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DIARY 2019



Welcome to another year down on the plot. Each year is different and I am sure this one will be no different.

There maybe one or two crops I will not grow this year owing to the fact my soil has now been well cultivated for 28 years, some of the

 taller brassicas such as sprouts need a firm soil to prevent their roots from rocking and mine is now very fine, but we shall see.





The New Year has started very damp and mild giving me more time to finish any repairs and attend to any weeding. Bulbs are already starting to come through.

Continue to plant any bare rooted fruit trees and bushes and remove any dead and dying leaves on established Strawberries.

Seed potatoes will be in your stores and garden centres this month. Lay them out in trays or egg boxes to chit in a light frost free place. If in the greenhouse keep some fleece or newspaper handy to cover them should there be a threat of frost.


Now is the time to renew your membership to the G.A.H. & G A; this can be done at any of the site stores. New members are always welcome to take advantage of the various benefits.


The month has ended with freezing temperatures, little can be done now till the weather warms up other than harvesting any vegetables left in the ground. I still have leeks, parsnips and some celeriac which I have dug and left in my shed rather than risk getting it frosted. Do not plant any bare rooted fruit canes/trees while the ground is frosted.




A date for your Diary:  The G.A.H. & G. A. are pleased to invite Mr Nick Gilbert to give a gardening talk on Dahlias, Tuesday 26th February at 7.30 pm at HEDCA. Coombe Road, Gosport. The usual light refreshments will be served and a raffle will be held. Free to members and £1 to non members. All are very welcome.


Back on the plot it is still bitterly cold with heavy frosts little can be done except maybe any necessary repairs. In the greenhouse keep any potatoes chitting well covered with fleece or newspaper.

Pots and trays can be prepared ready for the first sowings in March and check there are no snails hiding in the spouts of watering cans or under the rims of larger pots.


19th and we are experiencing some very unusually warm mild days, I have planted out some shallots which have been growing well in the greenhouse and also some of the first early potatoes, 5 tubers of Pentlan Javlin which I have covered with Enviromesh and 10 Rocket, Both set a spade depth down covered well and then earthed up another spade depth; should the weather turn frosty they will be well protected; I am also starting to put up frames in readiness for such crops as the tomatoes, peas etc., which will save time later.


First our apologies if you turned up last Tuesday hoping to see the talk on Dahlias, unfortunately Mr Gilbert had to cancel due to the flu.


On the plot this last week like most of the country has been glorious. Spring has arrived with daffodils in full flower now and the plum and cherry all coming into blossom.  28th and now it is all down-hill again with cold rain and winds. If like me you did make a start on planting early potatoes hopefully they are planted deep enough not to be harmed by any frosts.






This is the month when we all are itching to get really started on the seed sowing but now it has turned much colder again outside sowing is best left to April.

Continue to plant potatoes if conditions are right but I shall now be making a start in my unheated greenhouse with onion sets, Rumba, Fen Early and Red Fen in cell trays. Peas, Hurst Green Shaft 5 to a 3” pot. Cabbage  Attraction, turnips,  beetroot Pablo F1, leeks Giant Winter, celeriac Asterix, lettuce Little Gem. Spring onions and Raddish.  French Marigolds Boy-o-Boy and Statice.  Continuing throughout the month with the more tender seeds, such as tomatoes, courgettes, squash and French beans. Broad beans can be sown now in pots but French and Runner beans tend to rot if sown too early.

Keep some fleece handy should there be the threat of night frost to cover potatoes and tender plants in the greenhouse.

Finish planting any bare rooted fruit this month and clean up strawberry beds of dead and dying leaves. Continue to check any potatoes and onions still in store.


17th and at last the dreadful weather of strong winds and rain are starting to die down although much colder now so I am being wary of sowing and planting out yet. My chrysanths which I over wintered in the greenhouse have grown well because of the mild temperatures but I now need the space so I am planting those

under enviromesh to protect from any frosts. Seeds sown earlier in the greenhouse are ready to be pricked out into cell trays, or those larger ones like the tomatoes into 3” pots. I am still covering all my trays at night with fleece as temperatures drop.


