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  1. #1
    uncledoggie is offline Germinator
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    Birmingham, West Midlands
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    3

    Default First time on allotment.

    Hello, well i just took on an unused allotment with the weeds up to my chin. I must say i'm excited and at the same time don't know where to start. I gardened with my father many years ago in the States so hopefully some of it will come back to me soon, and i find the weather pattern here is a bit different then California. The soil conditon on my first visit appeared a bit clayish and when talking to a former grower from two plots over she said it is a bit on the clay side, so i'm wondering should i work with the soil or use raised beds?. Sunday will be my first day, i have read books talked to other allotment holders and now reading all your Q's & A's and surely will have many questions to ask you all in the future.

  2. #2
    Lesley Jay is offline Early Fruiter
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Cheshire
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    3,755

    Default

    I'm pleased you have got your first allotment. Exciting isn't it? I would not worry about whether to have raised beds or not - your first task is to clear the plot. I would chop down the weeds and then start to dig. Removing the roots as you go. Don't try and do too much at once.

    Either start from the front of your plot and work your way back or start from the back and try and dig a good patch of ground each time you visit. Take a seat with you and a flask of something hot to drink.

    We are also on clay but I prefer to plant in rows across our plots. I personally think it looks better and you can also grow alot more produce if you use the whole plot rather than have raised beds. After a few years raised beds start to look tatty and need replacing.

    Good luck and enjoy yourself on Sunday!
    [

  3. #3
    uncledoggie is offline Germinator
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    Oct 2005
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    Birmingham, West Midlands
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    3

    Default To the root of the problem

    First thank you Lesley for your responce to my thread. I tackled the plot this morning, and the weeds are firmly in control for now. I found some had roots well over a foot long! I was overwhelmed at first but realized all in due time and sat down for a cuppa. I have gained a respect for the weeds for thier survival instincts.

  4. #4
    Lesley Jay is offline Early Fruiter
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    Sep 2005
    Location
    Cheshire
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    3,755

    Default

    Pleased you enjoyed yourself. Eventually you will win and next year you will be growing your own vegetables. Picked in the afternoon and on the dinner plate the same evening - you can't beat it.

    Let me recommend a good book The Vegetable Expert by Dr.D.G.Hessayon you can buy it at the garden centre and it only costs about 6. You will find it invaluable when you come to sow and plant next year.

    Any questions - we are always here.
    [

  5. #5
    Geordie's Avatar
    Geordie is offline Tuber
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    Sep 2005
    Location
    Newcastle
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    684

    Default New Plot

    Hi,

    Excellent advice from Lesley (especially the tea part), all i would add is that an allotment seems to be a continous learning curve.

    All i did was take on board as much advice as i could get, some i used some i did not, using trial and error i have found (generally) what works for me on my allotment.

    For example i have a mix of raised beds, rows across the whole allotment, breeze block frames full mainly of sand etc. Having a mix also breaks up the allotment so if i want to do some weeding i can do a bed or two and see the results rather than looking at a two yard strip in an entire garden.

    I to grow on clay soil so raised beds make sense for some crops but others are happy to go straight into the ground. The only thing i repeat year after year is the incoporation of organic material. This can be manure, seaweed, bracken, leaf mold etc...anything to break up the clay....and yes over some years it does work wonders, its organic and free!

    Everbody has failures but these are more than made up by the successes.....have fun!
    Geordie

    Te audire non possum. Musa sapientum fixa est in aure



  6. #6
    NovicePlotter is offline Germinator
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Telford
    Posts
    7

    Default First time on allotment

    I too took on an overgrown plot earlier this year.

    Clearing the overgrowth was the main prority but after that, we dug two beds over and planted with a variety of veggies so these could grow while we were still digging over and clearing the rest.

    One of the more established plot holders advised me to plant anything I could. I'm glad I did. So far, I have enjoyed potatoes, runner beans, courgettes, tomatoes, broccoli and leeks (planted in or around June) and have now have spring cabbages, purple sprouting, onions and calabrese to look forward to in the not too distant future.

    We've still got a long way to go but we're getting there slowly.

  7. #7
    julie1504 is offline Germinator
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    Near Petersfield, Hants
    Posts
    1

    Default New allotment

    Welcome to the world of allotments!

    I took one on last year and my friend took on the one next to me. I was and still am a novice but we are getting there!

    There have many times when I have said, what is the point, as I have a lot of others things to do ie work,pets and kids but I still keep going back!

    We grew pumpkins, potatoes, beetroot, carrotts, radishes and currently have chard, broccoli and perennial cauliflowers on the plots. My children made to scarecrows for me and we have made raisied beds out of old tyres for them to grow some flowers etc in.

    Julie
    Last edited by julie1504; 23-10-2005 at 06:44 AM. Reason: spelling

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