Not content with my own garden which is far from small some of you may have spotted that at the beginning of December I also took on an allotment. I didn’t have to wait which was a real bonus and it is extremely close to my house, carrying tools or wheeling them over is not problem at all. If the site was any distance away it would probably not have been practical or sensible to have taken it on. The plot is a good size at 16 x 16 meters and I will move pretty much all my outdoor veg growing there within the next year. I will of course add a few flowers to the plot for both interest and as companion plants for some of the veg. It was only a couple of years ago that I created a series of 14 raised beds for my veg growing at home – these will now have a new purpose that I will cover in a different post soon.
Other than a shed the plot does not have to much on it except some old carpet and weeds. The strangest thing is the way in which the previous occupant chose to grow their veg – by creating quiet high mounds to use much like a raised bed. I have already found out that the main reason they did this was simply because it was how their father used to grow his crops. Given the soil in the area is generally sandy this isn’t an approach I would use but it must have worked for them.
The first couple of jobs on the plot have already been done – fixing the entrance gate and re-felting the shed roof. The shed is not in great shape but it should last another year or so and I am only likely to use it to store wire and netting in. One problem I know the site suffers with is deer – difficult to stop but I will try and keep the perimeter fencing high and likely also have to net most of the beds. That will detract a little from some of the aesthetics but protecting the crops has to be priority one.
Levelling the mounds is the first real job in preparing the site and a new tool that I got for Christmas – a digging hoe has proven effective on the first 5 mounds to be levelled. A further 5 remain, 4 of which I will level as well in the coming days. The 5th will remain for now as it has some fruit growing on it – probably raspberries and currants. When they have produced a harvest and it has been tasted the fate of them will be decided.
I have already had a bit of a play about with how I want to lay the site out and have come up with a not so artistic impression of my current thoughts (below). Hopefully in the next couple of weeks I can make a start on turning the layout in to reality, most likely with some modifications as I go. Hopefully I will be able to create blog posts a little more frequently than the last year to show progress on the plot as it evolves. As well as the plans for my own garden which has been the catalyst in getting a plot and joining the allotment gardeners world.