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Author Topic: Overgrown allotment offered, but no water on tap!  (Read 5106 times)

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Gareth W-D

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Overgrown allotment offered, but no water on tap!
« on: March 05, 2008, 23:11 »
Local council have offered me a strange allotment-by itself behind some houses-which is overgrown, but could be nurtured back into life.
They are sorting out access, but there is no tap on site!
Do you think it is possible to grow veg and fruit on the site without water; it is on chalky clay.
If so, what types?
I am considering mulches and sheeting, but am still left with the problem of watering in the initial planting!


MaisieCat

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Overgrown allotment offered, but no water on tap!
« Reply #1 on: March 05, 2008, 23:40 »
Not sure what your budget situation is but how about erecting a cheap (maybe even 'free-cycled') shed with a gutter and water butt?

When I took my allotment on I decided I wasn't going to be a slave to the watering can so I only really water when I first plant things unless the weather is very hot/dry or I want to apply liquid feed/wormery 'juice'.  My theory is that, once established, the roots will go deeper to find their own water if left to their own devices.  I've had moderate success this way so depending on your soil you might be OK transporting what you need in 5 gallon drums or similar when you really need it.

As far as crops go, how about onions and garlic for a start - I never water mine (apart from watering in) and the only problem I've had is rotting through waterlogging when I planted on the less well drained side of my site!  

Good luck whatever you decide.

Aunt Sally

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Overgrown allotment offered, but no water on tap!
« Reply #2 on: March 06, 2008, 08:37 »
One of our local allotment sites has no water on tap, but you would never know by the quality of the produce.  A number of the plot holders use one of these on their shed:

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chicken soup

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Overgrown allotment offered, but no water on tap!
« Reply #3 on: March 06, 2008, 09:29 »
I have just taken possesion of a new allotment it has water on tap on site but is on a meter.  So I am going to collect the water from my shed (when I get one) and use that.  There is however a reservoir that they said we could use free of charge which if it is a hot summer no doubt will get some use. :lol:

I also feel that once plants are established they will send their roots down to find water.  I have read somewhere that watering regularly makes the roots go upwards ie just below the surface and then if you suddenly stopped watering, say you went on your hols these plants would then perish if their were no rain.
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Ruth Cross

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Overgrown allotment offered, but no water on tap!
« Reply #4 on: March 06, 2008, 09:29 »
There isn't a tap at my site, it just takes a bit of planning and a few water butts, it'll be fine :wink:

compostqueen

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Overgrown allotment offered, but no water on tap!
« Reply #5 on: March 06, 2008, 10:44 »
yep I agree.  I have a dodgy hip and getting water from the site water butt is literally a pain in the arse so I've got hold of those blue barrels and divert water off my shed roof.  You'd be surprised how quick they fill up after a relatively quick shower  :D   Cadged a placcy water tank too and added that to the others with a bit of plastic pipe

I got a length of that soaker house and fitted it to the butt tap but it doesn't seem to work. Not sure if it's lack of pressure or it's blocked up  :?   Oh well it seemed like a good idea at the time

Gareth W-D

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Overgrown allotment offered, but no water on tap!
« Reply #6 on: March 07, 2008, 07:27 »
Thanks for all your suggestions re catching water-any more suggestions for drought tolerant veg?
I guess perenniel veg ie asparagus, blackcurrants etc would be best?

kooringa

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Overgrown allotment offered, but no water on tap!
« Reply #7 on: March 07, 2008, 09:50 »
No water on my plot (1/4 Acre).  I honestly find - even living in a renowned drought area - that  most veggies and fruit do well.  I don't pamper anything and with a plot this big I couldn't possible contemplate watering.

I do add manure or compost or newspaper  to 'hungry' plants such as in potato trenches, runner bean trenches, when I plant squash or courgettes.  I use things to cover the ground - like around courgette plants I use grass cuttings from home, cardboard etc anything that can keep the water in - not black plastic - the slugs love that - but the plastic is fine if you are not going t use the ground and need to kill weeds and to keep it weed free until you need it.

