My No-Dig Allotment Adventure

It’s an exciting time as we have now got an allotment and so starts the newest growing project. 

Now I admit its been lucky. You hear of long, long waiting lists for allotments, and I was on a waiting list myself. However, upon moving to a new area we chanced our arm and enquired, and lo-and-behold they had vacancies. 

So we now have Plot 1, a full 10-rod allotment which measures around 250 square metres.  10 poles is the traditional measurements for allotments and a full one is a fair-old size. 

The plot has some sections of decent fence standing and some remnants that have come down. It obviously has not been worked for a couple of years and just looks like a section of field at the moment. In one corner there is brambles, but on the whole it isn’t too bad. Bertie says the brambles need to stay so we can get berries and help wildlife. 

A bit of investigation with the spade shows the soil is fairly clay-y. And there is a section that appears to be already covered with mypex, which itself needs uncovering of detritus in order to see how big it actually is. 

The plan is to go no-dig in the allotment and follow the methods of Charles Dowding. I am a fan of the method and have watched his YouTube videos and read books/websites. I think this method will save time and avoid countless hours of back-breaking digging. 

So the first step will be to put down a layer of cardboard and then cover this in a good thick layer of compost mulch. I did dig a test bed where I removed the turf but other sections could see the layers go right on top of the grass – provided perennial and troublesome weeds have been removed. 

The plan is to grow a host of both vegetables and cut flowers on the allotment, so now is the time to get knuckling down planning and sorting the plot into shape. I’ve also got some cuttings of blackcurrant and chuckleberry to make a soft fruit bed, and my hops. 

It’ll be a big operation no doubt, but an exciting one. And this on top of being full-time gardeners at work. It might sound like a bus-man’s holiday to some, but for me it’s a chance to grow lots of food and flowers for ourselves and try some new things I can’t do in the Walled Garden at work. 

So I’ll keep doing updates from the allotment on here and Instagram of course. And I plan to get back into regular Walled Garden updates from Hanbury too, with planning and sowing going on there too ahead of the new growing season. I’m going to be full-on growing in 2020 !!

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