Plans for Spencer Road Plot 23B

This page is dedicated to Spencer Road Plot 23B. It holds my thoughts and plans for 2017 and it will be under development from now October 2016 over the winter months and will no doubt be modified on a continuous basis.





 New Plan
Click on Plan to enlarge

Modifications made as a result of buying Asparagus plants



Old Plan


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, and I have a pack of seeds for Martha Washington Asparagus, 50 seeds To be sown April to May. Originally I was thinking of putting the everlasting onions and the Asparagus in the two small beds behind the fruit cages 15 & 16 but reading the back of the pack they need to be spaced 450mm apart in both directions. I could plant a line of them in beds 17 & 18 and get 4 per bed so 8 total.

BEETROOT

We eat a lot of beetroot and pickle it each year and distribute around the family, if a bed can be established in time it will be grown on this allotment as well as Mill Green


BRUSSELS SPROUT



If can get a bed ready on Spencer Road Allotment I will grow the list below on this plot as well as my Mill Green allotment plot 1A

These were a disaster growing from seed last year and I had to buy plants which really goes against the grain. This year I bought what I initially thought was a really good idea which was the Thompson & Morgan All Season Brussels Sprouts seed pack  How wrong can you be who in there right mind offers three varieties in a pack and then packs them all in a single packet see post here for more details.


Moving on from the Thompson & Morgan Fiasco, I have purchased Evesham Special from Premier Seeds Direct  & Bedford Darkmar 21 from Just seeds both for 99p a pack. My third variety is Brest F1 which I got from the Wyevale seed sale for 50p so that is three varieties for less than Thompson & Morgan were selling their All Season Brussels Sprout pack for so Up Yours T&M

Eveham Special
Sow Indoors Feb - Mid March
Sow Outdoors - Late March
Plant Out April - May after last Frost
Germination 14  - 21 Days 
Harvest September  - December 

Bedford Darkmar 21
Sow Indoors Feb - Mid March
Sow Outdoors - Late March
Plant Out April - May after last Frost
Germination 14  - 21 Days 
Harvest - Mid-November to January


Brest F1
Sow Indoors March - April
Sow Outdoors April
Harden off once 150mm high
Plant Out April - May after last Frost
Germination 14  - 21 Days 
Harvest - November - February


Rubine
Sow Indoors Feb - April
Sow Outdoors March - April
Harden off once 150mm high
Plant Out April - May after last Frost
Germination 14  - 21 Days 
Harvest - November - January


BUTTERNUT SQUASH

To be grown around the base of the sweetcorn in Beds 5 & 7 then they can wonder from one bed to the other and over the path. The variety "Butterfly" will be grown here and "Waltham" on the other plot 

CABBAGE

Not this year unless more beds become available

CARROTS


The only stone free bed is Bed 1 which was made up with a layer of manure, compost and coir from the home grown tomatoes early in 2016. So not ideal for carrots. Should a bed become available in time I would grow

Scarlet Horn -  Early crop variety ideal for heavy soil, stony or shallow as a short stumped rooted carrot Sow February - June thinly in pre-watered shallow rows and cover with a little soil. Allow 250mm (10") between rows. Thin seedlings to about 20mm, keep soil moist until seedlings are established. This variety is better suited for Spencer Road and the soil is very stony.  

CAULIFLOWER

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.  

COMFREY

Obtain two cuttings from Mill Green and transplant into Comfrey Bed 1 when they start to show in Spring. 

CUCUMBER

Burpless did really well on this Allotment in 2016using the solvent weld frame to grow up at the end of bed 2 so the end of a bed needs to be found somewhere on this plot for them in 2017 - Location yet to be decided

INFRASTRUCTURE

Over winter 2017 the objectives are
  • To level the paving slabs for the greenhouse - Semi Completed
  • Dig and Weed Beds 5,6,7 & 8 - Beds - 5 - 7 completed
  • Install the paths around beds 5 to 8 - Semi Completed
  • Obtain scaffold boards for the three greenhouse frames - Semi Completed
  • Erection of the greenhouse - Nope
  • Erection of the Comfrey Pipe - Nope
  • Transport Water Butt from Mill Green to be use for Comfrey on tap on this allotment  - Nope
Spring Objectives are
  • Install the Watering System as Mill Green - buy more Hoselok Tee connectors  

FRUIT CAGES

As can be seen on the plan above I have obtained two greenhouse frames that I intend to use as Fruit Cages. I really need to think about the what and how I intend to grow in this area. The greenhouses are 1.8m x 1.8m or 6ft x 6ft but you have to be able to get in there are move around. Strawberries will definitely go in there because the birds had the lot in 2016 as they were grown in the ground. I have two cherry trees in pots at Mill Green and I'm thinking they would be better off at Spencer Road under cover as the birds strip them bare if they are not.


Apple seeds saved from apples from Mill Green, going to sow and see what if anything happens.  

GHERKIN - Cenriolino Piccolo Di Parigi - First year for growing Gherkins and only because my sister loves them so I'm having a bash at growing and pickling them for her more than likely on Mill Green but perhaps on Spencer Road as well if I can make space

Sowing from seed try to aim for a seed spacing of at least 11.7 inches (30.0 cm) and sow at a depth of around 12 mm  1/2". For optimal germination, soil temperature should be a minimum of 16°C / 61°F. Sowing Cetriolo Piccolo Di Parigi about 14 days after your last frost date.


