Fast forward to June 2010. Despite the worst winter for many years the site now looks like a picture book allotment. Neat rows of potatoes, onions, parsnips carrots and leeks are growing well. Not only has the site been cleared but the area at the top of the site has also been cleared to house the water butt and a composter
This has been one of the worst winters for cold and frost we can remember since moving to Cheshire in 1984, even worse than last winter, but amazingly the stuff we planted last year has survived and appears to be flourishing. We put some brassicas in as an over winter crop and garlic and onions.
We also managed to put lots of manure on to the site and dig it in so here's hoping that the soil at the top of the site actually retains some moisture this year.
Despite April being the driest on record everything we plant seems to grow well. The intensive soil improvement has paid off and instead of precious water just running over the top of the dry sandy soil it now sinks in making watering much easier. The lack of rain meant that the water butt was virtually empty too, but thanks to Steve refilling it, we have kept everything watered and are really looking forward to reaping the benefit of all that hard work.
Our first spring cabbage was delicious, so much more tasty than the supermarket ones, and we have peas ready too. Our cauliflowers don''t seem to have done too much except produce lovely green leaves, good for the composter if nothing else. Kelvin harvested the first potatoes on June 10th. The weather has been showery and not so hot.
The allotment is starting to look very wintry with lots of bare patches now. There is only half a row of potatoes left but the leeks look like being good right through the winter. It has been a mixed year with some stuff doing really well and then not being edible. The curly kale grew brilliantly but was covered in whitefly. Extra protein for those who braved eating it, unfortunately only Maggie was brave, or stupid, enough. The raspberries were fantastic right through September and October. We picked pounds of them. The freezer is stocked ready for winter puds and we made 10pounds of jam, lovely.
So now we are starting to plant for next year. We have put in onions, garlic and shallots to over winter. Since they did well last winter in spite of the weather, hopefully they will do well this winter too.