The Allotment Project

On Friday 1st October 2021 we became custodians of a sadly neglected allotment near where we live. It appeared not to have been touched for probably 18 months. This is a photographic record of our progress…

SUNDAY 24th APRIL 2022

Looking at the original images from October last year (see the foot of this page) I still can’t believe how far we’ve come. Amazing what a lot of hard work – and a little help from nature! – can achieve!

WEDNESDAY 23rd MARCH 2022

SPRING!

So we’re back on the allotment and it’s great seeing some green at long last! The fruit trees and bushes are budding, the strawberries are looking perky, the rhubarb’s looking great, there are things growing in the greenhouse and – most important of all – we can sit in the sun drinking tea!

THURSDAY 9th DECEMBER 2021

Well it’s all quiet on the allotment front now. Pretty much put it to bed for the winter. Just a little weeding left to do, but the ground has been so wet and heavy for days now that we may have to wait until well into 2022 – but that’s not an issue.

The only remaining thing we must do is to plant our raspberry canes which still haven’t arrived from the supplier. They’re nearly two months late which, I assume, has something to do with global supply chain problems.

So this page will be put to sleep too for a while, at least until the days are considerably longer..!

WEDNESDAY 17th NOVEMBER 2021

We’ve reached the stage where progress is much less visible – and where we’ve stopped counting sacks of rubbish (must be over 40 now!) – therefore the pictures below are show less dramatic improvement: ‘The Avenue’, with clematis and honeysuckle now planted at the base of the arches; a tidy greenhouse; the wilderness round the back of the fruit cage now looking much better, and accents of colour at the front of the fruit cage; the plantings of onions, garlic, peas and broad beans.

Currently working hard to clear the couch grass from the long narrow bed by the fence to next door’s plot, and looking forward to planting raspberry canes in the cage next month.

MONDAY 8th NOVEMBER 2021

Planting!! In addition to strawberries in planters and bushes in the fruit cage (still awaiting the raspberry canes) we’ve now sown in one of the open plots for the first time: onions (two varieties) and garlic. Leeks and broad bean seeds to follow elsewhere soon. Plus some tulips and daffodils (a golden host, no doubt!) in one or two places for spring colour.

Plus – we’ve now prepared our barked seating area and have added a – very small – ‘avenue’ defined by box hedging plus two arches that will be festooned with clematis and honeysuckle next summer. It looks like someone actually cares about 17B now!

TUESDAY 2nd NOVEMBER 2021

In spite of some very wet weather and me being away for three days, some good progress in the last week: some new bark paths in place and being prepared; more areas dug over and protected by membrane. The whole plot is now really opened up! And just to show how far we’ve come, I’ve also included three photos of how it was when we took it over.

SATURDAY 23rd OCTOBER 2021

A busy week focussed on building the new fruit cage (on the site of an old greenhouse). We’ll put the roof net on in the Spring, but our first plants are now in. A real sense of achievement! Strawberries to go in a couple of troughs over the next few days.

Other than that, more digging and clearing – and we’ve identified which two areas will be the hardest to rid of unwanted thistles and grass. We’re up to 32 bags of waste now!

MONDAY 18th OCTOBER 2021

The plot is now officially ours…

Two of the four major plots now cleared; hopefully we’ll be planting in one of them very soon. The old fruit cages have come down which really opens up the space. The majority of the existing fruit bushes will be removed and new bushes housed in the new fruit cage which will be built over the coming couple of weeks.

30 sacks of weeds and grass, and counting..!

THURSDAY 7th OCTOBER 2021

Just about one week in and the first task was an initial clearance of the site. As you can see we’re only part-way through, but in the initial clearing of the four main plots and what will become the new fruit cage, have already collected 18 bags of weed and grass! We expect a second tranche of clearing over the same areas in a few days then the majority most likely covered over for the winter. Then it will be on to constructing the new fruit cage.

We hope to have some onions and garlic – plus one or two borders of tulips and daffodils – planted by about 1st November…

FRIDAY 1st OCTOBER 2021

As you can see, it’s quite a large plot but totally overgrown. In places the weeds are nearly two metres high; in fact, there are weeds just about everywhere. The fruit cages are bursting, mainly with weeds also. First job is to start clearing the ground and work on weed and grass suppression, then we’re going to tackle the fruit cages.

Did I mention the weeds…?