In search of the Rhizomatic

Sunflower on the Allotment Plot

16 July 2010 – A light weeding of the Allotment Plot is performed. The Marigolds are in full bloom. A question hangs in the air – whether or not to harvest any Kale Red Russian? Or to leave the leaves until they grow larger? The cut and come again method can prolong the harvest time. Perhaps the Carrots should also be thinned? Or not? They can be left to plump up perhaps, as part of the on going growing experiment? The same questions hang over the Leeks and Parsnips; to thin or not to thin? Ella Montt ponders the Plot. There is currently not much room to plant new seeds. There are no signs of madness staring into the face of a Sunflower.

Rainbow Chard harvested 6oz = 160 grams.

Red Russian Kale Sunflower

22 July 2010 – (Writing this at the Allotment Plot). Rain showers fell this morning; sun is now shining. At the Allotment Plot everything is growing slowly. The red-tinged Lettuce Marvel of the Four Seasons is bolting, so harvesting will commence. Brassicas are growing under the influence of Heavy Metal. In searching for the rhizomatic vegetable an experiment was attempted to sprout shoots known as slips from Sweet Potatoes. The Sweet Potatoes had been suspended in water for one week, but no shoots had appeared from the vegetable. At the Allotment Plot, a hole was dug for a Sweet Potato, which was then buried under the soil to see if that would result in the growth of slips. The Sweet Potato would be unearthed in a week’s time to check on any developments. Sweet Potatoes are a vegetable that grow in a vine like format which is a rhizomatic construction. The leaves of the plant grow above the soil and the shoots grow tubers under the soil whilst growing more slips in different directions which then grow more tubers. A Sweet Potato plant with the right temperature and growing conditions can grow to cover an entire area, which in a sense is truly rhizomatic.

Sweet Potato

Black Fly on the companion planting Pot Marigolds had Ladybirds in attendance. Cabbage White Butterflies fluttered by, fortunately and as yet, there are no signs of their Caterpillars. The season will follow soon. The hungry Caterpillars can be removed from Brassicas to companion planting to avoid total crop devastation. A few Fennel plants are appearing. Weeding action was suspended this week in order to attract more biodiversity. Rainbow Chard harvested = 4oz = 110grams. Marvel of the Four Seasons Lettuce harvested = 6oz = 160grams.

Blackfly and Ladybird

29 July 2010 – On arrival at the Allotment Plot there seemed to be no signs of any rhizomatic growth action by the Sweet Potato, in order to verify this claim, the buried Sweet Potato was unearthed. The Sweet Potato was starting to decompose under the soil, composting itself and not growing any slips. The Sweet Potato was covered again with soil; it will be checked again in a week or two’s time to confirm any results. In search of the rhizomatic, if the Sweet Potato fails to produce the desired slips, the experiment will continue in 2011 at the start of the growing season.

Weather conditions of the day were warm, humid and still very dry. The artist, acting as grower initiated weeding action. Different types of bees and insects were visiting the Plot. Cabbage White Butterflies were not deterred by the fading words on the Pigeon defense mechanisms Heavy Metal CDs. The words will need to reapplied. The Brassicas are growing, but could be attacked at any time by the hatching Caterpillars. Ella Montt continues weeding.

Green Tomatoes are forming and a Pepper. The Pot Marigolds continue to grow prolifically, enjoying the weather. Plants can prefer different types of soil, amounts of water, temperatures and weather conditions. Ella Montt acting as a grower planted more plants as potential rhizomes. Creeping Thyme and Strawberries plants that send out runners in different direction to form new sections of the extend plant.

Strawberry Plant


Both Kales Pentland Brig and Red Russian Curled are almost ready for cut and come again harvesting. A few purple Dwarf Beans Royalty 1.5oz = 40grams and climbing Blauhide Beans 2oz = 60grams were harvested, also some Marvel of the Four Seasons Lettuce 2oz = 60grams, some Rainbow Chard 5oz = 140grams and a yellow Courgette Soleil F1 2oz = 60grams. There are only male flowers on the other squashes so far.


Ella Montt dug two holes in order to plant the wooden legs of a sign carved a few days before in the studio. The sign is made from old wood the is recycled from the fixed up greenhouse. The letters of Ella Montt’s blog address were carved into the wood. The sign was planted and is now part of Ella Montt’s Allotment Plot.

Allotment Plot Sign