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