Friday 29 January 2016

A Year on the Allotment: January 2016

Do you know that old song "January" by Pilot? I have it stuck in my head on a permanent loop. Mainly thanks to the fact Mr. M walks around the house singing it: "January, sick and tired you've been hanging on me". And that pretty much sums up January, it hangs on you, like a grey coat you can't wait to shake off. As far as the allotment goes, January is a grim month.
exploring nature on our allotment, child holds an empty snail shell in january, bug hunt, childhood unplugged
I'm not going to lie, we're mainly fair-weather visitors to our plot. Some hardy souls have dug over and fully prepared their plots by now. We're not in that league. This January has been mainly damp and mild, so we haven't had those crisp, sunny but cold days to get out and about. Yep, January, you've been hanging on me that's for sure.
We took a walk down the allotment last week on a grey Sunday afternoon. Sometimes you just have to get out whatever the weather is doing. The allotment is in a sorry state. The battered old shed is leaning more that the Tower of Pisa, the grass has crept in and taken hold again, our purple sprouting broccoli looks moth-eaten and it's all a bit dank to be honest.
But in the spirit of optimism and looking forward, I've tried to think of some positives:
1) January is nearly over. Spring is getting closer.
2) It's 8 weeks until the clocks go forward and we get lighter evenings again. That means some precious after-school time on the plot with Magoo.
3) February means digging and preparing the plot. It's pretty cathartic, sloughing off the Winter drabness and turning over fresh soil ready for Spring seedlings.
4) This is a good time to give the plot an overhaul. Mr. M wants to make some raised beds out of recycled wood and we probably need to pull the sorry-looking shed down.
5) Magoo found a pretty, empty snail shell. Which is exactly how I like my snail shells - vacant. Slimy things.
6) Pleasantly surprised the leeks are still growing. They looked liked chives when we put them in, so didn't really expect them to cling on.
7) It's soon time to start planting some seeds. One of my favourite gardening activities.
8) We always try to grow something new each year. So we'll have to think about the crop we'd like to try in 2016.
9) My Mum has started to chit some potatoes already. Eating new potatoes that have only been out of the ground a short while is one of Summer's best foodie treats.
10) Did I mention Spring is nearly here?

If you've got an allotment, you might want to see some of the jobs The National Allotment Society suggest you do in January. It doesn't mention sitting on the sofa, eating chocolate and looking at seed catalogues...but it should do.
And if you've never heard the Pilot song, here it is. Think of it as my gift to you!
I am linking up with the beautiful "How Does Your Garden Grow" #HDYGG over on

Mammsaurus HDYGG
"The List" over on and
"Country Kids" over on
"Happy Days Linky" over on and
"The Mad Midweek Blog Hop" over on
"Share With Me" over on
"Whatever the Weather" over on and


Unknown said...

I like Winter but once it's January we're the wrong side of Christmas and I want Spring to arrive so I can get out in the garden. We really need to spend some proper time at the allotment but the weather has been so awful lately. Growing something new every year is a good plan.

Bear and Cardigan said...

It's so difficult to get out when the days are so short and wet. I just can't wait for Spring and a littlevsunshine

Would Like To Be a Yummy Mummy said...

Home grown fruit & veggies taste so much better. We've only grown tomatoes but family members grow alsorts. Good luck 😀

Coombe Mill - Fiona said...

I'm rather pleased to see the nights drawing out and February almost here too, though looking back as you say January has it's upsides and for us it is a very busy booking month for holidays. I look forward to seeing your winter planting start to show it's hand over the next few months. Thank you for joining me for #CountryKids

Sanna P said...

This looks like it would be such a lovely thing to do with kids! My grandparents had an allotment, and spent a lot of time there, and another set of grandparents had a summer cottage with an allotment, and we frequently got potatoes and carrots and all kinds of other things to eat from there. It's a great activity for kids too planting and digging and all :) #countrykids

Louise said...

