December 5

Not pretty but they will do!

We have to number our plots by the 21st of December. Of course, ‘last minute Annie’ here had left it to the last minute. The numbers have to be visible from the path. What do you think?

I found some trays in a shop for £1 and then cut tape to make the numbers. it is Gorilla tape so it should last a while.

There is a full range of numbers on the site because allotmenteers are an inventive lot and prefer not to spend too much money.

We have the old style numbers. I bet this number was given out with the plot when it was first taken out.

Then there is the cottage style which looks really good.

And finally, painting. It is nice and clear and can be seen from far away. I could have done this on my shed.

Mine is a temporary solution until I have time next summer to make some nice painted signs to hang up. I am thinking a bit like this…   in fact several of these would be great. 

The one with the fake grass would be fab. I do like these though it seems a waste of Crown Prince! It probably wouldn’t last long either.

How is your plot numbered?

 

 

November 11

What I have learnt this year

As I come towards the end of my no-dig year I realise that I am a convert. So many of the vegetables and fruit did better than I have grown for some time.

What I have learnt about compost/manure

  1. Only use well-rotted manure. Mine was too fresh and sat in lumps that slugs and snails could hide in.
  2. Seaweed works well and plants love it but it works even better with some compost on top.
  3. It is a struggle to make enough. I have two allotments and probably only make enough for one plot.
  4. Leaf mold is good on the sandy soil. It works even better with a topping of compost.

Successes

  1. The squash have been fantastic. Only one of my Crown Prince squash plants survived but it provided five squash. Usually I have one plant, one squash although I did see that Charles Dowding managed six off his plants so still a little way to go.
  2. Sarpo Mira potatoes were fantastic and I will definitely grow some of these next year. Thank you to John for sharing his surplus plants. I only had four seed potatoes but the crop will probably last us all winter.
  3. The leeks are enormous!
  4. The kale is big and healthy and I actually managed some red cabbages this year.
  5. Flat leaf parsley is hard to keep up with and my lemon grass is doing really well in the polytunnel.

Things that didn’t work so well

These things are not because I used no-dig rather than the weather or my lack of knowledge.

  1. My onion sets had rot but my seed-sown onions didn’t. Next year I will grow all my onions and shallots from seed. I planted the onion sets in lumpy manure and the slugs and snails dined on them.
  2. The Celariac are much, much bigger than previous years but the wood lice have taken up residence in them.  The compost was well-rotted so I will just have to try again.
  3. My garlic was thrown by the cold spell in spring and thought it was winter again. This year I have planted half outside and half in the polytunnel.  We shall see what the difference is.
  4. I need to keep the grass a bit lower and remove the grass hanging over the edge of beds. Slugs and snails hide there!

What has worked well for you this year?

November 30

Making sure it doesn’t blow away

There is not too much to do now at the allotment other than keep picking and making sure everything is held down. Bags of leaves come in very handy and make all that hard work worthwhile.

Having not been down to the plot for a week or two, we then realised that the shed roof was leaking really badly. It is too cold to reroof so we are just wrapping it up to prevent the ingress of rain and will then do it properly in the summer, along with treating the wood.

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The leeks are a real treat. We bought them in France as small leeks and kept them going until we got back home. Our neighbour in France told us that we were too late to plant the leeks in June but they are some of the biggest I have grown. I put it down to the no dig method of feeding the soil, but who knows. Tomorrow we are going to try leek and butter bean soup with parsley. Sounds delicious.

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I have finally got round to sowing broad beans so now I must clear the polytunnel. I have also sown some peas into root trainers in the hope that the mice don’t come in and eat them when I plant them out. It’s all go here!