Tuesday, 16 August 2011

Grand Allotment Tour

Recent reflection has reminded me why I started a blog. To keep a record!  I've discovered that I have got rather too precious about revealing the true state of play at the allotment.  So I'm going back to my roots. Welcome to the warts and all tour of my plot today:

The internal path divides the plot into a broad side and a narrow side.  The path has been lost under piles of weeds that have never dried out with all the rain we've had this summer, so I'm excavating it:

Internal Path

Starting at the shed end of the wide side (on the right in the picture above) the raspberries are just finishing and the strawberries have definitely finished but require their winter tidy up now.

Next along, the broad beans and onions have gone and I'm using the space for leeks, recently planted out. Spot the remains of a row of beetroot - (lack of planning!)
Leeks + Beetroot

Moving along the three wigwams are runner beans barlotti beans and purple French climbing beans. Sadly the last one ended up as a mixture of leftovers - not a good idea.  By the way I have two wigwams at home too (neither of which is a mixture).

3 sisters planting?

Next in line, the potato patch looks a bit shambolic now that the earlies have been dug up and the maincrop haulms are dying back, but I've resown the area dug up with all sorts of autumn and winter possibilities like lettuces, corn salad, radishes, sorrel, spinach beet.  It was going to be green manure but I figured on growing an edible green manure instead! Also the remaining potatoes under the ground should be good judging from the healthy tops they grew. This was in sharp conntrast to the earlies which hardly managed any tops to speak of this year!

Potato maincrop + new sowings

Just over the wire is a riot of dwarf French beans. As usual the pods have come on strong but are rather hidden away under the leaves.  Not to worry as most of these are Canadian Wonder which dries nicely to give a substantial mealy red kidney bean.

Dwarf French Beans
 Next up is the area I reached up to when digging in manure last winter when it had leeks growing in it. It is currently my fire/compost/utility area...

 Beyond that there are the remains of my bumper pea crop!
Peas plants
And at the end of the broad side there are the trusty rhubarb plants that have loved the weather,  and my Cambridge Favourite strawberries.

Rhubarb + New Strawberries
On the other (narrow) side of the path there are two areas: Carrots, under the  nets, and other roots (celeriac, beetroot, parsnip, turnip and artechoke)

Carrots and "other roots"
and last but not least: brassicas under their protective net (together with even more strawberries and some othe soft fruit bushes)


Hope you enjoyed the tour.

There is work to be done, but this year's food returns have been secured. It remains to be seen whether in the Committee's  view this to come up to the acceptable standard.


  1. One benefit of our really dry spell is that the weeds haven't really taken hold this year although we do have parts that need a good sort out.

    The downside is our rhubarb looks very sad and our pea crop was virtually non-existent

  2. Nice to see the whole of your estate. It's amazing what a different picture is conveyed by shots of isolated beds or plants. You've certainly got a well-protected plot with all that netting.

  3. What a super tour!! Your allotment is huge...and you grow so many veg and fruit...I am amazed. You mentioned Canadian Wonder beans so..ahem...as I am Canajan...will look for that! I decided just the other day, we should be growing beans for keepers, not just eaters.

    Thanks again Mal...this was just great, seeing all you grow and your comments on everything, and your plans for the future.

  4. It's been some season (can't bring myself to call it summer) so no-one can keep up with the weeds. Now the kids are going back to school and next thing you know it'll be time for winter digging!

  5. I am certain your plot will come up thumbs up. If I could show you the allotment site where I was, you would truly grumble. Hey if I lived near by I would have been happy to come and help you with the weeding (providing you gave me some rhubarb!). I truly need the exercise, losing my allotment plot and my job has seen the pounds pile on - goign to the gym just doesn't do it for me.

    Anyway, I have really enjoyed the tour, it quite big your plot you have.

  6. Well I have to say...I'm pretty impressed with your plot...it's all looking very healthy and green!!

    We haven't really had much rain even now...mind you the weeds are still doing well!!

  7. Good to see plenty of green around. So that's how rhubarb should look at this time of year. A great selection of veg too - might pinch a few ideas for next year.