Wednesday, 9 March 2011

New Allotment Beginnings

I took over this half sized plot in December just before the snow and ice covered it. My previous plot was too far away from home, had very poor soil and was prone to flooding. As there is an allotment site just a couple of minutes walk from home I was fortunate enough to get a place there instead. It is run by a lively allotment association which makes it quite a sociable place.

The site hadn't really been dug for a year or so and after a few dry days in January I manged to get the circular path laid out and the ground dug for weathering. The soil seems quite good in one half but it is on a slight incline and further down (away from the camera) it does get very heavy, but that may just be due to a lack of cultivation. It is quite stony and flinty and it may well dry out quickly in the summer but I hope to establish a good ground cover as quickly as I can. The circular path is designed for two reasons. Firstly, so that I can reach most parts of the growing areas without treading on cultivated soil, Secondly, to add a sense of journey and discovery as you walk around the plot. I've built a compost heap at the bottom out of an old pallet and bits of wood I had lying around and I hope to put a seat here as well as this seems to be the place where I often sit and look back up over the plot. The camera was here facing North East.

A few days ago when I took the photo I had just dug over the ground for the second time to clear weeds and break up the heavy clods from the first digging. Ideally I want to keep digging to a minimum to preserve the soil structure and ecology, but it does give me much needed exercise. I've planted quite a lot of onions and also some garlic and some broad beans. The onions seems to be doing well. I got some in a garden centre that were old stock and being sold off cheaply and these seems to be growing well.

My aim this year is to grow sweetcorn, leeks, onions, garlic, broad beans,potatoes, carrots, parsnips and anything else that should be fairly hardy and low maintenance. The space will fill up quickly and I will infill gaps with anything I can find to just see what will grow there. More labour intensive salad crops I will grow at home in the garden so that I can manage them more closely.

No comments: