Category Archives: Allotment

In December 2015 I was lucky enough to secure a 125 square metre allotment. Here I’ll be documenting my progress as I explore the world of fruit and vegetables, and begin life as an allotmenteer :)

Allotment month 20: it’s in the flavour – new potatoes, carrots, Florence fennel, beetroot and more

Monty Don always says it’s important to pick only what you’re about to eat to reduce the time between plot and plate. James Wong often tweets and writes in the Guardian about the way sugars in vegetables quickly turn to starch – often in surprisingly short spaces of time.  Continue reading Allotment month 20: it’s in the flavour – new potatoes, carrots, Florence fennel, beetroot and more

7 easy pickings for grow your own keenos

I’m being thrown head first heading into my second season on the allotment and this year, my mind has turned to my stomach. Quite a different mindset to last year’s “must grow everything possible! Yay!” approach. I’ve actually come up with the below formula to decide what to grow, which I thought would be helpful to share: Continue reading 7 easy pickings for grow your own keenos

Allotment: weed suppressant membrane – beating weeds organically

Month 13: my allotment has expanded a bit this year as I’ve taken on some unused adjacent plot. This is thick with grass and other weeds so I’m using weed suppressant membrane to bring it under control with less effort. It may not look pretty, but it works. Continue reading Allotment: weed suppressant membrane – beating weeds organically

13 tips to help allotment newbies… by an allotment newbie!

Taking on an allotment for the first time is exciting and scary. I know because I’ve just done it – I’ve had my first allotment for a year and guess what, it was fine 🙂 Yours will be too. Below are some of my tips for allotment newbies to help speed you on your way to fruit and veg success! Continue reading 13 tips to help allotment newbies… by an allotment newbie!

Allotment propagation and storage – potting shed, polytunnel or greenhouse?

We had a cold frosty day at the end of November – the coldest night in London for years – and every centimetre of my allotment was covered in dazzling bling. It was a reminder that our home garden really is small. We don’t have frost like this, nor the scale of a good solid garden the size of the allotment. It was a magical moment and a joy to see the beds and plants frozen like that. Continue reading Allotment propagation and storage – potting shed, polytunnel or greenhouse?

Why I’ve fallen for cut flowers

I used to be a foliage boy. I’ve changed (well, a bit). In the past I saw flowers as extravagant, expensive purchases that didn’t last for more than a couple of days. Now I grow my own – especially the flowers I like – my world is different. Bringing flowers into the house is fun and highlights the strength, colour and architecture of each flower – particularly the Dahlias I love. Fresh, they last for ages too. There’s something so precious about a flower in a little vase. Showing off each individual flower was my key discovery, rather than losing them in a large bunch. Focus on fewer stems is purer, bringing out the fragility and wonder. Here are some of our cut flowers from our garden and allotment this year.  Continue reading Why I’ve fallen for cut flowers

Allotment month 12: proof is in the potatoes

It’s been a year since I was given my 125 sq metre allotment and what a wonderful, soulful, reflective, fun, heartening year it has been! It’s been a hell of a lot of hard work which, while not converting into an equal output of produce, has satisfied my need to grow-our-own tenfold. Continue reading Allotment month 12: proof is in the potatoes

Living on a prairie (part 1)

This year I took on my allotment and I designated one bed for garden design experiments. Deeply inspired by Planting in a Post Wild World and then seeing that principle in action at Nigel Dunnet’s design in the Barbican I’m focussing on creating a plant community with drought tolerant plants and grasses. I’ve grown everything from seed or plugs as I do with all plants to fully understand them. So this year it’s (as expected I should add) looking quite bare… Continue reading Living on a prairie (part 1)

I have an allotment!

After a year of trying, this has all happened quite quickly: I have an allotment! 125 sq metres to grow on (6m x 21m). You can see above that it has had some love in the past, and now needs some tidying up. It has become very overgrown with weeds, so that is my first task. Very excited about what this means for growing my own vegetables, fruit and more plant experiments 🙂 Continue reading I have an allotment!