It really has been a difficult month with the ups and downs of the weather, one minute cold then towards the end of the month a very a warm and balmy week, only to start April very cold again.




If you are tempted to start sowing or planting I would cover well against the night temperatures which can fall dramatically at this time of the year. I have now planted out peas ‘Hurst Green Shaft’ which I have been growing on in the greenhouse. Provided plenty of twiggy branches for support; covered with netting to protect from the birds and a temporary cover of Enviromesh to protect from frost and cold nights. Sowing can now continue in the greenhouse with most of the hardier seeds; most of the brassicas, kohl Rabi, turnips, leeks, celeriac, all the salads and later in the month squash and courgettes. I would leave French beans and runner beans till mid month as they will only rot if sown too early.  Tomatoes sown earlier will need potting on to 3 “ pots this month, set deeply up to their seed leaves this will encourage a strong root system to develop from the stem.


 . . . 

The plum blossom is exceptional this year, with the wallflowers out attracting the bees I am hopeful of a good crop.


Easter week-end and our topsy-turvy weather continues; It is now very warm and the soil is becoming dry, when sowing seeds direct it is necessary to water the drill well, cover seeds with dry soil to retain as much moisture as possible till germinated. Ventilate greenhouse well as the temperature can reach over 40 degrees during the day but close early in the evening to keep it warm during the night.

Our resident fox has had her babies and they are causing havoc on the plot, digging large holes and turning over my onions. I have reset them twice and now covered with netting to deter any further excavations.

27th and I am now cutting the first asparagus spears, 2 weeks earlier than usual and with plenty of purple sprouting I am spoilt for choice.




The month has started chilly but with a promise of warmer days to come the soil is now warm enough to sow direct but some tender plants are best left for another couple of weeks. Tomatoes, courgettes, butternut squash and French beans will need some protection against cold nights. Runner beans can now be sown direct allowing 2 beans per station. Continue to pot on brassicas and leeks to provide good size plants to plant in next month.

Time now to hang up the Pheromone traps in apple and plum trees to prevent the codling moth and ensure any grease bands that have been applied are free from any debri. Next years’ canes are starting to grow on the soft fruit so make sure there is room to tie them to one side out of the way of strong winds to avoid them snapping off.

Most of the greenery from the spring bulbs will have died down enough now to be consigned to the compost bin to make way for summer bedding. I shall be planting French marigolds, geraniums and antirrhinums.

9th The continuing strong winds have brought down my purple raspberries. The supporting posts have broken and I now need to renew them and re wire if I am to avoid losing this years’ fruit crop. All soft fruit with the exception of strawberries can be given a dressing of potash now.



Very pleased I have been able to get the raspberries up again without losing too many.


Don’t forget it's our Plant Sale 19 May 2019 at Brockhurst Allotment Store, Military Road.
All plant donations be they vegetable, flower or fruit are welcome.
Buyers from 10am, please come and support us and grab yourself some home grown plants


23rd I am delighted to be harvesting my first crops of the year, always an exciting time. Pentlan Javlyn lst early potatoes, Pak Choi, Lettuce, Raddish, Rhubarb, Strawberries and of course Asparagus which is slowing down a little now through lack of rain. The plot is now very dry.

I have planted out the Butternut Squash, watering well to give it a good start and made a second sowing of carrots ‘Nominator’.

Badgers have totally destroyed one bed of shallots. These I have cleared away, renewed the bed and hopefully next month will be able to plant out the first of the leeks.


Last week-end of the month and with only one day of rain watering is still the main problem. It has now turned very warm and humid again. Early strawberries are ripening and need a good soak every few days to fill them out. Everything has to take its turn and a good soaking once a week is better than a daily dribble. Give priority to those crops that are cropping now.

I have had another load of manure to add to my compost bins to rot down ready for autumn spreading.

In the greenhouse I have made further sowings of lettuce, spring onions, and pak choi.




Pentland Javlyn                                                                             Veg plot




 I am now digging first early potatoes, when space allows the leeks are taking their place. ‘Winner’ is a new variety for me to try this year.

