Monday, December 19, 2016

Almost a year of allotmenting.

Not actually a year but 9 months to date. It's been a real time for learning.
I took a plot on that had been heavily planted with potatoes for several years. Not only that but it was in the shade of adjoining trees. Not an ideal plot, but a plot nonetheless and for the princely sum of £14 for the year.

With an idea to plant and grow the vegetables that are both tasty to eat and also work out expensive in the shop I had a short list of the following:
Broad beans
Romanesco Cauliflower
Cavolo Nero
Purple Sprouting Broccolli

I had friends help me dismantle, carry and then erect a shed

I put a basket on my bike to make the trips to and from the allotment and carry my goods

And I did grow some good lettuce

In truth I made the mistake this year of not looking after the soil enough. Although I dug in manure and phosphates I don't think the ground had been replenished enough from growing so many years of spuds. Some of the crops flourished; my broad beans were fantastic and the courgettes cropped well.
The Cavolo Nero has done well, and I had some intermittent peas, otherwise I made another mistake of not thinning the brassicas hard enough. This meant they all strived for the same light and consequently I ended up with tall plants that weren't particularly fruitful. The artichokes really suffered with the shade but are looking to be getting stronger as the year has gone on. I'm hopeful that next year they will come into their own and crop well.

So what to grow and do next year? Well I have a love of chilli peppers and am outgrowing my greenhouse at home. I'd like to put a polytunnel up down there, as well as try for better results with tomatoes and peas. There will have to be some serious digging done over the next few months but I think it's possible.