Dores Allotments

Allotment Vegetables

John's plot 2012

Here's a write-up of how things have fared during the first year of my allotment. The statuses are as of 10th September 2012.

I have added some updates on 4th November, These notes are in red.

I started digging by hand on 2nd January, just digging in the grass and weeds, and dug as much as I could, managed about 2/3s. Had a truck of muck from Angus which I then spread out and once the ground had started to dry out in the Spring I rotovated it. The rotovator struggled as the grass and weeds I'd dug in still stayed in heavy clumps in the ground. In retrospect I should have sprayed the whole plot with weed killer the previous year, especially as the weeds, particularly the butter-cup have been a real problem this year.

The other 1/3 I sprayed in the summer and is ready for digging over in the winter. I will rotovate the whole plot in the Spring. Here is what I grew:-

Gooseberry: Status=Growing

Planted them this year, hope to get my first crop in 2013. Bushes are growing well so far.

Asparagus: Status=Growing

Planted this year for a first crop in 2013. Plants are pretty small, fear it may be too cold for them, will see how they do next year.

Onions: Status=Cropping

Very pleased with these, leaving in the ground as long as I dare, they'll need drying out before storing. Planted 3 rows of sets, most have grown. bit of a problem with slugs.

All the onions are now harvested and drying well in a shelter, ready for storing. They have a good strong flavour.

Red Onions:

Planted from sets. Very poor crop, but my fault. I planted them in a dip and the red cabbages grew up quickly covering them, so I don't think they got enough light. A few have grown, will try again next year.

Red Cabbage:

Never managed to grow these before, have done incredibly well. Huge cabbages. Have made chutney to try and use them up, will try and store a few in the garage too.

I am still cropping these, so far they seem to be surviving the cold and wet. Beautiful big heads.

Early Cabbage:

Doing very well, hope to have some cabbages ready in the next couple of weeks. I did plant them a bit close together, will give them more space next year.

These are cropping so well at the moment that I've not even starting picking the late/winter cabbages.


Grown for flowers, thought it might be too cold for them, but they've done incredibly well. Been picking bunches of flowers for weeks. Will grow these and other flowers on my plot next year, a type of sunflower definitely.

Finished now, the recent frosts have killed them off, a definite for next year.


Growing, but they look a bit small. Have been a bit swamped by other things. Also I think I grew too many seeds in a pot and as a result the plants didn't grow big enough before I planted them out.

Not sure if they'll fatten up enough before the cold weather sets in.

Courgettes (Patti Pan):

Grew from seed in the greenhouse and then planted out when reasonable size. Started them late, but they have done incredibly well. Hope to continue cropping until the frosts.

Amazing crop, but plants killed by frost now.

Sweet Corn (Mini Pop):

These are the mini corns often used in stir-fry dishes. An experiment, but have done very well, although they are big plants for a small crop. Not sure if I'd grow them again.

In the end these cropped really well and they were delicious, so a definite for next year.

Late Cabbage:

These are huge, should keep us in cabbage right through the winter. Problem at the moment with caterpillars, so having to check them daily.


Disaster. Planted two rows early in the year from different packets, had about 5 plants in total. Re-seeded one of the rows and it's doing better, hope to crop late in the autumn.

I think it was a mixture of a cold, wet Spring and the ground being too rich for them.

These are now cropping really well, they are quite small but they taste delicious.


Grown two rows, one of Pablo and one of Boltardy. Both done incredibly well, been giving them away. Been cropping Pablo, will keep the Boltardy for later in the year.

Still using Pablo, not even started on Boltardy which are now the size of baseballs.


The idea is I'm growing from seed on the allotment, and then later in the autumn when the summer bedding is finished I will transfer them to the garden for flowering next Spring.

Doing reasonable well, although they suffered a bit from being swamped by my spinach, see below.

In the end they've done reasonably well, considering how cramped they were, transferred into the garden today.

Perpetual Spinach:

Grew and then immediately bolted. Had a couple of crops, but I think the ground might have been too rich for them. Will try again next year.

Broad Beans:

Some plants did reasonably well and had a few croppings, but they suffered from two problems.

  • Slugs loved the plants when they were small.
  • I grew them in the greenhouse from seed and then planted them out, but I didn't harden them off enough and we had very windy weather after they were planted and they took a bit of a battering. Will try again next year. If I can get the ground ready in time I might try a row of seeds in the ground in early Spring.

Status=Cropped and stored

Pentland Crown and something else (lost the label).

Pentland Crown I have dug, very good crop, but a third of tubers have been attacked by slugs. Haven't dug the other lot yet.

Will try a slug resistant variety next year like Desiree.

A really good crop of both varieties, despite the slugs. Seem to be storing well too.


Planted a row of "misted tip" plants in August. They should crop next year, we'll see.

Spring Onions.

I read in a book that if you plant "White Lisbon" in early September you should have a crop of salad onions in the Spring. Not sure if they're hardy enough for the Highland winter, we'll see.


In Summary

Overall been very pleased with how things have gone. Slugs have been a real problem and so have the weeds. Will try and spray the plot with weed killer in the spring once the weeds get going and I need to leave more space between my rows so I can weed easier. I also need to be a bit more proactive with the slug pellets.



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