Welcome to our plot!

I'm Hazel, and in Nov 2006 my friend Jane and I took on a half plot at Hill Allotments, Sutton Coldfield - we want the satisfaction of growing and eating our own fruit and veg, and to improve our diet (and fitness!).

This is the story of what happened next...........

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Potatoes in at last!

No photos as I left my phone at home when I went to the Hill today where I spent a couple of hours weeding and digging over a bed; hoed it level and poked the first earlies (sharpes express) and second earlies (charlotte) in the ground.

Dug out the remaining leeks from the next bed, where the maincrop will go, and ran out of enthusiasm and came home.

A job done, though.

Monday, April 17, 2017

Bit by bit

You'd think that a couple of days off for the Easter break would mean I'd have plenty of time at the Hill, but not so - where does the time go?

I went down late afternoon with the intention of planting the potatoes (still!) but got side tracked with the front border.  Invasive grass is creeping in from the raspberry bed; and the three lavender bushes are leggy and straggly.

The plan is to replace the lavender, and I have half a dozen sturdy little plants at home ready to plant out - and to clear out the grass and its spaghetti roots once and for all.  I got to work with the fork and spent a satisfying hour or so loosening the soil and chasing the roots and picking out these and any  other weeds.  Plenty more to do, but the result looks good.

I rough dug the miscellaneous bed, so that's another one ticket off - and dug a few potatoes, a few leeks and pulled some rhubarb.

The pink stalks to the back of the pic for mum, the thicker ones to the front will form the basis of the first batch of rhubarb wine of the year.  Marvelous.

Sunday, April 09, 2017

Planting Potatoes? Nope

At the Hill this week, the one job of most pressing importance was to plant the potatoes that I'd intended to do last weekend, but hadn't.

But instead of banging straight on in with that when I arrived in the afternoon sunshine yesterday, I got the spade and fork out and had another crack at getting the wild area by the bench into better order.

To this end, I dug out some of the blackberry-intent-on-world-domination roots, and clods of grass, raspberry suckers and dandelions.  I slogged away at this for about an hour and made a rough job of about 3 square feet.  Oh well, no one said it would be either quick or easy.

Then I got sidetracked with the easy option of raking the front bed that I'd prepped last week and filling it with a row of parsnip, a row of leek and a row of carrot seed.

And I dug some potatoes, and pulled a few leeks, and decided that was enough for the session and came home.  Another day, and all that....

Sunday, April 02, 2017

Half a Job

The clocks went forward last weekend (which gives us more daylight in the evenings), so with that and the better weather, it does feel like Spring is well and truly upon us.
I wish someone would tell the tomato seeds I sowed a couple of weeks ago - not a hint of them coming up, so I'll have to have another go with different seed.  They were pretty elderly, so it's not a complete surprise.  The brassicas all up and running, and lettuce and sweet peas too.

I went to the Hill today with the intention of at least getting the spuds planted.  I got sidetracked, however, and made a thorough and comprehensive job of weeding the front bed, ready for carrots on parsnips.

Then I took the bean frame down and moved it to it's new position (that is, chucked the two end supports onto the bed that they need to be fixed to).

I dug up some leeks - we could be charitable and call them trendy 'baby leeks' to make them feel better about themselves.  Then I dug a couple of the picasso potatoes - they haven't fared quite as well as the carolus, and have some slug damage, but not too bad.

Finally, I pulled the first few stalks of rhubarb, and came home.  Never did get those potatoes planted....

Saturday, March 18, 2017


Had a morning out having a look round the 'posh' garden centre with mum and was treated to coffee and cake - hurrah! - then we buzzed off the the garden centre which actually has plants, and I bought my seed potatoes.

This evening, I've done my first sowing session. Every year I say I'll sow successionally, but never do - so it's this one, and the bean/pea/tender crops in about a month and that's it.

I now have pots of brassicas (cauli, cabbage, kale, broccoli) and tomatoes and peppers, and lettuce.

 I'm rather surprised that my little helpers didn't join in - they must be slipping, an 'interesting thing' generally brings them from rooms, if not floors away; even if the 'interesting thing' is being done silently or when they are flat-out asleep.

Friday, March 17, 2017

With Apologies to Tennyson.....

.....'In the Spring a gardener's fancy lightly turns to thoughts of seed sowing' - or somesuch.

So tomorrow I'm going to the garden centre for seed potatoes and compost; and this evening I have had a sort of the seed box.

It all was going very well until help arrived.

If things turn out anything like the jigsaw I have just completed which has seven pieces missing (presumed hidden under the fridge, in my handbag, down the settee, behind the stationery cabinet in the office etc etc), I will be finding seed tapes in odd places for some while yet.

Probably just as well that I haven't got the pea and bean stocks out just yet - such fun.

Saturday, March 11, 2017

Tidying up

It's been a very Spring-like day today, so it was a pleasure to be at the Hill this afternoon.

I did quite a bit of 'housekeeping' - I gathered lots of stray bits of 'I'm sure this will come in useful' wood which have now gone rotten and put them in the car ready for the tip.

Then I had a bout of sumo with one of the dalek composters.  I wrestled it to the ground and emptied it, and re-sited it.  I forked quite a bit of uncomposted stuff back in, then recommenced battle with the bramble intent on World Domination.

I spent half an hour or so adding pulled up dead grass, over-zealous comfrey and snipped up bits of bramble into the dalek, and added a couple of bags of horse muck too. This 'wildlife area' probably need another session of clearing before I can tackle it with a fork - and I need to decide what to do with this area.

Chris from down the bottom came by - I haven't seen her for ages, so we sat on the new bench and chatted for a while.  I note that the view is spoiled somewhat by the pallet (left over from forming a pallet compost bin) - it'll have to go.

She went off to her plot, and I dug the last of the Carolus potatoes.  It was time to go home - though still plenty light enough at 5.45pm - so I lifted about half of the leeks too (freeing the end of the bed ready for the next dalek re-location) and headed off

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