Monday, 27 December 2010

Plot 1A Plan V Reality


This page is dedicated to Mill Green Plot 1A. It holds my thoughts and plans for 2020 and it will be under development from now October 2019 over the winter months and will no doubt be modified on a continuous basis. I've had this plot since 2012 and the soil have received lots of love and attention over that time. the soil is much improved from what I took on and most large stones have been removed and all those that come to the surface each year are weeded out. The soil here is good for deep roots like Parsnip and Carrots.  






SEASONS 

Spring     22nd March - 21st June 
Summer  21st June - 22nd Sept 
Autumn   22nd Sept - 21 December 
Winter     21st December - 20th March


ASPARAGUS

I have been wanting an Asparagus Bed for some time, I even bought some but they came before I had created a bed for them. They are still on the agenda but as to if they will happen this year, I doubt it as I have plot 1 to create. However if we are going to get a load of manure what better time to create the bed for them.  


BEETROOT Beds 8 & 9

We eat and pickle a lot of beetroot, Currently on the plan Bed 8 and half of bed 9 is dedicated to beetroots

I normally start the beetroots off in the greenhouse in vending machine cups, this year will be a two pronged attack Successional sowing will take place every in a third of a bed length every 3 - 4 weeks so that they can be harvested and pickled in batches.

Sow from March 2-4 weeks before the last frost when the ground is warm.

BRUSSELS SPROUT - Plot 1A Beds and if possible a Bed on Plot 1

I never did get the additional bed in at Spencer Road in 2017, but I did manage to get 5 different varieties in at Mill Green Plot 1A which were Bedford Darkmar 21, Cromwell F1,
Evesham Special, Mongomery F1 & Rubine Purple Sprout

This year I hoping for two beds of Sprouts and grow on two of the following varieties

                                                 Sowing           Sowing        Harvest 
                                                 Indoors         Outdoors

Bedford                                                           Mar - April       Sep - Dec                                
Bedford Darkmar 21           Feb - Mid Mar      Mar - April    Mid-Nov to Jan
Brest F1                                 Feb - Apr          Mar - April       Nov - Feb              
Brodie  F1                              Feb - Apr          Mar - April       Nov - Jan  - T&M                  
Morgan
Cromwell F1                       Feb - Mid Mar       Mar - April      Sep - Dec                                
Evesham Special                   Feb - Mar          Mar - April      Sep - Dec - Mr Fothergill's  
Mongomery F1                   Feb - Mid Mar       Mar - April      Nov - Dec
Nelson                                    Feb - Apr          April - Jun       Aug - Nov
Rubine Purple Sprout             Feb - Apr          Mar - April      Nov - Jan 

So Harvest period from August - February that's potentially 7 months of fresh sprouts.

BUTTERNUT SQUASH - Plot 1

Last year I had planned to grow butternut squash around the base of the sweetcorn on Plot 1A, that didn't happen, I was too late sowing and they never really took off. This year as I have a new plot and we are getting some horse manure I'm thinking Waltham Butternut squash can be grown on an uncultivated area in the South West corner of plot 1 off a pile of manure covered in cardboard.

CABBAGE - Bed 2

2017 Plan to be updated for 2018 I'm really undecided about cabbage, as I had such a disaster with it during 2016 mainly due to the vast amount of slugs, I have been contemplating Kale, one to ponder I think. Ideally small spring green type cabbages are what I'm after.

May Update - I have started off Spring Greens in the greenhouse and in the meantime my brother-in-law Keith has given me his excess brassicas so Bed 2 now has nineteen Savoy cabbages and eight Cauliflowers in it. 




CARROTS - Beds 7 & 8

Do best in beds that have not been recently manured

No Carrots grown in 2017, I want to grow many more in 2018 and want to grow big "bugs bunny type" if possible. I have acquired a number of different variety seeds, the Wyevale seed sale is responsible for a large number of them as I can't resist a bargain.

I'm looking at one and a half beds on Plot 1A but if I can get a bed ready on Plot 1 I will have one bed on each plot.

