This week I’m sowing overwintering broad beans and peas, tying-in fruit trees and making celeriac soup.
The first frost has struck south London. Last Friday, I went to the plot to tie in my espaliered fruit trees (see below) and the dahlias and nasturtiums were still green and in flower. There were freezing temperatures overnight and [...]
This week, making grape jelly and planting onions, shallots and garlic.
GOT ANY GRAPES?
The grapevine on Plot 35a is one of the things I like the most about my allotment. It is the jewel in the crown: a gigantic vine that every summer produces hundreds of bunches of grapes. In some ways, it is so simple [...]
On the route of our school run there is a mature quince tree, dominating the front garden of a house. For the past few weeks its branches have been lit up by scores of golden quinces. I noticed it only when a fellow school run mum, who had been eyeing it up, told me about [...]
Apart from General Elections, the busiest time for a political journalist is the autumn party conference season. Three or four weeks of travelling around the country to different party’s conferences, sometimes by the seaside, sometimes in cities like Manchester or Birmingham. I miss my daughter, but I also miss my allotment, where the harvest is [...]
In early September it feels like we are still clinging onto summer. By late September, after the autumnal equinox, it feels like a headlong rush towards winter. It doesn’t matter if there’s an Indian Summer (and I thought one was promised for this weekend), if the sun beats down at lunchtime and makes you hang [...]
September brings a sense of freedom to the plot. I went down to Plot 35a after yet another downpour, when the grass was still glistening wet but the sun had been out long enough to dry the rain off the grapes, which are starting to turn from green to purple. Growth is starting to slow, [...]
Back in February I was delighted to be asked to be one of the judges in the first year of Britain’s Best Allotment competition, sponsored by Hippo. Anyone who has an allotment will know how much work it takes to keep a plot ticking over with veg and fruit throughout the season, as well as [...]
The redcurrants and blackcurrants at Plot 35a have finished for this year, but the whitecurrants, which are in their first year, glimmer through the leaves of their bush like pearls and are soon ready for picking.
We’ve spent the last couple of weekends up in North Yorkshire, at Him Indoors’ family’s house, where the season is [...]
Last weekend I put down my Japanese razor hoe and went to judge other people’s plots in the finals of Britain’s Best Allotment. The results will be revealed during National Allotment Week next week, so I can’t say too much here, apart from thanking the lovely people who invited me and my fellow judges onto [...]
In my last post I wrote about picking the last of the peas and broad beans from the central bed and removing the spent plants. Normally I would cut the plants down to the ground and leave the root systems in place because legumes, particularly the broad beans, develop nodules on the roots of mature [...]
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