When it comes to planning an allotment from scratch, knowledge, effort and a dash of good fortune with the weather are often the necessary components! If you’re looking for a community of like-minded gardeners to help you ace your allotment planning, you’ve come to the right place. 

At Allotment Online, we share tips and tricks, triumphs and tales of challenges that fellow gardeners face to ensure you are well-equipped to deal with your allotment. 

Whether you’re a novice or a seasoned gardener, our community will help you grow, learn and connect with other enthusiasts so you reap maximum benefits of your allotment patch or vegetable garden.  

Sign up to be a part of our community and let’s take your allotment to the next level!

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Allotment Online started as a passion, shared by a husband and wife duo who started renting their own allotment plot in Northamptonshire. Ever since then, their experience has been rooted in learning through trial and error celebrating the journey along the way.

Allotment Online is a garden community created specifically for garden enthusiasts to share their experiences and knowledge with like-minded gardeners. 

We created this community to connect with other gardening enthusiasts, from beginners to experts, and to share knowledge about growing organic produce. 

Our shared allotment diary page, we want this platform for exchanging advice and experiences and enjoying the journey from garden to table. Our goal is to nurture a community that shares a passion for growing fresh and organic food.

You too can share your experience as part of our Allotment Diary and be a part of this delightful experience as you seek the path towards sustainability. 

Sign up and share your advice today!

Person
14th Jun 2024

Moved house November 2023. Had to leave behind my productive council allotment (32m x 8m) in Norfolk that I had tamed and nurtured for the last 5 years and gad to buy my first veg in 4 years.it doesn't taste the same. Annoyingly, the Asparagus crowns were in full production as were the plum tree, raspberry canes and Rhuburb that i planted in the first spring.

So January 2024 saw a complete new start. This time at the end of the garden in Wiltshire. Plot at present about a quarter of the size of my old allotment but hopefully that will grow to about half the size. 

The plot was completely wild. Full of couch grass, bind weed, ivy and brambles. In other words a complete nigh mare. After an application of weedkiller and careful digging, using a fork so as not to break up the roots, most of the couch grass and other weeds are gone except the bind weed that sends up another new shoot or 2 or should I say a100, each day. 

I have managed to get a surprisingly lot growing even with such a wet and cold spring/summer. The new potatoes are delicious and the first beetroots are ready to eat. Broad beans are not far off and the sugar snap peas are flowering so not much longer before I will be picking them. Runner beans are looking happy as well. Brassicas all looking very happy but running out of room for any more sequential planting. Parsnips and carrots are growing, although have had real problems with slugs. So much so that all my onions and leeks were completely eaten by slugs back in March (I always grow from seed). However, I managed to get a second sowing of both sorted and they are now growing well although a month or 2 behind. We'll see how successful they are as normally I plant them out 1st of April. 

The garlic, which I planted in tubs in November when I first arrived here, are looking great with about a month to go before they will be ready to harvest. Tomatoes are also in tubs and the first flowers are opening.

Sweetcorn, courgettes and butternut squash all look a bit worse for the weather!!

So all in all a good start. Fingers cross, hopefully I will be eating more home grown veg soon.

 

 

 

@glyn
Person
14th Jun 2024

https://ferrymanpolytunnels.co.uk/

@cazwebs
Person
11th Jun 2024

With dodging rain, working and a half term holiday thrown in we have been so busy playing catch up with the allotment plot.  The polytunnel is now taking shape with the tomatoes, chillies and strawberries settling in nicely. The cucumbers and melons will be next to go up in large pots.  

I've sown seeds directly into a raised bed within the polytunnel for swede.  We haven't had much luck growing swede, so nothing to lose trying them in there.  I also have some celeriac seeds in propagation trays before planting outside.

For now, the plot is generally weed-free and tidy, grass mown and most crops in situ. We have onions, leeks, sweetcorn, parsnips, carrots, dwarf beans, potatoes, radishes, beetroot, spring onions, spinach, lettuce, rocket, asparagus, pumpkins and sprouts. We also have some fruit bushes at the bottom - raspberries, more strawberries, gooseberries and blackberries.

