harvest

And here is the vase at home:

Vase 1

Vase 2

Have a great weekend, everyone!

Anne Brooke Books


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Daffodil Harvest

Managed to fit in an allotment visit first thing this morning before Storm Dennis hits us later on. Goodness, but the field we need to cross to get to the allotments was the wettest I’ve ever known it – like a marsh! We do appear to have some shed damage in preparation for the storm already …

Shed

K has slotted it back in but I’m not sure how long that will last!

Anyway, the daffodils are doing well – even the ones I abandoned near the compost bins are in flower:

Daffodils 1

Daffodils 2

And the single daffodil in amongst the leeks is happy too:

Leeks and daffodil

Meanwhile the tulip shoots are growing, which is brilliant news:

Tulips

And the rhubarb is looking good too:

Rhubarb

So today we have our first real harvest of some of the leeks and the daffodils. The leeks smell amazing – so much stronger than the ones in the shop!

Harvest

Here are the daffodils at home:

Vase 1

Vase 2

Stay safe this weekend, everyone!

Anne Brooke Books


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A First Small Harvest

We have our very first (and very small!) harvest for 2020 – one lone daffodil that’s growing in a bed that … um … doesn’t have any daffodils in it. Then again, what do we know? Nothing, obviously!

Daffodil

Meanwhile, the daffodils that are actually in the bed we allocated for them are on their way, hurrah!

Daffodils

We were chatting with a couple of our fellow allotmenteers as well (hello, Pauline & Helen!) and Helen mentioned how useful she finds the GrowVeg site as a way of planning out the allotment, getting crop rotation under control, and getting reminders as to when to plant and harvest crops etc etc – so we will definitely look into that as a bit of planning is always a good thing when growing veg and flowers etc. Thank you, Helen!

Whilst there, we noticed that the tulips are now on their way, which is great news – so we’ve removed the netting and sticks that were keeping the squirrels away – as once the tulip shoots are visible, the squirrels don’t bother with the bulbs any more:

Tulips 1

Tulips 2

The second of the two tulip pictures above shows them growing in another bed where they’re not supposed to be as well! So they must have taken a lesson from that lone daffodil, LOL!

Talking of which, here is said daffodil at home in the vase:

Vase

Have a lovely Sunday, everyone!

Anne Brooke Books


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New Allotment Year 2020

Happy new year to you all! Yes, it has really taken me THIS LONG to get back onto the allotment – partly due to bad weather, partly due to inertia and partly due to 2 weeks of a pretty determined virus.

But I’m back now in the land of the living (hurrah!) and there’s a whole new allotment year to look forward to so it was really lovely to get out there today.

Here’s a view of how it looks at the moment:

Allotment view

As you can see, there’s not much going on, but we do need to sort those broken raised beds out at some point, and we also sorted out the weeds while we were there today.

The leeks we planted last year are still hanging on so we must harvest those soon before they give up entirely!

Leeks

We also brought along a bag of mulch and spread that across the rhubarb bed, which is already starting to sprout:

Rhubarb

I do so love a good mulch moment. In other sprouting news, the daffodil bed is coming along very nicely indeed:

Daffodils 1

And – just to show that daffodils are a whole lot tougher than you might think – we realised today that the daffodil bulbs I’d rejected as being too mouldy or too tiny and abandoned near the water butt for taking home are actually sprouting! So much so that they’ve rooted where they’re lying so I can’t move them to put them elsewhere, LOL! We therefore have a mini daffodil patch near the water butt – which obviously we would have planned for if we’d thought about it … um, not!…

Just goes to show, nature does what she darn well likes and takes no notice of our opinions!

Daffodils 2

Oh, and I also planted five new lily bulbs (Red Eye) in the second lily area – as we were out at the annual Potato Day in Whitchurch yesterday, and I just couldn’t resist them – alongside 8 new potato varieties to try, and some shallots. If you’ve not been to a Potato Day before, then I can thoroughly recommend it – you get lots of new potato (and other veg) varieties to have a go at, you’re helping to keep heritage varieties alive, and you get a whole load of good advice as well. What’s not to like!

Have a great Sunday!

Anne Brooke Books


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Composting Season

Had a quick tidy up at the allotment today – and found that we have some daffodil shoots on their way but NOT in the bed where I planted them, LOL. Nature does its own thing once again!…

Daffodils.jpg

The leeks are still hanging on too – I don’t think they’ll get much larger but there’s no need to harvest them yet as we still have a couple of cabbages in hand:

Leeks

Last week, K cut down half of the autumn raspberries ready for next year’s new growth – we need to do the other half too at some point but there’s no rush:

Autumn raspberries

The main focus today has been composting – I added the last of the old cabbage leaves and then mixed it in with the fork as best I could – but I suspect K will do it better next week!