1st Sowing in Bed No 7 - Plot 1A

Amsterdam 2 (Solo)          - Jan
Early Nantes 2                  - Jan 

Nairobi                              - Jan 
Cascade F1                      - Feb *
Early Scarlet Horn            - Feb
Early Nantes 2 Frubund   - Feb
Romance F1                     - Feb

Autumn King 2                  - Mar

2nd Sowing in Bed No 6 - Plot 1A or a new Bed on Plot 1  

Chartenay Red Cored      - Mar 
Early Nantes 5                  - Mar

Jitka F1                             - Mar 
Nandor F1                         - Mar *
Nigel F1 Hybrid                 - Mar
Paris Market - Atlas          - Mar *

Royal Chantenay 3           - Mar
St Valery                           - Mar


Short ideal for starting  in loo rolls

CAULIFLOWER - Beds 3

The best cauliflower I have ever grown was during my first year, and I'm thinking it was beginners luck as I have yet to repeat the success, but I have to try at least one bed. I still have some Jamie Oliver Cheesy F1 seeds and All The Year Round Cauliflower seed Suttons 2016 and Mr Fothergills 2017 Sow indoors Jan - March / Sow Outdoors March - June Plant Out March - August and Harvest June - Oct so some successional sowing needed here me thinks to extend the harvesting season.  

May Update - Eight cauliflowers now in Bed 2, thanks to my brother-in-law Keith and his excess growing my ones dies in the two day Summer we had in April. Bed 3 to be used for spring greens (if they grow) and Broccoli again donated by Keith.

CUCUMBER  - Bed 16

I have historically grown Marketmore & Burpless on this plot and they both did really well, for 2018 I will be growing both again.
 

GHERKIN - Bed 16


Piccolo Di Parigi - Second year growing Gherkins and only because my sister loves them so I'm waiting to see how she liked the ones I pickled for her in 2017 but have bought some new seed anyway.

GREENHOUSE - Plot 1A

The greenhouse got limited use in 2016 as too much rubbish had / has accumulated in it. The plan is to empty, clean and reduce the staging in it such that I can use it for what it's meant for in 2018. The access problems in 2016 - 2017 contributed to the lack of use , but now that Redrow & Natta Construction have constructed and nearly completed the drop off and pick up area, I will be able to get to the allotment on a regular basis to take full advantage of the greenhouse, and If I'm lucky I will have another on plot 1 by the start of the growing season in 2018. 


INFRASTRUCTURE

Over winter the objectives are


  • Clear the greenhouse completely
  • Clear and Tidy the storage Area
  • Weed Membrane paths between Beds 1 - 5  
MARROW - Plot 1


If I pile some horse manure covered in cardboard in a couple of locations in the South West Corner of New Plot 1 then I can grow Marrow as well as Butternut Squash


Long Green Striped   - To be used by Dec 2018 Sow April - May Harvest July Onwards
Long Green Trailing Exhibition Marrow - from Jungle seeds no use by date on the pack or sowing and harvesting information other than sow in peaty sterile seed compost 7mm deep at 25-30C Germination  2 - 3 weeks. Once germinated these grow rapidly and will need good light. Plant out after all frost have passed in a rich manured compost.   


MELON - Greenhouses on Plot 1 and 1A

This is something new that I want to try and grow in the greenhouses at both allotments in 2018 if the greenhouse on plot 1 is erected. I have three different varieties to try, Rugoso di Cosenza giallo, Ogen & Sugar Baby.

The packs appear to say Sow from March to May, Plant out May June and Harvest August to September / Early October.   



ONIONS

2017 Plan to be updated for 2018 Bed 13 currently shows Over Wintering Onions, however no onions will now be grown on this allotment due to the white rot problems on the site, so all onions to be grown on Spencer Road this year. So that means I need to find something else for bed 13.

PARSNIPS-  Beds 13

My parsnips were allowed to go to seed on this plot two years. They were given to me by Edita another plot holder and after three sowings of bought seed that did nothing, the ones from the allotment seed took and I ended up with a wonderful bed of Parsnips. I also have a packet of seed that came free with a gardening Magazine to use.



POTATOES - Beds 10, 11, 12 and two additional Beds on Plot 1

Lady Christi First Early - SoilFixer Experiment in Buckets Year 2 Lady Christl potatoes are an excellent first early variety that bulks up early in the season and can be harvested after just 8 weeks of sowing. Derek on the Spencer Road allotment introduced me to Lady Christi when he had too many seed potatoes in 2016 and donated some to me. This year they will be sourced from local Wyevale or other garden centre only because I can see what I'm buying.

Albert Bartlett Vivaldi - Second Early 2.4 x 1.2m bed - Can be grown on as main crop - Sweet creamy taste - Great baker - I selected these because my kids were always saying my potatoes are not as good or as large as the shop bought ones for baked potatoes and this is one they believe is better than mine have been historically. Will be sourced from local Wyevale or other garden centre only because I can see what I'm buying.

