Wednesday, 15 April 2009

Potatoes Are In

I finally managed to get the potatoes planted on Saturday. Having only grown potatoes in containers previously, it will be interesting to see the difference with allotment grown ones.

We've now got five beds totally dug over. Half way down the plot where the water butts have been placed is slightly raised. This area is absolutely covered in grass and a drainage channel has been dug out along each side. Getting rid of all the grass and weeds here is going to be challenging to say the least, so we have decided to leave this part of the allotment for now and concentrate on the rest of it first. We plan to get round to doing something with this when time isn't so critical. At the moment we are putting all our efforts into other areas so that we can get everything which is growing at home planted.

One of the things which concerned me when I took on the allotment is the fact that there is no water on the site. The previous plot holder kindly left four water butts on the plot, but the water in them is murky to say the least, so we got the kids emptying one of them into the brook which runs along the side of the site, and took it home to give it a good wash out. When we took it back our next plot holder kindly allowed us to fill it from his outside tap with a hose. He's very lucky in that his house is directly behind his plot. He's got a gate from his garden which leads to his allotment.

I'm now half way through weeding the bed where my strawberries are going to go. They were delivered at the back end of last year so I potted them up and they've been in the greenhouse over winter. I've now moved them outdoors, however, some of them are already in flower and I don't know whether I should move them to the allotment or leave them in their containers for this year. Any suggestions would be welcome.


  1. sounds like your water butts are in a similar state to mine. that's really good you have a nice neighbouring plot holder to let you refill them :) everyone's been warm and welcoming so far on my allotment, i hope you're having a similar experience.

  2. That's not ideal not having any water on your plot. Is that allowed if you are paying rent?I'd get onto the council to sort it out!

  3. Hi Jo

    Nice looking plot and you are lucky with your neighbour.

    Re your strawberries, when you have hardened them off you should be able to transplant them with no problems, they are very hardy, just try not to disturb their root system if possible. Our bed was quite congested last year as I planted them too close together so I transplated them with no problems at all.

    Good Luck

  4. The only difference between container grown and allotment grown potatoes is that you will be finding allotment potatoes for years !! You never seem to get them all and they sprout away again in your now-differently-allocated bed !!

  5. Yes, my allotment neighbours are really friendly. Three of them came over to introduce themselves the first time we were there. I have been offered manure, plants, produce and plant pots already.

    Apparently, lots of allotment sites don't have water. We don't pay for water in our rent. I think it's going to be a case of using what water we do have wisely and filling as many butts as possible.

    I'm going to get my strawberries into their new bed as soon as possible now. They have been hardened off.

    The potatoes are the only thing I've got planted at the allotment so far. I can't wait for them to start growing!

  6. We have water after Easter. Until then in the year, people take 6 pinter milk bottles down filled with water.

    P.S. My kitchen paper parsnip chitting is not working AT ALL. How long does it take? When it dries out, and you re-wet it, doesn't it move the seeds everywhere?
    HELP !

  7. I chit my parsnip seeds on damp kitchen paper inside a container such as a tupperware box. I always cover the box with cling film or a plastic bag which prevents the paper drying out. This is then placed inside the boiler cupboard to give a little extra warmth.

    Try doing it this way. I'm sure that you won't have any problems then. The seeds usually start sprouting within days.

  8. Looks like lots has been going on since I last visited. I love the bleeding heart too, theres an all white version too! My potatoes are being done in pots and bags and will probably continue to do so for ever!!!

  9. You can still get a good harvest from potatoes in containers. I always grew mine this way before I got my allotment. They always came out really clean too. I'm wondering if they'll have slug damage etc. with planting them in the ground this year.


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