Allotment (fizzy with excitement at the boundless potential content)

Home Forum Chat Forum Allotment (fizzy with excitement at the boundless potential content)

Viewing 28 posts - 1 through 28 (of 28 total)
  • Allotment (fizzy with excitement at the boundless potential content)
  • Premier Icon geoffj
    Subscriber
    AlasdairMc
    Member

    Pump track

    Premier Icon molgrips
    Subscriber

    anyone got any sage advice for a relative novice on where to start.

    Yeah, don’t bother. It’s a lot of work, and you have to remember a lot of stuff, and you could be biking or doing something interesting. And professional market gardners are generally much better at it than you are.

    warton
    Member

    Yeah, don’t bother.

    this. the allotment nazis will make your life hell

    edit, and on a night like tonight, suns shining etc, want to chill out? hard luck, get up the allotment and water the veg, and do an hour of weeding.

    rocketman
    Member

    anyone got any sage advice

    How to grow sage

    Muke
    Member

    I often reference this place…http://www.growfruitandveg.co.uk/index.php

    Found myself looking for a Comfrey plant to take cuttings from whilst out on a countryside bike ride a while ago 🙄

    slackalice
    Member

    Start? Digging it over, removing the weeds and then more digging and then get a few tons of manure and dig that in.

    Dig it. 😀

    huws
    Member

    After a couple of years on the waiting list (amazingly short for London) I finally get to go and see my new allotment today. Supposedly it’s not in too much of a state but obviously there’s going to be a considerable amount of prep work before I can get growing

    I’ve got future plans but has anyone got any sage advice for a relative novice on where to start.

    huws
    Member

    pump track

    Yeah, don’t bother

    the allotment nazis will make your life hell

    ooh you’re a miserable bunch 🙂

    I get to build a super niche allotment bike, fixed gear, offroad, porteur, touring bike, rhubarb carrier combo. My beard is already swelling with pride at the nicheness.

    So basically, dig out weeds, dig in shit, read and keep my eyes to the ground when I’m out and about. I predict there’s going to be some back pain on the horizon.

    willard
    Member

    Get digging.

    One of the first things I did with ours was to turn the whole thing over with a rotavator, then treat as much of he area as possible with weedkiller to get rid of the stubborn weeds. Whilst they did die off, the damn things keep coming back, even with near constant hoeing.

    Also, plan what you are going to do and do a little bit at a time. It’s also worth covering the bits that you are not using with either old carpet or weed control fabric. Basically anything to stop the bloody weeds.

    Premier Icon Pik n Mix
    Subscriber

    I took mine over in January, it was a mess so much so I very nearly gave it up on first sight. Now I love it, it’s the best thing I have ever done to enhance my life.
    Get a shed, they are invaluable, helps if you have a trade account at a builders yard as well.

    A hoe is your best friend and don’t forget to clear your paths, pointless having a weedless plot if your paths are overgrown.

    Most recent pic, things have moved on veg wise since this was taken.

    huws
    Member

    Nice plot. That’s some good going to get that far since January.

    I’m moving house in 2 months and the first thing we are doing is ripping out all the carpets which should come in handy for weed suppressing. I’ve got a pretty comprehensive list of things to do for next year so the end of this year is all about prep and structural work. I have plans for a shed, potentially a greenhouse/polytunnel, pond, small wildlife area for bees, an EPIC compost heap and a series of raised beds which I should be able to make a start on straight away.

    Right, I’m off to see what I’m dealing with. I shall return shortly with photos.

    Gunz
    Member

    If you want to avoid rotavating and weed killer and if it’s been left for a long time allowing couch grass to take a hold, you’ll need to double dig it.
    Dig out the top layer of grass to the depth of a spade and set it aside, then dig out another spade depth of earth and set that aside. Put the grass level in grass side down and fill in with the remaining mud. It’s bloody hard work but completely kills all the weeds and couch.
    Have fun, I’m just pinching out my toms and earthing up the potatos after a last minute planting session. Can’t wait to eat them and the kids enjoy getting muddy.

    slackalice
    Member

    + lots for the rotavator . Looking forward to seeing your pics

    Gunz
    Member

    Almost forgot, get some chickens if your local authority allow it. The eggs are lovely and their poo does wonders for compost (as will weeing on it – you, not the chickens).

    riiich
    Member

    Worth getting an azada too. Much quicker to dig over than using a fork.

    http://www.get-digging.co.uk/tools.htm

    Premier Icon thepurist
    Subscriber

    DO NOT ROTOVATE until you’ve made sure there’s no bindweed, couch grass, mares tail, ground elder etc. rampaging all over it. If there is, nuke the entire site from orbit with Roundup, make sure it’s all dead, wait a bit to really make sure it’s dead, then maybe rotovate it. If you rotovate any of those while they’re alive they’ll do an Obi Wan Kenobi on you and will come back more powerfully than you can possibly imagine.

