New allotment queries

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John

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New allotment queries
« on: November 30, 2005, 13:15 »
I am frequently asked similar questions to this, so rather than reply privately I'll answer through here so everyone can benefit:
Quote

I have just taken a new allotment, its my first and I have cleared it, I seem to have done that right as all the weeds were killed before we rotovated it. also we worked some horse manure in, so do I just leave it over the winter as I have been advised or is there anything further I should do to the plot before the spring.
many thanks


There is actually a bit you can / should do.
First: roughly plan what is going where next year.
Next: Especially with a heavy soil, roughly dig it over leaving large clods on the surface. With finer soils you can leave it with mounds. The idea is that the frost gets into the soil and breaks it up, giving you a finer tilth to plant into come the spring.
Then: Check the PH (acid levels) and lime if required EXCEPT where the potatoes are going to be. I've an article on lime you can read.
It's not too late to plant garlic either.

Hope that gets you going

It's always helpful to know roughly what area of the country people are in and what the soil is like when asking cultivation questions.
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noshed

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new alottment
« Reply #1 on: January 18, 2006, 16:25 »
That was a helpful response.
I'm lucky enough to have taken over a "going concern" with very few weeds. I'm going to make some beds and do as little digging as possible and see how this year progresses.
It's surrounded on two sides by high walls (north and west facing) with the council's fence in front. Any guidance as to what to grow in the beds next to the fence/wall? I was just going to plant beans to use the support of the fence - will they be too shady?
My plot is in London on a sheltered site with pretty good loamy soil.
Also - any ideas how to get a shed up cheaply? I've got access to pallets but I was going to use them for the compost bin.
Thanks
Self-sufficient in rasberries and bindweed. Slug pellets can be handy.

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John

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New allotment queries
« Reply #2 on: January 18, 2006, 17:55 »
I get really confused on north facing etc. I've been known to stand muttering with arms outstretched trying to work out east etc!

Anyway, if the north wall blocks a lot of light, you know where to put the compost bins etc.  I'd have thought you'd get away with runner or climbing french beans on the west wall.  Walls can cause a rain shadow so ensure plenty of moisture is available for your beans. The old fashioned bean trench lined with newspaper could be a good idea.

Shed - I'm one of the few who paid for a shed, I think, on our site. Ask about and keep an eye out in the local paper for a 2nd hand one. Often the other allotment plotholders will know of one.

Best of luck!

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nitiram

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New allotment queries
« Reply #3 on: January 21, 2006, 07:48 »
The bit about you buying a new shed made me laugh John. When i was given a conducted tour of the site before I was given my plot the old man kept pointing out plots that has new sheds, new compost bins etc and he snorted derisedly each time and muttered those immortal words; "Thems not proper gardners, proper gardners buy NOTHING new."

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John

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New allotment queries
« Reply #4 on: January 21, 2006, 10:02 »
Oh no, I didn't buy a new shed.  The chap who had plot 1 put it up but he couldn't cope with his plot. So I paid 30 fpr his shed and other bits on his plot.

So I  was thinking of taking on plot 1 when Larry told me plot 29 was coming free. So brother in law and I shifted the shed, which was a real old job. The shed is  a home made construction with plywood walls and the roof beams would support a house. It nearly killed us getting the roof back on - especially as it started to pour with rain as we were getting it on.

Strangely, considering the old boys' mutterings, the chap who did have plot 29 had new sheds, greenhouse and even decking. He put the deep beds in with new wood as well!

You may recall, it was half covered in horestail and the soil hadn't been dug over for years - he was a 'scratch the surface' gardener.



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