Only 8 weeks until the clocks go forward - that sounds good to me! Empty snail shells are pretty - I'm not keen on occupied ones either! Good luck with deciding on your crops for 2016 and getting the allotment dug over - reminds me I really should try and get out and do some work in the garden before spring!

Louise said...

8 weeks until the clocks go forward sounds good to me - I always feel January is a bit of a drab month. Empty snail shells are pretty - I'm not keen on occupied ones either! Good luck with choosing your crops for 2016 (glad the leeks are hanging in there!) and with getting the allotment dug over ready for spring.

Sian - Quite Frankly She Said said...

I am going to be reading your allotment posts with interest as I want to do some fruit/veg growing in my garden this year. Last year I was way too late in getting myself organised so if I follow you then I'm on to a winner right?! :) Thanks for linking up to #HappyDaysLinky x

Anonymous said...

Spring cannot come soon enough I say, totally agree with you, roll on.
8 weeks and counting!
There's nothing motivational about rain and cold to get me out in the garden ha ha.
Thanks for joining in pickle!

chickenruby said...

so looking forward to the clocks in the uk going forward an hour, will make it so uch easier to keep in touch with family and friends with only a 3 hour time difference, have you decided what 'new' crop you'll be growing this year?

Stephanie 139a said...

Yay to spring being nearly here! We've been to our allotment exactly twice this month - once on the first to survey and clear our heads and then yesterday when we cut a cabbage. We've lots more to do though, so soon we'll need to crack on! #hdygg

Me, You and Magoo said...

Would love to hear some new crop suggestions...what's worked for you and what hasn't! I was thinking of maybe trying some new beans. I've never grown Berloti beans and I heard Monty Don raving about them last year. Someone told me that Tomatillos are easy to grow too. But not sure I can handle eating green tomato-like crops, they need to be red!

A Green and Rosie Life said...

I love your positive list and as the sun is out today I am just about to head out to my veg patch to try and do some catching up.

Unknown said...

i'v enjoyed this winter but i think mainly because it's my first in well over a decade. i miss green. and flowers

Happy Homebird said...

I am exactly the same, February is going to be a lot of digging at the plot.

Tubbs said...

Enjoy the time in the allotment! Eating stuff you've grown yourself must be really special

Unknown said...

I wish I had an allotment.. although like you I'd probably not do much in January! Roll on Spring!

Katy (What Katy Said) said...

I would definitely be a fair weather visitor too. I am not one for wet or cold weather!
Thanks for joining in #HappyDaysLinky x

Steph said...

It must be so lovely to see everything growing that you planted yourself. I cannot wait for spring this year, it has been a rather wet and muddy winter.

Unknown said...

Glad to know it's not just me who hasn't started doing anything on the allotment. I really want to start digging over, but the weather has been awful and we haven't had time to get down yet. If this week is ok weather wise, I'll take the boys down and start digging, just have to lug the spade the 3 miles the too! Hope I don't look to dodgy walking along with two kids and a heavy spade! Will have a look at the link thank you, although I imagine we're probably a month or so behind with frost dates, so have to wait a while longer for planting some things. Your allotment looks great, the leeks are fab, we have some in the garden, but don't look as good!
Thanks so much for linking up to #Whatevertheweather :) x

Unknown said...

I can't wait for spring either and those crisp, cold but sunny days. I agree, January has been lingering. It'll be so refreshing to get back onto your allotment and start growing for the year. I can't wait to see what you produce this year. Thank you so much for sharing with #whatevertheweather xx

Let's Talk Mommy said...

I am the same roll on spring so I can get in my garden and fix everything that winter and this rain has trashed. Bless. I long for sunny brighter days too. Feels like its been dark longer than normal this year. Can't wait to see what you come up with this year. Thanks for linking up to Share With Me. #sharewithme

Super Busy Mum said...

Having an allotment sounds like a great thing to have. Somewhere to go, hang out, grow amazing things for the family. I love the idea - it's just a shame I can barely grow a planet nevermind fruit & vegetables! lol Thanks so much for linking up with #MMWBH


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