Early March at the new plot.
Despite claims by Adele, setting fire to the rain is somewhat difficult, as I discovered today in my wet weather bonfire attempt. Regardless, I persevered! And I am inching closer to the plot being ready in time for planting in.. three weeks? Something like that.
Hooray for fire!
Mid February at the plot.
I’ve gone “barking” mad! Some beautiful stranger keeps dumping mounds of wood chips in the communal bit of the allotments, so I have been frantically wheelbarrowing the stuff over reclaimed ground sheets before anyone can tell me off.
My plan for the next few weeks is to give the place a general tidy up, and to get plot number 2 all beach ready in time for (some) planting at the end of March.
Merry 2018 to you all!
The past two months or so have been fairly slow down at the plot, but at home I’ve been finishing off my last permaculture design course assignment, starting our youngest human at preschool, and frantically doodling plans in my notebook.
The next two months will be about gaining momentum for the 2018 growing season. In the meanwhile I’ll be carpeting and bark mulching the allotment paths, ordering my plants and seeds, and de-cluttering a brand new (half) allotment plot that I will exclusively be growing salad and baby veg on. This will be a scaled up version of my home salad system from 2017, bigger and better than ever!
Season – complete!
The growing season has come to an end, and I look back on the year with both pride an absolute astonishment at my successes and.. not so successful successes.
So I haven’t recorded all the seed packet weights and work hours etc. yet, but I do have final production figures. So over the whole growing season, from 32 individual 1 by 100cm rows, the garden produced:
14.4kg mixed salad greens, valued at 1.5p per gram, yielding £215.70 (an average £2.45 per row).
1.2kg radishes, valued at 0.75p per gram, yielding £8.90 (an average 50p per row).
335g dill, valued at 2.25p per gram, yielding £7.54 (an average £1.26 per row).
Giving a total produce value of £232.14.
So, I’m fairly pleased with that. I’m excited to refine the system for next year too, to hopefully up the value per row to £3 each.
Weeks 30 and 31.
So the clocks have changed and I have just been hit with a stupid realisation that daylight savings may actually be for a reason – it is entirely for my planting schedule. If I begin (and end) 1 week earlier next year on Monday March 26th, it will end by Sunday October 28th, giving me the same 31 week growing season but having it be delightfully bookended by the tradition. Thanks, cultural perception of time keeping.
My first picture is kind of a “before and after”. We had a play date over the half term. I knew kids likes berries, but this one kid came round and apparently they had the same reaction to radishes and dill, and completely raided the front two boxes. Not even mad. Just impressed.
Taking that into account we’ve had about 600g of mixed salad, about 150g of radishes and about 80g of dill. I think I can squeeze one more last cut out of the system, but the growth rate is rapidly grinding to a halt. 31 full weeks of salad growing time (another week to go) feels like a good block to me. Maybe in the future I’ll look at season extension or indoor things like micro greens, but for now I’m happy with that.
Not much longer until everything gets tucked away for the year now. My main activity is just after the kids get put to bed, but the days are getting so short now it’s getting less and less! Starting January, though, child 2 starts pre-school so I should be able to hit the ground running in the new year.
Salad bits: a solid 400g of mixed baby leaves, and an 80g bunch of radishes. I think that’s going to be the standard each week until I can’t push the plants any further, at about the start of November. There should be a dill harvest about then as well. Next year will have a lot more dill, carrots and beetroot around this time too, due to better schedule management, which will be good.
Week 28 of the growing season.
About 300g of mixed salad and a good 100g of radishes. I’ve noticed that the tatsoi is a lot flatter growing than the other salad greens so I’m needing to give it a thorough scoop before the cut. Not much of a problem at this scale but it’s something to think about for the future.
The nights are getting chillier than I care to admit, and the annual denial of putting the heating on until a needless arbitrary deadline has begun.
Really good harvests this weekend, but very rainy. I ended up grabbing bits little and often rather than just in one go mostly due to the weather. About 400g of good mixed salad, and about 80g of radishes.
Pictured above is just a portion of that amount, and a few other bits, that I traded for a bag of apples. I’ve also been approved for another half plot at the allotments which is awesome, and I’m just waiting on some admin stuff to finalise which bit’ll be mine.
I have written out, cut out, and spaced out the general allotment plot layout for next year. I’m squishing all my successes into half the space (a ¼ plot) and I plan to fill the freed up space with raspberries and strawberries. Loads of them.
It has also occurred to me I have yet to formally show my face on tumblr. Fortunately, child 1 has supplied my exact likeness for this purpose. Job done.
Week 26 of the growing season.
Pictured above, 2 x 5 week old French breakfast radishes. There can be a huge maturity variation by this point, and it is why I have planned to harvest some at 5 weeks then again 2 weeks later at 7 weeks maturity for a final harvest. It gives a bit more wiggle room
Next week should be the first proper harvest of the new growing schedule. Nom nom.