Garden And Gardener

Everything for the Gardener and their Garden

The Big Allotment Challenge review

by Diane - January 4th, 2015.
Filed under: TV.

They start with 125m2 space of clear ground. Heated greenhouse.
Watch here on iplayer

joJo works in financial sector.
Alexander has only had a garden for 2 years
Lena decorartor, lives on boat
Rob long haul cabin crew job. 1 1/2 allotments in Sheffield.
Matt engineer student, 21 had allotment since 13.
Sandra growing for over 30 years. “The flower lady”
Tony semi-retired school teacher.
Alan has marketing company. Rows and runs.
Rekha no experience with flowers. Company director. Grows to feed family on allotment.


New potatoes.
From seed potatoes, chitting early in year. In tray in light and frost free.
4-6 weeks ready to plant. End of April.
Trnches 45cm deep lined with compost or shredded newspaper.
Take off all but 2 shoots.
Water well.
Earth them up. Cover stems with soil jsut leaving tops.
Conitune earthing up.
Harvest when flowers fully open.

Rob uses comfrey as mulch on top of them,
Scab bacterial disease caused by alkaline soil and dry conditions.
Problems – too close together so can’t earth up.
Blackleg can wipe out crop.
Rats can damage potatoes chewing them.

Pick 5 perfectly even sized new potatoes.
Uniformity important. Clean, clear skinned, free from blemishes and any eyes shallow.

Rekha – maris piper
Lena – Casablanca
Jojo Casablanca
Alexandra Rubess
Tony – Nicola
Alan – Charlotte
Rob – Arran Pilot
Matt – Pentland Javelin
Sandra – Pentland Javelin

Award – JoJo.

Flower growing and arranging ability challenge.
3 perfect zinnia stems
Floral basket. Needs balance of flowers and foliage. Wants them to use chicken wire as base structure. Must not see it at end.

Grow zinnia – wait until last frost over before sow seed directly in well drained sunny area. Water well but not too much. Lay gravel around seedlings as they apepar. Thin out. Until they are 30cm apart to prevent overcrowding.
Feed weekly. Either tomato feed or seaweed.
Keep picking them to stop them seeding.

If sow in seed trays they need pricking out. Lena uses a spoon.
Matt late sowing.
Slug damage can be a problem.
Botrytis fungal disease due to wet conditions.
They need sunshine to open the buds.

Wire must be secured, but not pierce the waterproof plastic in basket.
foliage first 75% of basket
Flowers need clean stems to avoid leaves rotting in water.
Zinnias added last, to be focal point.
Must look good from all angles.
Cut long stems so you can trim (can trim but not extend stems)
Open, semi and closed flowers.
Should feel secure when held.

Sandra Zahara Double Mix
JoJo Giant Dahlia mix
MAtt – no zinnia in flower
Alan – Magallen
Lena – Faberge
Tony Giant Double Mix
Alexandra Bright Spark
Rob Zahara Double Duo
Rekha Zaraha

Award – Rob best in show

Eat Challenge
2 sauces suitable to accompany as a Sunday roast. one must be a mustard.
Serve with the new potatoes you put in first challenge.

heat, has to be controlled, balanced,
Mustards seeds need to be soaked to make it easier to crush skins.
Alexandra – Roman mustard and Fennel mayonnaise sauce
Lena – Kohl Rabi Mustard and Apple and rhubarb sauce
Alan Sunday paper mustard and that’s shallot sauce
Sandra Dill and honey mustard, Picante berry
(both had stuff from not plot)
JoJo – beetroot and vietnamese mustard, Pepper sauce
Matt – Blossomed mustard and white onion sauce
Rob Herb mustards and chimichiry sauce
Rekha Simple mustard and onion sauce
Tony old gold mustard sauce and bread and onion sauce

Best in show – Lena

Who is going home?
Matt – the youngest contestant ever.

I thought it was obvious Matt should be the one to go home. Failing to start the zinnia seeds in time was a huge mistake. His idea about putting things in a cardboard box to stop the light seemed a bit crazy too. His spuds didn’t look really tiny but the judge saying he’d seen bigger quail eggs meant he wasn’t impressed with them.