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Allotment DIY, seed potatoes, and a lovely bit of kale

Hello and welcome to Plot 76.  I’ve recently inherited some garden chairs, so please take a seat and have a cup of tea!

I wanted to start this post with a picture of a lovely bit of kale!  Isn’t it beautiful.  I think it’s Scarlet Kale…checked notes…yes its Scarlet Kale.  I managed to grow four of these last year, although they only produced tiny leaves.  So not much to go around.  I’m hoping for a kale extravaganza this year, so if you have any tips on growing kale I would love to hear them!

I was the first one on the allotment Saturday morning, and one of the few to venture out on Sunday morning.  This is rare, so I’m feeling very virtuous – and a little stiff!

I tend to go to the allotment with a task list, ignore it, get distracted, and end up doing more than one thing at a time.  Actually isn’t that pottering?  Due to the rain in the week, and more rain over the weekend, my two days on the plot were spent attempting allotment DIY, planting onion sets, and buying seed potatoes, which was sort of planned!

Allotment DIY

See that – points to the large raised bed on the right.  I made that…all on my own…grins…its quite straight too, compared to my first attempt!  It’s a 1 m 20 x 4 m 20 bed, made from reclaimed fence posts, salvaged from a my parent’s neighbour’s garden.  I used them as 1 m 20 square beds on my last plot, but as I now have more space, I thought I would build larger beds.  It went together a little haphazardly!  I had enough nails (planned that) and finished just in time as the heavens opened!  I would like to build three more beds, but at the moment I don’t have enough wood.

One of the things all the lovely allotments in the lovely allotment books have is a compost bin made from pallets.  Well you see free pallets are not that easy to come by.  Over the last few years I’ve used the dalek bins.  They are great for kitchen waste, but not so great for large amounts of allotment waste.  I create bags of green waste, and they sit there looking ugly, waiting for my parents or friends to visit with their cars and take me to the dump – as you can imagine I’m quite popular!  I wanted to make a larger bin and reduce the amount I take to the dump, and improve my relationships with car-owning friends.  I inherited the full pallet from my last plot, and salvaged the other bits of pallet from a pile of wood destined for the March bonfire.  I couldn’t believe my luck.  With a bit of imagination, and some massive nails, my flat pack compost bin is beginning to take shape.

Onion sets, and seed potatoes

Last weekend the potatoes arrived at the allotment shop.  I’ve not bought potatoes from the shop before, as I usually buy them from the Pound shop or Wilko.  But our little shop is great, and I want to support it as much as possible.  I bought 1lb of Swift 1st earlies, they were 40p per lb.  Swift are one of the quickest seed potatoes to grow.  Once they’ve chitted I’ll plant them early March.  I’m looking forward to eating my first sweet waxy salad potatoes in a few months.

Fingers crossed for a fairly dry weekend.

Jo x

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