||What have the Shared Garden been up to this past year?
Allotment 1: this year the allotment has been great for entertaining. The lawn worked well and was used regularly for social events and workshops. The gazebo came out at various times and members as well as the general public have 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, the other 2/3 of the workable bit was planted up with potatoes. Half of it with new potatoes Swift and the other half with maincrop: Picasso and Desiree. The new potatoes were fabulous and definitively worth repeating. Those beds were followed by leeks and a variety of brassicas. The maincrop potatoes were a disaster due to the very wet conditions we had blight in all of them and therefore hardly anyone had a decent crop. We dug them up as quickly as we could and moved them out of the allotments. Great shame, but such is life.
Allotment 3: This is divided into 2 parts. The left hand side and the right hand side.
This year the left hand side was planted up with carrots, onions and beetroot. A great year must do it again.
In the right hand side, we planted our pumpkins, squashes, cucumbers and courgettes through the carpets. This way it was very low maintenance at least that is what we normally did. Due to the very wet weather, the carpets became a haven for slugs and snails and most of the young plants were eaten before they could get some growth (it stayed very cold during June and some of July) It was decided to get rid of the carpets to give the baby plants some chance. In August rather than the customary end of June all we could see was a sea of leaves. The courgettes have been good both the yellow and green ones. The pumpkins are starting to catch up after all. Thank goodness for that as we really look forward to the Butternut squashes and Uchi Kiri a favourite of most of our members..
Allotment 4: has been tremendously productive. We have had a constant stream of different types of lettuces from March until October. The peas and mangetous were fantastic too but the beans were very difficult to grow. Either to cold an wet at the beginning of the season or to dry later on beckoning the black fly.
Allotment 5: We planted our climbing beans. Just as mentioned above not an easy year for us. We shall try again next year.
Allotment 6: The raspeberries (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. This allotment has been easy to look after and looked good for most of the season. The strawberries have yet again been very disappointing and I am now looking for other soft fruit that might be more appropriate to grow for such a large group
Karina Wells, September 2007