The diary of two novice gardeners and allotmenteers

Chris and Steve's Weblog – City Chickens

Monthly Archive: November 2006

The Flower Bed, Keith and his Parsnips.

One of the first things we did on our plot was to make a flower bed in front of the lean to. Rob had made a raised bed with wood and I planted in some Lupin plants I had started at home from seed. As we cleared Trevor’s plot I found a few other flowers and put them into the bed. Today I finally got round to weeding the bed again and noticed that all the plants are looking very healthy. There are the Lupins, Alstromerias, Gypsophylia, Michaelmas Daisies and a few Statis.

Rob went down to the plot on his own yesterday and as well as taking the canes out of the bean trellis he weeded all the empty beds and tidied the raised Rhubarb bed and made it secure with wooden stakes. This morning was quite mild for November and the site was busy. We got to speak to Keith about the two cutting we took from his bonfire. He said it was OK and confirmed that they were Black Currant. We asked Keith about his Carrot bins and whether he grew his Parsnips the same way. Apparently he grows them direct in to the bed and proved how good they were by giving us three to bring back with us to try. Keith is a real character and is very fit at seventy nine. He was telling us about his wife Lil, who is eighty one, and after a very active life had a stroke and is now dependent on him for help. She is the reason he is giving up his second plot which we will hopefully take on next year. On the way home we again stopped at the park to collect more leaves for the chicken run. The remembrance service was taking place at the small war memorial there and the whole place was glorious in the golden glow of the leaves.

September 2006

The 2nd September, Rob’s birthday and the Wollescote show. We had a laugh with new friends and paid over the odds for auctioned flowers, vegetables and a birthday cake.

Wollescote Show produce

4th September – Planted broad beans they should be ready to harvest from February 2007. 16th September – We put up the gazebo and netted the sides, put down weed suppresant fabric and planted sixty three overwintering brassicas. They should be ready by March next year. Planted two hundred overwintering onion sets over three beds. Trevor finally moved his marrows and pumpkins so we were able to clear the ground. We lost all three beds of potatoes to late blight. We were advised to cut off all the haulms and leave the beds for two weeks before digging up the potatoes. We don’t expect to get any.

August 2006

There were red berries all over the big tree at home and it has reminded me how quickly the growing year is flying past. The peas were a disaster so we dug them up, same with lettuce, we have a lot to learn. We have planted some late potatoes, Carlingford, Maris Peer and Charlotte. The shed went up on the 30th and we now feel that we have really moved in to our plot. Trevor is giving us more and more space and we are gradually making it ours. We planted 33 leek plants given to us by the brothers. Also sowed seeds for beetroot, carrots, swede and turnips.

June 2006 – Jemima

First baby duck hatched 6th JuneWe have been fortunate enough to get an allotment on Bob’s Coppice site in Quarry Bank. This was our first choice after visiting a few locally so we feel very lucky. We have been down to see it and can’t wait to get started. We are to take over from the present plot holder, Trevor, gradually as he still has produce growing. It should be completely ours by April 2007. We have been allowed to sow a few seeds where there is space and we have made a start with beetroot, lettuce, radish and spring onions. We have also transferred some potatoes and tomatoes that we had started at home. 6th June was the date that our two white call ducks hatched at home.

Welcome – Where it all Began

We have two allotment plots in Quarry Bank in the West Midlands. We only officially take them on in April 2007 but have unofficially been working on plot 8 since June. We have laid out beds, erected a shed, a fruit cage and a brassica cage and have inherited a lean to greenhouse from the previous plot holder. We have also bought a small plastic greenhouse and loads of seeds and are both excited at the prospect of growing a variety of vegetables next year. We have some notes dating from June 2006 which I shall add to remind us where we started.