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

  1. #25
    AllotmentMummy is offline Seedling
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chestnut View Post
    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.
    Awesome advice thanks Chestnut! Have planted some of the onions in pots - will it get frosty in the greenhouse (unheated) do you think?

  2. #26
    AllotmentMummy is offline Seedling
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    Quote Originally Posted by mcdood View Post
    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
    Yeah I am not convinced I will be able to get rid of the weed seeds so am a bit nervous about composting them. Seems a waste to burn it though! Glad to hear you got a decent plot to get started on

  3. #27
    AllotmentMummy is offline Seedling
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    Quote Originally Posted by Norfolkgrey View Post
    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
    Really good questions thanks NorfolkGrey. I don't need the whole plot for veg cultivation as it is so large so am going to use a sixth for an orchard/wildflower area, a sixth for the kids to garden/play, a sixth for shed and cut flowers, a sixth for a working/parking area and two sixth for perennial and annuals. Of that two sixths I reckon at least 40% will be perennial veg and fruit so that'll cut down on sowing time (but not weeding - hah!).

    There isn't a waiting list for our plots particularly with quite a few spare and untended. Not sure about sharing directly with someone but will definitely be involving interested friends and family as I can. Hubby not interested but at least he looks after the children some mornings for me to get down there @)

  4. #28
    AllotmentMummy is offline Seedling
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    Quote Originally Posted by Snadger View Post
    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.
    Yes autumn planted variety Snadger. Have planted some outside and some in pots for later transplanting as hadn't thought of the squirrels getting them as per Chestnut's advice. Will see how they all fair
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  5. #29
    AllotmentMummy is offline Seedling
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    Quote Originally Posted by bario1 View Post
    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?
    Hey Bario - good advice re spring wetness. I would like to dig the asparagus bed sooner rather than later as I'm really keen to get them doing in Spring 2019. Not sure if and when we might eventually move so don't want to wait any longer than I have too!
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  6. #30
    AllotmentMummy is offline Seedling
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    Quote Originally Posted by nickdub View Post
    You're very welcome - I didn't attempt to pick up your other questions, as there are others on here who know more about no-dig methods etc than I do.

    I'd just add that making friends with others gardeners near you is worthwhile both for knowledge and mutual support, but also because most of us who grow plants from seeds in the Spring usually end up with loads of "spares " and are happy to pass them on to people such as yourself rather than chucking them out :-)
    Definitely Nick! I've set up a community group for the allotment as they didn't have one, so hoping we can do seed swaps, big orders together etc as that practice seems to have fallen away sadly.
    Chestnut and nickdub like this.

  7. #31
    AllotmentMummy is offline Seedling
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    Quote Originally Posted by Doncasterpaul View Post
    So many questions, yet you answerd most of them your self. I have tried and failed at the no dig theory. In the end I compromised and covered as much as I could in cheap black plastic. Then in the spring rolled it back ( very mucky job) then dug up what weeds where left. Also I covered loads in cardboard but needed a ton of bricks to weigh it down
    Hey Paul - sorry to hear no dig didn't work for you. How long were your mulches down for and what weeds were you up against?

  8. #32
    AllotmentMummy is offline Seedling
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mark_Riga View Post
    Hello AllotmentMumy, As Atta wrote, Pumpkins can cover a large area with big leaves something for Halloween next year? Also Courgettes have big leaves. 400sq.m. is a large area to get under control particularly organically (as you can tell from the state it is in now). A lot depends on what equipment you can use. I have several apple, pear, plum and damson trees planted in grass (very likely includes couch) and I mow it a few times a year about 4 this year with it being very dry and get what I consider to be good crops of fruit. Would be better may be if trees had no competition but they do OK - I bottled 30litres of apple juice this year and grass is good for children to play on.
    I would leave asparagus this year, unless it is a must have crop as ideally it needs a completely perennial weed free bed. I might consider buying some seeds and growing in pots may be planting into a temporary bed when they are big enough and moving to their final position next winter/ early spring 2020 if you can clear a bed by then.

    You could plant raspberries through weed suppressant. Some couch grass would likely come up through the holes but would be quite easy to keep on top of. You would need to check for new canes trying to grow under the fabric and give them a hand getting out.
    Loving the idea of sprawling things that don't need many holes in the weed control fabric! Desperate to have some asparagus sooner rather than later as we might move in the future and every year counts. I might grow some from seed too from now though, so I have some more easily transplantable ones.


    How much soil so you have around your trees? I was thinking of a small circle round each and the rest in grass (ideal for kids to play as you suggest).

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