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Off to look at an allotment...

Discussion in 'Lovely Grub' started by Everything Mac, Jan 21, 2014.

  1. Everything Mac

    Everything Mac Bushcrafter (boy, I've got a lot to say!)

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    Not sure where to post this but I'm off to look at an allotment in a couple of hours.

    I've never had one, and I know they're like hens teeth to get hold of. I'm not even entirely sure what I should do with it if I got one.

    Are there things to look out for when getting one or is it a case of suck it and see and go from there?

    the dog has wrecked my small garden, and I'm under orders that the garden will need fixing up, especially if I take on an allotment.

    Any and all advice welcome,

    Andy
     
  2. dwardo

    dwardo Maker

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    Concrete it over, buy a deck-chair and sit and watch others working. Great pastime.
     
  3. Eragon21

    Eragon21 Full Member

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    There is lots of literature out there and I am sure someone will be along to recommend a good guide/book to pick up to help you.
     
  4. Orchard

    Orchard Forager

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    A good old school introduction would be Lawrence D Hills' Organic Gardening imo, which you should be able to get cheapish mate :)
     
  5. Mesquite

    Mesquite Anyone for sailing?

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    Congrats on getting to the top of the waiting list :)

    You won't go far wrong checking out British Red's various threads about his growing experiences.

    Another good, simple book are the Expert books by DG Hessayon
     
  6. TallMikeM

    TallMikeM Need to contact Admin...

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    there's no shortage of good books out there that will teach you the basics (and beyond), see if the library has any before you splash the cash. One tip I would impart (having 10 years experience on things of a vegetable growing nature) is get one of these:

    http://www.get-digging.co.uk/

    far superior for turning over a patch of land than a fork or spade. We have heavy, stony soil here, so I use a combination of heavy mattock for breaking up new land and a digging hoe for breaking up already dug land. I reckon they are at least twice as quick as fork and spade, and a lot less effort.
     
  7. British Red

    British Red M.A.B (Mad About Bushcraft)

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    What are you looking for is a good question? Do you plan to grow veg or flowers? Raise chickens (only some allotments allow this), keep bees (likewise)?

    If the allotment has been neglected its likely to be very weedy - its normal but hard work tidying up - can take a year or two

    Think of the practical things - how far will you need to carry water? Can you get your car close to move tools and produce? Is there a shed or hard stand for one?

    Happy to help if I can offer advice.
     
  8. Everything Mac

    Everything Mac Bushcrafter (boy, I've got a lot to say!)

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    Cheers Red, I'll take those into consideration. There was a miscommunication regarding the post code and by coincidence I ended up at a different allotment. We've rearranged the meeting for another time. Probably for the best as it was all a bit rushed.

    Grumble grumble.... :nofeed:


    I'd like to grow some veg I reckon. We wouldn't need a great deal but it would be nice to do. I'd like to keep chickens/ bees etc but sadly that's not on the cards what with working offshore.


    I grew up helping my mum in the garden so I'm not totally new to it all, but I've done very little in the past couple of years.

    All the best
    Andy
     
  9. ozzy1977

    ozzy1977 Full Member

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  10. Quixoticgeek

    Quixoticgeek Full Member

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    In terms of a reading list, I would suggest The Halfhour Allotment and John Seymours Self-sufficient Gardener.

    When it comes to the location, the most important thing is water, how far away is it, and can you run a hosepipe to get there? Watering a 10 rod plot by watering can is going to drive you nuts. Second, what condition is it in now: If there is an over abundance of Bind weed or ground elder, walk away, walk away fast. Once you get it, you will spend the rest of your life trying to get rid of it. Each time you put the spade in the soil, if you accidentally divide up a piece of ground elder or bindweed root, you will just create a second plant. Not nice.

    In your first year, you want to grow things that are easy to grow, and low maintainance. Think Potatoes, Pumpkins, climbing beans. They take up a lot of space, give very good yields, but above all, require next to no maintenance. My pumpkin I planted in the middle of a wigwam of green beans, and managed to get a 1.5kg pumpkin, plus 5lb of green beans plus ½lb of dried beans, off a single 4'x4' square of ground. Total effort: put seeds in, harvest crop.