I’ve also planted  Kale for the winter, 2 green and one red.  I made the planting hole very deep and first watered well with 2 cans  of water as the ground is so dry Firm the plants well in and watered again then mulching with well rotted compost. Covered with netting because the pigeons will soon devour the young growth.


June is the month when most tender vegetables can be planted out now the fear of any frost is over. Beans, squash, tomatoes, peppers to name but a few.  And the first of the early crops will be ready to harvest now, pick them while young and tender.  Continue to sow small amounts of salad leaves, lettuce, spring onions and radish for a continuous supply.  Runner and French beans can be sown direct in the ground now, they will soon germinate.


On the fruit plot Strawberries are ripening and may need some straw beneath them to keep the fruit clean. Pinch the tips out on plums and cherries to deter the aphids.  Prune back the new growth on Gooseberries, this will keep the bush in shape and also make picking easier later on. All soft fruit with the exception of Strawberries can have a dressing of potash now.


I have decided not to grow Sprouts this year but all the other brassicas can now be sown for winter cropping. Savoy cabbage, the Kale  and Purple Sprouting to crop next March will give me a continuous supply through to next April.


20th of the month and harvesting of the early summer crops is now in full swing. Lift only as many new potatoes as you can use in a couple of days to enjoy them at their best. I am now picking peas and to keep them cropping and the pods filling out will need regular watering. The soft fruits, such as strawberries, raspberries, currants may need some protection from the birds but we also have squirrels who enjoy them too.

Continue to sow quick maturing crops for a good succession. I am sowing, carrots, beetroot, turnips, kohl rabi; salads lettuce, radish and spring onions.  Tomatoes are setting now so continue to pinch out the side shoots and tie in standard varieties, bush plants need no pinching out or tying in but may need some straw to keep the fruits clean.

I have now finished cutting asparagus and will leave the spears to grow into fern. This will feed and encourage a good strong crop for next year.




Hurst Green Shaft.



1st  After a very hot week-end it is now a little cooler but with a very warm wind which is so drying; any watering now needs to be used effectively by giving a good soak around the roots and not trying to water the whole ground.  I have made the last picking of the peas, it has been a good harvest and I have had approximately 12lb of podded peas. I have cleared the ground and added a barrow load of compost and now planted out the Purple Sprouting. This should give me plenty of spears from March onwards next year.

Tomatoes are forming now, remove a few of the lower leaves to give a good air flow and aid ripening. Continue to keep tying in and water regularly.  I have cut the foliage down on my second early potatoes Foremost to stop them growing a bigger. They can still be left in the ground and lifted as required.


Squirrels have finished my first Strawberries so they can now be given a good hair cut and the foliage removed to the compost bin. They will soon make new growth for next year. Any runners required for new plants should be pegged down to root then cut off and potted up ready to plant out in the autumn. All the soft fruit is now in full swing for ripening and harvesting. Pick over every couple of days to enjoy them and freeze surplus. Aphids are rife on the fruit trees now so nip out the tips if you can to deter them.


I am really pleased my Hollyhock has survived again this year to give another beautiful display. This was a surprise plant I presume seeded by the birds.





A reminder that Show schedules are now available at all the allotment stores for those wishing to enter the Summer Show on August 17th at Alverstoke Parish Centre. This is a fun day out for all the family; there are classes for adults and children with light refreshments available. Why not have a go.


18th and the long hot summer continues, endless rounds of watering is beginning to pay off I now have cabbage, carrots, beetroot, lettuce, French beans and potatoes to harvest. The badgers had tried to dig up my Desiree potatoes so I have lifted all of those and bagged up in hessian sacks and stored in the garage. The soft fruit has been good but a short season except for the Blackberries which are big and juicy; now the Plum Beauty is ripening and I have a good crop there. Still to come are the Autumn raspberries. Figs, apples and pears.


29th and the lack of rain hasn’t stopped the Phlox giving a glorious display. The summer raspberries are now finally over and I have cut out all the old fruiting canes, selected the strongest ones for next year, tied in and cut out any remaining weak ones.





