||What has happened in the gardens during 2008
Allotment 1: This year the working part of the allotment was divided iinto two, One side was planted up with Swift new potatoes and followed in June by Musselburgh leeks and brassicas. This year we are trying a red Brussels sprout, Rubine. Although we had a massive infestation of cabbage white caterpillars, we disposed of them and all plants affected recovered beautifully. The early and late Sprouting broccoli is looking very healthy, The Red sprouts look majestic and so does the dwarf Kale.
The red kohl rabi is not so good, very small but tasty and the Chinese Cabbage, Green Rocket, was a great success. We will definitively do this again.
The other half is still laying fallow, this is where we organised various open days and social events which has been great for entertaining. The gazebo came out and members, as well as the general publi,c had a wonderful time, whilst the soil had a little rest.
Allotment 2: As 1/3 of this allotment is an orchard with a variety of apple trees, 1/3 has the shed and the greenhouse on it. The other third was divided into two, one side was used for huge variety of lettuce and salad leaves all through the season. They were followed by all sorts of dwarf French beans, climbing French and Runner beans. We had a brilliant year. Even now, in November we are still picking Oak leaf, chervil, rocket, lambs lettuce, miners lettuce, lollo biondi and perpetual spinach.
The otherside had all the mangetous, peas, sugar snaps and late Runner beans. We had a bed of gorgeous broadbeans which was followed by sweetcorn. The Broadbeans were prolific but the sweetcorn a bit disappointing (again!)
Allotment 3: Some in the group have decided that they would like to go their own way, they are now called the Off Shoots and do their own planning. They are still part of the Shared Garden as we share the tools, shed and class room and all the fruit. We have communal tasks like, cutting the hedges and the lawns and of course all the communal event.
Allotment 4: We used as a root allotment this year, loads of beetroot, carrots, onions, garlic, celeriac and parsnips. We cleared the area that used to be an experimental bed of more roots, weeds and glass and put in the dalias we have grown from seed this year. They were spectacular and a real treat to take a bunch hope every week.
Allotment 5: This allotment had loads of leaves put on (from parks around West Bridgford, picked up by the council) in order to grow pumpkins, courgettes and squashes here. Again the weather was a little disappointing for this type of vegetable, but the butternut squashes and the little gem squashes were a great success. The courgettes were OK, not very many, but as we planned 15 we had just enough to get our group supplied through the summer. We also acquired 2 greenhouses from my friend Paul who lives down the road. We spent time, taking them down, moving them to the allotment, buying some new glass and erecting them. Just on time for Laraine to grow masses of tomatoes, basil and cucumbers in the double greenhouse and Martha to grow some more tomatoes, peppers and aubergines in the little greenhouse.
Allotment 6: The raspberries (Joan J) have been outstanding, they provided us with fruit from June throughout the summer. I can definitively recommend this variety if you like masses of large, sweet fruit. . All bushes are grown in beds to make the weekly lawn mowing easier. The group was so happy with the raspberries that we have decided to get rid of the strawberries as they have been consistently disappointing and grow 3 beds of additional raspberries instead.
Karina Wells, September 2008