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Thread: New overgrown allotment - winter preparation

  1. #1
    yogi_gardener is offline Germinator
    Join Date
    Dec 2019
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    Default New overgrown allotment - winter preparation

    Hi everyone!
    I am just about to embark on my first ever allotment project. I'm very excited but a little apprehensive as the plot is pretty big and overgrown... I don't have any photos yet as I'm waiting for final confirmation from the council but the plot is about 14m x 4m and is mainly overgrown with grass (from what I could tell). I will mostly be working it by myself but my partner has said that he will help out with the initial hard grafting.

    I've been reading lots about no dig, covering the plot, etc which all sound great. I don't think I will be able to get hold of any large quantities of manure as it looks like the allotment already had a delivery recently. So I was thinking of the following approach, and would appreciate any feedback or improvements on it (especially given it's winter and a pretty big plot).

    1. Strim all the grass as closely as possible to the earth
    2. Cover the plot with cardboard (all of it or leave a small part to start working?)
    3. Cover the cardboard with black plastic (as above)
    4. Wait....?
    5. Try and get hold of manure and add as and when

    Does this sound right? I would like to start growing a few things ASAP, even if just a few potatoes and onions, but is that unrealistic?

    Thank you so much!

  2. #2
    veggiechicken's Avatar
    veggiechicken is offline Gardening Guru
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    Hi and welcome to the Vine.
    A couple of thoughts for you:

    Don't strim until you know what's growing there. Have a good look at the plot first, looking for rhubarb, fruit bushes, herbs, maybe the remains of veg. Long grass can cover a multitude of useful things - laid out beds, paths, compost heaps.........

    You don't need to cover cardboard with plastic, just weight down the cardboard with something heavy - like rocks, wood, buckets of water.

    Clear a small area, buy some onion sets and stick'em in now. You can watch them grow while you clear the rest of the plot.

    Above all, enjoy it.
    Snadger, nickdub and Can the Man like this.
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  3. #3
    Logunner is offline Sprouter
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    Aug 2018
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    Hi and welcome.

    As VC says, no need for the plastic, but I would strim and cover now. Any ‘hard’ paths already laid will be evident once you strim

    Above all enjoy it
    Snadger and Can the Man like this.

  4. #4
    Mr Bones's Avatar
    Mr Bones is offline Early Fruiter
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    Nottingham
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    Hi Yogi. Congratulations on getting your allotment and welcome to the vine
    Snadger and Can the Man like this.

  5. #5
    Can the Man is offline Rooter
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    Jul 2019
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    Hi Yogi, welcome to the vine and congratulations on your allotment. Good advice there from the experts already. From me I would add get some January king or similar winter cabbage plants and get that in, when it’s grown pulling it helps break up the soil, and the roots can be shredded and added to your composter.

  6. #6
    Can the Man is offline Rooter
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    BTW Yogi you won’t be able to post photos until you have about 20 posts made.

  7. #7
    muckdiva's Avatar
    muckdiva is offline Cropper
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    Welcome Yogi, and good luck with your new allotment!
    Can the Man likes this.
    All at once I hear your voice
    And time just slips away
    Bonnie Raitt

  8. #8
    greenishfing's Avatar
    greenishfing is offline Cropper
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    yorkshire
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    Hi. Good luck. If you have got enough enthusiasm and energy you will succeed. Yes I agree. First job find out what you've got and decide if you want to keep it. If you have got either bindweed or couch grass you really need to get rid of it somehow. We took years to totally (nearly) get rid of ours as I refused to use poisons ( herbicide) with the theory that if you use poison you might as well buy supermarket vegetables and fruit.
    veggiechicken and Can the Man like this.

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