Allotment Plan - Am I being unrealistic?

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Kimsportinfo

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Allotment Plan - Am I being unrealistic?
« on: March 08, 2018, 10:51 »
Morning!

We have recently moved in to a new annex that has a 10x2m allotment patch and greenhouse right outside our backdoors, as well as a few other beds around the garden. The previous owners had taken a lot of care of the patch and managed to grow quite a lot in previous years.

I've planned to grow our salad, peppers, chillis and tomatoes within the treehouse in pots/troughs. With the herbs being in planters on the patio.

Interms of the main plot it has now been cleared and ready for sowing. As a novice allotmenteer, I've been thinking about my plot design and was wondering if i was being overly ambitious in my plans. Below is my current plan and I was wondering if anyone was able to offer feedback on whether this was the case, or even when i could make improvements :-)

Its all very daunting so any advice would be greatly appreciate :-)


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Mr Dog

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Re: Allotment Plan - Am I being unrealistic?
« Reply #1 on: March 08, 2018, 11:48 »
Before I got my plot I grew in 2 beds, roughly 12 sq yd each, in my garden. I used to put stuff in much closer than recommended without any real issues - plants were sometimes smaller but I looked on 2 small cabbages as being better than 1 large one and it can be a bit more difficult to get a hoe in to weed so more care is needed to avoid taking out a veg plant. Rather than planting in a straight line I also used to offset every second plant in a zig-zag pattern which creates a bit more space for each. One thing to seriously consider is the space (and time for other than earlies) taken up by potatoes. I used to grow 1 row (14ft) of 1st earlies which meant that the ground was freed up for a second crop sometime in July depending on when the seed spuds went in. Another is onions, which are cheap to buy and are one of the few crops I find that don't have vastly superior 'home grown' taste - if you do grow them I'd do it in clumps of 3 or 4 (again they'll be smaller than single planting but you'll get more bulbs in the allotted space). I'd also look at growing your carrots in containers if possible. They will, almost certainly, need protecting from carrot fly and covering them in the ground will also add to the difficulty of maintenance. Is that PSB above the parsnips? Again that's another crop that will take up a relatively large amount of space for a long period but is something that I did grow in the garden as we like it and it provides something when there's not much else around to harvest.

Remember that it's much easier to thin things out if you do overplant than it is to fill in the gaps if you underplant!

I'm sure this doesn't need saying, but especially given your limited space, try to only grow stuff that not only do you and your family like to eat but that you will actually use (my plot neighbour likes cabbage but he certainly doesn't get through the 60 or so he grows every year!) so that way you get maximum benefit from the space. it might be worth having a look for square foot gardening to get some idea about how tightly things can be packed in. And finally, give it a go and see what happens!

Ps not sure what that is above the swedes(or to the right), sweet potatoes? If so I'd forget them and plan to grow something else.

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jaydig

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Re: Allotment Plan - Am I being unrealistic?
« Reply #2 on: March 08, 2018, 12:18 »
I have learned to make my plans in pencil.  I always start off with very good intentions, but tend to end up with only an approximation of the original plan.  I ensure that the crops that have to be rotated always are, but then I might find some seeds that I absolutely MUST try out, but that haven't been included, so they "can go there" because there's a bit of space, or I have plants that are ready to go out before I've prepared their alloted  space, so I put them in "there" because it's ready.  I amend the plan as I go on, so that next year I know where crops such as brassicas, carrots and parsnips were actually planted in order to try to minimise club root damage, or forking because I've put carrots and parsnips where the soil has been fertilised.

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snow white

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Re: Allotment Plan - Am I being unrealistic?
« Reply #3 on: March 09, 2018, 11:10 »
As above.
Plus- an allotment is very much an ongoing development.  Mine changes yearly.  Some ideas work really well, others flop dramatically.  I like the fact that I can implement my own ideas, have a go, then if necessary, change them again.  I steal copy other peoples ideas as well, sometimes adapting them.   That it what I love about it all.

So, have a go and see.
A handy girl with a cordless screwdriver.

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Wiltshire Worms

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Re: Allotment Plan - Am I being unrealistic?
« Reply #4 on: March 09, 2018, 13:34 »
I don't know about realistic but very organised
I just work on 4 lots
Brassica
Allium
Beans and potatoes
Everything else!

Just enjoy it and use your common sense..you will do fine

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Nobbie

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Re: Allotment Plan - Am I being unrealistic?
« Reply #5 on: March 09, 2018, 14:23 »
If you want to avoid becoming disheartened by attacks on your crops, I would look at covering the whole plot in debris netting to keep birds/cabbage whites off, or enviromesh which may keep carrot fly out. Or maybe plant the susceptible stuff at one end and just mesh that.

