Real Men Sow

A Fresh Challenge and Introducing My New Greenhouse

I’ve gone to ground on the blog recently, and this reflects my workrate on the allotment too. I’m not about to join the eons of redundant blogs laying around the Internet just yet though. There’s a reason for my inactivity: I’ve moved house, and I’ve got a couple of things to share that I’m very excited about.

A New Greenhouse and Garden
I’m delighted to announce that I’m the proud inheritor of a greenhouse. Now, it would be an exaggeration to say that our first viewing consisted of me I asking my wife to go and look around inside whilst I check out the greenhouse, but along with the 100ft garden, but it certainly helped the estate agent secure a sale.

Around the greenhouse is the perfect area for a vegetable patch too. The area is 22ft x 22ft, and although much smaller than my allotment, I’ve always dreamed of growing veg in my garden. The space is going to take a lot of prep work, but I’m incredibly excited about this new development, and in particular the idea of being able to just walk out the back door to potter about and tend to my veg.

Nurturing Veg When They Need It
Having my patch in the garden will help me keep on top of things, and give me the ability to look after those more niggly veg when they need it, rather than as and when I can get to the plot.

I love the idea of a small, self sufficient area at the back of my garden that I can design and configure to meet my needs. Although only a small space, I can’t wait to start coming up with ways of adapting to the new environment.

To Keep the Allotment or Not?
Of course, this leaves me with decisions to make about my allotment. Do I try and run both concurrently, or do I give up the plot and concentrate on my garden? It’s a tough decision, and one that I’ve given a lot of consideration too. I love my allotment – it has been one of the best things I have ever done, but there is a waiting list and now I have my own growing space, it seems only logical to pass it on to another resident who doesn’t have this luxury.

However, I’m umming and ahhing about keeping the half of my plot that has fruit on. I have invested a fair amount of dosh in my raspberries, rhubarb, blackcurrants, strawbs and gooseberries and now they are becoming very productive. My shed is also at this end, and as long as I kept the weeds down, I’m sure these beds would be pretty easy to maintain.

No More an Allotment Blog??
So what becomes of Real Men Sow, the cheery allotment blog, after this exciting new beginning? Well, I suppose it might have to become a cheery GYO blog, but I’m not rushing into any tagline changes just yet! The garden is going to take a while to turn around, and in the meantime I’ll need my plot, which gives me some much needed extra time to decide about the allotment.

So for now we’re still a cheery allotment blog – just one with a hint of kitchen garden.

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11 Comments

  1. PetitMomMay 28, 2012 at 2:29 pmReply

    We just got a half plot as all newcomers to the world of allotments are given a half plot to start with and after a while if all has been good we’ll be given the option to get a full plot, but for us a half plot is perfect. Perhaps you could ask to go down to half and keep your fruit plants and allow a newcomer to try gardening, you can also give them some of your wealth of knowledge!

    Congrats on the new greenhouse- I mean house! ;)

  2. Claire BensonMay 28, 2012 at 9:56 pmReply

    I know all about getting a veg plot started! Its hard work but hopefully this will give you some comfort – my plot is starting slowly starting to look like a veg patch and now the tenders can go out will be fully populated soon. Do you have seedlings ready to plant out from Spring sowings?

    Reading your blog – they are always so topical with what I am thinking of at the time! I’ve moved to an area with shorter allotment waiting lists than London and my family are suggesting I get an allotment, but I haven’t got the kitchen garden in full operation yet so want to get that finished first. So I am thinking about what to grow in a kitchen garden and what crops to grow in the allotment? Others have suggested things like potatoes and as we’re renting it springs to mind to grow asparagus.

    But if you are short of space and are not thinking of digging up your lawn it might be a thought to grow certain crops on the allotment and certain ones in the kitchen garden – or this year grow the same crops in both and see which site provides the more prolific crops. All food for thought!

  3. HelenMay 29, 2012 at 11:17 amReply

    My plot is technically half a plot – about 6m x 20m and I have been managing it for 18 months as well as the garden. However, the garden is quite well established now so not as onerous as starting with a blank canvas. I have been thinking of giving up the allotment as I do struggle to keep on top of it and it does seem large for a small family. I am going to perserve for this year to see how much I grow on the plot that we actually eat – too much is thrown or given away. However, if I could move the plot to outside my back door I would jump at the opportunity since I only get to the plot a couple of times a week and its just not the same as walking down the garden harvesting some veg and cooking it straight away.

    I think there is loads of potential on your blog to include how you get on designing and developing the garden – you have a following so it would be sad to loose them

  4. Jono

    JonoMay 29, 2012 at 1:16 pmReplyAuthor

    Thanks for your comments everyone, much appreciated.

    PetitMom – I was thinking the same. I could officially go down to half, but the fruit only needs a third, so would happily let my new neighbour use my other spare beds and my shed. To be honest, there are quite a few really overgrown plots that new people are having to get to grips with and it would be really nice to hand over some nicely dug beds instead.

    Claire – I’ll stick to the plot this year, and am planting my seedlings out there at the mo. Reckon it’ll be a gradual process. Don’t know about you, but I often find that I spread myself quite thinly? I think I need to focus on one area and go for it. Maybe your kitchen garden should be a priority?

    Helen – Sometimes I don’t think there is much that’s more demoralising than not being able to stay on top of the allotment. Maybe that’s ‘cos I don’t see it every day, and it is such a shock when I go down after a week of not visiting and the whole place has gone mad with weeds.

    I’m definitely going to chart the progress of the garden. There are lots of new things to explore – starting with the best way of getting rid of big weeds!

  5. SeanJune 5, 2012 at 8:14 pmReply

    Please please please set up timelapse camera!

    • Jono

      JonoJune 5, 2012 at 8:18 pmReplyAuthor

      I’d love to do this but no idea where to start. Any tips??

  6. SeanJune 5, 2012 at 8:15 pmReply

    I can’t wait to start reading the cheery greenhouse .

  7. Naomi/OutofmyshedJune 6, 2012 at 4:01 pmReply

    Congrats on new house, garden, greenhouse and kitchen garden to be. All very exciting. Big dilemma about your allotment, but sounds like you’ve already come to a conclusion. Lovely to finally have food growing on your doorstep though. Looking forward to seeing how your new veg patch progresses.
    p.s. Very jealous of greenhouse!

  8. LajosJune 12, 2012 at 6:40 pmReply

    I would love to have a big garden like that, as you said yourself it is shocking sometimes to see the plot after a week. I would def go for the garden, it is big it is brillialnt, you could turn it into a very very productive kitchen garden. And you can easily move your fruit bushes just dig dig them out with all the roots, well as much roots as possible but if you do it in the autumn it would not even shock them at all.

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About Real Men Sow

meIn 2007, I took on a redundant allotment plot with my gardening-mad mum Jan. As all good mums do, she went along with it, but I don’t think she held out much hope. However, over a decade later, and she now lets me do stuff without watching over my shoulder, so I must be doing something right. [ read more ]

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