Albert Bartlett Purple Majesty - Second Early 1kg Pack (12-15 Tubers) I've never grown these before but I'm being provided with some seed potatoes to trial by Marshalls, reading the info about them they are the first purple potato to go on sale commercially in Britain. They are potatoes of the richest purple – purple skin and purple flesh, jam-packed with nutrients and antioxidants it makes a fantastic member of the superfood family along with blueberries, pomegranites and kale. With its genetic origins in the Andes, it’s been specially selected for the food market and has enjoyed great success. It’s an early maincrop variety suitable for salads, and of course as jackets which prove a real hit with children fascinated by its dark purple flesh. Provided by Marshalls Link to Purple Majesty details on Marshalls web site Charlotte - Second Early 2.4 x 1.2m bed Are mentioned by name in many recipes. That's always a good sign because in the end the purpose of growing potatoes is to eat them and recommendations from recipes is a sure sign of good taste, and they have never let me down. They are on the waxy side which makes them excellent for boiling, they hold their shape well and are delicious hot or cold. Using them for roasting and to sauté produces excellent results. Will be sourced from local Wyevale or other garden centre only because I can see what I'm buying.

Kestrel - Second Early - 2kg Pack (25-30 Tubers)  so enough for a bed and a half or a three row bed, these are another trial packs courtesy of Marshalls and were not on my radar until offered. Kestrel seed potatoes produce smooth skinned tubers with purple eyes, and winner of many prizes at exhibition. They have an old fashioned flavour, and make good chips and roasts well because the soft flesh does not absorb much fat. Consistently shows good resistance to slugs and blackleg. which I really need after the slug attacks last year. Provided by Marshals Link to Kestrel details on Marshalls web site



Estima - Second Early 2.4 x 1.2m bed - Good Uniform Shape Ideal for Boiling and Baking last year I bought a 2kg sack bought from Wyevale no chits on them. Another shop bought potato I selected because my kids said they liked the shop bought ones. I looked at the small print on the label and read that they had been grown in Norfolk by Neil Van Poorvilet Variety Estima, up until then I had never heard of the Estima variety, but now I will grow them every year. Will be sourced from local Wyevale or other garden centre only because I can see what I'm buying.


Jelly - Main Crop 2.4 x 1.2m bed modern variety has smooth skin, is long and oval in shape and has rich, yellowy flesh – reported to be a good roaster that makes superb, golden coloured chips! The tubers have good scab resistance and it is known to have excellent drought tolerance. I've selected these as this was a variety that we bought from the supermarket when the home grown spud ran out, that were particularly good and a nice size for baked potatoes and they roasted very well, plus I did have a bit of a scab and slug attack problems this year with some Sarpos that I grew. I found that Mr Fothergills can supply these if my local garden centre or Wyevale can't.

RHUBARB - Beds 15 & Plot 1

I've just inherited some Rhubarb from Plot 1 and I have the Rhubarb that came from a fellow plot holder on Spencer Road to transport over to Mill Green.



RUNNER BEANS

2017 Plan to be updated for 2018 Last year only one bed of runner beans were grown, in 2017 both beds will be grown - Scarlet Emperor seeds from 2016 will be used.


SWEETCORN

2017 Plan to be updated for 2018 Two beds of sweetcorn planned for this allotment variety Lark F1 and two beds of Swift on the Spencer Road. Butternut squash to be gown in the same beds as the sweetcorn to maximise the growing area. I'm happy for them to wonder over the path between the two adjacent beds.



TOMATOES

2017 Plan to be updated for 2018 The F2 Crimson Crush did really well on the allotments over the last two year, I will grown some outside again or in Flower Buckets if beds are not ready for them as well as the Rapunzel out in the open. I will also grow some small bush varieties in the Greenhouse as it's only 1.8m x 1.2m of 6ft x 4ft. The covered grow house skin has finally failed and if repaired in time, tomatoes will be grown there as well as in the Little House on the Allotment extension to the shed.


WILDFLOWERS For Bees

2017 Plan to be updated for 2018 I have received two packs of wildflower seed for bees from two different sources this year. Historically I have not grown flowers on the allotment apart from the Daffs and Bluebells that come up early in the comfrey beds and the Poached Egg Plants that are grown to attract aphid eating ladybirds. This year I will plant a minimum of 4 - 6 flower buckets of wild flowers per allotment and move then around to encourage the pollinators in.   

Plot 1 Plans V Reality

This page is dedicated to Mill Green Plot 1. It holds my thoughts and plans for 2018 and it will be under development from now October 2017 over the winter months and will no doubt be modified on a continuous basis. I've only just taken this plot on and it has been untouched since the previous owner made a single visit in early 2017 and was not seen again for the rest of the year
   


The plan above is an approximation of the layout as I have not been able to measure the walls or the boundaries as there is a mass of hawthorne and brambles along the walls. Once cleared I will update the drawing and bed layout.


