Breaking New Ground

Breaking new ground
Worked area.

Breaking new Ground

Breaking new ground at an allotment can often be a daunting task. When you eventually calculate the space and orientation of beds to be dug, the hard work begins. 

Before taking a strimmer to the grass or start with a spade thoroughly inspect the entire area. Taking over former plots often produces surprises. Old but still fruiting plants, vegetables or fruit trees. If you’re not sure, ask your neighbor. Better still take a photo and ask us, if we don’t know we will find out! 

Breaking new ground
Area marked out.

First Step

We have just started breaking new ground to clear an unused space. First step pegging out and marking the new bed. This helps you stay within the boundaries. It also allows you to break it down into manageable daily tasks. The area we are currently clearing is roughly 4m x 2.8m. 

Within this area alone there were 4 different types of fruiting plant. 

  • Plum Tree (easy to identify due to label lol)

    Breaking new ground
    Plum Tree
  • Raspberry Cane

    Breaking new ground
    Raspberry Cane
  • Rhubarb Crown

    Breaking new ground
    Rhubarb Crown.
  • Strawberries  

    Breaking new ground
    Strawberry Plants

With experience, this will become easier to pick up on. If you are new ask for help. It is nice to help people while feeling smart. Also, a great way to introduce yourself to your allotment neighbors. We will be donating the Plum tree due to lack of space. The raspberry and strawberries will be transplanted. I intend to split the rhubarb crown in half to fill a few spaces. 

Transplanting Rhubarb

With all of the fruit transplanted the heavy digging can begin. More often than not when we see new plot holders we like to introduce ourselves. There is a trend in our plots for newbies to get the council to scape the entire plot with diggers. This turns the soil lightly without removing any nasties. It looks great. They mark a few rows and plant some lettuce. 6 Weeks later everything looks immaculate then the hardcore weeds start to root again. The plot lays unattended for a year until someone comes and does it again. 

Breaking new ground
Replanting the raspberry cane

By clearing the plot by hand you get to know exactly what is in your ground. Working the ground with a spade, and separating the weeds from the healthy soil by hand is unrivaled. No machinery is able to sort the good from the bad better than human. Rotovators and tillers turn the ground excellently. They also churn weeds and help them multiply. The only way to ensure you remove as many weeds as possible is to do it by hand. 

There is no doubt breaking new ground is hard work. If the ground is frozen or wet it is going to be much more difficult. Preparing for a days graft makes the task much more pleasurable. Portable radios or earphones for your phone ease the process. A great podcast, audiobook or your favorite crooner make the hours fly by. Hot drinks are a staple in the plot. Allotments are fueled by tea and coffee. 

Breaking new ground
Worked area.

Working small areas at a time is the best way to accomplish large tasks. You may start to feel like a Disney princess while turning the soil. With the sudden increase in singing birds in your vicinity. They are not there to keep you company but to fast on the worms and bugs you’re unearthing. I try and rebury as many worms as I can. Worms are friends. 

Taking time and clearing the plot by hand will reap future rewards. There is no fast track to great soil conditions just hard work.

New Season New Challenges On the Allotment

Mother Nature

challenges on the allotment
Our Destroyed Polytunnel

After Christmas returning to the allotment always feels like starting all over again. Unfortunately for us this rung very true. Mother nature loved throwing new challenges on the allotment our way. The Polytunnel that we erected and had a great growing season, was destroyed. I believe storm Elanor was the culprit. The fence we built in case of such emergency did its job and kept the cover from the train tracks. The veracity of the wind threw one of the decking boards holding down the skirt into a nearby tree.

Not exactly a great start to the season. Not much was done that day and plenty of coffee was drunk. But it didn’t stop us from planning ahead for the season. Marking out beds in our mind while working out how we can improve on the next polytunnel. 

“We can rebuild it, We have the technology.” 