    Also – don’t try to tackle the entire site at once. Work out your overall grand plan, then start in one corner and take it from there. If you start with a quick clearance of a couple of feet and stick in some radish, salad crops etc then you can be harvesting some stuff within a few weeks.

    Premier Icon maxray
    Subscriber

    We are on our 3rd season of “Operation Allotment” 🙂

    huws
    Member

    It’s not as bad as it could be. Comes with a shed, water butt (of sorts), huge fig tree, rhubarb, strawberries, wheelbarrow, some soft fruit bushes, some tools, space for a green house. Bit of clearing and she’ll be fine.

    5.5m x 22m in total which should be manageable.

    Looking south

    North

    ‘soft fruit’

    Fig

    Not allotment bike

    Premier Icon Pik n Mix
    Subscriber

    In regards to the carpet for weed suppression, your council may not permit it, mine don’t.

    Top tips:
    Join the allotment society
    Grow from seeds and start them off at home.

    Love my allotment. Huws your looks excellent! Great potential.

    huws
    Member

    I think carpet’s allowed but they don’t appear particularly keen on it, he was scowling at someone elses carpet paths. There is a homebase next door so once I’ve started clearing I’ll pop in and get some weed suppressing mat.

    I’m so excited about starting. stupid work getting in the way quality allotment time.

    Premier Icon molgrips
    Subscriber

    So what’s the deal with couch grass then? We’re considering uprooting the bottom part of our lawn and re-turfing it, it’s about 50% weeds (not dandelions though) and 25% couch grass. If we try and take up the old grass will the couch just return through new turf?

    Is there couch specific killer?

    Premier Icon Pik n Mix
    Subscriber

    Huws you won’t need the matting, buy yourself a hoe, once everything’s dug over just hoe the weeds as they grow. My plot takes less than 40 mins to hoe everything including the paths. Little and often.
    Are you going to be growing this season?

    huws
    Member

    Cool. I’ll pick up a hoe tonight (sniggers)

    I’ll get something in this year. My Mum just suggested French beans which should give a crop by the end of summer. Other than that I’ll be aiming for all the herbs in the world and some salady bits and bobs. Hopefully some broccoli, kale, cabbages and maybe broad beans can go in over winter.

    Premier Icon Pik n Mix
    Subscriber

    Herbs are great but usually you need them close to the kitchen rather than on your plot. Speak to the other plot holders to find out what pests you have so you know how to avoid them (most of my big beds need to be covered as I’m smack bang next to a bird reserve!)
    Your brassicas will attract butterflies so you can either pick all the caterpillars off or net them once planted.

    Man I’m excited for you it’s so much fun having an allotment. Make friends down there as you would be amazed what others will give you, be it just advice or a massive roll of wire netting that I just inherited.
    The horticultural society allotment book is brilliant, well worth getting if you want to learn about your crops and rotating them.

    huws
    Member

    The herbs will be more or less just for the bees, but they’ll also jazz the place up a bit, fill up some space and can be added to an impromptu salad. I kind of want to attract the birds and butterflies but I’m sure I’ll start getting annoyed when they start stealing my dinner.

    I’ll be plying my neighbours with tea in return for tips as soon as I can.

    ski
    Member

    One tip for a newbie, is don’t try and work your whole plot straight away, little and often worked for me.

    I would also avoid using a rotavator the first year as the weeds might just come back and kick you next year.

    Get to know your other plot holders, at my allotment, everyone helps everyone in whatever way they can, tools get lent, produce is shared and everyone helps out when you are on your holls.

    The community was amazing on my allotment, there were also some very knowledgeable people who were only too willing to share there ideas.

    [edit] get a decent freezer, you will need it 😉

    huws
    Member

    Day one progress report.
    I spent today completely clearing out the first beds and weeding around the strawberries. Tomorrow (if I can move) I’ll start on the brambles and then tackle the long grass near the soft fruit.

Viewing 28 posts - 1 through 28 (of 28 total)

The topic ‘Allotment (fizzy with excitement at the boundless potential content)’ is closed to new replies.