I though I'd grown a great crop of calabrese until my girlfriend found a big catapillar on her plate :wacko: Best to avoid disappointment.

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Kimsportinfo

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Re: Allotment Plan - Am I being unrealistic?
« Reply #6 on: March 12, 2018, 14:57 »
Thank you all for your replies, you have given me something to think about! One thing in particular as about the reuse of space if somethings already finished. I sort of forgot that it was an evolving process! I have been having a look over the plot and think I might look to plant my main crop pots in bags to free up the space. We have loads of grass space around the main allotment, so that may be a better option.

I think the sheer panic of it falling completely tits up got me panicking! When to be fair I have already really enjoyed getting everything ready, so its already a winning experiment :-)!

Thanks again, now back to my greenhouse!

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Toosje

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Re: Allotment Plan - Am I being unrealistic?
« Reply #7 on: March 12, 2018, 21:37 »
What helps me making sure my whole garden is filled the whole season around, is making a year plan: at the start of the year I can see where the next beans or lettuce wille be.

Although you probably won't be able to read the names of the veg (they are in Dutch) it will give you an idea of what I mean.

I rotate over 6 patches. A-B-and so on.

Good luck and most of all: enjoy!
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Dev

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Re: Allotment Plan - Am I being unrealistic?
« Reply #8 on: March 13, 2018, 02:31 »
I agree with most of the previous comments. Start with what you and your family most enjoy - I grew some great sprouts, but I'm the only one who likes them, and how many sprouts can you eat? Then look at what has the best taste difference between home grown and shop bought. Mr Dog is right about the onions - Morrisons are selling so called Wonky Veg and a big bag of undersized but very usable onions cost 42p. If you have space for sweetcorn, and you like it, I have found this has the biggest difference in flavour between shop bought and home grown. Lettuce tomatoes peas and cucumbers are similar. Have a look at Charles Dowding's website. He has some very good videos on You Tube for growing various veg - particularly module sowing of leeks, spring onions and beetroot. Enjoy your garden.

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Kimsportinfo

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Re: Allotment Plan - Am I being unrealistic?
« Reply #9 on: March 13, 2018, 08:21 »
Toosje you gem! I was saying to my partner last night that what I need is to plan the whole year through, particularly as I was struggling to remember when and where I wanted things to go. Your spreadsheet is exactly what I was getting at so thank you for the inspiration.

Thank you Dev for the suggestions. I have seen Charles Dowdings website and books recommended a few times over the past few days so I will check there out. Interesting to hear you found the biggest difference in sweetcorn, I love it but thought it wouldn't be hugely different but you have now changed my mind! :-)

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sunshineband

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Re: Allotment Plan - Am I being unrealistic?
« Reply #10 on: March 13, 2018, 08:43 »
I also use a rotation around sets of four beds, as it makes it easier to avoid planting the same family of plants in the same place for a few years.

I plan ahead for the whole year...a bit of a moveable feast, as obviously weather conditions and family circumstances impinge on life ..... but it does help me remember to sow things in time to have crops too plant on later in the season once the Spring sown ones have been used.

f you click on the little globe icon at the bottom of the bit where my name is,and look at Sowing & Planing 2018 you can read it all if you'd like (Hope that's OK John)

« Last Edit: March 13, 2018, 08:44 by sunshineband »
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Link to my diary:   http://chat.allotment-garden.org/index.php?topic=111682.0:
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Tenhens

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Re: Allotment Plan - Am I being unrealistic?
« Reply #11 on: March 15, 2018, 21:35 »

Thank you Dev for the suggestions. I have seen Charles Dowdings website and books recommended a few times over the past few days so I will check there out. Interesting to hear you found the biggest difference in sweetcorn, I love it but thought it wouldn't be hugely different but you have now changed my mind! :-)

On the subject of sweetcorn , Monty Don advocates having a pan of water ready so that as little time as possible is lost between harvesting and cooking. Having said that , we have steamed our veg for the past few years , so easy to do.  My family can tell the difference between our potatoes  - Desiree , and the ones in the supermarket , supposed to be the same variety , better flavour and more filling .   This unfortunately happens when ours run out.
This year we are having a big push at growing potatoes in bags as well as the plot , you may find Lettuce's post on this useful , it certainly inspired us.
we also rescue rabbits and guinea pigs,grow own veg



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