Sunday 15th April
Managed a few hours on the allotment today, planted the bramley apple tree and planted about eighteen strawberry plants which were given to me by another plot holder. Also did some digging. Slow Worms still present and now quite lively as the weather has warmed up.
Slow Worm

Bramley Apple Tree

One of the Strawberry plants

Some of our daffs have flowered

Rhubarb going strong again

Wednesday 4th April
Created an area for growing runner beans later, dug out a circular trench, half filled with rotting compost and then back-filled it and raked.

Have now created two potato trenches. I knew there were foxes around and saw my first one today :-)
Mister Fox

Think he has spotted me!

Also spotted a couple of slow worms in the pile behind my shed.
Found two or three Slow Worms beneath the carpet on the compost pile, great to see

The plot next to us has its cherry tree now coming in to blossom and looking very delicate.
Cherry blossom

Such delicate looking flowers

Thursday 15th February
Today is the first time I have been on the allotment this year, not bad really as it took until March last year! Spent four hours there today, the plot is not looking too bad at all.
View from the shed end

and from the main path end, not looking too bad with only a little weeding to do

The ground is pretty heavy and wet with shallow holes holding water.

I prepared an area beside the rhubarb and planted Daffodils and Allium bulbs, about six weeks late but I'll wait and see if any come up!

The undergrounds District Line trains pass regularly

Bit of an experiment not sure if I read it or dreamed it. But I dug a trench across the plot. Part filled with rotten vegetation from behind my shed. I will then put the removed earth back which will give me a mound across the plot to plant my potatoes in!

Behind the shed a large mound of vegetation much of which has rotted and produced a decent manure.

The reason all the plots along the brook pile their weeds along it's bank is because it has been prone to flooding and inundating many of the plots. Pretty sure the Environment Agency have addressed it now. But anyway I'm taking the good soil from behind my plot.

Tuesday 31st October
Well we very nearly gave up our plot, but have decided to carry on for another year, we paid our £40 fee for the coming year on Sunday.
Not looking too bad but some weeding to do this winter.

Spent a couple of hours weeding this morning, although the plat is not looking too bad. Had a male Merlin fly extremely low along the allotment as I arrived, his toes must have almost been scratching the ground. No photo but did take a few below.
A Goldcrest and I heard but didn't see a Chiffchaff

Still a Slow Worm on the compost heap

A Hoverfly was still around Eristalis arbustorum I think!
Monday 9th October
Whoa! two days running working on our plot. Making progress preparing the plot for next year's planting.

Sunday 8th October
Spent a few hours on the allotment today. it has been a little while and there is plenty to do. Started by taking down the runner beans and the rest of the sweetcorn.
Before and after the runner beans and sweetcorns were removed
Kept a few of of the runner bean seeds

I then began digging and weeding the shed end of the allotment, both the carrots and red and white onions had gone rotten in the ground, probably caused by the little brook flooding onto my plot.
I then changed the straw i had placed under the two pumpkins to help protect them from rotting on the ground.
Pumpkins aside I also picked probably our last harvest of the year, a quite large marrow!
The whole time I was there I shared my bench with this Common Green Shieldgug.

Monday 4th September
I have been spending around 3 or 4 hours a week on our allotment. At this time of the year that is no where near enough. My plot is becoming overgrown with weeds and I have not been harvesting enough.
Runner beans and sweetcorn coming to an end, but the weeds are thriving!

Ooops my Cauliflowers are going over!

Cucumbers and I think my pumpkin are doing well

Began digging the top of the plot beside the rhubarb

I think the space between the sheds needs tidying!

That's better!

Digging over the plot is progressing.

Monday 7th August
Had these three hoverflies on my plot today, all taken with an iPhone 6.
Chrysotoxum festivum

Myathropa florea on my watering can which was almost full of water, there were a few of this species going in probabl to drink!

Eristalis arbustorum on my flowering mint

Eristalis arbustorum on my flowering mint
Tuesday 1st August
Spent a few hours on the allotment today, it was warm and sunny after a week or so of wet and cool days. It has been about a week since I was last here and it's amazing how things have changed. The weeds are back with a vengeance, the sweetcorn some of them must be nearly 8' tall, beetroots are ready to harvest and the cabbages and cauliflower are straining to break free of their protective net!
Not a bad harvest today!

Sweetcorn has grown well with some pushing 8' tall!

Runner beans doing well but carrots and onions on the left have disappeared amongst the weeds!

Cabbages and cauliflowers straining against the netting! 

Evening primrose has grown and is still flowering well.

Looking down my plot

Wednesday 19th July
Allotment is looking good, I have been going over pretty regularly and always do a little weeding, watering and harvesting.
Runner Bean wigwam

A mini Sweetcorn forest! these are now taller than me.

Beetroots looking good

Cabbages & Cauliflowers protected from the Wood Pigeons!

A good basketful of vegetables, including 2 marrows, potatoes, spinach, tomatoes and runner beans. 

Wednesday 5th July
The plot is looking good and I must post some pictures soon. Anyway today a welcome addition has arrived at the top end of the plot, well to be honest it has probably always been there! Evening Primrose is also known as Oenothera. It has bright yellow, cup-shaped flowers and looks great.

Evening primrose plants are hardy perennials, which means that they are long lived plants, and will re-appear every year.

