We’ve had an allotment for about eight years now.
Over the time we have had reasonable crops of many different plants. However, we’ve never really sat down and written what we are doing so here’s an attempt. Its probably going to be very similar to many other allotment blogs, the ups and downs of trying to “grow your own”, successes and failures, crops that work and crops that don’t but that won’t stop me from trying.
A brief description of the site:
Over the years, we have created an allotment with 12 beds each between five and six feet wide and seven yards long. Between the beds we’ve put weed-suppressant fabric paths to stop the grass growing into the beds from the edges. Behind the are a couple of apple trees, some thornless blackberries, a shed and some compost heaps. Two of the beds are dedicated to Strawberries and another to autumn raspberries and a final one with with a mix of summer raspberries, gooseberries, redcurrants and blackcurrants. If I have a problem, its that I try to grow too many different varieties of things and not enough of any one plant.
When we took over the allotment, the ground was largely “sterile”. It had been run by a classical “old fashioned” allotmenteer (if that’s a word), rotovated half to death, weed-killed and fertilised to within an inch of its productivity. Since then we have put in mushroom compost, well-rotted farmyard manure and hand-dug the beds each year. The first year, it took four hours of hard graft to dig each bed, there were no worms to be seen and there was a thick layer of heavy yellow clay from about six inches down. Now, whilst the soil remains very heavy (and typically cold early in the season) the clay has been driven down below a spit depth and it only takes one and a half to two hours to dig each bed and the soil looks much more friable even though it is still heavy.
That’s the introduction, from now on we’ll try to post when something significant happens