Advice please on new plot

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Kit

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Advice please on new plot
« on: November 03, 2018, 08:06 »
Hi there

I have just taken on a plot and am excited to get stared growing my own veg. My family are great believers in no, or very little digging, and I was going to follow their example. However, the plot has recently been cleared by the council and instead of clearing the rubbish they appear to have ploughed most of it back into the soil. I have seen bits of black polythene, cut up bits of gardening gloves, bricks and wood stick out of the earth. I even pulled out a small rake!

Am I right in thinking I am going to have to dig the plot over in order to get all the rubbish out? Should I do it bed by bed and the mulch? Or just as and when I have things to plant?


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Christine

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Re: Advice please on new plot
« Reply #1 on: November 03, 2018, 08:43 »
I fear that you are going to have to dig bed by bed now so that you start out with the place right then you can go down the no dig route. You do have the next few months which are not exactly planting time to get the place in order.

And yes, that's often typical council workmanship that you have inherited. Unfortunately.

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mumofstig

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Re: Advice please on new plot
« Reply #2 on: November 03, 2018, 09:55 »
I really don't know what's best for newbies, plots left 6ft high in weeds and soil so hard you can't get a spade in - or ploughed ones with all the rubbish left in them. I suppose at least you can get a spade/fork in the soil to clean the plot if it has been ploughed  ::)
So yes, clear a bed at a time and cover with cardboard and compost/mulch, or weed fabric for now - because in the first year it will be quite weedy, until you get a good deep mulch to stop the weed seeds germinating.

Good luck!
Lesley x
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Kit

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Re: Advice please on new plot
« Reply #3 on: November 03, 2018, 14:35 »
Thanks for the advice. That was what I feared. ::)

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Christine

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Re: Advice please on new plot
« Reply #4 on: November 03, 2018, 16:23 »
Kit most of us have been there and done the digging. Pays off long term.  ;)

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DHM

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Re: Advice please on new plot
« Reply #5 on: November 03, 2018, 19:57 »
YeH thats what we got, loads of rubbish, tonnes of weeds etc.seems to be the norm in this game! Our site offers a free strim, thats it. No reduced rent, even though taken in Mid may in that state. We've got it cleared but its been hard work!

This is how it goes most of the time unfortunately.

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Christine

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Re: Advice please on new plot
« Reply #6 on: November 04, 2018, 08:00 »
It's these telly programmes that make gardening all look so easy that I think is the root of the problem. Along with people who have grown old and no longer fit enough to keep the plot in good condition.

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snowdrops

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Re: Advice please on new plot
« Reply #7 on: November 04, 2018, 08:25 »
I think you’re right Christine & particularly with folk getting older, they won’t ask for help or are frightened to approach the council in case they get kicked off. I’ve suggested to ours numerous times about having a ‘buddy’ type scheme to help plot holders who need it & to get newbies started until a plot becomes vacant, each time I mention it it’s lime the first time they’ve heard it 🙄
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chillimummy

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Re: Advice please on new plot
« Reply #8 on: November 04, 2018, 20:24 »
On our site, in the last couple of years when plots became vacant, they were split in half.
Even with just half a plot though some people struggle because as others have said, it's hard work.
Some of the older people on the site though seem to be really struggling at the moment and I wonder why they don't reduce to half a plot.
Surely it means they can carry on what they love but keep it managable  :)   
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Any Comments ? :
http://chat.allotment-garden.org/index.php?topic=129055.msg1505112#msg1505112

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DHM

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Re: Advice please on new plot
« Reply #9 on: November 05, 2018, 07:29 »
It's these telly programmes that make gardening all look so easy that I think is the root of the problem. Along with people who have grown old and no longer fit enough to keep the plot in good condition.

This is it^^^

Our predecessor falls into the 'too much for an old guy' bracket. 33 years he had our plot, he grew frail, his wife sadly died and he cultivated less and less of the plot, using the remainder as a dumping ground for weeds, old soil, batteries, plastic, carpet, broken tools etc, most of the hard rubbish becoming buried over time. I've never heard of the rubbish clearance charge being invoked at our site, perhaps they felt sorry for this dude but he now shares a plot elsewhere on site with his his brother we hear, perhaps something he should have done 10 years ago...

