Welcome to our plot!

I'm Hazel, and in Nov 2006 my friend Jane and I took on a half plot at Hill Allotments, Sutton Coldfield - we want the satisfaction of growing and eating our own fruit and veg, and to improve our diet (and fitness!).

This is the story of what happened next...........

Monday, January 27, 2014

Seeds, Potatoes and a Nice Day Out

This winter has not been particularly cold this year (as yet) - just very wet - and now that the evenings are perceptibly lighter, it means that the gardener's thoughts turn to Spring.

Not enough to actually get down to the Hill - the ground is far too wet, and it would be far too miserable, but to think about what I want to sow this year.

It's pretty easy on the seed front - I have so many seed packets that I would never use them all in my entire lifetime (despite never seemingly actually buying any) so it's just a case of what to leave out.

I've made a start by shelling out last year's bean seeds which have been drying on newspaper in the attic room.

Choosing potatoes are slightly different, and in years gone by I have spent many happy hours poring over lists of varieties with their various merits, then trotting off to Ryton to the potato day and seed swap at the end of January.

But this year, Ryton have not held a potato day because, according to a chap who was on one of their courses, they recently got rid of their commercial interests to focus on the education side.  And there's me thinking that the potato day is not only a money-spinner for them in it's own right, but a perfect membership recruitment opportunity and showcase for the entire operation, educational facilitates and all, but I guess I'm wrong.

The nearest alternative potato day was hosted by Nottingham Organic Gardening Society, and so this Saturday I headed off there with mum, who found the idea of a little trip out with the offer of tea and cake and possibly a garden centre outweighed the potential boredom of watching me spending ages discussing the merits of about a hundred trays of seemingly identical seed potatoes.

In the event, I had a rough idea of what I wanted, so spun round the well-organised event (entry: £1) in double quick time, and we splashed out £1.50 each for coffee and delicious homemade cakes afterwards in the church hall.

And we even found a garden centre on the way home where mum bought me a jasmine houseplant because - and I quote - 'that wasn't nearly as boring as I thought it would be'. Marvellous.


  1. Garden Organic have given up on Potato Days? Cough, splutter, choking sounds! Good grief, I didn't renew my membership in 2013 because I could see they were beginning to lose the plot but this completely confirms it.

    Lovely report on your day out but with one major failure - which varieties did you select?

    I found out there is a potato day about half an hour from here in a few weeks time. Whoohooo, guess where I'll be going on 23rd February

    1. Sorry - slow coach reply, here!

      First earlies: the ever reliable 'Lady Cristl', and 'Colleen' which is a new one on me, bought on a whim as it is mum's neighbour's name. :-)
      Second earlies: 'Kestrel' and 'Charlotte' - both tried and tested
      Main crop: 'Picasso' which is the best baking potato in the entire world, and 'Golden Wonder', which have a reputation of being susceptible to anything that's going, but Richard-three-plots-down always grows rows of them without any problems, so I thought I'd give 'em a go!


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