In the meantime, we moved the frame back into position. Dismantled the beds. Gathered all of the soil into the middle of the frame and covered with the old cover. This will stop all the goodness getting washed from the soil. It will also allow us access to repair and thoroughly secure it to the ground. We’re still not sure the best method yet. How have you secured and protected your polytunnels from the wind?challenges on the allotmentchallenges on the allotment


Having recently moved house I no longer have the luxury of a large south facing window. I now only have a north-west facing windowsill which is far from ideal. To combat this we have invested in some LED grow lights. These light use minimal electricity while providing the right conditions for healthy growth. Over time we are working out the best way to utilize these lights.

challenges on the allotment
New Grow Lights


challenges on the allotment
So much to do.

Everything we had planned to do over the Christmas period didn’t happen. The weather was atrocious. The ground, unworkable. In fact, often dangerous and a few times we both nearly binned it. Add this to the time to repair the polytunnel and our schedule is already blown. So its catch up now. But no mad rush. Take it in our strides. We always get there in there eventually and end up playing a blinder. Plus if it wasn’t for new challenges on the allotment it wouldn’t be fun. Plus when the sun makes an appearance productivity thrives.


We are going shopping for our onion and garlic bulbs this weekend. The shops should be soon stocking seed potatoes too. Anything we cant source locally we will try to source online. Heres how we will be starting our sets.

What onion and garlic varietys are you trying this year. Leave us a comment below.

Saving and Drying Peas/Beans for Next Season Plants.

Saving and Drying Peas/Beans

Saving and Drying Peas/Beans
Runner Bean Flowers

One way to save money at the allotment is by Saving and Drying Peas/Beans for use next season. Saving and Drying Peas/Beans is simple. The principal for drying and storing are essentially the same for all beans/peas. It’s important to remember not to save the seeds from F1 variety vegetables. F1 vegetables are a hybrid from two different plants. The seeds from F1 plants will not replicate the previous season’s plants. Hence to grow the variety you must purchase new seeds each season.

As an example, we are going to show you how to dry and store runner beans. Other vegetables have different techniques, which we will cover and add to this blog when we come to doing it ourselves.

Step 1 – Allowing your peas/bean pods to dry naturally on the plants.

Saving and Drying Peas/Beans
Runner Beans Dried Out

Your vegetables, when left long enough, will eventually run to seed. This may be up until after a month your last harvest. This is a natural process that allows the plants to reproduce for next season. When the plants have sprouted bean/pea pods containing peas, beans. It is a good idea to allow them to dry out as fully on the plant for as long as possible. 

Step 2 – Removing the peas/ beans from the pods.

Separate the legumes and clean any debris or anything that might rot. Here we de podded the beans and spread them out evenly on a drying tray. 


Step 3 – Drying.

Saving and Drying Peas/Beans
Runner Beans Drying Out

Leave the seeds/beans in a warm place away from direct sunlight. Spread them evenly over a drying tray to increase maximum drying surface area. It is important to make sure they are completely dry before storing. When they feel like hard pebbles then you know they are ready for storing.

Step 4 – Storage.

Saving and Drying Peas/Beans
Storing Runner Beans

Before storing its essential to make sure the seeds are thoroughly dried out. Otherwise, moisture could cause the legumes to rot. They should be placed in an airtight tin/jar or in a brown bag in an airtight container. Labelling the container is important to know the varieties contained.

Saving your own beans and peas from season to season is not only cost-effective but also gives you a bartering tool to swap with friends and experience other strands and varieties.




Growblogs – Award Winning Horticulturists.

Growblogs – Award Winning Horticulturists 

Our Awards


Every winter when there is nothing to sow, idle gardeners with itchy fingers reach for the notepad. Refreshing on crop rotation rules and making a list of allotment achievements for the year ahead. Being award winning horticulturists was a very distant plan. During winter the greatest of plans are created, sketched, laminated and as soon as something doesn’t seed well, forgot about. How long the plans are stuck to is a different matter. Often our beds are filled with what ever we have managed to propagate, and what will live together without fuss.

