Wednesday, 28 February 2007

It's Ours!

Today I went down to the allotments and after paying my sub, became the proud owner of a half plot (no. 25B). Last Monday there was a huge bonfire on our site, so there is a lot of ash left which I am told is very good to dig into the earth. Hopefully, we will be able to get to the site in the next couple of days and start digging and warming up the earth in readiness to start planting in a few weeks time.

The seeds being started off in the greenhouse are beginning to sprout and it's exciting to think that soon they will be placed in their new home in the ground to grow, develop and mature and become wonderful, tasty, fresh organic food on our plates. As Carol Klein said in her recent excellent series "Grow your own Veg" ...."the furthest journey the veg will make is from the plot to the plate" and in our case that is less than a mile away.

Meanwhile, the planting of seeds goes on..... and on.....and on!!

Saturday, 24 February 2007

Bonnie Charlotte Sante

Today the children and I started to "chit" our potatoes. I have chosen three different types of potato:-

  • Charlotte - a second early very popular salad variety

  • Bonnie - second early, good for boiling and baking

  • Sante - early maincrop - a good pest and disease resistant potato

I got the children to count the number of "bumps" on each potato and then place them in egg boxes with the most number of "bumps" on the top. So far we have got 4 egg boxes full of potatoes, and they are sitting happily in the greenhouse and will be joined with some more once we have some more empty egg boxes available. The greenhouse is beginning to get very full, so soon the mini greenhouse will have to take the overflow of seeds etc. I can't wait to get planting and free up more space for more seeds and start the succession of planting that we have planned.

Tuesday, 20 February 2007

All in a heap

I've been searching for a compost bin and have found what I think is a good bargain from It's half price at £29.99 and it is a big wooden slatted one that we assemble on site. When I say "we" of course I mean my husband. We have ordered it today and delivery is in about 2 weeks time.

In the meantime I have planted 70 sweet pea seeds (they have already started to sprout) as my idea is to grow the plants up and around the compost bin a) to hide the essential rotting mass, b) to attract beneficial insects, c) to make good use of every bit of space that I can, and d) because I just love sweet peas. Will let you know how my idea works out in future posts.

Sunday, 4 February 2007

Seeds Galore!

The postman has finally arrived with the seeds that we ordered 10 days ago - it seems ages since we filled in the order form. I spent a lovely morning with my daughter (aged 7) sorting out the seeds and she enjoyed reading the backs of the packets to see which month we should start sowing each individual vegetable. There are masses of them and I know that the greenhouse will soon be heaving with trays of seedlings just waiting to burst forth into life.

We have decided to start very simply and grow most of the salads and vegetables that were successful in the garden last year, plus a few others. They are:- cauliflower - all the year round; cauliflower - avalanche; parsnip - tender and true; carrot - sugarsnax; broccoli - belstar; courgette - defender; beetroot - boltardy; onion - Bedfordshire champion; spring onion - white lisbon; radish - rougette; cucumber - burpless tasty green; tomato - balconi red; tomato - brandywine; tomato - ailsa craig; chilli - Thai dragon; chilli - numex twilight; chilli - Hungarian; chilli - jalapeno; chilli - cherry bomb; chives; parsley - French; coriander; and marjoram. In the garden we will be growing lettuce - little gem; basil; and wild rocket.

A quick tally of the total number of seeds is 4,600! Of course I'm not expecting all of them to germinate, but even if one half of them do, and then of those half that have germinated are then thinned out to produce strong, sturdy plants and I am left with one third of my original number, I'll have enough produce to feed our entire road.

Here's to sowing, and hopefully lots of growing.