GREENHOUSE

The objective is to have the base for the greenhouse in and the greenhouse erected as soon as possible and before the end of march 2017, the greenhouse is a solid polycarbonate 1.8m x 1.2m of 6ft x 4ft. Need to purchase an Automatic Vent opener and make a mesh door infill for the greenhouse.


Note to self pick up the thermometers from Lidl when they have them next year. - Done

MARROW

Long Green Striped 22  - 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.

If progress is slow then the Marrow will be grown on top of a pile of manure located between beds ll & 13

ONIONS

As there is white rot problems on Mill Green all the onions will be grown on Spencer Road

Normally I do well on the onion front, and grow from seed, not as good this year mind you and I have bought sets and just sown 49 Japanese, 51 Red Onions and 45 Radar in vending machine cups see Alans Allotment: Over Wintering Onions

I still have half a bed of spring onions to harvest on plot 23B

I will be sowing onions from seed immediately after Boxing day for a second wave to follow the over wintering ones. varieties I have are:-

Alison Craig
Bedfordshire Champion
Globo The Giant Onion
Hytech F1
Kamal F1
North Holland Blood Red
Red Baron
Stuttgarter Riesen
Santero F1

In addition I will be sowing a tray of modules 15 vending machine cups of spring onions in groups every two weeks:-

Apache (Deep Red)
Arrow
Ishikura
Long Red Florence
North Holland Blood Red
Paris Silverskini
Performa
Pompeii
Purplette
Ramrod
Shimonita
White Lisbon

I also have some Leeks to sow this year I have not grown them before

Atal - Baby Type
De Carentan 2
Herfstuezen 3 - Porvite
Musselburgh
Nipper
Swiss Giant Zermatt

Again never gown before but I have Prisma F1 Hybrid Shallots and a fellow allotment holder have given me two Elephant garlics to try from this years harvest.


I have also acquired Potato and Everlasting Onions from Norfolk Gray off the Grow Your Own Grapevine forum.


PARSNIPS

My Parsnips were allowed to go to seed on my other plot last year. They were given to me by another plot holder and after three sowings of bought seed, the allotment saved seed germinated and I ended up with a wonderful bed of Parsnips. I have so many seed that I will be growing a bed worth here and on the other allotment, as the whole family love Parsnips.


The soil here has a huge stone content so Bed 1 what was basically filled with 2015's coir and compost from 22 Flower Buckets and a layer of horse manure to bring it up to level is ideal for root vegetables.  

POTATOES

Only one bed was grown on this plot last year, this year looking at two beds 9 and I think the Second Early potatoes will be grown here.

Albert Bartlett Vivaldi - Second Early - Can be grown on as main crop - Sweet creamy taste - Great baker - I selected these because my kids are 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. They grew really well last year and got the kids seal of approval so are defiantly on the grow list this year.


Estima - Second Early - Good Uniform Shape Ideal for Boiling and Baking -  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. Grown last year and they were absolutely smashing so defiantly on the list for growing this year.  
2kg sack bought from Wyevale no chits on them last year .

Sarpo KifliSecond Early - Blight resistant, white skinned second early crop,  Waxy potato with a new potato flavour all year round, and will be grown if the Sarpo trial pack is on offer again.


RHUBARB

Something that I have wanted to grow for some time and have not really got around to it as it needs a static location, however now I have the other plot I will have room. I managed to get the seed for Glaskins Perpetual Rhubarb off the Grapevine seed circle so the plan is to grow from seed in 2017 still not decided if it should live here or at Mill Green or perhaps both locations? 


Update - Maggie on Spencer Road has said I can have a couple of her plants as she needs to thin them out. 

RUNNER BEANS

Scarlet Emperor being grown on other allotment so if the fruit cages / greenhouse frames are in place runner beans from the Grapevine seed circle will be grown up them using them as Minty frames.   



STRAWBERRY


I have the plants from last year and their runners, in addition I have two packets of Alpine Baron Solemacher packs of seeds from the  Johnsons Sarah Raven Collection packs that I picked up last year. Sow January to the end of March

Sow thinly, indoors, January to April, in pots or trays of seed compost. Gently press the seed into the surface. Keep moist and maintain a temperature of approx. 15-20°C (60-68°F). Transplant to individual pots when plants are large enough to handle and reduce temperature to approx. 15°C (60°F). Harden off before planting out in pots, or a warm, sunny, sheltered spot in late May to June, spacing 25cm (10”) apart. Harvest: September to October the first year and then July to October in following years.


Small, incredibly sweet fruits are produced in abundance on compact, bushy plants. They produce very few runners, so are particularly suited to containers, hanging baskets and borders.  

SWEETCORN & Butternut Squash

Two beds of "Swift" sweetcorn planned for this allotment. I need to make the sweetcorn planting weed membrane before required for planting. Butternut Squash to grown around the base of the sweetcorn to maximise space as the Butternut Squash is so invasive.

TOMATOES

The F2 Crimson Crush did really well on the allotment this 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.   



WILDFLOWERS For Bees


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 4 flower buckets of wild flowers per allotment and move then around to encourage the pollinators in.   


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