Compost 1

Compost 2

The harvest today is the last remaining cabbages which are really small now but we’ll use what we can of them:

Harvest

Have a great weekend!

Anne Brooke Books


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Tulip Planting

We finally got round to planting the tulips at the allotment – though actually we’re not late at all, as they can’t be planted out till November at the earliest due to the possibility of tulip rot if you try to plant out any earlier.

Anyway, here they are about to be planted:

Tulip bulbs 1

And here they are with the netting weighed down with sticks on them in order to put off the pesky thieving squirrels. Here’s hoping it works!

Tulip bulbs 2

In order to free up the new tulip bed, I did take out the gladioli which we will store until next year:

Gladioli bulbs

At the same time, K pruned the currant bushes to give them a chance to get some air and light in them:

Currant bushes

So, a  mini-harvest this week of the remains of the beetroot and the last good cabbage. We’ve really enjoyed the cabbages this year and will definitely do them again!

Harvest

Have a great Sunday.

Anne Brooke Books


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After the Frost

There’s a lot of post-frost (and wind!) damage at the allotment this week – but no more than we expect for this time of year. The dahlias are definitely over:

Dahlias

And the yacon (on the left of the below shot) is done, though it doesn’t affect the harvest – in fact when the leaves are dead like this, you know the harvest is ready!

Yakon and beetroots

We have also taken down the runner beans which have been over for a couple of weeks at least:

Runner beans

Which means that the leeks below them have a chance of grabbing some more sunshine – should there be any!

Leeks

I also took a picture of the asparagus ‘trees’ as they look so pretty right now:

Asparagus

And there are still some cabbages to enjoy, hurrah!

Cabbages

No flowers in this week’s harvest – just onions and beetroots, but we’re pretty pleased with that anyway.

Harvest

Have a great weekend!

Anne Brooke Books


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Daffodil Planting

So I’ve finally got round to planting the daffodils – as you can see I’m going for the scattergun approach this year!

Daffodil planting

And I’m happy to say that the chrysanthemums are finally in bloom:

Chrysanthemums

Chrysanthemum

I particularly love the orange one – I’ve got a real soft spot for orange flowers.

The yacon is also doing okay, though weirdly not as well as the two yacons we ended up planting at home which are the size of a small shrub now …

Yakon

Here is the harvest of a few flowers, a cabbage, a beetroot and a couple of spare potatoes I found when I was planting the daffodils – as you never EVER manage to find all the potatoes when you try to dig them up, LOL!

Harvest

Here is a view of the allotment as it is at the moment – it was amazingly warm this morning in spite of the rain, and I also really loved the autumn wind – so gloriously gusty!

Allotment

Here are the flowers (chrysanthemums and one dahlia) at home:

Vase 1

Vase 2

Have a lovely weekend!

Anne Brooke Books


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Allotment Break-in

I’m very sorry to have to tell you that our allotments suffered a break-in this week, with the perimeter fence broken in a couple of places, the main gate damaged, and thefts carried out at several sheds. Such an awful thing to happen. Our own shed was broken into, but nothing taken as we don’t have anything worth stealing.

Damaged shed

K mended the shed today – amazingly our now curved padlock still works as it’s actually much tougher than the shed itself!

In happier news, we still have an alstroemeria in bloom:

Alstroemeria

However, most of the rest of the flowers are now over, so I spent some time cutting back and composting while K was mending the shed. I did feel a lot better after the tidy up as it feels I’ve done something positive to prepare for next season after the communal break-in.

On similar lines, K has dug out the potato bed, rescuing the last of the potatoes – and it’s now ready for us to plant daffodils next time we’re there, hurrah!

Ready for daffodils

I’m also happy to say that our chrysanthemums are on the way though not quite there yet:

Chrysanthemums

Meanwhile we know it’s a very rainy autumn due to the sheer amount of mushrooms everywhere!

Mushrooms

Our cabbages are doing well:

Cabbages

And we’ve rediscovered the leeks which have been lurking under the runner beans for ages, quietly waiting to see the sun again …

Leeks

Sadly though, our Brussels sprouts are experiencing their second year of failure (sob!) – maybe next time we should plant them out in May rather than waiting for them to get bigger at home … Oh well.

Brussels sprouts

Here is the week’s harvest, which includes alstroemeria, a few pelargoniums, a handful of autumn raspberries (though I ditched them at home due to the amount of insects in them, yuk!) one cabbage, the potatoes, beetroot and a couple of stray runner beans:

Harvest

Here is the vase at home:

Vase 1

Vase 2

Have a great weekend, everyone!

Anne Brooke Books