Sunday, 20 February 2005

Hello, wecome to my life!

Here goes...a website for my allotment diary. I hope it will be interesting for fellow growers and gardeners everywhere. My name's Simon and this will be my sixth year of cultivating my plot here at Firs Estate Allotments in Derby. In the beginning it was overgrown with brambles, bindweed, etc. Over the years I have been clearing more and more ground so now I have two beds, each about 20x30 feet. I also look after the next door plot for Brenda, which is down to fruit trees. I garden organically and grow the usual vegetables, fruit and also cut flowers. Around two sides of the plots I've left a two metre strip of blackberries. Here there are also trees such as holly, elderberry, horse chestnut and ash, so there's lots of wildlife here too.

Over the winter the garden has been feeding me with leeks, carrots, parsnips and brussels sprouts. Growing at the moment are purple sprouting broccoli and autumn-sown broad beans. The plot has been dug over, with compost dug in at the same time. Apple trees have been pruned, brambles at the top of the plot cut back, hawthorn whips planted to fill in gaps on the boundary and a bit more ground brought under cultivation. Spring is just round the corner and the best is yet to come! This is how my plot looks today:

Here's this year's plan:

I've got my seeds and sorted them into some sort of order by sowing dates. I start my early seeds off in a heated propagator on my bedroom windowsill then they go into the greenhouse on my plot, which is unheated except for a small paraffin heater which I put on at night if frost is forecast. As the plants grow they get pricked out and potted on, before going into a coldframe to be hardened off and then planted out. Of course quite a few types of seed are sown direct in the ground.

As far as this web site goes, I'm pretty much making it up as I go along. On this page I'll do the diary in the form of a timeline, hopefully with plenty of photos, and then put my records by plant name underneath that, which I'll keep updated as the season progresses. That's the intention anyway...