2017 – looking back

Allotment Diary / Saturday, December 23rd, 2017

It’s Christmas time and I love this time of year – you can look back on the past 12 months and see what you did right and what you did wrong, but ultimately how can you improve for next year. What aims you would like to achieve and how you’re going to do it, but first of all, let’s take a trip down memory and look how far we’ve come!

Winter 2017

At the beginning of the year I double dug one of my beds and it’s certainly paid dividends with my produce, it’s a lot of hard work but it’s something that I’m going to be doing again with the other beds this year. I also made a conscious decision to start a Victory garden, which I’ll update you on in due course.

It was a fairly mild winter this year that consisted of a pattern of mild spells and really cold spells. As a result, lots of plants were brought on early and then quickly decimated by the frosty temperatures.

Spring 2017

Spring was a fantastically productive period this year, although probably one of the driest I can remember in all of the ten years I’ve had an allotment. I managed to sow lots of seeds and tubers and they all came through in record time. Sadly however, the frost of the winter failed to wipe a percentage of slugs – many of the seedlings became the victim of an almighty slug onslaught. None the less, the weather was superb.

Something quite memorable is that again I was at the mercy of the elements meaning my rhubarb that come on early was wiped out by the overnight frosts.

Chelsea Flower Show 2017

I was lucky enough to go to the Chelsea Flower Show this year – it was the second time I’ve been and as usual I was amazed the designs, sculptures and thought that had gone into each entry. It’s also a great place to next year’s trends in garden fashion and must have garden devices.

Summer 2017

Summer was a great year and I in spite of the fluctuating weather patterns, I’ve had a really show of produce – which always gives a keen gardener a boost. i Had more broad beans than I knew what to do with, a good splash of red with the strawberries and some awesome carrots, beetroots and  turnips. My potatoes however – could have been better. You can read more about that here.

Looking back it feels like so much happened this year – elections, attacks and referendums. I can honestly say that the allotment was a great escape from all of that.

Autumn 2017

Everything starts to wind down during the autumn, my tomatoes became victim of blight and my blackberries were well and truly overgrown – meaning that the theme for August, September and October was out with the old and in the with the new.

I also explored new avenues in the kitchen and made my own marrow chutney for the first time. It was a huge success and I found it’s a really good way to use up a glutton of marrows and courgettes. Check out the Marrow recipe here.

Thankfully my Desiree potatoes came up trumps and  was also lucky enough to also harvest some of my Brussels Sprouts.

Winter 2017

It’s been a bit of a sow few months and if I’m honest I’ve not managed to get to the allotment as much as I hoped during this season I’m hoping I’m not the only one. As the days get shorter, so does the opportunity to get to the allotment. I’m hoping to get there in between Christmas and new year to get some digging done.

I’ve enjoyed the last of the carrots, cabbages and some more Brussels sprouts.

The time I have spent there though has been quite productive -I’ve managed to plant some new potatoes and plant three types of garlic and two types of winter onions, both red and white. They’ve already shown signs of poking through.

So there we have it, a year in pictures. I’m off to the allotment! 🙂

Merry Christmas and have a great year!