Friday 27 February 2009

Broad Beans are go!

These have also just recently shown themselves after planting at the beginning of November. We've put some wire mesh (found in a skip!) over the top to stop the birds getting at them. Hopefully it will do the trick.


I'm pleased these garlics have come up. They were planted in November so it's a relief to see them peeking through and that they haven't rotted in the ground. One of the benefits of having a well drained soil!

Thursday 12 February 2009

Seed sowing

Managed to sow some "fruit" seeds by the 8pm biodynamic deadline! Sowed broad beans in toilet roll tubes, aubergine and tomato seeds - two seeds per module, wrapped them in bubble wrap, put the beans in the lean-to and the others near the radiator indoors to germinate. Next group in the biodynamic calendar is roots.

Posted by ShoZu

Wednesday 11 February 2009

Vetch - green manure

Vetch is the other green manure we're growing. It is nitrogen fixing and provides ground cover to help prevent nutrients leaching from our sandy soil over winter.

Posted by ShoZu

Monday 9 February 2009

Sowing seeds

We're going to try biodynamic sowing this year, as Lou was given a book on it for her birthday - The Biodynamic Sowing and Planting Calendar by Maria & Matthias Thun.

It's quite specific with what you should sow when, sometimes to within a matter of hours! We'll have to see how well we stick to it. Tonight, Tuesday and Wednesday should be fruit - their classification includes tomatoes, beans and aubergines.

Well, we'll give it a go...

Friday 6 February 2009

Green manure - Agricultural mustard

We've sown green manures to help improve the soil. This is agricultural mustard which improves the soil structure when it's cut down and dug in, but doesn't fix nitrogen. We've got a really sandy soil so hopefully this will help it hold more water.

Posted by ShoZu

Wednesday 4 February 2009


We had a bonfire at the allotment at the weekend, in order to get rid of lots of the brambles, branches and other odds and sods. Nice cold weather, coming towards dusk, no-one will have their washing out.

All going well, getting rid of lots of stuff, the potatoes are in the fire cooking, when along come two PCSOs to check it out. Apparently someone had called the police because of the smoke. It wasn't even that bad, and who in they're right mind is going to have their windows open in these temperatures? Hey ho.

They were fine with us carrying on however, just wanted to check someone was there with the fire, so we did get to eat the fire roasted potatoes in the end.

New beginnings

So winter's properly here. A few inches of snow are causing calamity in the UK, work colleagues struggle to make it through the elements... unfortunately we live a mere ten minutes from our work so we have no excuse. Happily however, the allotment is ideally located between home and work, just a few minutes walk away, and easily-poppable to during lunch in the week. This week has been a mix of snow, defrosting and then bright blue skies and warming sunshine, so it's difficult to know whether to make it over to the allotment during lunch or not. More snowstorms are forecast so once again not much allotmenting taking place.

Lou has been drawing up the seed chart in readiness for the sowing onslaught later. We have differing opinions on how to do this. She prefers the g
ood old paper and pencil method whilst I've been trying to persuade her that a spreadsheet will easily show her what's to be sown first. We've hit a stalemate and gone for both...

2009 will definitely be a year of MORE! We recently ran out of last year's potatoes and it has felt very strange actually having to buy potatoes from a shop. So that's what normal people feel like... The ever-growing list of what we'll sow this year follows... garlic and broad beans are in...

Radish (scarlet globe, nerckarruhm, rudolph, sparkler)
ine (black beauty)
r (californian wonder)
Lettuce (salad bowl, cut and come again, cruha, roxy, corn salad)
Leek (atlanta, carentan, hannibal)
Chives (Grodau)

Basil (Sweet Genovese)
Cucumber (Marketmore, Crystal Lemon)
Courgette (Nero di Milano)
Broad Bean (Witkiem, Super Aquadulce)
Dwarf French Bean (Speedy, Slenderette)
Climbing French Bean (Blauhilde)
Runner Bean (Scarlet Emperor)
Spring Onion (White Lisbon)
Onion (Ramrod, Siberian, Jetset)
Sweetcorn (Incredible F1, Sweet Nugget)
Beetroot (Detroit 2 Bolivar, Golden)
Leaf Beet (Rainbow Chard, Swiss Chard)
Spinach (Giant Winter, Perpetual)
Carrot (Rothild, Nantes 2)
Pea (Rondo)
Cabbage (Wintergreen, Marner Lagerrot)
Savoy (Vertus)
Brussels Sprout (Nautic F1)
Borecole (Westland Winter)
Broccoli (Purple Sprouting)
Swede (Magres)
Kohl Rabi (Logo)
Celeriac (Prinz)
Parsnip (Turga)
Butternut Squash
Squash (Kiri)
Potatoes (Cara, Colleen, Maris Bard - all chitting)
Tomato (Gardener's Delight)
Green Manure (Fenugreek, Vetch)