In terms of best intentions, I know a few people who took on allotments to grow some veg, who became quickly disillusioned by the amount of clearance involved and quickly abandoned ship. I grew up on allotments so had low expectations at the start so everything we've achieved so far has been a bonus and a great source of pride. We aint letting ours go anytime soon!

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andreadon

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Re: Advice please on new plot
« Reply #10 on: November 05, 2018, 22:18 »
That's something I worry about too.
The guy who had the plot before me let it go to ruin, and my neighbours keep ribbing about it, nicely of course.

business is slow right now so I have half a day most days to dig, and that's ideal for starting the plot off well, but what happens if I open my shop again?
Then I won't have anywhere as much time, especially in the winter months when there's no daylight.

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snowdrops

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Re: Advice please on new plot
« Reply #11 on: November 06, 2018, 07:52 »
Once you’ve got it prepared it will be fine, cover it with either cardboard,plastic or membrane before & after preparation to prevent weed growth. Look at no dig that gets covered with a thick layer of well rotted mulch & really cuts down on weed growth, the difference this year on my plot in weeding has been phenomenal.

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rowlandwells

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Re: Advice please on new plot
« Reply #12 on: November 06, 2018, 08:59 »
I'M surprised your council has ploughed your allotments probably a quick fix to get people renting I wish our council would adopt this but like most uncultivated plots our spare plots are very overgrown with all sorts of weeds and rubbish


and although there has been some interested parties looking to rent but there put of by the amount of work involved to clear and dig the ground its sad so many plots have just gone back to nature I think  its to much to ask a woman to take on such a task because I have to say there's more interest in woman taking on new plots than men


the plot next to me has been recently taken over its full of docks the new plot holder asked me how I would  do to get rid of them I told him roundup that's how I got rid of all the weeds on a new  plot when I took it over he was most impressed that I had very few weeds on my plot considering its been left for around ten weeks when I was unable to do any gardening I have offered to spray it for him then plough it for winter

a fellow plot holder took my advise last year  sprayed the plot then dug it over he had very good results this year and rid the plot of both docks and bindweed  still having  a full time job  manages his plot very well he says he loves his plot he says its  a place he come and  to chill out on   :D


 

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Dev

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Re: Advice please on new plot
« Reply #13 on: November 06, 2018, 15:35 »
This is a very relevant topic - particularly at this time of year when rents are due (well they are on our allotments.) Our society doesn't push new members into taking on the old style allotment plot _ 300 roods perches or some other kind of fish - but splits up the old size into roughly thirds. Most newbies want to emulate Monty Don etc, but don't appreciate (or can spare) the necessary time to keep on top of things. An allotment can be a very therapeutic  thing, but not if you are constantly fighting weeds, slugs, birds etc, and then finding you have fallen behind with planting out the module raised plants, or sowing in the right time  for best results. I would suggest taking the smallest size plot you can, mastering that comfortably, and then moving on to something bigger if you enjoy it and can afford the time. The first year is always the hardest, but stick with it and it gradually improves as you learn more about your soil and environment. Most of all - enjoy it!

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meriad

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Re: Advice please on new plot
« Reply #14 on: November 06, 2018, 16:10 »
That's something I worry about too.
The guy who had the plot before me let it go to ruin, and my neighbours keep ribbing about it, nicely of course.

business is slow right now so I have half a day most days to dig, and that's ideal for starting the plot off well, but what happens if I open my shop again?
Then I won't have anywhere as much time, especially in the winter months when there's no daylight.

I have a similar problem... I work in London and leave home at 7am and come back 7pm.  Fine in the summer when the days are long; plenty time to pop round on my way home but this time of year all I can do is go there on the weekends.  I chose to install raised beds; it mentally just made everything seem so much more manageable; because you're keeping lots of smaller spaces tidy which seemed a lot more possible than just one big space (if that makes sense).    And by the end of this year I want to have put down ground fabric with a layer of something over to cover the footpaths between the beds to suppress weed growth as much as possible.

We have a fair number of elderly people on our allotment and I gather the couple that own the other half of my plot (they had the full plot then gave up half which I now have) are not renewing the lease as they can no longer cope.  Fingers crossed I'll be able to take on that one as well :D



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