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1st year of allotment. Best strategies.


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  • 1st year of allotment. Best strategies.

    Hello all,
    So we have our first allotment and its massive 25mtrs x 10.

    It was covered in grass and self seeded plum trees which we strimmer and dug up the trees and put them in a line at the back. The majority survived. We then dug an area and cleared out endless stinger roots which seems to have worked.
    But then it rained for a fortnight and then we went on holiday so we are back where we started. Minus the stingers it seems.

    Our next strategy is to cover large where we plan the beds to be in black plastic weighed down with bricks and wood.
    However, off on holiday again for two weeks so the paths will be like jungles again when we are back..
    Any better suggestions ? Weve had some potatoes and we have a few leeks in but wanted to get onions and garlic in when we return mid September. Realistic?

  • #2
    I find covering with a few layers of cardboard, weighted down with bricks, is a great way to stop weeds growing on my plot.
    For paths, I use cardboard weighted down with the free woodchip that the council tree surgeons deliver to the main gate.

    And, more importantly, welcome to the vine ;-)
    Last edited by Chestnut; 12-08-2019, 08:46 PM.


    • #3
      Yes seen a few mentions of cardboard, just need to work out where I find loads of the stuff?!


      • #4
        Try any local shops for cardboard or nearby retail park if you have one.


        • #5
          Originally posted by Swag View Post
          Yes seen a few mentions of cardboard, just need to work out where I find loads of the stuff?!
          Local cycle shops are a good place. Ask work colleagues to bring in any brown cardboard they get from parcel deliveries.


          • #6
            Watch out for cardboard with a thick plastic layer on it - that doesn't break down so well.

            I get my cardboard from the local farm shop - loads of it, and lovely and thick too!

            I also check skips for it, and at the weekend I really hit the jackpot - someone had a new kitchen, so there were huge pieces of cardboard. I asked permission and then I snaffled it all. I filled my Toyota Hiace van lol Then I had to lay out out on the plot on Saturday in all that wind, as I had to empty the van for moving furniture on Sunday! The fun things we do haha

            Cardboard works fantastically well. Check out Charles Dowding and no-dig!


            • #7
              Do you have any friends /acquaintances /neighbours who have recently moved house?
              I get quite a lot from our local supermarkets, and a few from work when they have stuff delivered. The fridge box was huge!
              Might also be worth asking at your local council recycling centre, but ours won’t let you take things away from there, unless you buy something from their ‘too good to throw’ shop.


              • #8
                Don't forget to start a compost heap - you can never have enough compost.

                Re. Cardboard - if you see anyone with a skip outside, ask them. Most appliances, house fittings etc for trade come in cardboard. Ditto flatpack furniture.

                Also don't forget to take pictures as you go, and keep notes.


                • #9
                  With cardboard you want the brown corrugated stuff. peel off and tape and remove staples as applicable. Avoid any white printed retail type packaging where there is a photo of the product etc. this might contain elements you don't want in your soil. Times are improving and lots of modern inks are soya/vegitable based, others are produced in China so beware.
                  Industrial and retail estates are a good source, see if you can get a pallet or two while you are about it, they come in handy for lots of things like building compost bins, seats, raised beds etc.
                  Furniture stores and white electrical goods stores tend to have a lot of brown cardboard.


                  • #10
                    My advice is to get something planted as soon as you can. When you can see things growing it gives you the impetus to carry on when the work seems endless and the weather conspired against you.


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