Clearance has commenced

SEASONS

Spring     22nd March - 21st June Planting, Growing and Harvesting  
Summer  21st June - 22nd Sept - Harvesting
Autumn   22nd Sept - 21 December - Infrastructure works
Winter     21st December - 20th March - Infrastructure works

INFRASTRUCTURE



Having cleared the vegetation for most of the plot, the next area to concentrate on is the Hawthorn and Brambles along the wall, There was a huge spoil heap of weeds in the internal corner formed by the boundary wall, which I have a vague recollection of the last tenant spreading as compost over the plot two years ago so it may not be as bad as I'm anticipating but until I clear that area and get into it I will not know.

Strim all the vegetation down as short as possible and then hire a tri flame roofing burner and burn the whole of the plot and then cover with weed membrane, and hold it down with a mixture of plastic pegs, paving slabs, lumps of timber and other dross currently piled along the boundary of Plots 1 & 1A




Next Area 1 which is the internal corner where the shed and greenhouse is going, the objective is to get this done and the shed and greenhouse transported over from Spencer Road to their new homes in March

Area 2 will be next as I'm hoping to have 4 - 6 beds ready in the first year, I may work from the South Eastern boundary as I will want to get the Daleks over from Spencer Road and into production as soon as possible. We are arranging a drop off Manure which will initially go into the South West corner of the plot in a heap and into as many Daleks on Plot 1 as I can fill.

Area 3 as I intend to grow fruit trees along the wall and it will link up with the main path on plot 1A and give me access to the new Shed and Greenhouse on Plot 1 

Areas 2 & 3 may get reversed in order, as it may be faster to deal with area 3 first.

BRUSSELS SPROUT  Bed Required on Plot 1

This year I hoping for two beds of Sprouts and grow on two of five of the following varieties at five varieties a bed. 
                                              Sowing           Sowing        Harvest  
                                              Indoors         Outdoors


Nelson                                    Feb - Apr          April - Jun       Aug - Nov
Bedford                                                           Mar - April       Sep - Dec                                
Cromwell F1                       Feb - Mid Mar       Mar - April      Sep - Dec                                
Evesham Special                   Feb - Mar          Mar - April      Sep - Dec - Mr Fothergill's  Bedford Darkmar 21           Feb - Mid Mar      Mar - April    Mid-Nov to Jan

Brest F1                                 Feb - Apr          Mar - April       Nov - Feb              
Brodie  F1                              Feb - Apr          Mar - April       Nov - Jan  - T&M                  
Morgan
Mongomery F1                   Feb - Mid Mar       Mar - April      Nov - Dec
Rubine Purple Sprout             Feb - Apr          Mar - April      Nov - Jan 

So Harvest period from August - February that's potentially 7 months of fresh sprouts

BUTTERNUT SQUASH

Last year I had planned to grow butternut squash around the base of the sweetcorn on Plot 1A, that didn't happen, I was too late sowing and they never really took off. This year as I have a new plot and we are getting some horse manure I'm thinking Waltham Butternut squash can be grown on an uncultivated area in the South West corner of plot 1 off a pile of manure covered in cardboard.

MARROW

If I pile some horse manure covered in cardboard in a couple of locations in the South West Corner of the plot then I can grow Marrow as well as Butternut Squash

Long Green Striped   - To be used by Dec 2018 Sow April - May Harvest July Onwards


Long Green Trailing Exhibition Marrow - from Jungle seeds no use by date on the pack or sowing and harvesting information other than sow in peaty sterile seed compost 7mm deep at 25-30C Germination  2 - 3 weeks. Once germinated these grow rapidly and will need good light. Plant out after all frost have passed in a rich manured compost.   

POTATOES

The first two beds that are created on Plot 1 will be earmarked for potatoes. In addition I intend to grow more first early spuds in buckets as the buckets will help keep the weed membrane down and wind resistant.

Layout Modification


A revamp of the layout of plot 1 during December 2017 after the trees had arrived.

May Update

 View from the bottom of Plot 1 looking towards Plot 1A

  View from the corner of Plot 1

The Hawthorn trees along the first section of wall didn't get cleared in time to be burnt this year as we can't have fires from the end of March. The Flame burner didn't happen I just covered very quickly after trimming and clearing what I could apart from the first stretch of wall and the corner with the Rhubarb.

Too late to dig a bed and get spuds in the ground primarily due to the appalling weather we have had so far this year. I'm now fighting weeds and grass along the boundary of the plot and my focus is now towards getting the kerb edgings in to define the edge and give idverde something to trim against on the main path and me something to trim against on the path between plots 1&1A and 2.

So Areas 1 & 3 and the perimeter of the plot are now the focus and area 2 will follow after the shed and greenhouse have been moved over from Spencer Road.