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Her Outdoors: It’s not too late…, Her Outdoors

Her Outdoors: It’s not too late…

Plot 35a is now very green and full of crops that will soon be ready to harvest. The broad bean flowers – traditional white and black but also the dark pink of the crimson flowered variety – are full and look like they’re ready to start popping with tiny pods. The pea bed is a [...]

By | Her Outdoors, Notebook | Tuesday, 26 May 2015 at 10:59 am

Her Outdoors: Making a hot bed, Her Outdoors

Her Outdoors: Making a hot bed

Last week I moved my tomatoes, chillies, cucumbers, melons and cucamelon plants from the windowsill in our dining room to the cold frame at the plot. Him Indoors was very happy to get them out of the house, but I had to make sure these tender plants were, too. Late April to early May sees [...]

By | Her Outdoors, Notebook | Thursday, 7 May 2015 at 8:04 am

Her Outdoors: A patch for Girl Outdoors, Her Outdoors

Her Outdoors: A patch for Girl Outdoors

My four-year-old daughter, Girl Outdoors, has a see-saw attitude to our allotment -a very up and down view of Plot 35a. Sometimes she loves it, wants to dig up potatoes that aren’t ready, can spend hours down there arranging her picnic chairs outside her playhouse and setting out tea and grass sandwiches as I work [...]

By | Her Outdoors, Notebook | Thursday, 23 April 2015 at 10:00 am

Her Outdoors: Peas and queues, Her Outdoors

Her Outdoors: Peas and queues

The terrible pun in the headline refers to the queues of everything – packets of seeds waiting to be sown, seedlings in the propagator needing to be pricked out, and larger plants waiting to be hardened off outside. But first, the peas. I’ve had mixed fortunes with growing these tiny bursts of spring sweetness. One [...]

By | Her Outdoors, Notebook | Wednesday, 8 April 2015 at 8:38 pm

Her Outdoors: The first kiss of April is mine, Her Outdoors

Her Outdoors: The first kiss of April is mine

It is difficult, as the general election is now full flow, to keep on top of the allotment and this blog. But I will do it, because April is the most intense month of the year and if I leave it to its own devices all my hard work would be wasted. The weeds would [...]

By | Her Outdoors, Notebook | Saturday, 4 April 2015 at 6:59 pm

Her Outdoors: Wasabi and chips, Her Outdoors

Her Outdoors: Wasabi and chips

Even though they take up a lot of space on the allotment, I wouldn’t stop growing potatoes each year for two reasons – first, because the taste is so much better than shop-bought, and second, because they are prolific. Potatoes do need a lot of compost for earthing up, but this just takes some planning [...]

By | Her Outdoors, Notebook | Tuesday, 24 March 2015 at 8:45 pm

Her Outdoors: Sowing outdoors, Her Outdoors

Her Outdoors: Sowing outdoors

Yes, spring is stalling and all that warmth we had earlier this month has been replaced by chilly air. But nevertheless, when I put my soil thermometer into my beds this week it read 9.5 C – warm enough to start sowing seeds direct. Woohoo!
I spent four hours at Plot 35a on Monday, and it [...]

By | Her Outdoors, Notebook | Tuesday, 17 March 2015 at 10:35 pm

Her Outdoors: Planting onions and sowing tender veg, Her Outdoors

Her Outdoors: Planting onions and sowing tender veg

Temperatures were as high as 17C last Saturday, and – even though I was at work writing about the election TV debates – I thought of how the spring sunshine would be warming the soil on Plot 35a. When I got down there yesterday, there were signs that the warmth has, like a thermostat, clicked [...]

By | Her Outdoors, Notebook | Tuesday, 10 March 2015 at 11:13 pm

Her Outdoors: Winter into spring, Her Outdoors

Her Outdoors: Winter into spring

My daughter reckons March is called as such because “you spend the whole month marching” and when it comes to the allotment I think she’s right: after the steady pace of winter, suddenly spring is upon us and it gets really busy. Once soil temperatures rise to the magic 7 degrees C you can sow [...]

By | Her Outdoors, Notebook | Wednesday, 4 March 2015 at 7:28 pm

Her Outdoors: Do you have Britain’s best allotment?, Her Outdoors

Her Outdoors: Do you have Britain’s best allotment?

Why do people have allotments? Is it the joy of growing food? The escape from the daily grind? The urge to create something beautiful out of nature? Or – and in my experience this is usually in most cases – all three? And what about the competitive streak of many plot-holders? My competitive urges come [...]

By | Her Outdoors, Notebook | Saturday, 28 February 2015 at 8:50 pm

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