Allotment (fizzy with excitement at the boundless potential content)
Watch it doesn’t get taken over
One of the all time greatsPosted 4 years agomolgripsSubscriber
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.Posted 4 years ago
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.Posted 4 years ago
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.Posted 4 years agowillardMember
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.Posted 4 years ago
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.
Posted 4 years ago
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.Posted 4 years agoGunzMember
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.Posted 4 years ago
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.thepuristSubscriber
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.Posted 4 years ago
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.
Not allotment bikePosted 4 years ago
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.Posted 4 years agomolgripsSubscriber
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?Posted 4 years ago
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.Posted 4 years ago
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.Posted 4 years ago
The horticultural society allotment book is brilliant, well worth getting if you want to learn about your crops and rotating them.
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.Posted 4 years agoskiMember
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.
 get a decent freezer, you will need it 😉Posted 4 years ago
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