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Sorting a half plot - advice needed please


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  • Sorting a half plot - advice needed please

    I have been offered a half plot on a site which is little out of the way but it's not too bad. I went down this morning and had a look round. I had the choice of two plots which were both being split in two so I had to choose one.

    The first looked ok and had very small shed on it but it also had a tree right in the middle. The shed looked a bonus but the tree looked like it would be a bit of a pain especially on a half plot so I went for the back half of the other one. The one I chose is up against the fence and the plot looks in good nick. There is a small plot of pretty healthy looking sprouts and another part has tall reedy looking things growing on it. I am not sure why I took the back section though.

    The plot has nothing else on it, no shed, no compost heap, no water butts (water is onsite in tanks with no hoses allowed). I didn't look to see where the nearest tank was (the weather was horrendous this morning).

    I need to go back next week and start work on it and check with the secretary if 2 foot wide section right at the back of my plot which seems to be seperate is part of my plot. There currently is a load of dying strawberry plants in that section.

    So I need some advice. How do I plan a half plot? Should I bother with a shed (I would really like one as I will have to bring all my tools down there in the car and there is no shelter should the weather turn), I was thinking of one of those "half shed" things. Also I would like to put some water butts on the site so I have some onsite water. I also have to put a compost heap on the site (it's in the rules) most onsite seem to have pallet compost heaps. A compost heap and a shed take up growing space so not sure what to do.

    The whole plot is dug over (or has been) there are no paths on the site. I would prefer beds (maybe raised but i didn't notice any other plots with raised beds) with paths for ease of use.

    So any advice for half plot holder appreciated.

  • #2
    If you visit this thread you will see my plot,which is also half a plot.As you can see it has a shed on it, only 6x4 and a compost heap.I was not going to have a shed but it soon became apparant that it was fairly essential.It also allows me to collect water,the three butts you can see are full.I plan to add at least two more butts.I don't think ive lost much compared to the benefits.


    • #3
      Originally posted by Pies View Post
      If you visit this thread you will see my plot,which is also half a plot.As you can see it has a shed on it, only 6x4 and a compost heap.I was not going to have a shed but it soon became apparant that it was fairly essential.It also allows me to collect water,the three butts you can see are full.I plan to add at least two more butts.I don't think ive lost much compared to the benefits.
      Nice, looks good.

      Your half plot looks bigger than mine though


      • #4
        mines 27 x 47 feet, thats heel to toe feet and im size ten Which i guess are about 12"


        • #5
          Originally posted by funstuie View Post
          I was thinking of one of those "half shed" things. Also I would like to put some water butts on the site so I have some onsite water.
          I agree with Pies, Put some guttering on each side of the shed, run it to 2 water butts then piggyback more if needed.
          sigpic“Gorillas are very intelligent, but they don't have to be as delicate as chimps -- they can just smash open the termite nest,”
          Official Member Of The Nutters Club - Rwanda Branch.
          Sent from my ZX Spectrum with no predictive text..........
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          • #6
            Hi there...I posted something a bit similar recently as I have just taken tenancy of a 5mx25m half plot and lots of the grapes made really good suggestions re setting up beds, layouts, etc.


            My plot has been totally cleared so is 125m of mud at the moment so after sitting down with some squared paper I worked out that I could get a lot of raised beds. Snadger made a great suggestion which I have followed today and now have two lovely hilly beds stocked with onions and garlic.:

            "Like building a house you need to lay the foundations (the paths) first. A simple way of making beds for the first year is to trample on the marked out paths (usually 2 foot wide) only. Dig a 4 foot wide bed X whatever length you decide (but no more than abour 12 foot, as its a long hike around them.)
            Once the bed is dug, don't whatever you do, walk on it again. Plant it up and move to the next area ad infinitum!
            You should be able quite easily to dig and weed a 4 foot X 12 foot bed in a day and the following day plant it up. You can then look at it and feel you have achieved something. If you only walk on paths and only dig beds you will have created raised beds cheaply without sides. At a later date you can add sides if you like but it's not necessary (some of my beds are side less after three years)"
            Thanks Snadger

            Defo go for a shed as I'm already fed up of lugging half our garden tools around in my car; check though as you may need to get written permission first from the council people. I would also suggest a full shed so you can squeeze into it too if the weather turns a bit chilly - always an excuse for a cuppa
            RtB x


            • #7
              Hi Funstuie - my main plot is a half plot size too - 5m by 22m - I reckon I can get in at least 6 raised beds each side (but I like mine 3 and a half foot across so I can reach) as well as centre path, side paths, cross paths. I've bought the wood ready. I still have a 6 x 4 shed and a compost area with 3 big bins- pictures are in an album on my page - (not skilled enough to do a blog!). Apart from the raised beds I have a couple of open areas where I'm going to put my fruit trees and some rasp beds - and a big pumpkin patch / area for sweetcorn.
              Whooops - now what are the dogs getting up to?


              • #8
                Hi there!
                I've got my plot almost completely cleared of weeds now (taking my time over the last bit as I've been told there are a few different kinds of berries in there and I'd like to keep them) and have very little left to do before I start planting and sowing.

