East of England, United Kingdom

Super VegDork (65 points)

Patch updates and photos


Thrilled with our drills

Thrilled with our drills
Now that we are on top of the weeding (just) it's been possible to add some seeds in prepared compost drills. Previously we tried sowing some carrot seeds directly into a prepared seed bed but I think we did this too early and most didn't germinate because of the cold.

As you can see from the attached I have created four lines and filled with some cheap compost - I then planted some beetroot, carrot and leek seeds and have covered with a fine layer of compost. The only problem is now that compost dries out quicker than soil so nightly trips to keep everything watered are proving a necessity!

Also the beans which we thought were dead have miraculously come back to life - we decided to try planting the "less dead" looking ones and they have healed themselves! Perhaps our plot is on a ley line or there are Veg Druids (good name for a sister Vegdork website?) at work. Either way our beans look like they might do something and then onions continue to fatten up also.

The potatoes are also going well and have been earthed up - we have also planted more chitted seed potatoes so that we spread our crop over a few more weeks.

We are now entering a few hot weeks (according to Carol on BBC Weather) so I expect to be transporting lots more water to the plot using our two 40 Litre Aqua Rolls. Thankfully someone on our site has just bought an electric water pump (powered by a car battery) so hopefully we won't have to keep imitating the keg-lift on Britains Strongest Man every time we need to empty the AquaRoll into the water butt!

All in all it's going well and our first couple of months as "Allotmenteers" has been rewarding despite the amount of hard work. We also welcome the return of our plot neighbours so we don't need to worry about keeping their weeds under control any more!

Weeds Weeds Weeds

All the recent wet weather has added a lot of unwanted greenery to our little patch - it seems weeds grow quicker than seeds!

Although our attention has been somewhat distracted by a bit of a spontaneous campervan purchase we spent most of last night weeding between onions and potatoes and the result is a much better looking plot.

Having gone from not having an allotment at all, we now find ourselves responsible for looking after all the other plots on the site due to a strange combination of holidays and illnesses - so in short we are very busy!

As an update to how our things are growing, our onions are going great guns - thank you to everyone who helped with my newbie question about how deep to plant them! Had a few sets taken by birds but lots of shoots coming up so hopefully we are in for a successful crop.

Our potatoes are also doing well and will be "earthed up" to protect them from any last minute frosts (we had one the other night and it wiped out some of our bean plants).

Other words of wisdom I can share at this time.... if someone gives you seedlings or any kind of plants put them in immediately! Don't do what we did and leave them out for rabbits/pigeons and the frost to get them! I left out some broad bean plants (kindly donated by a neighbour) thinking I would plant them that evening and was sadly distracted by friends with wine. Long story short, our beans have perished through a combination of heat and cold and lack of water - which is a shame.

Our carrots are only just coming through, but there are not that many of them. As it's still May I am thinking we might add some more drills of them using some compost to enable them to get through the hard soil. Hopefully now that we have dug the beds the winter frosts will break down the soil into a finer tilth which should make life easier next year!

For now we will just keep going with what we have - more updates to follow!

Water Water Everywhere .... just not at the allotment!

Nicola potatoes have gone in as well as carrot seeds and onion sets. More planting will happen over the next few days but the most immediate problem is water.

We have a 168 litre water container however we will definitely need another one.

If anyone is interested we have tried two methods of getting water to the site:

1. The Aqua-Roll Solution

You can buy these from most camping/caravanning shops for abour £40 and it carries 40 Litres of water. It's easy to move around and we can fill it up at home and wheel it to the allotment without a problem.

2. The Wheelbarrow Bag

Not too keen on this as it is harder to move around and liable to spill everywhere. It also requires a very sturdy wheelbarrow (which ours isn't).

Once we get another water container I am going to create a rainwater collection system using pvc sheeting, a drainpipe, some pallets and some guttering but in the meantime it looks like we will be transporting all our water to the site each time we go there.

More to follow.....

Starting from scratch!

Starting from scratch!
Cleared the weeds and set up the beds - no idea what will grow - found a load of potatoes from the previous incumbent so looks like they should do well.

Thinking of innovative ways to resolve the lack of running water problem - some fairly elaborate uses of corrugated iron and drain pipe on the other plots so may follow suit.

Onions going in tonight along with chitted potatoes and carrots - going to leave the beans for a couple of weeks so as to avoid all frosts but doing well in the Kitchen window.

Vegetable growing planner

Wheel barrow
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