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.

Monday, 26 July 2010

Progress Update

The amount of produce I am taking from the plot has exceeded all my expectations. It is hard to believe that only three or four months ago the whole allotment site was a bare brown field with not even a blade of grass growing on it. Now, it is bursting with greenery and almost every meal I eat contains something grown on the allotment.

Here are a few photographs taken on the plot today.

Tuesday, 13 July 2010

The Great Yorkshire Show

I'm helping a client out on their stand at The Great Yorkshire Show for three days this week. In true Yorkshire style I had a grand day out today in which I saw all, ate all, drank all and paid nowt.  During a lull on the stand I managed to get away and have a look around the garden show section. I was very impressed with the veg displays on the National Farmers' Union and National Vegetable Society stands.
That all looks perfectly nice, probably too perfect. I'd like to think my own imperfect veg will taste all the better for being grown for flavour rather than for looks (but I'm not convinced). That said, if I have got anything half decent on the plot at the end of August I might think about entering it into our local agricultural show along with some wine (one bottle of plum and one of red grape) which is currently fermenting in the spare bedroom.

Taking photographs of vegetables at a show only serves to reinforce my eldest daughter's opinion that I have allotments on the brain all the time. I didn't help myself when during the 24 hour news coverage of the recent Rothbury armed stand-off, at the height of the drama with police vehicles screeching around and journalists running from one eye-witness to another, I mentioned that I thought I could see an allotment in the background of one of the shots and I expressed outrage when I heard that the fugitive was suspected of the most heinous crime of having stolen a tomato from a greenhouse. Anyway, whenever she mentions this, a quick reminder that she is the one with the pink watering-can handbag soon shuts her up.

Saturday, 10 July 2010

Harvested This Morning

This is what makes it all worthwhile, not to mention the tomatoes, strawberries, onions, red chilli peppers and purple sprouting broccoli already harvested and the expectation of radishes, carrots, sprouts, pumpkins, french beans and runner beans still to come this year and the asparagus in year two and the grapes/wine in year three.

Thursday, 1 July 2010


Talk on the allotments tonight was of white-fly pests sucking the life out of cabbages and sprouts. So far my brassicas do not appear to have been attacked but several of my neighbours have suffered something of a brassica massacre. I have taken the precaution of consulting Oracle Titchmarsh. Helpfully, he suggests controlling whitefly biologically with the use of a chalcid wasp.

I quite like the idea of having a pet killer wasp which I can perhaps keep in a little box in the greenhouse and let it out a couple of times each day to dine on whitefly. I don't know how I would get it back in the box. Maybe I could train it with sheepdog trial style commands such as "come by" and "get down Shep".

I have searched for Chalcid wasps on ebay. The only ones I can find appear to be pre-historic specimens which have been entombed in amber for thousands of years. A few of these placed at strategic points around the plot may be sufficient to deter the white-fly, but I doubt it.