A reminder it is the G.A.H. & G. A. Summer show on 17th Aug. Show schedules and  information are available at all site stores or on line at http://www.gosportallotments.btck.co.uk/  Anyone can enter there are classes for adults and children. This is designed to be fun day out for all the family. All are welcome.


Tomatoes are ripening now, remove some of the lower leaves to allow the sun to do their job and allow a good air flow, water regularly to avoid splitting the fruits. Beans too will need a good regular water now to swell the beans. Remove the lower leaves on celeriac this will help to swell the bulb. Keep on top of the weeding if you can by hand to keep any moisture in during this long dry spell.

Onions too will be ripening and falling over naturally, to aid ripening gently break the roots with a fork and lay the bulbs in the sun to dry and fully ripen. When they are brown and papery they can be stored in a frost free shed either plaited on to strings or in airy boxes. Check over regularly and use any with thick necks first.


14th and this last week has seen the plot battered with the strong winds and rain. Fortunately I have suffered little damage but there is quite a bit of tidying up to be done. Picking up the fallen apples and pears is one job needs doing, these I have added to the pit to rot down, together with all the damaged flowers which I am cutting back in the hope they will get a second wind and flower again. My onions I had laid out to dry I had covered with a tarpaulin to keep them from getting wet again but now I have gathered in and taken home to finish drying in the greenhouse. Some of the cabbages have split due to the sudden burst of rain, these will need to be cut and used.


29th after a long very hot bank holiday week-end, the plot is suffering, watering is almost impossible and it does little or no good. Tomatoes are doing well ripening quickly so care is needed as they will split with uneven watering. Our 2 resident foxes are doing their best to cause mayhem by digging and churning up the soil; I am constantly tidying up after them. Victoria plums are very good this year and need regular picking; apples and pears are still very crowded on the trees and need more thinning if they are to fill out and ripen properly.


I am continuing to cut back perennials such as the lavender when they go over; this will encourage new growth before the winter sets it. Any other flowers such as the dahlias now need to be dead headed regularly to keep them flowering till the autumn frosts.


Unfortunately some of our sheds have been broken into again, little taken but locks have been damaged.




A reminder that seed potato and fruit order forms for 2020 are now available at all stores; all at very good prices.


Not quite autumn yet but it is nice to have lower temperatures to work in. Crops that have gone over can now be cleared away, ground dug over and prepared for any autumn planting. Onion and shallot sets can be planted out between now and early November to over winter and give a good crop to harvest next May. Runner beans will carry on cropping if you can keep them watered well; mine unfortunately are not doing so good this year and I have decided to take them out now. I have cut them off at soil level to die back before removing.

Continue to harvest main crop potatoes now, allow skins to harden in the sun for a few hours if you can then brush off any soil and store in hessian sacks or strong paper bags in a frost free shed. Use any damaged ones first. Onions when completely dry can either be plaited on to strings or stored in strong boxes. Pick up and compost rotting brassica leaves and we aware of the butterflies and watch out for patches of orange eggs on the underside of the leaves, rub off before they get a chance to hatch into caterpillars. Remove excess foliage on Squash to allow the sun to ripen the fruits.


Finish pruning any stone fruit this month. Apples and pear trees are heavily laden this year and although fruits are falling, some thinning may still be necessary. Pick up and compost or use to make chutney.


I have decided to empty and take down my old compost bin and use some of the good compost to make a new bed. The wood was rotting and would have needed extensive repairs to make it useable again. Emptying it and spreading the compost has been my first task, then removing the old timber and the meter posts which held in the supporting framework.



The top end is where I will hang and store my cloche hoops when not in use.



15th  and Bed now finished. I have edged on the main path side with breeze blocks to prevent the path falling in as so many people use this path.

Planted a new Rhubarb called Pink Blossom; so pretty with the pink/red edged leaves and should be compact growing to about a mitre square. I will add other plants over the coming months.


