Allotment Plot update – June 2008

Time for an update on how our growing is going. I thought I’d start off by a quick explanation about the real reason we’ve become such keen gardeners. Our plot is a mere 215 feet from the house. If it wasn’t for that fact we wouldn’t pay it half as much attention.

So in late June our plot is beginning to mature nicely. I’ve already mentioned our lovely new spuds – lots more to come there as I’ve dug up only about a fifth of the plants. Despite picking lots and lots of rhubarb there’s still some to go. I did bake an apple and rhubarb crumble which was nice (touch of ginger and cinnamon) so I’ll make use of the last of the season’s pickings soon.

Runner beans are coming along nicely and flowering although the peas seem a little stunted. A neighbouring tenant gave me some leeks from France which are in the ground and haven’t died – a success by anyone’s standards. I stole some sweetcorn seeds from my neighbouring tenant (he offered me a some seeds to sow and I put the whole packet in – not what he meant, sorry) and they’ve come through but it’s very late to be planting these so I’m not even sure they’ll be big enough to pick come autumn. 

runner beans leeks sweetcorn 

We’ve now got lots of lettuce of many varieties. Both on the patio and on the plot itself. There’s not a single slug chomp on any of them and they taste delicious.


Finally, our cauliflowers are blooming (no heads yet though), some cabbages are in, our onions aren’t too far away from coming up and I’ve got tons of main crop potatoes for harvesting at the end of the summer (so many that they’ll no doubt be a give-away of those so get your orders in). Oh and we’ve got a couple of pumpkins on the go as well.

The plot itself still needs a tidy-up at the front and the back half of it is still completely overgrown although there are raspberries and redcurrants there for the picking.

mmm potatoes

Take a look at my new spuds:


Go on, click on the picture to get the large version. They look good don’t they? They taste good as well. I only got into this allotment larky in oder to grow spuds and here are my first ones. I can’t recall what variety I planted but have got about 20 plants worth – the above being the bounty of a couple of them.

Will do a full June allotment plot update soon – betcha can’t wait….


mmm pie

Many many thanks to Sue (partner of Tony from Bournville Harriers) for this pie. She took the rhubarb from our allotment plot and made something extraordinary with it. A quite delicious apple and rhubarb pie. This is a before pic:
mmm pie

And this is the after pic:

mmm pie after

As I say, thanks Sue.

Plot update – May 2008

Thought I’d do an update of how we’re getting with our allotment patch.

We’ve now had our patch since January and so far kinda so good. I wish I had some before pics but generally the front half of it wasn’t in too bad a condition so the comparison wouldn’t be that stark. The compost area was very overgrown and we’ve now tackled one half of that area and in doing so have created a nice, rich mound for what we hope will be a pumpkin patch (currently propagating a few indoors). We’ve had to dig out a ton of evil bindweed though:


We’ve got two and a half rows of early potatoes (about which I fret constantly) that can’t be far off digging up. Once they do a significant amount of flowering I’ll dig a few up and report back. There’s certainly plenty of plant to them:


The slugs are a constant battle with anything tender and our cauliflower have really suffered. We went out today to find every one of them chomped to bits. A few might survive but although the slugs have won this round, we’ll fight back with a multi-trap approach (more to come on this).


Other stuff on the plot includes garlic (dead on its feet – planted too late), rhubarb (tons of it, despite extensive digging out), peas (doing well), runner beans (most doing fine), onions (growing nicely), carrots (we’re expected some stunted funny shaped ones to emerge), parsnips (still not emerged), lettuce (not emerged but might divert the slugs from the cauliflowers).


The back of the plot is covered in fruit bushes but is incredibly overgrown. I’ll report separately on this as we begin it tackle it. Without any intervention from us though it should produce all sorts of goodies. Actually fighting our way though to the goodies will be the issue. In the meantime we’re focusing in the slug-ridden front part.

How to dig up spuds

Am loving this site. Videos on how to sort my allotment out. My early potatoes keep me awake at night. Do I need to earth up again? Are any spuds actually growing? Is it all plant and no spud? None of the videos on this site stop me worrying but at least I’ll know how to dig things out of the ground when the time comes (late June probably):

How To Harvest New Potatoes

Rubbish CD scarecrow complete

Now that green things are beginning to come out of the ground on the allotment I thought I’d finish off the CD scarecrow. After much mulling over complex rotating mechanisms I settled for a cross shape with CDs dangling off it. Hardly innovative but it’ll do the job. Hung some CDs from the bean frame as well. Bottom pic shows the whole effect. Show this pic to your budgie – I bet it’d be terrified.

Travis is strung into position

S Club with CDs on frame in background

The full effect

CD Scarecrow – stage two

So having taken the decision to use old CDs to make a scarecrow I’ve now gone to the dusty and under-used CD shelf and made some tough decisions. Needless to say that S Club 7 (later in their career they would become just ‘S Club’) can now have all the sunshine they want as they have made the cut. Actually their CD is ideal as it shiny on one side, obviously, and white on the other. That places them very high indeed on the scary-meter.

Actually I don’t need many CDs to construct my scarecrow so the rest are made up of Travis (did we buy this? both of us deny doing so), Moby (newspaper freebie), Fat Boy Slim (ditto), Marion (mid 90s Britpop wannabes), Hard-fi (why is this man shouting at me?), Paolo Nutini (??), and The Good, The Bad and The Queen album which I have to say is awful and I hope I never have the misfortune to listen to again.

Before the weekend I hope to start construction of said scarecrow. More to follow.

CD Scarecrow – stage one

CD scarecrow

[pic by cupra]

I need to make a scarecrow and judging by what I’ve seen elsewhere, the dangling of CDs seems to be a popular choice. So how do you make a CD scarecrow? Well the first stage would be selecting some CDs to dangle. Why waste money on blank CD-Roms when there’s a large collection of CDs in the house that we never play anymore (the ipod+dock has now replaced all that nonsense).

I’m tempted to pick off the bad CDs first (we’ve got a Travis CD somewhere I think and a couple of Coldplay albums) but maybe I should just dive straight in, admit that we’ll never put a disk in a CD player again and put my Beck CDs out to seed.

One thing that does occur to me is that I could try different artists in different sections of the allotment. Pulp by the runner beans and Sparklehorse by the carrots. Any views?