Allotment plan 2023

Nick Thomas 5 months ago
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title: "Allotment Plan: 2023"
This year, I'm going to do some high-intensity growing on the allotment, following a pretty relaxed quarter-year in 2022 where I just cut back overgrowth and harvested things put in by the previous owner.
=> /img/allotment-plan-2023.png Allotment schematic
=> /blog/allotment/ Previous allotment post
The three greenhouses will be taken up for the year with tomatoes, peppers, and aubergines. The field will be sweetcorn, and the long bed will be borlotti beans. Spread about the raised beds will be leeks, kale, squash, and spring onions wherever I find myself with a a free spot. There's some extra fruit not shown - at home, a respectable strawberry bed and apple tree. At the allotment, currant bushes and a cherry tree. I might add a few more fruit trees in pots, as well.
The aubergine seeds went into the airing cupboard today. They need a good constant 21°C heat to germinate, and there's only twenty of them, so I'm taking no chances. If all goes well, those seeds will yield 100-120 aubergines in September - about 5,000-6,000kcal. I wouldn't be eating them all in a couple of days, though; they can be preserved in oil, or dehydrated.
The field will be the sweetcorn stand; I don't have to do anything with that until March or so. It should yield ~300 ears of sweetcorn, giving a respectable 25,000kcal which can be frozen.
Everything else contributes fairly small amounts of energy, with the exception of the fruit. Adding it all together, we might have fruit and vegetables for the whole family for around 12 weeks, putting me maybe 5 weeks short of the one-third target.
I've thought about adding a fourth greenhouse to the garden at home, which would give me somewhere to grow rocket and other salad staples. That could make (some of?) the difference.
A lot of the allotment is unproductive - grass, woodchips, hard standing, the parking space... I can probably eke out some more growing space there too, and there's also the chance of a turnip crop (the purple and white ones, not the yellow things we call swedes) after the sweetcorn comes up. I don't like turnips, though!
The traditional saying is an acre per person for self-sufficiency; given I'm working with about 6% of that, it feels like a decent effort. Assuming the slugs and pigeons don't get it all!

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