The last week has been exceptionally wet and windy almost impossible to do anything on the plot but on the 30th the weather was kind to us and remained dry for the Michaelmas Fayre; the G.A.H. & G A. held their stall selling produce donated by generous plot holders to raise funds. Also at this time to promote the innovative idea of ‘Growing in Gosport’ which is starting in January to help and advice those new to growing vegetables. Details can be found on their website http://www.gosportallotments.btck.co.uk/






Autumn is definitely here now, leaves are falling and there is a chill in the air. Gather up as many as you can and either compost or make a wire container to make leaf mould. Continue to pick up any rotting brassica leaves and tidy up any vacant ground. Autumn planting onion sets can be either set in trays to give them a head start or direct in the ground now. So can Garlic and Broad beans to over winter also. Harvest last of main crop potatoes, leaving them to dry and harden their skins before storing for the winter. Remove the lower leaves on celeriac for the last time to encourage a good size bulb. Earth up leeks to blanch the stems.


Pick apples when they come away easily in your hand; pears are difficult to judge when ripe and best picked when still hard and ripened off on the window sill. Autumn raspberries will still be ripening now so enjoy while you can.


When the Asparagus fern turns a bronze colour, cut to the ground, hand weed and apply a good mulch of rotted compost.


19th and we have had some welcome sunshine from a very wet week. I’ve been able to finish repairing my compost bin, emptied and spread on as many beds as I could; now ready to be refilled again. Planted out onion sets and added a few polyanthus to my new bed.


A reminder that the G.A.H. & G.A. Pumpkin & Produce Fayre is to be held next Saturday 26th October at St Mary’s Parish Centre, Alverstoke.

Classes include home baking, preserves, wines and spirits, vegetables and flowers, fancy dress, painting and photography for adults and children. Show schedules can be obtained from any site stores on line at http://www.gosportallotments.btck.co.uk




Back to the wet and windy weather; on the drier days I am continuing to tidy up. Leeks need the old brown outer leaves removed and one more earth up to blanch the stems; dead and dying leaves on the parsnips removed and the lower leaves removed from the celeriac for one last time. Make sure carrots are covered with soil to prevent any greening of the tops. Any fallen apples can be consigned to the compost bin.

The fox is still very active and any new onions etc. planted should be covered to deter them from being dug up.


I have turned my shed out, cleaned and oiled any tools I won’t be using over the winter; Dunked my canes in a bucket of bleach, left to dry before storing. Make sure there are no snails hiding in the watering can spouts and around under the rims. Our water will be turned off soon this month so make sure butts are full ready for use in the spring.


The G.A.H. & G. A. welcome Mr Alan Williams to give a talk on ‘A Year on the Allotment’ on Tuesday 19th November at 7. 30 pm at  HEDCA, Coombe Road, Gosport. All are very welcome, the usual light refreshments and a raffle will be held. Free to members and £1.00 to non-members.


13th I have taken delivery of a good load of well rotted manure which has filled my large compost bin. To give me something to use over the winter months for vegetable, kitchen waste etc., I have knocked down the old bin I used to store netting in and rebuilt it using as much of the old wood as I could to make a smaller compost bin; Only having had to purchase 3 lengths for the front section.





How quickly the year has gone, here we are December already but starting off on a bright but cold day it has been a pleasure to be able to continue with the maintenance of my plot. Several edgings need replacing and I have given the shed another coat of wood stain and added a simple wreath to give it some festive feel.



Continue to carry out any winter digging and clear away spent crops to the compost bin. Leave the ground roughly dug to allow the winter weather to break down the soil, bringing to the surface any slug and snail eggs, insects etc. for the birds to feed on. Winter pruning can be carried out now on apples and pears but leave any stone fruit to next summer now. When autumn raspberries are finished, cut canes to the ground; new ones will soon start to grow in the spring.


With the run up to Christmas the weather has changed to being very wet and windy. I have re-felted the shed roof


and when I can get on the plot I shall continue to do more repairs but in the meantime I think once again it leaves me to wish you all a very Happy and Peaceful Christmas. Look forward to being back on the plot in the New Year.