We did exactly the same thing last year and set ourselves a list of goals we wanted to achieve with the allotment and blog. Physically working on the allotment had taken prescience to the little spare time that we have had. Our output, unfortunately, has suffered and we have been producing much less instructional blogs than intended. We also wanted to put out a few instructional videos to accompany posts but that has also had to take a back burner until next year. One of the many goals we set last winter, was to enter our produce in a local village fair. Well, we had no intention of entering anything until just a few weeks ago, when I was leaving the allotments I noticed a small sign on one of our neighbour’s fences. Upon further investigation, I discovered it was a flyer for a local Horticultural Society’s annual village fair… it’s like the start of a dodgy film. There will be no montage with 80’s music and .gifs of me sweating over a few turnips while frantically weeding and watering consecutively. But it did get me thinking.


Runner Beans

The next day I went up to the plot early to see, if I was going to, what could I enter? Not knowing what a prime vegetable looked like a lot of googling was done. Intimidated by the pristine condition of some of the entrants online made me think again. Being the friendly type I was chatting to out plot neighbours and mentioned the fair. To which she was delighted as not only a member but the reigning champion over all winner. I was assured of the amateurish element of the competition and that my entry would be greatly appreciated.

Award Winning Horticulturists
Last of our carrots

What have we got to lose, and it will be good to make a contribution to the society. The day before the fair, I went to the allotment to see what we could enter. pickings are slim this time of year as we have been harvesting throughout and gifting produce to our friends. We lifted our last tub of carrots but was unable to get three similar enough to enter, so they went in the pot. We were a little more successful with 3 handsome beets, and 6 slightly too far gone but straight runner beans. Our cucumbers were two weeks too young but we entered one anyway. The one thing I was slightly hopeful was of our courgettes. I planted some courgettes as ground cover so ad a lot to choose from.


Our entrants


The Day of the Fair

The morning of the fair I was unable to attend so Conor brought the veg up and entered in the correct classes. To our astonishment and delight, we actually won one of the classes and got two seconds and a third. While it might not be up to Harrogate standards to say we were both delighted with ourselves was an understatement. And did we milk it, you bet we did? Rosettes in the post. 

Overall it was a great experience and one we both thoroughly enjoyed. It was also great in rejuvenating our passion for our allotment, as tho despite torrential rain Connor was raring to go 9.00am the next morning.




Summer Harvest

Summer Harvest

Summer Harvest

Summer harvest is one of the most exciting times for the kitchen. The allotment has enjoyed the early summer sunshine, followed by heavy rains. This season our successes are greatly outnumbering the failures, and we are starting to get to grips with the polytunnel. At this time of year, there is an excellent variety of fruit and vegetables available at the plot. It’s the time of year when the outdoor vegetables are maturing, and the first signs of ripening tomatoes and chilies are appearing in the polytunnel. 

Summer Harvest

Recent weather has provided perfect conditions for blight. Which luckily so far seems to have avoided our potatoes and tomatoes. So far from the few plants that we have lifted the potatoes seem to have done really well. Early Pink “Duke of York” spuds taste as good as they look. Our main crop “Maris Piper” is providing some excellently sized baking potatoes and perfect Sunday roasties. Having received them in a novelty Christmas gift I didn’t hold out much hope for these Purple Carrots. I’m delighted with the results and the deep water tank with a 50/50 sand/mpc mixture has worked a treat. 

Summer Harvest

One of my personal favorite parts of the summer harvest is the pea and beans glut. One bit of advice don’t bother growing Asparagus Peas. They do have a lovely red flower but they taste bland and 1 day late in picking and they are hard as a rock. Gathering enough of the same size for a meal is a chore. In conclusion, if it comes free with a magazine doesn’t mean you have to grow it.Summer Harvest Since every day is a learning day and the best way is by doing and trying. My first every runner bean crop is excellent with some whopping beans must look up those record books.  As always the ever reliable “mange tout” is starting to come to an end and have accompanied some great meals. 

