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Thread: What order should I tackle jobs in on my new plot?

  1. #9
    Baldy's Avatar
    Baldy is online now Early Fruiter
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    Apr 2016
    North Devon
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    Onions will have two choices... Unless you don't plant em... in which case they'll only go one way...
    Scarlet likes this.

    1574 gin and tonics please Monica, large ones.

  2. #10
    Chestnut is offline Tuber
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    Sep 2016


    Hi and welcome
    You’ll notice on this forum that there are as many ways of doing things as there are gardeners!

    Like you, I have limited time available to spend on the plot.
    First, I would put my onion sets in a cool but frost free place (my garage) until late march, as I find the squirrels tend to eat onion sets and broad bean seeds which I try to plant in the autumn.

    Then i’d cover as much of the plot as I can source cardboard for, and repeat A week or so later (our local morrisons lets us have a whole trolleyful if we ask nicely/at the right time!). That way, the weeds will slowly die off without further effort, whilst I’m busy doing other stuff.
    If /when I can get hold of manure (old rotted stuff if possible), it’ll get dumped on top of cardboard covering bed areas, hold the card down -and the worms will then break down card and mix manure into soil.

    In between carloads of cardboard, I would continue to dig one bed at a time, whenever I could get to the plot for an hour or two, ready for annual veg next year (I eat more veg than fruit). Some things would be started in pots in the spring, to give me more time to prepare the ground for them. Onion sets would go in ground late march.

    I wouldn’t necessarily get around to getting both/either the soft fruit area dug or tree planting holes prepared until autumn next year! However, having been deprived of light all summer there would be few if any weeds surviving, so hardly any digging required.

    Like I say, every gardener and every plot is different. That’s one of the things I love about my plot is that there are many different ‘right’ ways of doing it.
    veggiechicken likes this.

  3. #11
    SarrissUK's Avatar
    SarrissUK is offline Cropper
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    Aug 2011
    North East Lincolnshire


    Hi and welcome!
    I'm doing no dig too, and my plot is much in the same state as yours - in good condition underneath all the weeds lol

    I'm not digging any weeds out, but I am pulling out all the roots that I can see, as I uncover all the bloody layers of carpet that my plot's previous tenant laid down.

    Get yourself looking around for:
    - supermarket/farm shop that can save you cardboard
    - coffee shop/pub that can save you coffee grounds
    - horse owners/farmers that won't mind sharing their manure
    - offices where paper is shredded that you can collect.
    - ask if the plot gets council-collected leaves and wood chippings delivered, and if not...
    - ring around arborists in the area to see if you can get hold of their chippings
    - gather leaves in any local park that you can find with lots of leaves

    I'm absolutely not worried, but excited about what is ahead this year
    AllotmentMummy and red157 like this.

  4. #12
    mcdood's Avatar
    mcdood is offline Rooter
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    Dec 2018
    West Midlands


    Hi, I feel a bit bad replying to this as the allotment i took on in April this year was in relatively good nick. My approach this year was to mainly plant annual veg while i took stock of the ground. When May arrived what looked like relatively weed free beds suddenly started sprouting all sorts including the joyous mares tail.This next year I aim to plant some perennials (asparagus etc) so will look to plant in the cleanest beds although I'm sure the marestail will find a way in.
    I'm trying nodig too and finding enough material to rot down (see Sarriss post above) and generating enough heat in bins to kill weed seeds is not as easy as Mr Dowding makes it look, but have fun trying
    Snoop Puss, Chestnut and red157 like this.

  5. #13
    Norfolkgrey's Avatar
    Norfolkgrey is offline Mature Fruiter
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    Sep 2014
    You get one guess :)


    Hi and welcome to the vine

    Silly question time:-
    Do you actually need 400sqm?
    Is there a waiting list for your allotments?
    Could you split the plot?
    Job share the plot and split the crops?
    Any friends and family you can rope in?

    Having an allotment and lil'uns is do-able but it is ruddy hard work. The best tip I can give you is don't get disheartened when you don't achieve everything you want, just be happy with what you have achieved

  6. #14
    Snadger's Avatar
    Snadger is offline Dundiggin
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    Aug 2006
    Durham. Pink Panther territory


    Are the onion sets an Autumn planted variety? If so try and get them in the ground ASAP. The remaining beds could be covered with cardboard/newspaper then manure and planted directly through mulch in the spring.
    Snoop Puss and AllotmentMummy like this.
    My Majesty made for him a garden anew in order
    to present to him vegetables and all beautiful flowers.- Offerings of Thutmose III to Amon-Ra (1500 BCE)

    Diversify & prosper

  7. #15
    Chestnut is offline Tuber
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    Sep 2016


    Hey, don’t do yourself down!
    Raising small children is a full time job on its own, and you have a big allotment (most round us are 125m2), so it’s a lot for one person to do. My dad has spent many a summer weeding his kids allotments as his grandchildren were toddling...

    Other ideas include an outdoor playpen (to keep kids out of harms way while you strim between fruit trees), and make sure you plant stuff in every available space, as weeds love bare ground. I like nasturtiums for this as they sprawl over quite an area, look lovely, and are edible (so can be argued as edible crops if need be ).

  8. #16
    bario1's Avatar
    bario1 is offline Work in progress...
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    Feb 2013


    If you want to plant asparagus in Spring, I'd get that bed dug now if the ground isn't too wet. Dig as deep as you can, two spade-depths ideally, removing weed roots as you go, and turn in as much organic matter as you can, such as dead leaves, and a generous sprinkling of chicken manure pellets. Pile more dead leaves on top as a mulch (or weed fabric) and leave over Winter to settle. If you leave it till Spring to do it, you might find the ground is too wet?
    Snoop Puss likes this.

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