Another newbie

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DiggerDog

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Another newbie
« on: December 03, 2021, 21:21 »
Hello.  I put my name on the waiting list for our local allotments a little while back, the idea being that nothing would crop up until I'd jacked in work in a year or two time.  But guess what? Yep, as from today I'm now the proud custodian of a (very overgrown and pretty derelict) allotment.

My half-baked plan is to spend this year just clearing it, sorting beds (and covering with black plastic?) and getting some basics in place - a shed, etc.  Next year I hope to have knocked working for a living on the head so I can get started properly.

Anyway, I haven't got much of a clue really so will likely make a few howlers to keep you all entertained.


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Yorkie

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Re: Another newbie
« Reply #1 on: December 03, 2021, 21:38 »
Welcome to the site and congrats on your new lotty  :D

Good time of year to get planning - just think of all the gardening items and books you can put on your Christmas list!!

It may be worth double checking what the expectations are from the site managers for your first year.  On our site, even for the most overgrown plots, we'd expect to see some cultivation during that year - with the rest of the plot under control (covered, etc). If they've said you can spend the year making initial progress, that's fine - but check first so there's no mixed expectations!
I try to take one day at a time, but sometimes several days all attack me at once...

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mumofstig

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Re: Another newbie
« Reply #2 on: December 03, 2021, 21:58 »
Welcome to the forum and good luck with the new plot :)

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New shoot

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Re: Another newbie
« Reply #3 on: December 04, 2021, 08:58 »
 Hi and welcome  :)

There are quite a few crops that will cope with a less than perfect plot and still grow, despite a few weeds, so it should be easy to meet any minimum cultivation rules.  Come back and ask once you have made some inroads into the jungle  :)

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AndyRVTR

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Re: Another newbie
« Reply #4 on: December 04, 2021, 10:48 »
Hi and welcome from me too.. when you get a new (usually overgrown) allotment it can be quite daunting on where to start, what to grow etc, but if you follow the age old adage of slowly, slowly wins the race, you'll get there!
« Last Edit: December 06, 2021, 17:04 by AndyRVTR »

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steven c

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Re: Another newbie
« Reply #5 on: December 06, 2021, 13:50 »
good luck with the new adventure why not try getting  a small section ready to grow next spring with
something that you and your family like to eat   this will keep everyone else on site happy and give
you literally a taste of what is to come  good luck with your retirement.
from bow like to grow

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DiggerDog

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Re: Another newbie
« Reply #6 on: December 06, 2021, 21:28 »
Thanks everyone for the good wishes.  I've spent a couple of hours there this weekend and have cleared rubbish ready to take to the skip (so much of it! Rotten plant pots, empty plastic compost bags, old pallets, broken plastic compost bins...) and have had a good walk around. 

The site is very uneven and bumpy (under the weeds) with old, collapsed raised beds. I'm minded once it's clear and weeds killed off to rotavate the whole thing, just to get it level?

I like the idea of getting a small section going this springtime.  Good call!

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Yorkie

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Re: Another newbie
« Reply #7 on: December 06, 2021, 22:03 »
If the empty plastic compost bags are relatively intact (other than the opening at the top), I'd suggest keeping onto them. They are useful for putting weeds into if you need to take tip trips at a later date

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snowdrops

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Re: Another newbie
« Reply #8 on: December 06, 2021, 22:04 »
If you do cover any of it with plastic etc, consider applying a thick mulch of well rotted manure under the plastic or membrane(which would be better as it lets the rain through), then when you are ready to uncover & plant your soil will be in good condition & fertile.
A woman's place is in her garden.

See my diary pages here
and add a comment here

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DiggerDog

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Re: Another newbie
« Reply #9 on: December 12, 2021, 20:46 »
Thanks everyone, very helpful. 

I spent a couple of hours today bagging up all the rubbish I'd collected together and taking it to the skip. Looks a bit clearer now but some serious weeds and brambles to tackle next.

Question: what would you all say is the best way to source a load of manure??

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steven c

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Re: Another newbie
« Reply #10 on: December 13, 2021, 11:42 »
i go to our local stables the owner said i am welcome to take as much as i want i have been going for a few years now i have just finished covering all beds at allotment and beds at home next will be mix for tomato
buckets   i think you would be welcome at your local livery yard transport can be an issue good luck.

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Yorkie

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Re: Another newbie
« Reply #11 on: December 13, 2021, 18:53 »
Just make sure you double check with the manure supplier whether any herbicide has been used on the grass that the animals ate, or on their bedding. Some of these can affect plants through the manure they go into.

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DiggerDog

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Re: Another newbie
« Reply #12 on: December 30, 2021, 23:14 »
All now cleared with a brush cutter. Still digging out bramble roots. Satisfying. I've got 10 pallets to collect tomorrow and I'm going to build a hoofing great compost bin thing.


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DiggerDog

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Re: Another newbie
« Reply #13 on: January 10, 2022, 23:36 »
...but it's been so blooming rainy. I now have 10 pallets on the plot ready, but the place is like a bog. I've decided to stop paddling about in it. With a bit of luck we'll get a few dry days before the weekend and I'll build my monster compost bins on Saturday.

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coldandwindy

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Re: Another newbie
« Reply #14 on: January 11, 2022, 09:43 »
Hello & welcome.
A couple of random thoughts.
I don't like rotavators, they kill worms, they damage the natural soil structure & every time they chop a weed root in half that's two weeds you've got. Your soil fertility & structure will be great under there somewhere. If you can dig the worst roots out then cover it that would be the best way of getting going.
Hard to imagine at the moment but you need to get water from somewhere. Does the site have mains water? If not you need to plan something.


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