Weeds + potatoes = allotment

Two words to describe allotment life this week. Weeds. Potatoes. Hundreds of weeds. Potatoes popping up all over the place! We remove a potato or weed and another pops up. It’s like playing a giant game of Whac-a-Mole! The few days of rain we had seemed to kick things in to life. It’s not all bad though because it means everything else is growing too.

The runner beans were started off in pots in the back garden but they’ve now been planted out. We made an a frame for them and I’m pleased to say it’s been up for a whole week and hasn’t blown over yet. Fist pump! A second sowing will be done this week in attempt to give us a steady supply of beans rather than a glut. Last year I sowed them all at once and come Summer we were neck deep in beans.

Tying bean poles together

Making an a frame

These are radish seedlings. I was a bit ham-fisted when sowing so I’m going to have a lot of radishes to eat in three weeks time. One of the owners of our local takeaway often asks how our plot is doing and he told us to make a pickle with radish, onion, green chilli and oil. This Radish and Coriander pickle recipe sounds similar – and delicious.

Radish seedlings in rows

Radish seedlings

Scott has been working hard to neaten up the edges of the plot. His love of straight lines and neatness means our edges now look like proper edges.

Digging allotment edging

Making the edging neater

One of our biggest milestones is a path dividing the plot in four. We went and bought some bricks a few weeks ago and are now collecting stones to fill in the gaps. There are so many stones. At first we were cursing them but now they have a purpose they are a welcome find. Do you see how many weeds there are in the photo below!? Grrrr.

Path made from stones and bricks

Our new path

Another plot owner gave us some more rhubarb. I made crumble last time so had a look for other recipes and found one for rhubarb and vanilla jam. It’s bloody good.

Holding fresh rhubarb

Freshly picked rhubarb

Broad beans are my favourite bean. I sowed some leftover seed from last year so germination has been a bit hit and miss. Also, a mouse stole some of them from the pots in the garden. However we have five plants that are looking healthy and starting to flower.

White broad bean flowers

Broad beans

This blue crate was used to bring home some plants from the plant sale. We were going to chuck it away but thought we’d use it to carry some seedlings to the allotment first. Since then it’s a had a multitude of uses. Collecting stones for path building, carrying weeds to the compost and sieving soil. It’s surprising what becomes useful.

Stones in blue plastic crate

Our wild flower patch is coming along nicely. Although I think there are probably a fair few weeds in there too by now. The tallest seedlings are cornflowers.

Green seedlings in the sun

Wild flower seedlings

Part of our initial tour around the allotment was the communal fruit space. My first thought? Jam! These berries are redcurrants, there are also lots of blackcurrants too.

Unripe, green blackcurrants

Young redcurrants

These are our King Edward potatoes. Unlike the others scattered all over our plot, they are suppose to be here. Potatoes aren’t something we’ve grown before, so any tips would be much appreciated.

Potato leaves in the sun

King Edward Potatoes

Scott has been busy making us a mini tool shed. He’s spent the last few weekends working on it; building a wooden frame, cutting wooden panels to size and stapling on plastic.

Wooden lid with string

Scott making the tool shed

Tools in back of tool shed

The sweetcorn is making an appearance.

Sweetcorn seedlings in loo rolls

Sweetcorn seedlings

Look what we’ve found! Asparagus! So far we’ve come across three crowns randomly growing. Two have been moved to a new area and the one below is well on it’s way so we’ve left it where it is for now.

Asparagus tips in soil

Asparagus

This was only going to be a short post but I’ve ended up writing quite a bit. Are you still with me? If so, pat yourself on the back, you made it 🙂

21 Comments

  1. It’s all go there! That pickle sounds amazing – you know me, anything to accompany some good quality cheese is always good (maybe a dollop on some cheese on toast!)
    We have a few crates and plastic trugs scattered in our garden, their uses are endless, mind you I tend to fill them with stones and then leave them sat there for weeks before emptying them… half a job bob.
    Exciting to see so much poking up now – looking forward to coming and seeing for myself next month! *excited face*

    thanks for joining in again Gemma x

    • I’m looking forward to it too!! Somehow we’ve arrived in June already, so it’s not long away now. I’m hoping everything will look in tip top shape and the garden full of Summer flowers by then 🙂

  2. wow! what a long way you have come with all of this. you guys should be so proud! and… what are you going to do with so many potatoes? 😉

    • Thanks so much Claudia! It’s a good job I love potatoes 🙂 I like making homemade potato wedges so most will end up as that or good old roast potatoes. Yum!

    • Homegrown tomatoes are the best aren’t they? Ours had blight last year so I’m not growing any this year. One day I hope we can grow enough to make a decent amount of pasta sauce to jar and store.

  3. This sums up my plot as well – weeds and potatoes! Weeds growing quicker than seeds, and potatoes popping up everywhere, the previous owner of my plot must have loved potatoes! This looks fantastic, what great work you have done so far!

    • Haha, same here! We were told the previous owners left all their potatoes in the ground, which is why there are so many. The ones growing in the potato area are being kept but we’re taking the rest out as they pop up. Loved your post this week 🙂

  4. This is so exciting. The jam sounds perfect. I’m especially excited to see the wild flower area!

  5. Apart from the pesky weeds giving you trouble, looks like you’re going to have some amazing crops. (Yes, I’m jealous). Rather cool too to have asparagus showing up.

    • Thanks Kriss! I’m trying to focus on the positives – if I ignore the weeds, most things are doing okay at the moment and asparagus is a bonus.

  6. I’m very excited with your asparagus discovery! How cool is that?

    It’s such a busy time of year but so worth it. I get so excited seeing all those seedlings and the possibility of what is to come. I look forward to watching the progress of your plot.

    Clare

  7. Hello there, Gemma. 🙂

    Great looking garden. Simple and effective!
    About the King Edward potatoes: They are more resistant to Scab and Rot. They also need rich soil. They won’t thrive in acidic/hard soil. 🙂 Another thing is, they take about a month more to be ripe for gathering. It depends on when you planted them, but they are usually done in late Summer, around the end of July through September. They are classified as “main crop”. Just count ~17 weeks from the day you planted them and when the time comes – dig a bit and feel a potato with your hands – if the size is right, go at ’em! 🙂 If they become blighted, you will have to act. Cut off the foliage and remove it, and dig the potatoes a few days later to avoid the tubers becoming infected.

    Sorry for the long explanation, I truly hope these tips will be useful to you! If you want more information on the blight – check this out https://www.rhs.org.uk/advice/profile?pid=217 .

    Thanks for reading and good luck! 🙂

  8. I was watching a programme the other week and they were planting asparagus and I thought, “what a blinking faff!” What a luxury find on your plot. I wonder what else lies beneath?

  9. I am trying to pretend all the weeds in my garden aren’t really weeds at the moment… It looks like you’re going to have a wonderful harvest, and I love those ramdom asparagus shoots (I just wish it didn’t make me sneeze!).

  10. It all looks great – and asparagus what a find! 🙂 I’ve several of those blue mushroom crates and they are surprisingly useful around the garden – good luck with the weed & potato whack a mole x #hdygg

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