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Thread: Rundown plots

  1. #49
    Snadger's Avatar
    Snadger is offline Dundiggin
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    Quote Originally Posted by sparrow100 View Post
    When I first got my plot in 2012 I met a guy in the garden centre who was being paid 2k to dig over an allotment and set up beds with decking plus put up a shed for a chap who was time-poor. He thought it was the easiest money he'd earn all year. My eyebrows were well into my hairline...
    For two grand I could maybe be persuaded to come out of retirement................
    Snoop Puss and sparrow100 like this.
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  2. #50
    katkatkat is offline Seedling
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    I've just been given a plot after 8 months on two raised beds. I would have taken it regardless of whether it was a scrapheap or overgrown jungle, I like a challenge! I was given 3 options, one in "ready to plant" mode and the other two needing different types of work. I was swayed by a (leaning, leaking) shed, 3 full bins of compost and a reduced risk of mare's tail.

    Yes, maybe I took the easy option as I'll be able to plant some crops straight away with only minimal weeding whilst I tackle the other jobs. I figured that was okay after the time, expense and effort I'd put in clearing the weeds (including couch grass, thistles and mare's tail) from my beds, destoning them and adding bag, upon bag, upon bag of compost & muck to improve the thick, heavy, cold, clay soil they were full of. The person inheriting my beds will get some almost fully grown brassicas (as long as they survive the pigeons), onions, garlic, chard and perpetual spinach already growing in their plot so it seems a fair swap.

    On the subject of "starter plots" that has been mentioned in this thread. With waiting lists as long as they are in Edinburgh, I saw my beds as my pernament home, I planted fruits and herbs (which will now need moved), improved the soil and built structures. Now that I've been offered a proper plot, I don't resent any of that time and effort, instead I'm happy to have made things a bit easier for the next person coming in, completely new to gardening that will take my place.
    Last edited by katkatkat; 11-02-2017 at 12:40 PM. Reason: grammatical errors
    Bigmallly, bario1, 1Bee and 2 others like this.

  3. #51
    mrmauy is offline Seedling
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    I know it's a very old thread but I was reading it with interest thinking about my tour of the site before deciding on a plot.

    I was offered the choice of a half plot (80sq m) with some existing raised beds and an open fronted shelter come potting shed thing or I could look at two "wild" plots.

    The first was mainly grass with a couple of plum trees dotted about, roughly 150sq m and ran north/south on the long edge.

    My new plot has loads of scrap metal, a slightly broken green house, a DIY shed with no roof and all variety of weeds everywhere. It's a bit bigger at around 200sq m and runs east/west on the long edge.

    Had I taken the pre-prepared half plot I would probably be able to get a very healthy crop this year with minimum effort. I've got two younger kids and a full time job so don't have oodles of time, but the wasteland I've taken on just felt right - will let me plan how I want to grow, rather than following someones footsteps, gives plenty of scope to try things (and undoubtedly bugger them up!), and hopefully have plenty of produce for years to come.

    I don't see how you can turn something down without looking at it, or maybe I'm just nuts.
    Snoop Puss and Norfolkgrey like this.

  4. #52
    bikermike is offline Cropper
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    having had a run-in with my allotment committee over non-cultivation, I can see why people don't want to risk taking on what looks like a potentially unfinishable job.

    I've got a family, a full-time job and a couple of hobbies (and a wife with hobbies). Upshot of that is that I get maybe 1 day every other weekend at the plot. That's plenty to cultivate, but not so much when you have to spend weeks hacking it back in the first place.

    Also, like lots of things in life, it's easy, when you've done it before.

    I wonder if some of the answer is to give them a plan with a (generous) timescale on it and review with them every couple of months and help them with the baby steps.
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  5. #53
    mrmauy is offline Seedling
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    Quote Originally Posted by bikermike View Post
    having had a run-in with my allotment committee over non-cultivation, I can see why people don't want to risk taking on what looks like a potentially unfinishable job.
    ...
    I wonder if some of the answer is to give them a plan with a (generous) timescale on it and review with them every couple of months and help them with the baby steps.
    You may have hit the nail on the head there Mike. I think I'm quite lucky that the association only require 50% cultivation anyway and when I was shown around they said "we know it's going to take a while but as long as we can see you're working on it don't worry about the cultivation rules this year"

    Ensuring expectations are well managed is, as often the case, key for both parties.
    Snadger and Snoop Puss like this.

  6. #54
    Bluenowhere is offline Rooter
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    Completely agree, about managing expectations, ours was completely covered in couch grass, with compacted clay so hard in places that we broke a fork trying to get it in the ground and a bramble patch/dump at the rear of the plot that we still haven’t dealt with, it’s behind a 3 foot fence behind our compost bins so out of sight out of mind.

    The committee were really encouraging, they could see effort and kept saying how well I was doing. But I was there most nights after work so even if they didn’t see me they could see slow but steady progress.

    I did grow quite a bit of stuff in year 1 considering we only took on in mid-Feb but it was nowhere near the 70% cultivation but not a word was said but then we did keep the areas that I hadn’t dug/planted covered in weed membrane to keep it tidy. So perhaps an encouraging word or two would encourage those who work full time to have more confidence in taking overgrown plots.

    We are now just about to start year 3 (easily met the cultivation last year) and have taken on an adjacent half plot with mares tail.

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