Thursday, 2 April 2020

Garden planning

I've been spending more time this week sorting out the allotment and my garden.  More than ever in these uncertain times, I'm convinced the way forward is to grow as much as I can myself then preserve as much as I can.

I've given my 3 raised beds at the front a good weed and sort out.  The kale is still doing well and I discovered that the flowering shoots are totally edible and delicious before they actually flower.  I'll be pulling all these plants out soon and preserving them.

And tucked in at the back under all the leaves, I found a tennis ball sized perfectly formed cauliflower.  I'm keeping an eye on it as the rest of them turned a bit black and mouldy.

In the back garden I cleared out all the pots and troughs ready to plant.  This one is full of mint starting to shoot again.  It smells amazing!

In the gap between my new bed and fence the rhubarb is beginning to grow again.  It has survived the winter and the chicken attacks!  It looks like I'll have an abundance of rhubarb between plot and home so I'll be looking for new ways to use it.  I already have a fab rhubarb chutney recipe that doesn't need to mature.  Recipe HERE  Plus I've seen a few recipes to make a BBQ sauce using rhubarb that I'm going to try.  One thing I've noticed these last 2 weeks is how much I enjoy sauce/relish/chutney with my meals.  A wee dollop can lift a very simple meal!

The chickens are enjoying their last few weeks of freedom.  You can see my patio will need a really deep clean with a power washer to de poop it.  I've ordered a few things to enrich their enclosure so hopefully they won't sulk too much about being shut in again and keep on laying eggs!

My favourite meal this week was a simple sweet and sour sauce using up freezer produce (pineapple, peppers and grated carrot) served on rice noodles with a few cashews.  Recipe HERE  although I didn't have any onions and just chucked it all in a pan.  It was really tasty!! 😋

But the best part of today was my delivery of 1 tonne of soil improver/compost (no I didn't know what 1000 litres looked like!!)  I ordered it several weeks ago from B&Q to fill up my new beds at the back and refresh the ones at the front. Then the lockdown was put in place and I thought it wouldn't be delivered any time soon.  But an email assured me it would and it came!!  The driver was a star and single handedly got the pallet up my sloping driveway just using a trolley.  Turns out he had an allotment too and we chatted (at a safe distance!!) about the best way to grow potatoes.  He recommends making nettle tea!!

So, plans for my garden and allotment are progressing.  Luckily I had ordered and received all the seeds I needed before the rest of Britain decided that they were going to 'dig for victory.'  I think it's brilliant that so many people want to grow their own produce but now seeds are in short supply due to increased demand.

Who would have thunk it?!

Stay safe and stay home everyone 💗 xxx


  1. Thanks for the recipe, we have an abundance of rhubarb so I'll be making this chutney!

  2. You have made a good start on the growing season. I would pick the cauliflower now even though it is small. In the store today the cauliflowers were $4!

    1. $4 for a cauliflower!!! I'm going to pick it and the kale today so I can top up the bed with new soil/compost. Not decided yet how I'm going to cook it :-)

  3. Great sounding recipe for rhubarb chutney which is now on my to list! Do you think ordinary vinegar would be ok? I've been pulling from out Timperley early clump for a few weeks now and hope that it isn't long before Victoria starts producing too. The location of your allotment looks fabulous - a bit surprising that no-one else is there to enjoy the good weather. As a retired teacher and keen veg grower, I enjoy reading your blog. Thanks for taking the time to share. Vicki in the East Riding

    1. Thanks for reading my ramblings! I'm sure any vinegar will do. I just always have a big 5 litre container of cider vinegar. There were a few other plot holders there, just out of sight. I love the location of the site :-)

  4. Not a good advert for me as an exteacher -2 typos! To do list and our Timperley early where what I meant. Vicki

  5. Replies
    1. Ha ha ha!!!! Don't worry, I do it all the time :-)

  6. Hi Ali,
    you've a lot of work ahead of you but it so lovely at the allotment it won't be a hardship! Hard work though. Are there any rules regarding allotments during the lockdown? I'm wondering if some people won't be able to tend their allotments this year due to isolation. I'm so grateful to have my garden and that I bought all my veg seed before this all happened. I've started seeds in the unheated greenhouse and the cucumber are just about through the soil, tomatoes, peppers etc no sign yet. You were indeed very lucky to get your soil delivered and that you had such a helpful delivery man.
    Just to let you know I've started blogging again on if you want to see me there! I used to blog a few years ago and I'm currently doing a catch up since that time. I'm not sure if your school holidays are the same as Glasgow but they begin here today so if yours do too enjoy your time away from the coalface, although I daresay its a bit less stressful away from the classroom. Take care xx

    1. We've had an email this week saying as long as we keep to social distancing rules, wash hands etc we're ok to keep going. The gate is to be left open and children have to stay on parents own plot. All common sense really. I'm just pleased I was organised this year and had ordered everything before the lockdown and big online rush for garden stuff!

      Good to hear you're blogging again! I'll pop over and have look :-) xxx


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