Plot Notes

A personal journal, open for the world to read, recording the progress of a novice allotmenteer on his allotment.

Weed it and reap.

Friday, 29 January 2010

Yes we have no strawberries.

A parcel of seeds arrived from Kings this morning. The potatoes, asparagus and rhubarb will be coming later but today I received everything else on the list apart from the strawberry seeds. They say they are unable to supply the Temptation Strawberry seeds and have sent a credit note for £1.25 to use against my next order. Fern will be disappointed. I wasn't going to bother with strawberries but she persuaded me to let her have a small patch on the plot to grow some for herself. I'll take her to the garden centre so that she can choose her own packet.

Thursday, 28 January 2010

Butts and seeds

Nick from Plot 15 has won an ebay auction for a job lot of 10 x 220 litre water butts with stands and taps. Got my name down for one and await delivery. Received a postcard from Kings to acknowledge seed order. Seeds should be here in a couple of weeks.

Sunday, 24 January 2010

Waiting for topsoil and raised beds.

All work on the plot is on hold pending delivery of a few hundred tonnes of topsoil to the whole allotment site in February. The contractor will also be installing 3 raised beds (12ft x 6ft) on each plot. Off the plot I have bought wire and drilled and stained some 8ft 2x2 wooden posts ready to be used for constructing vine trellises and I have built a cold frame (pictured above). I have also put in an order, through the allotment committee, for three wooden potato crates from a local farmer, which I will use as compost bins.
I have now got four or five weeks to catch up on jobs around the house, after which, if you want me, I'll be on the plot!

Thursday, 21 January 2010

Allotment seed order. January 2010.

Seeds ordered from E.W.King and Co through the National Society of Allotment & Leisure Gardeners Members' catalogue:-

Asparagus Crowns. Purple Jacmar. 12 crowns.

Runner Beans. Enorma. 45 seeds.

Broccoli. Spike, Annual Purple. 100 seeds.

Calabrese. Chevalier. 65 seeds.

Sprouts. Cascade. 60 seeds.

Rhubarb. Timperley Early. 3 crowns.

Leeks. Giant Winter. 300 seeds.

Lettuce. Marvel of 4 Seasons. 550 seeds.

Spring Onions. White Lisbon. 600 seeds.

Onions. Bedfordshire Champion. 250 seeds.

Chilli Peppers. 35 seeds.

Pumpkin. Tom Fox. 10 seeds.

Garlic. Solent Wight. 30 cloves.

French Beans. Blue Lake. 100 seeds.

Strawberry. Temptation. 50 seeds.

Marigold. Golden Days. 200 seeds.

Dianthus. Chinensis. 175 seeds.

Nasturtium. Alaska. 24 seeds.
Jewel Mixed. 25 seeds.

Potatoes. First Earlies. Duke of York. 3kg.
Second Earlies. Estima. 3kg.
Early Maincrop. King Edward. 3kg.
Late Maincrop. Golden Wonder. 3kg.

Still to be ordered :- Vines. 4 x Dornfelder.

December 2009. Taking possession (of the allotment not the child).

November 2009. Paths, rabbit fence and water supply

October 2009. Contractors on site.

Wednesday, 20 January 2010

How did I end up with an allotment?

Quiz night at The Carps, Spring 2009. I think it was Rick or possibly one of the Chrises who said that if 6 people in a parish requested an allotment the council have a duty to make land available. The Small Holdings and Allotments Act 1908 confirms this.

I know that every village has at least one idiot but where would they find 6 people in our small village who were daft enough to toil on the land, fight the pests and battle the elements for the sake of a few spuds and onions?

I have never been much of a gardener. My gardening CV consists of planting a few borders and mowing the lawn when I can get round to it but over a period of about 5 years I had been quite successful in cultivating a vine in my back garden from which I was making 5 to 10 gallons of reasonably palatable wine each year. It even won a second prize at the Epworth and District Agricultural Show.

Sadly my vine did not survive the cold Winter of 2008/9. I was still coming to terms with the loss of the vine when the allotment talk started again in the pub and in a moment of weakness, through the Bombardier blur, I saw a vision of the future with rows of vines on my very own allotment and a shed with a comfy armchair and so I asked Rick to add my name to the list he had already sent to the Council.

The Parish Council did their duty and acquired a field in the village (see photo at top of this post). An allotment holders association was formed. The field was cleared of vegetation and then paths and a water supply was installed and in September 2009 I signed a tenancy agreement, paid £65 rent and then a couple of months later took possession of one of 32 brand new allotment plots.