Friday 11 February 2011

2010 Disasters, allotment rents and a Birthday present.

Well I wanted to share with all my readers the prices of our plots...but didn't want a post entirely dedicated to that so will do a disasters post with it to lighten things up a little. I think the 2010 growing disasters is a good place to start...and let me tell you there were quite a few!!

First off...I lost all of my runner beans plants to a late harsh frost which was a bit of a downer for me, however this was remedied by planting more beans but it did mean that my harvest started later than I am used to and I didn't get as many beans as the previous year even though I did have the same amount of plants.

The summer brassicas were just an immense no go...we had such a problem with the flea beetle last year that they totally devastated the summer brassicas and many of the winter ones too. I had no summer brassicas and only had a few winter veggies as I went out and bought some plug plants which I have never before done in my life.

But all this wasn't the biggest disaster of 2010...nope...I think I would have to call the biggest disaster or 2010 my radishes!! Yep, you definitely read it right....radishes which usually grow like weeds and you are trying to force down people throats were a total disaster and totally un-salvageable. I sowed them three times and out of all of those seeds not once did I get to harvest a single radish. I can tell you I am glad this wasn't my first year of growing as I may have given up there and then as I know how easy they are to grow!! The seeds germinated ...then they bolted...then I was left with spindly stems with a flower on the end and nothing under the in the end I gave up but i will grow some more again this year...hopefully it was just the weird weather we had.

Another thing that didn't amount to anything was my celeriac...I had never grown this before and was kindly given some seedlings by an allotment neighbour. This did however mean there were no instructions...but I didn't think that was a problem. However when I had lush leaves at the top and decided to try harvesting i found again there was nothing under the earth. I have since been told that this can often be a common thing with celeriac, also you should pluck some of the top foliage to give the plant extra energy to form the bulb under the ground. I don't feel dis-heartened at all by this and I will certainly try them again this year..I have to admit to never having eaten celeriac and so I am hoping for at least one good one this season!!

The there was the aubergine looked lovely but never fruited...I have since found out that I may have been better off growing in the greenhouse and this is duly noted for this season!

aubergine plant
My Aubergine.

Also didn't have as much success with squash this year, That was my fault though and only down to the way i out my plants in....I know not to make the same mistakes as last year though so things can only get better....well they can't get any worse anyway!!!!

So now to the rent...I actually photographed the paper I received so I wouldn't have to re-type it...I know lazy me...but anything to make life simpler...and besides extra photo is nice no matter how mundane!!

Below you will see that it says I have 1 1/2 plots but that isn't right, they have just never put Kate's name on the books too...I when we first got our plot we were told we had to decide who's name was going to go down...we weren't actually issued half a plot each. Now they are issuing half plots I will talk to Kate and see if she wants it changing!!

allotment rent
So there we have it..Parish council rates have gone up 50% so a full plot has gone from £12 to £18, The association and NAASS prices remain the same. This means that a full plot of 25' by 100' is £24 for the year. does this compare with your prices??? Don't forget to tally into it the amount of land you have too. Obviously plot sizes are rough as I don't think anyone has ever measured them out....just walked along a bit and stuck a marker in the ground......well that's what it seems like to can clearly see in some places the sizes differ!!

bird feeder, plant hanger, weather vane
The Birthday Present.

And finally the birthday present...this isn't my present but one that we (My parents and Hubby) have bought for a friend. I think it is a darling little thing and with the hangers it is a really nice feature. We planted it up and put it in place in her garden today. She is away on holiday until after her birthday so it will be a nice surprise for her when she gets home...unless of course she arrives back at night...then the fact that there is a glow in the middle of her lawn may give her a fright as the lantern on top automatically switches on when it's dark...errmmm...never really thought of that before putting it in place...oh well I'm sure she will love it!!

Hoping to get down the plot tomorrow to get some plants put around the pond...still debating on whether or not I should level it up????? What do you think?



  1. Your rent seems very reasonable. We pay £20 for a half plot without any water or amenities. What a lovely present. I'm sure your friend will get many hours of pleasure out of watching our feathered friends visiting her garden.

  2. don't think of them as disasters, think of them as learning experiences. :)
    Love that birthday present. What a surprise that will be for her to come home too.

  3. Hiya Tanya

    I've got a full plot, which costs me £30 pa. I think this is spectacularly cheap, given the cost of land.

    Re celeriac. I had exactly the same thing this year. The reason is simple: Lack of water. Celeriac is a bugger to grow, because it demands lots and LOTS of water. It hates running dry, even for a few days, so you have to water it religiously. Better luck this year!!

  4. We have always had problems with celeriac and aubergines too.

    Also the fedding station is very similar to ours - just hope her birds are less picky as ours haven't been on it yet and we have had it months. So to be honest I'd be ecstatic if our bills were at your level. I guess so would the folks up in Scotland.

    Allotment rents - mmm - a touchy subject. Each of our plots last year cost just under £70 including a £10 water charge. each plot is 12m x 20m

  5. Jo, I think our rents are reasonable...and I'm glad we have the choice of using was a godsend when I was first given my plot and after the fire last year.

    Craig...thanks...i just hope she likes it!

    Ann...i like your thinking...i will now go with 'learning experiences' seem to pay about the same as me....You never said how big your plot was though??

    SM & GLA....Glad I'm not the only one with the celeriac problem...although it doesn't make it any better for you it make me feel slightly less inferior!!

    GLA..I am amazed at the differences in allotments rents...i converted the size of your land and we actually get more planting land than you for a little over quarter of the price...our rates are set by a parish council...I wonder if that makes a difference....mine aren't as cheap as SM's though....

  6. Hi Tany, I'm trying celeriac for the first time this year! Wish me luck!

    Rents??? That's a bargain you have.

    Edinburgh £70 this year then £80,£90, £100 in each following year. Rent Rants on my blog!

  7. I think generally parish council rents are a bit cheaper Tanya - although it is even more amazing that the rent in Wakefield seem to vary from one site to another. I wouldn't mind if they would use some of the rent to improve our fencing!


keep it clean...keep it relevant...I look forward to reading your comments!!