    Rhubarb is another great one, I have 4 plants of a variety called "Timberley Early", and it gets me 40lb of rhubarb a year. Once in the ground, the only effort I've put in is harvesting it occasionally.

    Most importantly, remember, it's supposed to be fun.

    J
     
  11. DavidJT

    DavidJT Full Member

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    Coincidently I've just been offered one (in fact apparently I have "a choice of various sizes"), and off to look at them this afternoon, they are 2mins around the corner.

    Will bare in mind Red's points above when going to look. E.G. where is the hose pipe, tool storage, also not too shady etc.

    I think they have kicked a few people off who have abandond their allotements for a couple of years, so I am expecting a choice of weed or even bramble patches.

    Good fun though.
     
    #11 DavidJT, Jan 21, 2014
    Last edited: Jan 21, 2014
  12. rik_uk3

    rik_uk3 Banned

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    Get the basics first

    Shed
    Table
    Chair
    Stove
    Tea pot
     
  13. kaiAnderson

    kaiAnderson Tenderfoot

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    me mum has one, its more for her to go and potter around in, it would never sustain the family. when I moved into me house I had an excess shed that she got which she loves. she just goes and drinks tea in there. she also keeps bees, she has 2 hives and is constantly giving away new swarms. shes always very proud of owt she grows and will always point out during a sunday roast whats from the allotment. they have a swapsie system going on, me mum will grow something and any extra she will swap for something else she wants from another allotment that she doesn't grow.
     
  14. Everything Mac

    Everything Mac Bushcrafter (boy, I've got a lot to say!)

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    Cheers guys. I'll bear all that in mind. Looks like it won't be for another couple of weeks if at all. The woman wasn't too helpful on the phone, but said she'd call back in a few weeks or something..... :confused:

    we shall see.
    Andy
     
  15. kaiAnderson

    kaiAnderson Tenderfoot

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    wheres the allotment gonna be? me mums is on the Wirral...
     
  16. DavidJT

    DavidJT Full Member

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    Just back from seeing the ones around the corner. Theres a huge one going, sort of a double length plot. Must be about 10m x 40m. Has a serviceable existing shed, and beds are in OK nick. Plenty of tidying to be done, but otherwise no big issues. All for the princely sum of £30 / year.
     
  17. British Red

    British Red M.A.B (Mad About Bushcraft)

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    Have it would be my advice - particularly with it being so close to home!

    I would second Quixoticgeeks advice on "The Self Sufficient Gardener" by John Seymour. Absolutely seminal book and still a major source of inspiration to me. Great no nonsense down to earth advice on planning, set up, rotation etc.

    If you need any seeds etc. Andy / David, just say the word :)

    Red
     
  18. Everything Mac

    Everything Mac Bushcrafter (boy, I've got a lot to say!)

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    It's in Bebington. As I say the woman was rather unhelpful. I've sent her a text but no reply. Kai, if your mum happens to be on that allotment and knows who deals with it all perhaps she can put in a kind word?

    Aye Red, much appreciated. I get the feeling not much is going to happen so I'll need to push it.
    Andy
     
  19. wingstoo

    wingstoo Bushcrafter (boy, I've got a lot to say!)

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    You missed the kitchen sink Rik, and solar panels for a light.
    [​IMG][/URL][/IMG]

    And the kitchen sink
    [​IMG][/URL][/IMG]

    Allotments are great, nothing like a Sunday morning session to collect some bits and pieces for lunch or dinner all fresh from the garden, just hope you get a clean and easy one.
     
  20. DavidJT

    DavidJT Full Member

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    Yeo, told them I'd like it, and popping around to sign up tmrw. Just hope we can do it justice.

    Neighbours have happily agreed to cover on watering etc when we go on holidays.

    Will def get that book, and thanks for the seeds offer Red, may well take you up.

    Found this site which looks very informative...

    http://www.allotment-garden.org/
     

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