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Thread: total newbies awarded 1st allotment today

  1. #1
    2oldishbeginners is offline Germinator
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    Default total newbies awarded 1st allotment today

    Hello all
    as the title says we are totally new to this game and have agreed to taking over our first ever allotment. It's on a pretty new site, just 12months old and apparently was a nursery some 20 yrs ago. I had a tour round the site this morning with a guy from the council who advised me there were 5 vacant plots so I had a choice to make in the end it was fairly easy for me to make the decision as 3 out of the 5 had things which put me off straight away ranging from being very uneven/sloping to being close to large mature trees I plumped for the nice flat one slap bang in the middle of the site. Hopefully I've made the right choice.
    Now as I expected the plot is neglected but nowhere near as badly as I envisioned its overgrown with grass and some dock from what I saw. It's approx. 100m sq. Obviously my first actions need to be clearing so I was wondering should I apply a weedkiller and then cover it with a membrane or just go ahead and cover it as it stands without the chemicals. we are on a free 3 month probation period so want to make a good start.
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  2. #2
    Norfolkgrey's Avatar
    Norfolkgrey is offline Mature Fruiter
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    Hi and welcome to the vine. Weedkiller tends to work best when growth is in full swing, I would personally hold off unless you can see lots of genuine thuggish weeds. Also there is a great divide when it comes to weedkiller so don't be surprised if you get comments from other allotmenteers. Have a look around the forum there are loads of great threads with great advice for newbies. Good luck and have fun

  3. #3
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    Zelenina is offline Cropper
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    Congrats 2oldish! Seems like you made a good choice. Whether you use chemicals is your decision. I would prefer not to. Many people on here recommend covering with cardboard, which is organic and rots down. I haven't tried that yet, though I might do soon because I have a big new area to clear.

  4. #4
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    cariann88 is offline Early Fruiter
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    Hello and welcome
    Carrie

  5. #5
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    skeggijon is offline Cropper
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    Welcome to the vine. Weedkiller is not much use after early October, so I'd just cover the plot with cardboard and then stick a layer of manure on top - preferably farmyard, but horse is a close second. It doesn't need to be well rotted since it will have time to break down before you start growing on the plot.
    Then you can settle down and spend the next few months planning what you intend doing with your new estate
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  6. #6
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    Bigmallly is offline Think outside the box
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    Hello you 2 & welcome to the jungle. I'm with Jon on this one unless you are wanting to get some stuff in the ground now, then I would prepare the area for planting & cover the rest to overwinter.
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  7. #7
    Martin H's Avatar
    Martin H is offline Early Fruiter
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    Hi, welcome to the vine!

    I would spend the next few months turning it over with a fork, taking it a bit at a time and getting as many roots out as I can. In the process I would learn about my soil texture and drainage while planning where everything is going to go.

    I might be in the minority here.
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  8. #8
    muddled's Avatar
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    I would start at one edge, digging over and removing roots as Martin H said, but cover the rest. Weeds slow down in the winter but until we get some heavy frosts (and all of last winter) they thrive.

    The three months trial seems a little harsh, given the time of year.
    Did they say exactly what they expect you to accomplish between now and January? Our allotments expect 'one third of the plot cultivated in the first quarter, two thirds by the second' but they don't inspect plots during winter months.

    Congratulations on your new plot.

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