Author Topic: Just took on a second allotment  (Read 474 times)

BlazeRavenwolf

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Just took on a second allotment
« on: December 14, 2018, 14:19:31 »
I have had an allotment for about a year now and I have kept it very nice

Well today I was dropping some stuff off at the allotment and I saw the secretary and after a chat I talked myself into taking on a 2nd plot, lol

Now I am just thinking to myself what can I do with 2 plots lol, the new one has the added bonus that it has a good potting shed on it, The downside as with all neglected allotments is its full of weeds, now that won't take to long to sort out

My main question is what am I going to do with all this space lol, My first plot is 150ft x 30-35ft and the second is about 150ft x 20-25ft (My first plot is an end plot hence why it is wider)

Allotments 4 All

Just took on a second allotment
« on: December 14, 2018, 14:19:31 »

Tee Gee

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Re: Just took on a second allotment
« Reply #1 on: December 14, 2018, 16:57:01 »
Well basically you now have two pretty much standard sized plots something I have had for the last thirty years so if you want some ideas here are some photos of my plots:

This is it in the middle of July the peak of my growing season:

http://www.thegardenersalmanac.co.uk/gallery/Allotment%20&%20Garden%20blog-2015/150715%20blog.htm

....and this is a few selected shots of it through a typical year:

http://www.thegardenersalmanac.co.uk/gallery/Allotment%20year/A%20Year%20on%20My%20Allotments.htm

Hopefully this will give you some ideas.

and if that is not enough you could have a look in here:

http://www.thegardenersalmanac.co.uk/Content/A/Allotments/Allotment%20Intro.htm




galina

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Re: Just took on a second allotment
« Reply #2 on: December 14, 2018, 19:05:23 »
Wonderful Blaze.  Enough room for winter squash, maybe melons and sweet potatoes on black plastic.  Enough potatoes to see you through to the next harvest.  Enough space for those big winter cabbages and caulis without squeezing them. 

I wish I had your problem and if you live close I might well come and fill the space for you  ;)

Seriously, filling space is not a problem at all.  I am sure you will wonder how you squeezed it all in before once you have had a year with the extra growing area. 

Good luck with it and a shed has got to be good too.  :wave:

Beersmith

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Re: Just took on a second allotment
« Reply #3 on: December 14, 2018, 19:22:47 »
My mathematics may be a bit off, but I think this amounts to a lot of ground, roughly 20 pole for your original plot and another 15 for your new plot. I think your plans must take into account how many people are going to share your produce.

If you have a large family or extended family you could consider growing a considerable amount of basic vegetables like potatoes, onions, cabbages, carrots, parsnips etc  and aim to keep all the family supplied for all or most of the year. That would make for a simple approach but keep all the ground usefully employed.

If you are only growing for a typical family of two adults and kids, I'd suggest you try to diversify and grow as varied a mix as you possibly can, otherwise you may find yourself facing regular gluts and having to let a lot of your produce go to waste.

To diversify, especially if you are thinking of keeping these plots long term, I'd allocate a good area to fruit and soft fruit. On suitable rootstock you could have a couple of pear trees and two or three apple trees, plus a wide variety of soft fruit like raspberries, blackberries, gooseberries, blackcurrants etc. You could also have a strawberry bed and at least one rhubarb.

Also providing great value returns without requiring disproportionate amounts of work are herbs of all sorts, an asparagus bed (takes a while to establish but once going well provides a highly valuable crop) and cut flowers. Mrs Beersmith and me enjoy having flowers about the house and the ones we grow save us a small fortune.  Next up, grow plenty of salad stuff in summer and stuff that can act as a base for stir fry meals like courgette and Pak Choy. Florence fennel is also much underrated. Squashes are versatile, taste good, and keep for ages. If allowed on your site, you might even consider a few chickens. Nothing especially difficult here but in total this is quite a lot of work.

Lots of other suggestions will appear here shortly. My main tip, start with your family needs and work backwards from there. If there are only two of you and you don't like vegetables just stick to the original single plot.

Cheers

Not mad, just out to mulch!

Pescador

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Re: Just took on a second allotment
« Reply #4 on: December 15, 2018, 07:19:37 »
That's a lot of space, approx. 700sq.m.
To add to Beersmiths comments, I would concentrate on planning continuity and avoiding gluts. E.g. It's not worth sowing a whole packet of cabbage seed at one time if you only use 2 a week. Sow just 6 or 10 seeds, maybe in modules and repeat every 3 weeks.
That way you're more likely to have a steady supply.
Where in the country are you? That will give us a clue as to climate and possible range of crops.
Welcome, enjoy your plots and enjoy this forum!
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Vinlander

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Re: Just took on a second allotment
« Reply #5 on: December 15, 2018, 12:41:09 »
I tend to concentrate on anything you can't buy in the shops. Also expensive stuff like asparagus is a great treat for very little effort if you have the room. Globe artichokes likewise.

For me the absolute #1 candidate is ripe plums. Unless you have a pick-your-own farm nearby these are impossible to source. All the ones in the shops are rubbish - no flavour at all - and they will never ripen off the tree. Mail-order for  ripe plums is virtually impossible - they wouldn't survive.

I would recommend Victoria - it's the back garden favourite for a reason - a good crop because the subtle flavour can be achieved without a lot of thinning - it's the perfect example of the difference between subtlety and blandness. For a real flavour I'd recommend Cambridge Gage and Oullins' golden gage. Both are medium croppers - Oullins' is best picked at first hint of softness - the flavour definitely improves further on the tree but the birds and wasps will get every single one before they reach that apricot flavour. Kirke's Blue is a lighter cropper but the flavour is outstanding with a powerful damson kick.

