From Field to Full Beds

It has been a few months since we got the allotment and I’m happy to showcase that things are swiftly coming on. 

Back in January we got the plot (you can read about the start of the adventure here) and of course a lot has changed in the world since then.

We have been very lucky to be able to have the allotment as a project during this time of lockdown and furlough. It has given us activity, exercise and something to try focus our minds on at a time where everything seems so scary.

Things have come on in spades (good pun there) and it looks a lot different now, from an overgrown field to something resembling a productive plot. 

Originally the plan was to go full no-dig, however the pandemic and resulting lockdown made getting large volumes of compost delivered a very difficult proposition. So we had to abandon that for now and do some digging, but that inconvenience obviously is insignificant compared to what’s going on in the world.

After lots of hard graft we now have seven beds on the allotment, with just under two-thirds of the overall plot now under cultivation. We have vegetables, fruit and flowers growing – around 20 different varieties at last count – with more tender plants still to go in.

So I’ll give a quick virtual words-and-pictures tour to guide you through what’s going on.

We have broad beans, onions, mange tout peas and dwarf French beans in the first bed. The broad beans are planted in holes cut through old carpet that we uncovered when sorting the plot. All the onions were from sets started off in trays and the peas are scrambling up netting. 

In the main bed (I simply call it that as it’s the biggest) there are sowings of carrots, radish and turnip, the latter of which will be harvested small. These direct sowings are done in mounded up earth as the ground is clay and very stoney. There are also the first lettuce and two brassica cages, containing cauliflower, cabbages and kale. In addition, there is some spinach and also one of my hop.plants (see a previous post about my attempts to grow hops for my brewing here).

So far there are two beds for cut flowers, though one hasn’t been planted up yet. In one we’ve got sweet peas scrambling up some tall netting, as well as three rows each of rudbeckia and statice.

We have two types of potatoes planted and earthed up. Itll be an interesting trial as for the Charlotte potatoes we’ve got some we bought as seed potatoes and chitted, as well as some from Tesco that started sprouting in the cupboard. Along with the tatties we’ve got some beetroot in this bed. 

A lucky find among the overgrowth was some raspberries, so we’ve cleared around the small canes and made a bed especially for them. We’ll see if anything comes of them this year. 
In the bed alongside we’ve planted rows of strawberries, which are starting to flower strongly, along with some one-year old cuttings of soft fruit bushes which we want to grow on. Also in there is a couple of rows of Swiss chard and one tiny rhubarb we inherited on the plot.

Finally there is what I call the ‘wildflower corridor’, or a better description is a small bed where a mix of wildflower seeds was down along with some saved poppy seeds from our garden the previous year.

There is more plants to go in over the coming weeks along with sowings of both vegetables, herbs and flowers. We are really happy with the progress so far and feel lucky to have this plot – and I do post lots of regular updates on my Instagram. It’s certainly exciting to look forward to all the veg and flowers we’ll get off our little patch over the coming months.

2 thoughts on “From Field to Full Beds

  1. I struggle to grow anything under the hot Australian sun. One of the things I miss the most about home is stately homes and our country gardens. I love your posts. I might not always like or comment but I am so happy for you. And I am so hugely proud- I hope that doesn’t sound condescending. I wish we loved closer and I could buy you a pint x


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