Introducing The Allotment

I spent most of yesterday at the allotment. I have three grown sons who help me out when I need it. My allotment is at the bottom end of the allotment site, so everything has to be barrowed down. For Mother’s Day the boys got me two tonnes of top soil and barrowed it down to my plot, to me that was a far better present than chocolates or flowers! Yesterday my youngest son (who is a tree surgeon) joined me and strimmed all round the raised beds, well half strimmed, he is going to finish it off in the week.

Here is my allotment as it was a couple of years ago, it shows you the basic layout of the raised beds.

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I am rather late this year getting going, due to other life getting in the way. But I did manage to get the essential garlic in at the back end of last year. I also have growing : strawberries, gooseberries, rhubarb, black currants, artichokes, rainbow chard, leeks, sea beet, beet spinach and wild garlic.

Yesterday I sowed : broad beans, lettuce, radish, rocket, spring onions, kohl rabi, kale, various winter and summer squashes, turnips, beetroot and pak choi. I also sowed carrots and parsnips in pots as an experiment, trying to get a better, straighter harvest.

Sorry that is just a long list but I wanted to give you an idea of what I am up to. I also have an amazing herb garden at the allotment from which I picked some young sorrel leaves, parsley, celery leaves and coriander (along with spinach) for our supper last night. I am growing some everyday herbs, cut and come again salad leaves and tumbling cherry tomatoes on the decks of the barge to grab for lunches and cooking.

I am reading all about permaculture and polyculture at the moment and I am having a rethink about my plot. The soil is terrible in that it is full of old roots, bind weed and mares tail, so the raised beds are the only option at the moment. I also like the no dig method as my poor old back plays up a bit these days. Polyculture makes sense to me, so I may have a couple of experimental beds this year. Any advice would be welcome. Enjoy this lovely weather if you are in the UK.

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