A lot of the plum varieties sold by the big suppliers are heavy croppers - but in my experience the amount of flavour produced by the tree is the same - heavier crops just mean blander fruit, and you need to thin them to get true dessert quality - a nuisance job, and one you can avoid by planting medium cropping varieties - they've effectively thinned themselves.

The flip side of this is pears - there's no point planting a pear variety like Conference since the ones in the shop will ripen perfectly well off the tree - it makes more sense to grow something like Doyenne de Comice that is much better and much harder to get any other way (though mail-order does suit apples and pears).

Between plums and pears are apples - there are apples that will blow your socks off for flavour, but none of them are in your local fruit shops. Ashmeads Kernel is always first choice and William Crump is also brilliant in a completely different way (the surprise you get when you hand a red apple to someone and it isn't mealy and tasteless - it's a joy to behold).

I grow pepper and tomato varieties you can't buy - the flavour is exceptional.

Many people today have never tasted a sweetcorn that has more actual flavour than a sugar cube. The older varieties give you outstanding flavour, plus a balanced sweetness that comes in exchange for the simplest thing - you just pick them as you leave the plot and boil them the minute you get home.

If you really like sweetcorn out of season then you need to freeze the modern varieties - but you're missing far more than you gain from a few mediocre meals.

I do grow parsnips, but that's because it's less work to grow them than to walk to the shops!

Cheers.
With a microholding you always get too much or bugger-all. (I'm fed up calling it an allotment garden - it just encourages the tidy-police).

The simple/complex split is more & more important: Simple fertilisers Poor, complex ones Good. Simple (old) poisons predictable, others (new) the opposite.

Beersmith

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Re: Just took on a second allotment
« Reply #6 on: December 15, 2018, 14:09:20 »
I tend to concentrate on anything you can't buy in the shops. Also expensive stuff like asparagus is a great treat for very little effort if you have the room. Globe artichokes likewise.

For me the absolute #1 candidate is ripe plums.


Two excellent ideas here.
Not mad, just out to mulch!

winecap

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Re: Just took on a second allotment
« Reply #7 on: December 15, 2018, 17:44:42 »
I think its all been said, but that isn't going to stop me repeating a few things. I have two plots, and I grow for myself, neighbours and friends. If you've got the time and energy, you can't have too much space. Great opportunity to diversify and indulge a bit.
Just thinking about what I do that I would have to curtail with half the space -
Firstly I love my fruit trees. 20 apple trees at the moment. All dwarf except one that I inherited and all but 3 I grafted myself. Also, 2 plum, 5 pear, 2 peach, 1 nectarine, 1 apricot, 1 quince and 1 persimmon which may never successfully fruit but with extra space you can try things that don't work! I also have a purple filbert. Finally there is a wild cherry tree which is rather large, and birds take all the fruit but I inherited it, and in the spring when its full of blossom and humming with bees its great.
I also have space for 2 beehives and 6 chickens. Each plot has a shed and two greenhouses. Room for grapes, citrus trees, and a dozen different tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, okra, physalis, pepino.
I have a good range of soft fruit, with loganberry, blackberry, wineberry, boysenberry, strawberry, blackcurrant, whitecurrant, redcurrant, jostaberry and worcesterberry.
I like to grow a good bed of sweetcorn usually about 80 plants, preferably with two varieties to spread the season. The asparagus bed also needs quite a lot of space.
Finally I tend to grow all the usual suspects found on an allotment, as well as less common things like quinoa, oca, yacon, sweet potato and melon.
I recently considered taking a third plot, but decided I didn't really have the time to do it justice. My mother had  three and a half at her most industrious. To be honest as I look ahead to the time when I may need to cut down to just one plot, I have no idea how I'll squeeze it all in. Oh, and I forgot to mention flowers. I started out with strictly veg only, but now there are lots of flowers too. And I also forgot mushroom on logs and beds! Have fun with your two plots!

ancellsfarmer

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Re: Just took on a second allotment
« Reply #8 on: December 16, 2018, 18:53:40 »
You may consider to enjoy the extra space by :
creating a longer rotation(beyond the normal 4 years)
aim to plant for winter crops as well as summer/autumn
cleaning the weeded area to a higher standard; thereby preventing future issues
planting at slightly wider spacings; growing better plants
starting composting more extensively : why not try some no-dig beds?
building a greenhouse and/or a polytunnel
move into the dark side (grow flowers!)
Whatever you do, make sure you allow it sufficient time, or you will regress.
Good luck and keep up the posting
Freelance cultivator qualified within the University of Life.

BlazeRavenwolf

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Re: Just took on a second allotment
« Reply #9 on: December 16, 2018, 20:37:07 »
Went the new allotments today waterproofed the roof of the shed on the old plot & did some weeding and Put a new fence up on the front of the new plot, moved the pallet compost bin down behind the shed & cleared some of the weeds

Beersmith

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Re: Just took on a second allotment
« Reply #10 on: December 17, 2018, 19:34:15 »
Good for you. With allotments it is amazing what can be done with a little and often approach.
Not mad, just out to mulch!

johhnyco15

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Re: Just took on a second allotment
« Reply #11 on: December 18, 2018, 16:02:49 »
ive got three plots one fruit one half split with two greenhouses the othe one greenhouse and veg reson for3 plots it keeps me out of the pub :drunken_smilie: :drunken_smilie: :drunken_smilie: :drunken_smilie: :drunken_smilie:
johhnyc015  may the plot be with you