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We've been offered an allotment!!!

(75 Posts)
HarrietJones Thu 14-Jul-11 12:00:05

only been waiting 18months too. Haven't been to see it yet but did pass it yesterday & commented to dh on it being abandoned. 300square metres of weeds is ours!

Going to have a quick look later but we have accepted already as they don't give you long & theyre only open until 12

TobyLerone Thu 14-Jul-11 12:00:48

Lucky!

tigana Thu 14-Jul-11 12:05:54

envy

tigana Thu 14-Jul-11 12:07:13

we've been on list for about 4 years!! The council are running a validation on the list to get rid of any people who are no longer interested...maybe the 7 people infront of us will have given up??? [hopeful]

MoreBeta Thu 14-Jul-11 12:16:21

Oh how fantastic! I'm really envious. Enjoy it.

An industrial strength strimmer and rotavator might come in handy to begin with. grin

Riveninside Thu 14-Jul-11 12:17:35

Enjoy it. We have just lost ours for having a bad year when i was ill. So they have taken it away sad

HarrietJones Thu 14-Jul-11 12:22:45

It's not the nearest plot to us but not far from the kids school. Apparently it takes death to get people of the ones by us!

DoesBuggerAll Thu 14-Jul-11 12:25:47

Don't rotavate it. You'll end up chopping up all the couch grass roots into little bits and it'll grow back tenfold. The only way is do thorough dig it out, pulling up all the roots by hand. Concentrate your efforts on one patch at a time. Cover the rest or just keep it closely strimmed whilst you are slowly clearing the plot.

TheReturnoftheSmartArse Thu 14-Jul-11 12:39:27

Got ours last year - and rotovated it! Possibly a mistake - not sure. It's a double plot and I just couldn't see how we'd ever get anything going if we didn't completely clear it first, and I didn't want to get disheartened berore we'd even started growing anything.

Certainly, the weeds are a problem. BuggerAll is undoubtedly right, although my biggest problems are bind weed and mare's tail. We have 16 raised beds and this is our first year of growing anything in them. The weeding takes me about 4 hours a week but over the winter I'm going to cover it all with black plastic to try to kill off what's there before starting again next year. And I might use some of that keep-the-weeds-down membrane (not sure of the technical term!) in some of the beds next year to see if that makes a difference.

Potatoes have been a doddle and we're really enjoying those.
I didn't do enough carrots but know to do many many more next year.
Courgettes are coming out of our ears.
Pumpkin and squash are coming along nicely.
Strawberries were wonderful - I'll do more next year although I had a problem with the straw I put under them growing into actual, real grass, rather than staying straw-like!
I won't do onions next year - I'll do shallots instead.
I'll do many more beans and protect the peas with mesh because they've been nobbled by pea moth, which I didn't know about.
Lettuce has been a bit pointless because we don't eat it enough.
Perpetual spinach went to seed so I pulled it up.
Jerusalem Artichokes coming along nicely.
Cucumbers nearly ready, tomatoes flowering nicely (was probably a bit late putting those in).
Raspberries - disaster. A fox keeps digging them up. But I'll protect them better next year. Gooseberries likewise.
Rhubarb - brilliant and we can't get enough of it!
Asparagus - takes ages to grow so I certainly wasn't expecting anything this year but of the 6 plants I put in only 3 have survived. Not entirely sure why but I had to move them twice as DS (6) had planted them for me, not terribly well ...

I've grown pretty much everything from seed in those bio-degradable pots under the dining room table, but I don't think I'll bother with those again next year. I might even just use a load of disposable plastic cups with the bottoms cut out and take the plant out completely when it goes into its permanent home.

Sorry - I have waffled rather. But you'll gather from the length of my post that I love it!

NearlyHeadlessnickelbabe Thu 14-Jul-11 12:44:41

agree don't rotavate it!
use a fork and a spade and dig the weeds out by hand!
It does take longer, but believe me, it'll save you so much time over the next years with repetitive weeding!

all the rotavator does is split the roots and dig them back in - the quickest way to propagate weeds like couch grass (and other similar weeds, including docks and bindweed, and ground hazel) is to chop up the roots (shame it's not so easy for plants we want!! hmm )

NearlyHeadlessnickelbabe Thu 14-Jul-11 12:46:27

Return - good luck with the black plastic - permanent weeds like the ones mentioned tend to grow underneath the black plastic until they find light and then grow as normal!
we had really thick black plastic over an area of 5m x 5ms, and when we lifted it, there were millions of white shoots spread all under it, and lovely green leaves around the edges! shock

TheReturnoftheSmartArse Thu 14-Jul-11 12:49:16

Ah. Thanks for that Headless. Perhaps I'll have a rethink. Or spray the whole damn lot with chemicals!

