An allotment holder’s musings

So, I’ve been thinking about this growing season, and my experiences so far. This is my third season up in Powerstown, and I had one of the smaller plots to begin with. This year I took on a second smaller plot in April giving me a 10m by 10m area.
My plots:
Plot 95Plot 95Plot 94

Pests!

This year the local birds have been menaces, and absolutely everything has to be covered. We boast crows, jackdaws, pigeons and lately pheasants. They uproot new seedlings, devour soft fruit and brassicas. It may be due to the cold late spring. The rabbit population has also gone mad and allotment holders are building rabbit proof fencing around their plots especially around the perimeters of the site.

Crows galore

Crows galore

The good stuff 🙂
After a cold late spring we had a warm dry June, which meant the crops caught up after a very slow start. I’ve had some successes so far, particularly my soft fruit as the plants and bushes mature. I’ll need to consider fruit cages next year given the local birds!
This year I got my first asparagus harvest (yay!) after planting crowns in spring last year and not picking any of the spears last summer.
Asparagus

Asparagus

The staples…..
I’ve grown potatoes again after a 1 year break, first and second earlies to avoid blight. Those that weren’t harmed by a late frost are giving good yields. After failing to grow onion from seed last year, I’ve gone with sets and am delighted with the results. I’ve picked a good storage variety, among others.
Onions from sets

Onions from sets

Spacing lessons learned
My courgettes are yielding a storm, last year I put them too close together so I got my spacing better this time. I’ve also spaced my brassicas better (sprouts and purple sprouting broccoli) so hopefully loads of veg to look forward to this winter. I’m also delighted with my dwarf beans so far, think they were shaded by taller plants last year.
Not so good 😦
Taking on the second allotment meant I neglected a few things, I forgot to cover my broad beans and went up this week to find them all eaten! I sowed my peas too early and most of the seed rotted in the ground.
I didn’t thin out my strawberries properly, and while my yield was still good, the lack of space made it hard for the fruit to ripen, and I lost fruit through rotting on the ground. I haven’t harvested my radish quick enough and have several giants which are probably inedible at this stage!
What next?
I think I will try successional planting next year, plant a little every couple of weeks to spread out the harvest. I did mean to do this this year but got over excited in spring with the joy of planting and growing. I’ll also look for some allotment buddies for seed or seedling sharing. Can’t wait!
Contributed by:
Karen, Plots 94 & 95
Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s