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Thread: Planning a new allotment site by newbie

  1. #17
    Squingy is offline Sprouter
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    Quote Originally Posted by Selymbria View Post
    Hi all,

    - Are the things I planned compatible i.e. how would you have allocated the space to these veg?
    - What do you suggest I fill the beds with? I was advised to get mushroom compost.
    Cheers,
    Sel
    Hi Selymbria,
    Congrats and well done so far.

    To add,

    - I suspect you have already, but maybe look at where the sun is falling in both summer and winter and plan where to plant according to crops sun needs. Not sure what it's like in Kent, but it might matter if you're on the side of the hill etc in full shade.
    - You could mix crops in one bed following companion planting, for example corn, peas and beans work well all together. I know you're not planting any peas/beans but they actually add a lot back to the soil while they're growing and when they're gone too. You could chop the dead peas/beans down in autumn and leave them in there overwinter, although they don't work well with tomato and some things you're not planting.
    - As someone mentioned crop rotation about the potato, aubergines toms occupying nearly an entire half of a side needing to go on the opposite side beds if planting year after.
    - The courgettes and pumpkins in the same bed will fight each other for light, space and the same nutrients, even small fruited varieties. And like someone said, that's a whole lot of courgettes. I'd give each their own bed at least.

    As for what to fill the beds, the gold standard is to fill them all with compost but IMHO it's a huge investment especially if you're new and up not taking to it. Unless it's high beds on posts you don't absolutely have to 'fill' them. It is also possible to plant in your existing soil, but your yield will depend on the soil. If it's sandy, sorry yr in trouble with your crop selection. If it clayey some coir can be bought in blocks and added to break the soil up, then plant in holes filled with compost. If it's dark and crumbly well good for you.

    - I've bought a bulk construction bag of compost for about 100 about (900L) with this company
    https://www.compostdirect.com/black-gold/p2. There are cheaper companies.
    I'm a mad gardener and would happily spend that amount and more. And you'll need to buy more fill all those. If you have an allotment committee they organise bulk compost for cheaper.

    -Strongly recommend start composting yourself and next autumn try leaf mulch.
    - Strongly recommend doing fertiliser teas to replenish your soil. Your chosen crops are heavy feeders.

    Good luck.
    veggiechicken and Snoop Puss like this.

  2. #18
    Squingy is offline Sprouter
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    Selymbria,

    May I also offer some unsolicited advice, slightly related to what to plant where?
    - You're strawberry plants will last a few years so be happy you want to keep them there, can be dug up of course but it's a hassle.
    - You will (hopefully) be harvesting, but most everything you have is out by summer/early autumn. Would you like something in winter too? Parsnips, leeks etc need to be sown as early as spring, summer with some greens early autumn.
    -Everything planted will take a while to reap. Quick crops like greens, radishes, some turnips etc planted in between can comfort you as you stare at buds forming etc wondering when they'll be ready.
    -Consider a perennial bed. Crops like sunchokes/Jerusalem artichokes, asparagus, rhubarb, some kales etc can just regrow in spot year after year. For me French sorrel and globe artichokes have also worked. Why perennial? It's such easy growing once they're established.

    Again good luck.
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  3. #19
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    4Shoes is offline Cropper
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    Welcome.

    How about under planting your apple trees with strawberries . Just make sure initial years, the apple tree root ball is not covered. That might free up a bed for other things.

    hooped frames could be used to give crop protection, but living in kent, I'd expect that not to be such an issue.


    Best advice is to enjoy your plot and take your time. Don't sicken yourself trying too much too fast and feeling disappointed if some things don't work.
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  4. #20
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    Just a quick comment - anything that you cover will need more watering than anything growing in the ground that gets rain water. Pots need the most water, and the most regular watering. Greenhouses and tunnels all need watering, even if growing in the ground, due to lack of rain water.

    That doesn't stop me from having a greenhouse - I wouldn't grow tomatoes anywhere else! I'm aiming for bigger tubs/grow bags to help counter the up-to-twice daily waterings.
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  5. #21
    Selymbria is offline Sprouter
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    Latest view of the allotment.



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  6. #22
    Selymbria is offline Sprouter
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    I decided to add parsnips, leeks, globe artichokes, and asparagus. I will probably devote one of the smaller beds to asparagus, is the white one I always had in Germany ok to be grown here in UK?

    I need to redraw my plan. I am almost decided for a greenhouse so aubergines will go there saving some space.

  7. #23
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    Looking like a hive of activity Selymbria! Well done for cracking on with it!
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  8. #24
    Selymbria is offline Sprouter
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    Quote Originally Posted by SarrissUK View Post
    Looking like a hive of activity Selymbria! Well done for cracking on with it!
    Thank you! It was difficult to dig the clay soil after a frosty night but I think frost this week will ensure they get crumbly, well thats at least what I was told

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