Visiting Allotments - Torquay

I’ve had the chance to visit some allotments that are well out of my normal territory this week.

This is the view from the allotment site where my parents have a plot – isn’t it spectacular!

What’s also spectacular is how far ahead the far west is of the far south east! My parents’ potatoes are at least three weeks ahead of ours, maybe a month.

Our outdoor carrots are not even showing through the soil yet, while my parents have a nice set of container-grown carrots making a strong display. Part of the reason they are so far ahead of us is climate generally: our last frost is usually three or four weeks after theirs, so that they can plant out much earlier, but also that they are on a headland specifically, as you can see from the photo, surrounded by a clement ocean, which means that they have more southerly winds and that the ambient temperature is a degree or so higher than it would be inland, as the moist salt air acts favourably to stop air frosts affecting the upper leaves of plants as often happens in the late spring and plants get 'nipped'.

The fruit trees are actually about the same point as fruit trees in Sussex, and it’s certainly an astonishing display of blossom this year – let’s hope it means a bumper harvest and not that we get lots of blossom and then all kinds of later problems with fruit drop etc.

I’m very glad to say that their greenhouse and ours look quite similar in terms of the state of the tomatoes, but there’s a big difference in what we grow after that – my parents are big fans of squashes, courgettes and pumpkins, while I am really a take-it-or-leave-it person where the squash family is concerned.
We are growing only one this year, kindly donated by an allotment committee member, but I shall probably give away the harvest (if we get any) unless I find a recipe that really pleases me. However, we do grow a lot of peppers – as many peppers as we can, and so our greenhouse is full of yellow and chocolate (colour, not flavour!) pepper plants.

What’s really interesting is that although Mum and Dad’s allotment site is managed by their local council, the land is actually leased from the church – I never fail to be amazed at how varied and complicated the allotment world is!

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Posted by The Allotment Blogger on Thursday, May 13, 2010


Blogger Joanna said...

Well we must be another month behind you at least here in Latvia. Small Russian tractors have been frantically ploughing, raking and ridging the allotment plots here this week and potatoes no doubt will be in this weekend. They are worth it though, Latvian potatoes are really tasty.

May 13, 2010 at 10:07 PM  
Anonymous Damo said...

Looks great, it would be good to have an extra few weeks onto the season although us southern gardeners can't complain too much!

May 14, 2010 at 1:09 AM  
Anonymous said...

well there are certainly some spectacular views and I have to admit that I wouldn't mind being able to get stuck in a little earlier....but at the same time maybe they get colder before we do so i guess it's swings and round-a-bouts in that sense.....what are the variety of peppers you grow that are chocolate?? Mine are always green!!

May 26, 2010 at 11:15 PM  

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