Another steep learning curve for us this summer harvest is managing the polytunnel and greenhouse. There were a couple of days this summer when Conor was out of the country and I was too busy to get to the plot. Within 36 hours of the polytunnel door being closed and window vents being closed, we lost a lot of seedlings and damaged many plants. Hence now we try to open the polytunnel and greenhouse each morning to allow the air and insect to circulate around our plants. Having spent a sweltering few hours in the polytunnel removing excess foliage and removing suckers to increase the airflow around the plants. This not only makes it easier to navigate and water the polytunnel but reduces the risks of blight.

Summer Harvest

With some crops starting to come to an end and some spaces starting to fill up in the beds. We are replenishing them with fertilizers and using plug plants that we started from seed in the greenhouse. It is also possible to make some late sowings this time of year. Salad veg e.g. beetroot, lettuce, radish can still be sown. Along with a large variety of Asian greens, and early or dwarf veg. 

Summer Harvest

Living in Belfast it’s not every day that you come face to face with a live Dinosaur. Due to a long and boring training course about protected species, I knew not to touch or disturb it. Having taken a photograph and contacted  Ulster Wildlife, we soon learned that it was a Smooth Newt, Northern Irelands only native and protected species.

Summer Harvest

While the rain is great for the plants it’s not great for the plans that I had made to build a potting area and workbench for the allotment. May the sunshine return.


Late Spring – The Joys Of

Late Spring


Late Spring and for once the weather has been on our side. The end of the season has been pretty wet but no signs of blight yet. Almost everything we have planted has been doing well. In fact, we ended up losing a few seedlings due to sun scorch. Pretty much most of May was glorious sunshine.  

Late Spring

Early Sring is about hardening off seedlings and keeping an eye out for the lasts frosts. Mid Spring you start to plant out your seedlings and protect from pests and the elements. Late spring is when you realize all the hard work was worth it. You start harvesting early greens. Lettuce, rocket, and spinach. Spring


Berries are starting to ripen and fruits are forming on the fruit trees. Eating as you work, picking the specimen fruits for yourself.  Spring

The brassica bed is starting to fill up. Cabbage heads are forming big and hefty. The legumes are starting to climb tall and flower. The first of the mange tout will be ready to harvest anytime now. We’re trialing a variety of pea called “Asparagus” this season and will keep you informed of the progress.  

Late Spring

The potatoes are starting to flower and will be ready to harvest in a few weeks time. This is definitely one of our favourite times of the allotment season. Irish men do love their spuds. 

Late Spring



In the Polytunnel

Late Spring


Inside the greenhouse, it’s fair to say that as usual, I have over done it with the tomatoes. At last count, there were 30 plants in the polytunnel, and 6 in the greenhouse. I will start gifting them to anyone who will take them. 

Late Spring

Our Aubergines seem happy enough and growing steadily. 

Late Spring

As too are the cape gooseberries and sweetcorn. Out of 50 sown corn kernels, these were the best 12 I could manage. Corn is a firm favourite to eat for myself but I have terrible luck germinating. 

Late Spring

Our chillies plants are starting to show signs of bushing up. Being hardy plants and enjoying being neglected we have been watering just once a week except when temps are high.

Late Spring


Courgettes inside the polytunnel and outside in a bed are both doing well and starting to produce. The end of spring does great things for your salad containers.


SO basically nothing to learn here it’s just me showing off all my wares so enjoy what’s left of the spring and roll on summer.

Happy growing everyone. 

How are your crops coming along ?  Subscribe now and leave us a message or send us a picture of your produce.

Polytunnel – Our latest plot edition.


We have always planned on getting a large polytunnel. 

The construction of our first polytunnel was a fun project and was helped along by some great weather.



Before we had even ordered the polytunnel we dug over the ground underneath where our polytunnel was to sit. We took out as many weeds as possible, much like if we were planting directly into the soil. This area is riddled with mares tail so the weeds removed were dried and burned. We then covered the area in a thick black plastic, to prevent sunlight reaching the ground.

We were talking to a fellow plot holder whose polytunnel skin took of like a kite and ended up damaging some closed by roof tiles. Our plot is close to a set of railway tracks, and safety is utmost. Conor can often be found waving at trains while enjoying his black coffee. I decided to build a fence next to the polytunnel, to provide some additional support.