                For planning a half plot - I've drawn mine up in AutoCAD (complete overkill but I use it for work and it is FAR quicker than doing it with pen and paper) and tried out loads of layouts and schemes.

                In the end I got Square Foot Gardening out from the library and was sold on that way of growing in no time. FAR less work (no thinning at all, less water needed and so on) and claims to produce a staggering amount of produce in a small space. If I use my latest plan I'll be able to provide in-season salad and veg (not potatoes) for 11 people using just over HALF of my half-plot. The rest is going to be for growing a surplus of some things for canning, setting up a greenhouse or polytunnel, composting, a floral/seating area and a pile of soft fruits.

                Of all the systems I looked at, layouts and rotations I planned, I don't think any can produce so much with so little space. The one I didn't look at was "Ornamental Kitchen Gardening" which I've heard good things about.

                As a beginner I think you'll find the simplicity of the square foot system appealing, the lower workload is a definite plus, and for efficient use of space I'm starting to think it'll be very hard to beat.

                Whatever way you plan your plot though - have a lot of fun and enjoy it all. I've done nothing but digging up perennial weeds on mine so far and have loved every minute of it.

                All the best.


                • #9
                  Well hopefully the weather will be OK on Saturday so I can head down and have a proper look around. Also it's due to be divided up by then as well and I need to get clarification on the back section of the plot.

                  I went back down yesterday afternoon when it had stopped raining and took a few photo's and I am still a little worried about the plot I took.

                  I will post the pics this evening but the back of the plot backs onto a school. there is a very high fence and trees so it's well protected but the plots either side have pretty shitty sheds which are in a bit of a state and I don't know if this is because of neglect or vandalism. Also the site itself seems slightly grotty but that could just be the time of year. It just didn’t feel as welcoming as some of the sites I have been to in my search.

                  The chairman also gave me a piece of paper (and a little speech) with some "guidelines" in addition to the rules which basically said they expect the plot to be worked all year round and new plot holders can't just take a plot in the winter, tidy it up and come back in the spring. I understand he is trying to weed out the "wannabees" but it's not very welcoming in my opinion especially as I was soaked from wandering round the site in torrential rain.

                  It's costing me £42 for the half plot (including water) which seems a lot for the little land I am getting.

                  I will make a go of it anyway, I am delighted to finally have gotten a plot and I am sure it will work out but I have some misgivings at the moment the foremost being my wife is not going to be too impressed with the site which could limit the “help” I will get from her.


                  • #10
                    Aww...don't give up yet for a start everything always looks a bit naff in the rain! I'm not sure what the chairman expects you to do in the winter beyond covering up some potential beds, manuring/composting and planting some onions...I'm sure he is trying to weed out the time-wasters but he needs to at least give you a chance.

                    As for the tatty sheds; my goodness you should see the state of the lotties near my plot - they are in a real state but many people won't visit their plot from early autumn to the spring so its hardly surprising. Don't let it get you down; try and make your's look brilliant and surely it will stand out

                    I was a bit concerned about my husband seeing my plot of mud amongst some tatty plots but when I gave him the task of starting to measure my beds he was surprisingly positive and pleased just to see me happy ; perhaps ask your wife to get involved e.g. by helping you dig some beds for your onions, or select some veggies she may be interested in or even some flowers if that is her bag. My husband is quite keen on the shed element and is happy to help out with something that directly interests him; not a jot of interest really in the planting though

                    Looking forward to seeing your photos.
                    RtB x


                    • #11
                      I don't know what your plot looks like, but I and just about everybody else here has been through the exact same feelings as you,it's very daunting.

                      Dont panic do a bit each time you go there.I'm guessing its covered in weeds now

                      If it was my plot,its not its yours .I'd start bu deciding where the shed would best go.Try to site it so it shades your plot least.
                      Then I'd clear a bit and plant broad beans
                      Then I'd clear a bit more and plant winter onions and garlic
                      Then I'd weed the rest of the plot and decide if I want beds or not

                      No panic for a shed at the moment but this is similar to the shed i have

                      pent metal garden shed 6ft (W) X 4ft (D) ref a3225 on eBay (end time 23-Nov-09 08:00:06 GMT)

                      Its £85 delivered you would need a base to mount it on.If i was buying another shed I'd buy this.A pent shed requires less work for guttering

                      Just dont panic it amazing how quick things develop


                      • #12
                        Here are the photos for those interested.

                        This is the front of the full plot I chose:

                        Looking at those pictures middle of the corn is about halfway.

                        This photo is looking across the plot from where mine will start (the tumbledown shed is on my neighbours plot):

                        Last edited by funstuie; 02-11-2009, 08:38 PM.


                        • #13
                          The current state of the soil:

                          Christmas tree?:

                          I think this is my compost heap:

                          This is the section at the back of the plot which I need clarifying if it's mine or not. The blue "water butt" in the corner is full of rubbish including burger wrappers and kebab containers and crap like that.

                          This is the "fenced off" bed which is sprouts I think:

                          Last edited by funstuie; 02-11-2009, 08:36 PM.


                          • #14
                            Not sure what this is:


                            Last edited by funstuie; 02-11-2009, 08:39 PM.


                            • #15
                              This is the plot I could have had:



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