I’ve just got back from my allotment this morning and I’m pleased to report that I’ve had my first courgette from my mini plot! It’s a round variety and yellow courgettes are my absolute favourites so I can’t wait to eat this with my dinner tonight.
We’ve been having a few green and Black Beauty courgettes at home already and I’m excited to get into full courgette-season, where I’ll be chopping and freezing dozens of them, ready for the winter.
We’ve also got our first ever Patty Pan squashes developing and there must be three or four pumpkins already developing nicely – bring on the autumn!
Speaking of which, I’m already looking ahead to the coming season and thinking of what I could be harvesting (more on that in a sec) and what tasks I can be doing on the plot during that time. One of the main jobs that’ll need tackling when I’m doing less weeding and watering in the autumn is the shed.
You may remember that there was already a mini tool shed on my plot. It was rather dilapidated and had almost blown down in the spring storms this year. So, we made it sturdier by adding extra framing and replacing the rotten wood planks and it’s doing the job of storing my tools nicely.
BUT, ideally I would like to have a larger shed on my plot. I could do with some space to store larger tools, seeds, pots, compost, feed and everything else I need at the allotment. At the moment, I often need to bring extra things with me from home, so there’s a lot of carrying around being done.
As you probably realise, I’m on a tight budget and don’t want to splash out on buying a new shed. So I’ve been looking into DIYing one using online shed plans, and investigating the price to build a shed if I were to make it myself.
I could keep an eye out for scrap wood between now and the autumn – there are always skips around and so much wood gets thrown out. Last year, we filled up our upcycling ‘wood store’ (a little lean-to area) at home with wood that we found in skips so I’m sure I could get myself a decent pile of secondhand wood to use for the shed build.
Looking around the allotment site, there are so many clever ways that other allotment holders have created their own makeshift greenhouses and sheds like the one above. Using old windows or glazed doors would be a great way to make a potting shed and I could always use pallet wood – I’m quite a pro at taking apart a pallet now after doing so many pallet upcycling projects!
Anyway, back to my current planting plans. Even though most of the sowing for my plot tends to happen in the spring, I’ve discovered that there are still veggies that I can plant right now and get a harvest from this year.
For a start, I’m still sowing my favourite rainbow beetroot so that I can enjoy a successional harvest for as long as possible. Just look at the size of the ones I’m pulling up at the moment. The National Allotment Society also recommends sowing your main crop of carrots in July to avoid root fly, so I’ll be sowing some more rows of carrots too.
This week, I’ve put in some broad beans, so they’ll be ready for harvesting from September onwards. I had never grown broad beans before this year and they were so successful (and so delicious) that I want to get as many harvests as possible and fill up my freezer for the winter.
I’ve also sown another couple of rows of peas. Since the last lot of peas finished, I’ve been missing having them on my plate, so I found a variety that should be okay to plant in July and I’m keeping my fingers crossed that they’ll grow – watch this space.
In the greenhouse, I can start sowing my overwintering crops like spring cabbage and kale to be ready to plant them out once all the potatoes have finished. I can also sow spring onions outdoors, along with turnip, sprouting broccoli, chard and Emperors Savoy Tatsoi. By the way, a Gladioli has come up beside my greenhouse!
Let me know what you are planting in July – I’d love to hear what crops are working for you so please leave me a comment below. Also, any tips for building a shed on a budget would be gratefully received!
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