Polytunnel Construction


The frame went up relatively easily. Our skill sets complemented each other well on this task. Our love of music lead to some strange looks from the neighbors, but on the whole, a good day was had.  poly4



With the exact area of growing space now visible, 18 square meters. Strong and highly recommended weed proof membrane was purchased and placed on top of the ground. Growing directly into the ground is not an option due to the annoyance of mares (horsetail. So raised beds on top of a strong weed suppressant it is. This definitely adds to the costs, with additional materials and soil to fill the beds being required.poly5

It’s always best to skin your polytunnels on a calm day, in fact, it’s almost impossible to do it in strong winds. It is also better to do it with a few spare hands floating about. But it is possible to do it alone as I managed if you’re smart about it. Initially digging a trench and covering the skirt with soil was the plan. But on the day it seemed something more substantial was required. The decking was initially used to hold the skin down and stop the wind from making it flap. I decided to skirt the edge of the polytunnel. with the decking to add weight and help hold the skin down.


This also seemed to allow the corners to sit well over the frame. The front door of the polytunnel is one large zippable flap. At the minute I secure it by tucking under the frame and applying weight with a pallet. It is definitely something I have been thinking about and something I might have just cracked this very evening.   poly8

After a few days of tweaks and fixes and retrenching one of the corners I am finally happy with the way it turned out. 

Polytunnel FitOut

Having already blown the allotment for this year on the polytunnel, the fit out needed to be thrifty. The hoarders in us last year salvaged some fencing and we had some timbers left over from Conor’s new decking at his home. If we use them a couple of seasons then they owe us nothing. 


I’ve never used grow bags before, but as our local DIY store was running low on decently priced MPC I thought I would give them a go. 


In preparation for the polytunnel completion, we started a crop of tomatoes, chilies, and peppers. Also with the added benefits of extra heat, light, and space. We will soon be enjoying some new variety to the plot including, okra, and cape gooseberry.  


Being new to polytunnel gardening, I haven’t got much advice to give. except that if you’re planning to work inside your polytunnel and the sun is shining? Shorts, sun cream and water are a must. 

Please send us tips and photos of how you have laid out your polytunnels?  And lettuce know what you are growing in yours.



Zombies Allotment Survival – 5 Essential Seeds

Zombie Allotment Survival – 5 Essential Seeds  

ZombiesSo you flick on the television and every channel the same. Zombies Allotment Survival is on. But your prepared and have already built a walled perimeter even Trump himself would be proud of. You have enough water and growing space and 2 months worth of supplies. Unfortunately, you only have the choice of 5 fruit or vegetables to grow. That’s the rules. Zombies are coming. What 5 Essential seeds would you choose?

Here is the top 5 essential seeds I would choose, for the climate I live within here in Belfast.

1 Oriental Greens  

 Oriental Greens such as the ones we have grown in the past, including pak choi, choy sum and tat soi. What’s great about these greens is that they can be grown all year round. They are also great for growing in confined spaces. In UK conditions, best sown in Autumn and late Spring. Asian/Oriental Greens are great sources of Vitamin A, C, E B vitamins. They are also a great source of fiber, iron, calcium and potassium. With the zombie population still at large, these veg are quick cropping and tasty. They also come often in mixed seed packs. Full of variety and textures to keep you fed and nourished.

Pak Choi, Potatoes Strawberries Broccoli and Kale

2. Beans

 Thrust into a time, when you have been forced vegetarian. You take solace in the fact that contained in your seed box is a pack of mixed beans. Whether broad, split, kidney, or soy. Beans are an excellent source of protein, with Soybeans coming in at 16.6g of protein per 100g. Also containing metals such as potassium, magnesium, zinc and are a source of antioxidants. Climbing beans are great on saving space. They also are great for storing and drying to reuse the seed for continuous planting. Beans can be sown after the last frosts and will fruit until September. Some of the hardier Beans can be overwintered e.g. aqua dulce Claudia Broad Bean. 

