Real Men Sow

Plot 150b – Now Weed Free and Productive!

Posted on by in plot 150b with 3 Comments


In November last year, my mum and I took on an allotment together again. Mum had moved in a road away, and we figured now was a good time to get back involved.

The plan was to grow our needy crops, such as tomatoes, in our back gardens, and use the plot for low maintenance veg, like potatoes and fruit bushes.

For those who missed the original post, this was what the plot looked like when we took it on. Plot 150b was only a half size allotment, but boy it had been neglected.


We started work in earnest just before Christmas. The ground was wet, which meant the weeds came out fairly easily, but there was just so many of them! Corner to corner, knee high weeds.

Clearing Small Areas at a Time
We planned to clear small areas, one by one, ready for crops. The first job was create space for a fruit bed, as we’d be planting from February.

The soil is heavier than our previous plot, so digging over was quite tough. We went little and often – digging during wet periods can be even harder work, so we didn’t want to end up despondent because all we seemed to do is dig for hours.

Fruit First In!
Raspberries, blackberries, gooseberries, loganberry and rhubarb went in, as well as the greengage tree from my garden that had been evicted due to manshed construction.

Since then, we’ve also made room for our squashes, leeks, potatoes, broad beans, leafy winter greens and lots of other tasty veg. It’s amazing how much you can squeeze into a half size plot.

Mum’s a Machine…
At this point, I’ve got to confess that having a retired, garden down sizing mum on hand as an allotment partner is incredibly useful! Mum would regularly visit when I was at work to keep things progressing.

She has worked so hard when I’ve not been about, but all she’ll say is ‘I just love doing it. Oh, and make sure you get your share of the harvest’.

It now looks like this:





I suppose the point of this post is to say that if you get given a dodgy allotment, it can be turned around into a productive space quicker and easier than you’d think. My Twitter feed is full of proud and impressive plotholders who have rescued an allotment from ruin and made then great again.

Over the next few days I’m going to post how me and mum did it. Check back, follow me on Twitter or sign up to the mailing list for some tips and tricks that we used to return our plot to former glories, and keep our morale and spirit high at the same time.

Don’t let those weeds beat you!


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  1. Alan @ It's Not Work, It's Gardening!June 20, 2014 at 1:51 pmReply

    Looks great Jono, although I wish I could tell where the plot ends!

    Your mother understands: it’s not work, it’s gardening! :)

  2. SparrowgrassJune 21, 2014 at 7:45 amReply

    Please can I use your site to alert people to the problems arising from netting? A fellow allotmenteer was distressed last night to find a grass snake caught fast in the netting that the chap had put in to protect his crops against rabbits. I had scissors and rubber gloves in the car ( randomly! ) so was able to hold it firmly enough to cut away the netting and free the poor thing. I specify rubber gloves as it meant I could feel how firmly to hold it….I didn’t want to squash it! Best practice is to arrange netting 2 – 3 inches above the surface: the rabbits ( boo! ) are kept out well enough but snakes and hedgehogs ( hurrah! ) won’t get trapped. Btw, the photo of Lewis is a classic!

  3. Sally Thomas CatfordJune 23, 2014 at 8:41 amReply

    I like before-after pictures because they can show the difference that you made. You did an amazing job and as I can see from the pictures you had one very important figure to help you with the hard work. I am sure that little sunshine was a hard-worker and helped a lot. :)

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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, three years on, 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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