Diary: The start – April 2015

This is an old post slightly amended. I have decided to start a new thread of posts that will form an allotment diary. These will fall under the Allotment Diary tab in the header menu above. All posts following this one will be in the present day. Allotment Diary posts will be simple entries of our allotment activity for the week. In-depth articles and musing will be accommodated on the blog and categorised under more appropriate headings – RC

After work, I met the allotment secretary at the allotments.  I was surprised how short my time on the waiting list was and very excited. I previously managed an allotment with some friends before moving to a new house in a different part of the city. Life without an allotment was rather sad.

Surprisingly there was a choice of three plots. One a half plot and my ambitions allowed me to decline that one right away. I wanted a full-size allotment garden. One I can grow into and expand my empire of vegetables and fruit. I also wanted room for a shed and a greenhouse.  I settled on this one. Plot 66.

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The start – the new plot April 2015

The length of the plot is roughly 72 ft. It runs from where the point of this photo to the bare tree seen just behind the white plastic deck chair. The width is approximately 23 ft from the grass path on the left of the photo to the green plastic compost bin on the right.

Almost by accident, I discovered that the previous owners had run a central path up the plot. There was a weed suppressant fabric below a thick layer of grass and I managed to roll this up the plot revealing weed free soil underneath (see pic below).

As I cut back the overgrown couch grass and weeds I discovered existing bed frames that the previous owners had set out. I felt it might be useful to simply clear the weeds and use the existing beds in their current situation. Later I would discover this would be the wrong approach.

Despite a long hard fight with the weeds taking over the plot with a vengeance, I managed to grow some crops last year – huge yields of french beans (Cobra) and a sack full of butternut squash.

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By autumn of last year I had come to realisation that utilising the plot in this existing setup wasn’t going to work. The beds were not set out in the most useful way and most of the existing timber frames were rotten and falling apart. This winter has highlighted another significant problem – the plot has become very waterlogged.

I’d love to hear from you. I’m always grateful for any advice and guidance. Drop me a comment below or connect with me on Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest.

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