 Thrust into a time, when you have been forced vegetarian. You take solace in the fact that contained in your seed box is a pack of mixed beans. Whether broad, split, kidney, or soy. Beans are an excellent source of protein, with Soybeans coming in at 16.6g of protein per 100g. Also containing metals such as potassium, magnesium, zinc and are a source of antioxidants. Climbing beans are great on saving space. They also are great for storing and drying to reuse the seed for continuous planting. Beans can be sown after the last frosts and will fruit until September. Some of the hardier Beans can be overwintered e.g. aqua dulce Claudia Broad Bean. Zombies


3 – Kale

Kale is not only a hipsters best friend, it may help preserve your life until rescued. It is widely regarded as a tough plant and will gladly keep you fed and company during the long winter. Kale comes in two forms, Kale and Curly for obvious reasons. Varieties include Nero di Toscana, purple scarlet, dinosaur etc. Kale is very low in calories while remaining high in fiber. Low in calories is that a good thing? Well yes because hunger and boredom will soon set in. Kale can be grown after the last frost up until the early summer. Plus everyone knows zombies hate kale.    

Curly kale

4 – Berries

Berries are well known for being superfoods and also amazing tasting. Being well know sources of Vitamin B as well as antioxidants. They are packed with fiber and great for your digestive system. Either juiced, jammed or eaten straight from the bush, they are a great boost to mind, body, and soul. Straw, blue, black and raspberries are all Uk and Irish favorites and a great sign of good weather. All berries are sun lovers but with so many different varieties liking different varieties. Especially blueberries who appreciate an acidic soil. 


5 – Potatoes

 This one is a no-brainer, like much of the population by now. Not only are they versatile and great tasting. But is there really much point is you haven’t got the option of spuds for tea. Baby, Boiled, Roasted or mashed they are little bundles of joy that might just get you through this ordeal. Potatoes are great for storing through winter and high in carbohydrates. Planted around Mid March, a succession of first, second and main crops will keep you well spirited and full of energy. 


With a continuous supply of veg to keep you healthy and fed throughout the year. Zombie groans ever present at the boundary wall.  Its sit back and try to refrain from talking to your veg, all day. 

We would love to hear what 5 fruit  or vegetables will you grow when they come???





Allotment Construction

Allotment Construction

allotment construction
New raised Beds

We may have been quiet on the blog front but we have been busy concentrating on allotment construction. Its defiantly been more of a fence post, than a blog post last few months. A month or so Connor said something very profound during one of our many coffee breaks.

“Wont it be really nice when we can just come up here and plant a few things and relax” and for once he was right.

Allotment construction
Chris skiving in the shed

So we decided for one big push to finish all of our allotment construction projects. Hail, rain and shine we have had the lot. But it didn’t stop us and we played a blinder.

Due to the slope of our plot raised beds helps us keep our land from washing away and allows us to create level paths. The only bare ground left is where we grew our last season potatoes and some late kale and brassicas. The ground is generally good, and has been turned well by the potato roots. The top bed is heavy with sand so we removed a couple of wheelbarrows and topped up the carrot water container. Carrots are font of sandy ground and we replaced the earth with some multi-purpose compost and manure to the top bed. For the top beds we used decking boards, as they are a good depth, and are pretreated to survive the rain and damp conditions. The reason one is shorter is to allow us to push a wheelbarrow throughout the plot.

allotment construction

Sowing Seeds

We have been busy sowing seeds and getting ready for the final frosts to lift. We erected a few mini greenhouses within our main greenhouse. This is allowing us to reach temperatures, suitable enough for heat-loving seedlings such as chilies and tomatoes. So far it is working well and we are starting some of the more heartier veg such as cabbage and onions within the main greenhouse.

allotment construction
Propagation Station


We finally made a decision and purchased the poly-tunnel. We decided to stick with a 3m x 6m and have started to level ground. The ground underneath has been covered with black PVC since last autumn and was dug and turned to allow the frost to penetrate. We have been busy researching the best tips and tricks to erecting a polytunnel and will be hopefully showing our results soon. When the polytunnel is erected that is all the major allotment construction complete. Well.. until I get a new idea or project. 


