Thursday 15 March 2012

First Seeds

Today we created our seed beds as planned, which will allow us to start off plants we will eventually move to the main beds.  

We have pretty much now planned out the space we will use this year and decided what vegetables we will grow. 

In fact, today also saw the first seeds go in which gave us a great sense of satisfaction after the hard work of digging and getting the plot ready over the last few weeks.

In the seed beds we have started leeks, cauliflower and Brussels sprouts.  These will eventually be transplanted to one of the main beds.

Into the main beds we have sown carrots, onions (sets), mange tout and parsnips.

In the next week or so we will be adding potatoes, garlic, broccoli, salad leaves, spinach and raspberries.

We were also thinking of planting rhubarb but then we found some hiding on our plot!

Today also marked the announcement of a hosepipe ban, so this will help keep our fitness levels up!

Here's to sunshine and enough rain to keep the plants happy!

Thursday 23 February 2012

The Finished Dig

Now the snow has finally cleared and the temperatures risen above minus five, Chris and I have completed the initial digging at the allotment.  

We now have three and a half planting areas which we have covered with clear plastic to warm up the soil over the next few weeks and encourage the weeds to grow so we can pull them out and make final preparations for planting.

We do still have a largish area available but we shall work our way into this as time and our experience progresses.  We may use it in the Autumn, or open it up for planting next year.

Our next job will be to create a seedbed area where we can initially sow our plants before transplanting to the main growing areas.

We have a general idea of what we will be growing and this will develop over the next couple of weeks.

Monday 6 February 2012


Having this morning received the official paperwork from the council, I see that our plot is in fact 45b and not 67b. So with a slight shrug I have changed the address and title of this blog.

The rental for our 5 rods in 2012 will be £32.50 per year plus £7 for water.     

Breaking Ground

Following a conversation regarding the wonders of vegetable plots and the lack of ideal growing space in our respective gardens, my friend Chris and I decided to apply for an allotment.  

So around the middle of last year, we duly put our name down on the list imagining that we may be contacted at some time in the next millennium.  It was therefore with some surprise that I took a call from Ashtead Allotment Society last week informing me that we were now the proud lessees of allotment plot 45b.

It is officially a half plot which is more commonly granted now, and more than enough for us to cut our teeth on.  It measures approximately 60ft by 18ft.

Excluding large fruit trees, and I would imagine, hallucinogenic crops, we are permitted to grow anything we like.  This includes chickens, pigs and assorted other small to medium animals.  Of course as a pescatarian, any future mammalian occupants would be used purely for weeding, deslugging, eggs, milk and decoration.

The plot has been mis-tended and needs some work to bring it up to a cultivating state.   Chris and I immediately got to work turning over around one quarter and clearing the remainder of rubbish, clumps, and tall weeds.

We returned a couple of days later to continue turning over the grass/soil but by then temperatures had plummeted and the ground was frozen solid.   Since then the snow has come further hindering our efforts, but we continue make our plans for when the better weather returns.

Allotment 45b has a small shed which will allow us to store a few tools on site, and at a squeeze provide shelter from the rain.   Chris has installed two chairs and we shall be investing in a very large flask.

We have been warmly welcomed by the Ashtead Allotment Society, and will be surrounded by what I can only imagine is hundreds of years of vegetable growing experience.

This blog will be a record of our progress and hopefully you will find something of interest here.