Real Men Sow

How We Cleared our Overgrown Allotment Part 1: Little and Often


One of the mantras mum and I have adopted since taken on our overgrown allotments is ‘little and often’, and I reckon it is one of the reasons we’ve managed to return the plot to a productive and tidy state fairly efficiently.

No one likes to slog. Its rubbish, and after all, this allotment lark is meant to be fun. In the first of a series of posts that talk about the tactics we used to clear our unruly allotment and start growing again, here’s 5 reasons why little and often plot sessions can help you beat the weeds.

Hard Graft
Digging, clearing and pulling up weeds is hard work. There’s no way of dressing it up, and I’m sure you don’t need to tell you that digging causes aches and pains, especially if you’re not used to doing it.

Little and often allotment visits break up sessions save your achey limbs and ease the impost on the muscles. Give your body a break and feel strong for your next trip to the plot.

Finding Time
From my experience, it is easier to find 1 – 2 hours a couple of times a week than a whole afternoon at a weekend. We’re busy with everything else going on in our lives, and dedicating large chunks at a time to the allotment can be tricky.

Ways I’ve found of fitting shorter sessions into my week include getting up a bit earlier (my son sees to that!)

Keeps spirits high
A whole day of digging and pulling up weeds can be boring and disheartening, especially if you’re on your own and begin to think you’re not making any progress.

Little and often will help keep your spirits high as it won’t feel like a constant struggle with clearing the plot. It is vital that you look forward to going to the plot and don’t let things get on top of you.

And know when to call it a day. Don’t stay on the plot if you don’t want to be there. If you yawn, go home and put your feet up!

More Focused
I’ve found that going for just an hour or so helps me focus my energies. Having a short time on the plot means I turn up knowing exactly what I’m going to achieve on that visit. Normally I’ve deciced which small bed or section I’m going to work on or what I’m aiming to finish whilst I’m there.

You’ll feel like you’re making progress
By completing small sections and jobs each time you go to the allotment will help you see progress. Standing back regularly admiring spruced up sections rather than slogging away to cultivate one big section is much better for the mind.

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One Comment

  1. kjball3@gmail.comJune 25, 2014 at 6:58 amReply

    I totally agree. Do a small amout well. Then do somthing else. (I also try to cover over areas with carpet / black plastic to try and kill the weeds) When I’ve got enough of a bed prepared I plant something in it. Then have a sit down & a cuppa. I also take photos so I can look back on the progress and don’t worry how much is left. :)

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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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