Its also time to get our spuds in the ground and off my windowsill. This season were planting

  • First earlies – Red Duke Of York

  • Second earlies – Kestrel

  • Main Crop – King Edward

  • Main Crop – Maris Piper

So in a few months get ready for more photos of us with our feet up and hopefully a few homegrown cocktail recipes.

allotment construction
Onion Sets

Our Greatest Successes/Failures on the Allotment of 2016

Growblogs Plot

Success/Failures 2016

A look back over our success/failures on our allotment in 2016. Having good success in the garden is what keeps us interested. Fueling our desires to return each year to expand and improve. Failure is the catalyst that makes us more determined, to work harder and smarter. Each growing season is unique. So here we are going to show you our 3 greatest successes and failures of 2016.


  1. The first big success and new key part of our plot, is the new greenhouse. Last year we used it to grow crops, as we were behind schedule on construction. But next season it will be mainly used for seed germination, and early 2017 we will be constructing shelving and a seed sowing area. Check out our previous posts, about how we constructed the greenhouse from, base construction to glazing. Garden Structure/Greenhouse Base – How to do it yourself DIY Greenhouse Construction, Proper Job !

    Next years seed house
  2. Our second big success of the year I would say is our blog. While we are not snowed under with subscribers, we have been working hard to improve the content of our posts. We also try and deliver content, that people want to see and will find useful. We have also been learning the tech skills to make the blog more available to people that might find it interesting. While at the same time meeting and making friends some very helpful and informative individuals through social media.
  3. Our third big success of the year would have to be some of the wonderful crops and produce that we have been producing throughout the year. 2016 has very much been a year of firsts. Some crops we were growing for the first time, with great success. Out top 3 new vegetables that we grew this year were Kohlrabi Kohlrabi & Kohlrabi coleslaw recipe , Sweet romano Peppers   and White Cauliflower.
    White Cauliflower


    These three are all great tasting and versatile crops. 

The cauliflower could have ended up on either success/failures list.  After an absence from the plot for a fortnight. I was pleasantly surprised to see that, the critters has left me the biggest and best-looking cauliflower on the plot. Another veg to cross off my ever decreasing, to grow and eat list.

When it comes to success and failures,no matter what there is much to be learned. We at growblogs had a motto even before we seen our plot for the first time. To learn from doing, and learn from our success/failures. Getting stuck in and having a go is wild craic. If it all goes wrong ? Sure you can try again next year.


  1. Outsmarting the critters. Once again we waged war on every manner of beast, all shapes and size, determined to devour our crops. We built, protective nets, cages and kept a strict bug picking diary. But yet the came, and they ate and what they didnt eat they pooped on.

    Damm Caterpillars
  2. Basically, it  took us much longer to build the greenhouse than it should. I bought the greenhouse frame in a water damaged sale. The greenhouse frame itself is obviously waterproof, that’s why I bought it. I’m smart like that. The instructions for the greenhouse frame, however, were not waterproof and had disintegrated. The crops we had been growing, for eventual transport into the greenhouse, were growing bigger and bigger and starting to fruit by the time they were ready to move. Whilst it was a relief to get the plants out of  my cramped flat, they took a bit of a battering and some had to be shortened for transport. Some of these plants, mainly the tomato plants never fully recovered.

    Tomatoes “Gardeners delight”
  3. Disease. This will probably be on our list every year. Early in the summer conditions were perfect for blight, and we link all the plots on our allotment, suffered. Our potato crops held up pretty well, but we lost all of our outdoor tomatoes and peppers. Some signs did show inside the greenhouse but we were quick to remove those infected plants to stem spreading the blight. Later nearing the end of summer our cucurbits suffered badly from an attack of  powdery mildew. This while didn’t massively affect the produce that was well established and producing. But with the early destruction of the leaves it certainly stunted growth, and shortened the season. 

    powdery mildew

Next year were sure everything is going to go swimmingly.