Diary: Progress, planning and paths

Thursday – 18 February 2016

The weather over the winter has been incredibly frustrating. There were long periods of time of being unable to get to the allotment because of the amount of rain we had. When the rain took a break it’s was impossible to do anything because the plot was flooded.


The allotment –  January 2016


However, a brief dry spell over the past month allowed progress to be made. I spent much of the time digging out paths and raising the beds. This is the only way to manage the allotment due to the frequent flooding that occurs here during the winter. It’s hard work but it pays off for future winters.


We are lucky that local tree surgeons provide us with mountains of wood chips. With a delivery recently I was able to empty many a wheel barrow of wood chips into the dug out paths.

Progress at last. These beds will be ready for me to sow and plant come the spring. Its only a small area of my entire allotment, but it’s something!

I have potatoes chitting at home and they will take up two of the beds. I will use another bed for some french beans and another for a selection of root vegetables. The square bed on the top left already has two rows of garlic in it and I plan to plant some onion sets next month for a nice crop later in the summer.

How is your allotment or kitchen gardening coming along? I’d love to hear from you. I’m always grateful for any advice, tips and guidance. Drop me a comment below and connect with me on TwitterFacebookInstagram and Pinterest.

7 thoughts on “Diary: Progress, planning and paths

  1. Hi, you are so right about taking your time at the start of taking on an allotment plot. I have seen far too many people who go at it like a bull at a gate, trying to get the plot dug over and planted in the shortest time possible. As you say they either burn themselves out or damage their body and end up getting despondent and giving up.
    Also a lot of people are so conditioned by tradition to have to dig over the whole plot, they cannot get the concept of ‘no dig’ methods as advocated by Charles Dowding. Okay, initially you may need to dig the pernicious weeds out, but in the meantime you can cover areas with thick cardboard or plastic to get rid of the light that every plant needs and you would be surprised at what a difference it makes.
    Well done on the progress you are making despite the wet weather, you WILL get there and will have a great season of crops I’m sure. Jeanette

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Great advice here, biting off a bit at a time and enjoying time planting and harvesting.
    The enjoyment that people rave about, once hooked, only becomes realised when we take time to enjoy the journey through the seasons and the results that only time and our own labour can give us. In an age of instant gratification, this slowing down and enjoying moments of pure creativity is the secret.
    We don’t ‘own’ allotments either. They can be taken away, or flooded, or we get a job somewhere else and have to start from scratch or give it up for a while.
    The experience and skills stay with us though, and the love of the doing it stays with us forever.
    Phew, philosophical!
    On a practical note! I’d highly recommend covering the undug parts with cardboard or black plastic, or preferably both! And read up on “no dig” method. I’ve been using that since 2002 and highly recommend…
    Charles Dowding’s blog and books on it are excellent 🙂

    PSJust read the above post and see this is already recommended! Will leave in


    1. Thanks so much Judy. I couldn’t agree more with your philosophical musings. I want people to take their time with a new allotment. I’ve been suckered into the feeling of trying to attack the whole plot before and it just ends in wipe out. The buzz of getting crops at harvest time is such a huge motivator. That’s why I recommend new plot holders clear a bit and then grow something. It really worked for me last year.

      I will look into the no dig method. I might trial different approach on the plot next season. Thanks for the advice.


  3. I have literally today put my name on the list for an allotment in my area 18 month waiting time!) and I cannot wait to get hold of one and start my journey. This is a really insightful blog which reminds me to take things one step at a time (when I finally get one!)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hello. Thanks very much for your kind comment. I really am happy my blog is useful. I’m very glad to hear you have put your name down on the waiting list. I hope a plot becomes available for you as soon as possible. Keep checking in with secretary. Looking forward to keeping in touch with you and gearing how you are doing.

      Liked by 1 person

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