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Now that the climate has improved barely, the allotments in Edinburgh are starting to indicate a little bit extra life! In flip, it’s meant that I’ve been busy pulling up weeds, constructing protecting fences, and worrying if the inexperienced home could possibly be too sizzling or too chilly! However I do know that it’s all nonetheless a really steep studying curve…

Final 12 months I used to be fortunate sufficient to be invited to share an allotment house in Edinburgh with a superb good friend of mine. After being on the ready listing for round eight years, she had been given an apprentice mattress at Inverleith Park – a vastly coveted house. Figuring out that I had additionally been within the listing for some years – she very kindly provided to share.

I’ve to be trustworthy that regardless of each having mother and father who had grown meals – neither of us can remotely be deemed specialists. For the primary 12 months our methodology might positively be summed up by the phrase ‘plant it and pray!’ Though we’re persevering with to be taught, we’ve picked up rather a lot about rising crops in Edinburgh – so I assumed I’d share eight straightforward to develop vegetables and fruit.

We’ve at all times bought the youngsters concerned so all of those choices are good for newbie gardeners or for rising with youngsters. I don’t know if these are the issues the ‘specialists’ would advise or whether or not our strategies are wise however these are the issues we’ve discovered to work!

Spinach

That is the one factor I grew final 12 months that offered a number of meals every week. I purchased a range known as Spinach Perpetual Seeds from Homebase in Craigleith and simply sprinkled them in a line earlier than masking with a little bit little bit of soil. My good friend and I known as it a ‘reduce and are available once more’ plant as irrespective of how a lot we hacked at it, it simply appeared to develop once more inside a few days. If deserted for too lengthy, the leaves grew to become the sort you’d wish to stew moderately than have in salads – so at that time we usually would simply dig up and replant. This could additionally work properly in a pot on a patio or balcony!

When to plant – late Spring and all by means of summer season (though we’ve caught some in late March this 12 months to see what’s going to occur!)

Potatoes

We efficiently produced a pleasant crop of latest potatoes final 12 months however admittedly would’ve appreciated to supply a couple of extra! After nosing round different allotments at Inverleith we factor that we actually wanted to pile up the soil rather a lot increased. Some individuals grew theirs in a barrel with a flap on the facet for harvesting – so these are completely doable even in a small patio backyard.

When to plant – late March or early April. Final 12 months we have been additionally fairly late in getting them out which can have additionally attributed to the small crop.

Strawberries

Though we needed to be cautious to fence and put nets over our strawberries – these have been an unmitigated success. Strawberries actually do appear to take care of themselves and apparently regrow for a minimum of Three years. Now we have all kinds in one in all our beds, however I’ve additionally grown them for about Four years at dwelling in a pot. I assumed my crop was moderately missing final 12 months earlier than noticing that Thomas was consuming them straight off the plant!

When to plant – mid Spring for fruit to look by means of summer season.

Rhubarb

I completely adore Rhubarb crumble, Rhubarb and custard, and even simply Rhubarb compote combined with yoghurt. However it’s costly – Sainsburies at Craighleith had very spindly specimens for a £2.70 a bunch. Distinction this with the fats stalks I pulled from a pot in my backyard and I used to be feeling smug. We had been nervous that rhubarb could be one thing that spreads – however after a spying mission at Inverleith we’ve braved placing some in one in all our beds. While I’d be pleased with tons of rhubarb – it’s good to have a greater diversity!

When to plant – Autumn is ok for respectable stalks to begin showing in Early Spring.

Courgettes

One of many different issues that grew properly in Edinburgh final 12 months was courgettes. I used to be shocked as imagined they would wish extra warmth – however what they did want was house. One of many different allotment homeowners defined that by digging a wee pit for the courgette crops, you possibly can then give them an honest quantity of water. This clearly in flip means they’re fairly glad! Final 12 months we bought an honest crop all through the summer season, earlier than abandoning it for a bit to see if we’d then get any marrow sort issues. The reply is sure – and they’re scrumptious full of bacon. This 12 months I’m going to additionally attempt rising one in a really giant pot – that when held a Christmas tree – on our terrace. However proper now, I’ve bought two little seedling at the moment cultivating on my kitchen window sill – plant and pray and all that!

When to plant – mid to late Could.

Radishes

Lastly, one of many issues we grew with success final 12 months have been radishes. We discovered the one factor we might do improper was to permit them to be too shut collectively. That simply resulted in a couple of being a little bit small so not the worst factor on the earth! They’re scrumptious uncooked in a salad but in addition fairly epic fried in butter and garlic. This 12 months, each my good friend and I are rising them in pots on our patios at dwelling. This fashion we are able to resew some seeds each 3-Four weeks and have a extra steady crop – a minimum of that’s the plan!

When to plant: early April by means of to finish of summer season.

In case you are an allotment professional or eager gardener – please do share your ideas! Or you probably have any questions on proudly owning an allotment in Edinburgh – ask away within the feedback under!