Actually, I've worked so hard to keep the weeds at bay this year that I think I have made a difference and it is certainly less work than it was 3 or 4 months ago, so perhaps I'll just keep at it.

HarrietJones Thu 14-Jul-11 12:58:58

Think we are going to cover it all & open up bits as we go along. We grow a lot in the garden so the allotment will be for spuds, leeks, shallots etc. We never have any luck with shallots at home.

We've spare raspberry canes & strawberries which may go there rather than given away but it will mainly be the less intensive veg IYSWIM ( stuff that doesn't need picking every day)

HarrietJones Thu 14-Jul-11 12:59:51

Need to weigh ip the water situation.

TheReturnoftheSmartArse Thu 14-Jul-11 13:02:38

DH rigged up the biggest water butt he could find, on stilts. He has put porous pipes in a u-shape in all the beds and connected it to said water butt, which he fills every week, sometimes twice. The whole lot is on a timer so the beds get watered for 20 minutes every day via their porous pipe. Voila!

[Disclaimer: this project has been one of the most expensive I have ever undertaken!!]

ProfYaffle Thu 14-Jul-11 13:04:59

I would highly recommend getting a wheeled push hoe. Once you've dug or rotavated it you can hoe the whole lot with a wheel hoe in about 40 minutes. Do that once a fortnight and you'll really keep the weeds under control. Also Google 'lazy beds' which is a system of covering beds with layers of manure/straw/newspaper for a year or so, it smothers the weeds and nourishes the soil at the same time.

ProfYaffle Thu 14-Jul-11 13:07:35

Someone on our allotment site uses a similar system to SmartArse but it's not on a timer and uses normal sizes water butts. He just fills up the water butt every evening (or less, depending on the weather) and leaves it to leak out over night.

We don't have running water on one of our sites and it's OK, not as bad as I first thought.

IroningBoardForSurfBoard Thu 14-Jul-11 13:13:25

just a word about weedkiller and mares/horse tail.

it won't touch it, the bastard stuff grows on and on. it's a prehistoric plant, been about for millions of years and no-one yet has found an effective method of killing it. the best you can do is use a sharp hoe and chop the shoots off just under the soil level, hopefully you will be able to choke it out.

pity you can't eat it, huh?

good luck with the rest of the plot, we're enjoying lots of new potatoes right now, the beetroot spits is revolting great according to DH, i haven't bought lettuce in weeks! carrots should be ready in a week or two also smile

HarrietJones Thu 14-Jul-11 13:39:32

We have carrots in tubs in the garden. Latest one had carrot fly though. Never had it before sad but it's only one tub so far.

We are waiting on our second phase rocket at the moment.

IroningBoardForSurfBoard Thu 14-Jul-11 13:41:27

planting onions and other taller leafed plants inbetween carrots can help keep carrot root fly away wink

HarrietJones Thu 14-Jul-11 13:53:28

We have them intubs on the wall. So tubs are about 18 inches + wall. It's always been safe! Garden is full of smelly stuff too.

IroningBoardForSurfBoard Thu 14-Jul-11 13:56:08

ah, i thought it was the flies had to hover a minimum distance above the carrots to be able to 'smell' them - hence the height being significant blush

GnomeDePlume Thu 14-Jul-11 14:02:16

Congratulations!

Horses/Mares tail is determined but if you have it the only thing to do is keep weeding it and eventually it will take the hint.

I have used a mix of hand weeding, covering and weedkiller. Before anyone comes on about resydoos, not all weedkillers leave them, do your research. Now in my third season and the weeds are more controllable.

You are still in time to plant a number of things. I am getting ready to put my second crop/Christmas potatoes in. Plant lots of different things and work out what you like and grow that.

Have a lovely time!

TheReturnoftheSmartArse Thu 14-Jul-11 14:13:40

Yaffle, any idea where I might be able to get a wheeled push hoe? It sounds genius! I've had a google but can only find forums about them.

ProfYaffle Thu 14-Jul-11 14:29:20

Aha! A chance to link to my blog! which contains a link to the Ebay shop where I bought mine. smile

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