The Allotment Diaries / May – June

Our little allotment has changed and grown quite a lot since I wrote my last allotment post in May. We now have a total of 4 raised beds and a potato patch. There is a secure fence and gate to stop the rabbits that were getting in and we are also in the process of clearing a patch for pumpkins and squash, which the kids are pretty excited about. The biggest change has been the amount of growth of everything, including the weeds. The wet weather that we had in May meant after a week of being unable to visit, I went down to a jungle. 

Having a little nosey around the other allotments the other week I walked back a different way to our one and absentmindedly thought, ‘ooh that one looks good’ then realised it was ours. I can’t wait to finish it completely but it’s definitely a work in progress.

The first raised bed has red and white onions and parsnips growing in it. Well I think the parsnips are growing. The red and white onions that I planted have grown amazingly well. It still surprises me when I wonder down there and see things growing after years of thinking I would manage to kill everything, like I have done with house plants. 

The second raised bed has beetroot and spinach. The beetroot has been a real success, but unfortunately I only ended up with 3 spinach plants. I’m not sure what happened there. But the spinach was the first thing I managed to harvest from the plot and it felt so good walking home with the spinach leaves and then cooking them. There’s something really satisfying about being able to grow and then eat your own fruit and vegetables.

When things start to grow in the beds I spend the first few weeks googling and asking other people if it’s a weed or a vegetable growing. I’m sure that weed identification becomes easier as you get more experienced. But I’ve been pretty worried about pulling up the wrong things.

I have discovered that I really don’t like thistles and that little gardening gloves are definitely not thick enough to dig and pull out the monsters that keep growing and growing. 

Our potatoes, a mixture of types, are growing really well and the new potatoes are almost ready to be harvested. Then in the newest two raised beds we have courgettes, peas and sweetcorn, that I started off growing at home.

The little brook is now a little trickle, making collecting water for watering a little more difficult and time consuming. We are still on the look out for a second hand shed which we will fit with guttering and install a water butt to help collect some water. And I’m planning on turning it into a little she shed!

The social aspect of having an allotment is something I wasn’t expecting. We’ve have an allotment group BBQ and mini bonfire with more planned for over the summer. 

The main thing for me is that the allotment is a place that I feel I can breathe at. It’s so peaceful and I always come away feeling calm after spending some time up there.  

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