I was in for a lovely surprise popping to the allotment. The garlic, onions and shallots planted back in October and November are all putting up nice green shoots. The broad beans were happily growing away. I'm so looking forward to the new growing year.
I learned a huge amount last year, as I did the year before. This year I want to forget about growing the things I don't get a chance to eat. I've done salad leave both years running. But the truth is, the only time this gets eaten is when eating at the plot. What a waste!!!
The other area where I've had issues is brassicas. My broccoli rabb ended up going to seed, as I wasn't harvesting it when it was ready. This was also the case with broccoli and I could have grown less kale, but maybe more varieties. The brassica netting was also a complete disaster, with the new kale leaves on the tops of the plant being gobbled by pigeons, no matter what I did. I need a bigger taller proper cage for next year. But one where it's easy to get in and pick the produce.
I really want to try veggimesh or whatever it's call these days...despite getting small mesh netting, the cabbage whites still managed to get to the brassicas and I lost a lot of the kohl rabi leaves to caterpillers.
I've also decided I need balance the growing space out carefully across the two plot and I need to accept the limitations of the growing space on plot 18. The raised bed at the very back of the plot just simply isn't useable. The trees overhang so badly that it gets hardly any light or sunlight and the thick canopy means that no rain water gets through. I tried celery, celeriac, lettuce and beetroot in the bed last year. the celery and celeriac just sat there sulking all year. A lot of the lettuce plants disappeared and beetroot didn't do much either.
Anyhow, gardening and allotmenting is a constant learning process and that's half the fun. even when you think you've nailed something, it can just as easily go wrong the following year.