Did you know..... the young roots of the evening primrose plant can be eaten like a vegetable. They enhance the food with a delicious peppery flavour. And also the plant is a little bit magic because as dusk creeps in their tight buds open magically in front of your eyes!

Monday 12th June
Lovely group of Slow Worms behind my greenhouse

Saturday 10th June
Spent a few hours on the allotment, tied up the peas and increased the height of the trellis, done some weeding and dug over a section in the middle of the plot.
Potatoes are doing well

Peas are looking great, we had our first peas today...tasted great!

newly dug section

Monday 22nd May
Been a while, not since I've been to the allotment but since I updated this blog. Had the day off today and spent a few hours at our allotment. We had an air frost a week or so ago and it killed my runner bean plants. So today I planted a dozen more, along with radishes and mini sweetcorns, this was a mistake I had meant to buy normal sweetcorn plants! Peas are flowering and growing well, I added an extra layer netting above the trellis for them to climb. So far so good, although mares tail is a bit of a pain!
Dock Bug found on our radish plants

New runner bean plants, broad beans and carrots are doing well

Netting for the peas and spuds looking good

My old shed and lean-to but note the bench, I spend a lot of time on that!

Easter Weekend 14th-17th April
Spent some time over the weekend at the allotment on Friday we did more weeding, edged the grass path, cleared out the lean-to greenhouse and Dawn pulled most of the rhubarb. We had to leave some for Sunday's Easter Egg hunt as a hiding place.

On Monday Poppy helped in the afternoon and she planted four strawberry plants and helped to build the wigwam for our runner beans. Also planted six broad bean plants and some more red onions.
Dawn looking happy with the rhubarb crop!

Wigwam and runner beans

Runner and Broad Beans

Sunday 9th April
A very hot and sunny day today. The allotment site is a bit of a suntrap too! Yes more digging but today I had some help from Rheanna and she got through quite a lot of the weeding. I also had a go with the sites old rotavator, blimey talk about trying to run away with me! And there has to be a knack to using it as I found it heavy and flipping hard work, don't think I'll use it again.
As you can see with Rheanna's help we are almost there :-)
Rheanna got through an amazing amount of work, thank you!

Our plot is almost weed free, yay!

Saturday 8th April
Spent a few this afternoon on our allotment. The weather was like a barmy summers day, I even had my top off at one point! Yes, yet more digging today, I am hoping to have it finished next week during Easter weekend,

Great to see the peas doing so well, will have to get some pea sticks in. Had a Holly Blue butterfly in amongst our young carrot plants.
There I have dug some more over!

Peas are coming on nicely
Holly Blue butterfly

Sunday 2nd April
Spent from 11.30am - 4pm on the allotment and Dawn did an hour or so in that period. I was back on digging while Dawn planted two rows of Charlotte potatoes, a row of carrots and she did some strimming! And she strimmed her ankle...whoops!

Before                                                                                      After

planting carrots

Strimming the path

Sunday 19th March
A couple of hours in the afternoon saw me doing more digging....yes I know it should have all been turned over by now....but I am getting there slowly!

Anyway a break from digging for half an hour to sow my Peas. Created a narrow trench near the Rhubarb patch about 6" wide, then sprinkled in my Peas. I probably put too many in really, but hey you can never have enough Peas... can you? Main problem for the Peas is Mice who apparently love 'em and will sniff 'em out and devour them. I'll have to keep an eye on them, although to be honest I have sown enough and don't begrudge them having a few!
Pea trench

Digging is coming on!

But there is still a bit to do!

Tuesday 14th March
Sunday morning we visited the allotment shop on the allotments at Becontree and bought potatoes, onions and peas to grow. We also planted our first vegetables, two rows of onions, one red and one white.

As you can see from the picture below, digging the plot is a slow process, well for me it is! We are getting there and for a change I started turning the soil from the top and working down. Made better progress today!

Saturday 11th March
Due to various reasons today was only the second time this year that we have been on the allotment. As you can guess we are behind, I continued digging, Dawn did some hoeing and Coco just sat in the sun!
 It was a cracking spring day with plenty of sunshine and no wind, saw first Red Admiral of the year and there were a few bunble bees around today. Also, had a Grey Wagtail and a Sparrowhawk go over.

Sunday 13th November
We had a bit of luck last month a plot became available that had been well looked after and we were able to swap. Digging is so much easier and quite enjoyable, we have also been able to harvest beetroot, cabbage, parsnip, marrow and cabbage....what a bonus!!

It even has a shed!

 Sunday 18th September 2016

Not sure if we've done the right thing but today we took on an allotment plot!
The positives are:
  • It's close to home a five minute walk
  • It's not a huge plot at 5 poles which is about 125sqM
  • A stream runs behind it
  • There are no restrictions, so a pond and plants for wildlife are fine
  • Chance to combine vegetable growing with nature in my mind
  • Healthy activity
  • Dog friendly
The negatives:
  • There is some rubbish/litter that needs disposing off including a bath
  • Plot needs digging over
  • Stream is liable to flood
So very few negatives it will all be about how much time we can give to the plot.

Plot runs roughly east to west - looking west

Water tap and tank at the end of the plot

Old bath and water butt both full of rubbish

Coco seems to approve!