All fruit bushes seem to flourish, red, white, black currants, gooseberries, jostaberries, loganberries, blackberries, - even rhubarb with 'muck' in the planting hole then some muck or compost around the plants and some again over winter or early spring.

I do have an old open tank that collects water from my old little pig shed - but it is only used very occasionally - if the runner beans struggle now and them, and if they are not pollinating in the dry heat.

So - go for it - I did.  Each year anyway on a plot you get successes and 'let downs'  and it differs every year - but I always get enough to feed us most of the year.

Last year my spuds were a bit small - but we still stored them and eat them - even the marble sized ones just get washed and boiled with their skins on - and taste wonderful mashed or fried on in stews  etc.
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compostqueen

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Overgrown allotment offered, but no water on tap!
« Reply #8 on: March 07, 2008, 10:36 »
there is a distinction between black plastic and black sheet mulch. Proper sheet mulch is pourous and it's woven and is rough which slugs don't like.

On the other hand voles and mice love it  :roll:  :evil:

kooringa

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Overgrown allotment offered, but no water on tap!
« Reply #9 on: March 07, 2008, 10:51 »
And I have found that on my exposed plot in the middle of a field, it rots in a year - and weeds grow on it or through it :roll:   It works out expensive too - again for my plot 330ft+ feet long and 33ft wide :roll:

So I use the really thick plastic (left over by a builder laying a base) any huge cardboard boxes I can get onto which goes mulch to stop the wind taking them etc.

But the black membrane is good for lining paths that are then thickly covered with wood bark etc.    Lot of good uses for it - just depends on the size of the plot/beds etc I guess.
 
Anything that keeps the weeds down and the moisture in is great  :wink:

compostqueen

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Overgrown allotment offered, but no water on tap!
« Reply #10 on: March 07, 2008, 11:04 »
I mean the heavy duty black sheet mulch.  It's called Phormisol or sommat like that and it won't rot - ever apparently. Like you say though it is dear so you have to use it wisely.  I was lucky to get a load of it but it had holes in it where they'd been growing strawberries through it, but at least it was a start.  Cardboard is good as is full thickness newspaper. As long as it's all well weighed down it should work. Looks a * though  :D  It's a means to an end though and soon your plot will be transformed into a thing of beauty.  Work with the mess behind you is my motto  :D

Gary

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Overgrown allotment offered, but no water on tap!
« Reply #11 on: March 27, 2008, 19:35 »
Hi
 Depending on your budget and if the expense of a shed is out of the question try a couple of tins and a bath to catch the rain,then tap off into barrels  :)

best of luck Gary

crowndale

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Overgrown allotment offered, but no water on tap!
« Reply #12 on: March 28, 2008, 08:05 »
Quote from: "kooringa"
And I have found that on my exposed plot in the middle of a field, it rots in a year - and weeds grow on it or through it :roll:   It works out expensive too - again for my plot 330ft+ feet long and 33ft wide :roll:

 


That is a truly enormous lottie plot!  mine is 90x15 foot and am struggling to clear that!!  

As for water butts, i have 4, one that was there when I got there but has no water tap so has limited use given that I am short and don't wish to fall into it!  But I can delve about half way down into it without fear.  Then I have two linked large water butts, the second one though hasn't started to fill up yet, ironically not enough rain yet for that!  And then there is a large green barrel that is mostly filled up just by being open to the elements though there is a kind of link to the GH roof but thats a bit iffy  Our site was without water last year so I was taking no chances as I have a large greenhouse that will defintely require watering and is in turn keeping the water levels up in the water butts!
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Aidy

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Overgrown allotment offered, but no water on tap!
« Reply #13 on: March 28, 2008, 21:18 »
We cant use water butts or other containers here on the Fylde coast. It never rains   :lol:   always sunny, well it is in my world anyway  :wink:
But yea waterbutts or IBC's would do the job just fine.
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liz from the fizz

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Overgrown allotment offered, but no water on tap!
« Reply #14 on: March 28, 2008, 22:05 »
We dont have water on our allotments. So i water well when i plant and thats it, the rest is upto the heavens.
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