Monthly Archives: May 2008

Crops for 2008

So now would be an excellent time to record what’s been bought, what’s made it into the ground and what our plans are for other crops this year.

We still have a fair bit of seed left over from previous years (frankly, we always do!), so we managed to keep our shopping list quite short. This was probably a good idea considering that at the same time we’re investing in big things like greenhouses!

We got very lucky on seed potatoes – an excellent deal in Ayletts which gave us perhaps three times what we had last year, for £2.95! We divided this roughly one third first earlies (Red Duke of York) and two thirds main crop (Pentland Squire). In theory, this means that our first earlies should be about the same volume as last years, plus twice as many mains. And all for three quid.

Next up was garlic bulbs (Cristo) – four large bulbs for £2.49, which obviously break down into an impressive number of cloves.

Finally, red onion sets, again for £2.49. Although we still have seeds from last year, they (obviously) didn’t get very big and I thought it would be interesting to compare the experience of using sets rather than seeds. We shall see.

And that’s it for the shopping (until the greenhouse is up and we go looking for tomatoes and suchlike). The other crops we’ve pencilled in for this year – leeks, courgettes, sweetcorn, lettuce, spinach – are still in the drawer from last year. They may not be quite as fertile as they were, but I’ve always found that something will come up given time.

In The Ground

Having got this late, of course, lots of things are already in the ground growing. The garlic, early potatoes, red onion sets and leeks are all in – the garlic and the earlies are making great progress, the leeks are doing the usual thing of getting about two inches high and then just sitting there doing nothing. The onion sets went in fairly recently and are just beginning to peek out of the ground.

Should Be…

The main crop potatoes should really be in the ground now, as (ideally) should the sweetcorn. That’s all currently on hold until we no longer have a stream of men stomping across the garden to build things like sheds and greenhouses, but that should all be sorted by the weekend so then we’ll have to settle down to some serious planning and (argh!) digging!

Like Father, Like Son!

So, it’s been a few months now(!) since I last updated this.

Personally, I blame genetics. My dad used to keep an allotment diary, and it’s interesting reading back on it that he too would be very good at keeping up to date only to go silent for a month or two (or more!) before coming back. Anyway, I’m back now!

Lots have things have been happening since the turn of the year. First off, we got the pile of rotting shed and greenhouse-in-a-shed (yes, really) demolished and removed, and the back fence replaced.

With that work done, the garden suddenly looked a whole lot bigger. At the same time, we’d come to the conclusion that we definitely wanted a greenhouse as well as a useable shed, so off we went shopping. After a truly spectacular amount of research by my beloved, we settled on an 8’x10′ Halls Optimum and a slim little 4’x10′ shed.

The groundwork is now all done, awaiting the last stage of actually having the things put up – and then we can start getting the rest of the garden into better shape!