We've tackled our messy composting area and spread some lovely composted soil across our beds. We plan to sow some wildflowers on a patch also. We have a 'new' compost 'pile' but do need to address that with something 'proper' and more permanent...

Another job to tackle is an irrigation system for the polytunnel, we also aim to expand the use of it by adding shelving/workbenches. We've had a move around and tidied the shed and used some of the polytunnel for a little storage - it's so nice to actually be able to walk into the shed now and sit down! 

Well, it looks as though we're in for yet another wet week so we will see what we manage to get done!

@cazwebs
Person
03rd Jun 2024

This growing season has been so difficult up to now. The damp chilly weather has meant rust on the garlic, poor growth even in the greenhouse and huge volumes of slugs and snails! 

One thing that has romped away is the raspberries, with my early summer varieties producing already. The strawberries too are producing a great crop but I'm having to harvest them at only semi-ripe stage to try and outwit the snails and slugs. 

My potatoes, stalwarts as ever are looking good and I hope that the the healthy looking foliage is indicative of the tuber growth beneath the soil. This year I'm growing Pentland Javelin, Kestrel, Picasso and Marvel (a new variety supposedly well suited to the unpredictable British climate). 

Finally my climbing beans are out, I'm growing several varieties, including Greek Gigantes for drying and storing. So far they are coping fine with no slug damage so far and my dwarf peas are under a wire cloche to offer a bit of protection and are starting to flower. 

My courgettes and pumpkins will have to go out as they're outgrowing their pots but the overnight temperatures are still poor, getting down to 7, which seems low for this time of year in Greater London/Surrey. 

The tomatoes are looking good, most of which will stay in the greenhouse apart from a few bush tomatoes designed to be grown somewhere sheltered outdoors.

Here's hoping the weather settles for the remainder of June and growth can catch up!

 

@modernwomanoldsoul
Person
17th May 2024

So last weekend we had glorious sunshine - if anything it was a bit hot for construction but we were very lucky to receive a polytunnel from Ferryman Polytunnels We are so excited to begin this journey, having never had one; or a greenhouse before so now we have plenty of scope for growing more exotic crops, to have a longer growing season and 'power' up young plants before directly planting on. Oh and also a bit more storage room as we have a tiny yet packed shed AND shelter from the rain showers!

After Shane roped in a 'handy' friend who also has a van, we shipped up 12 packages of polytunnel parts and instructions and etc and set to work!

The kit included:

Foundation Tubes
Hoops
Ridge Tubes
Diagonal Brace Bars
Timber Door Frames and Single Hinged Doors
Polytunnel Cover
All the fittings, nails & screws in a box
Construction Instructions (importantly on paper)

Tools required to use were a drill, screwdriver, hammer and a spade for digging in the frames and bars into the soil. The time it took two men to construct was a good day at it - For us it was spread over Saturday and a few hours on Sunday but with an early start; especially if you know what you're doing, you can get it done by early evening latest.

The polytunnel is 12ft x 10ft x 3M and has a door on one end and a sliding door on the other. It has sturdy poles and frames and we're confident it will withstand the open space and windy conditions.Interior-wise, very roomy and the support poles (crop bars) across the top can be used for support lines, water irrigation pipes or hanging baskets and so on. There is the opportunity to add work benches and shelving to create even more space and also controlled ventilation.

 

 

@cazwebs
Person
07th May 2024

Just transferred my Oca into their final pots. 

First time I've grown these and was really surprised they all germinated.. 😃

@andik
Person
03rd May 2024

Shane and I have been snatching time here and there in between working/home life and the rain! Finally, we have the plot all completely dug over.  The soil needs breaking down more and compost added before planting but the rain will help with the breaking down bit.  All weed-free and ready to go! Just need things to warm up now for some direct sowing!

The over-wintering spring onions pictured below have done well AND we have wild rocket growing back! It's so fragrant! (Pictured below).

Other jobs on the horizon are our compost area, which has collapsed. The fruits need pruning at the bottom too. Our 'rustic' plot is pictured below.

We also have a polytunnel in several parts in and around our house, scheduled to be taken up and assembled next weekend weather-permitting!

The shed needs some TLC too...I wish I hadn't started to think about the endless tasks needed but I know I will feel differently once I get some free time on a warm and dry day!

Can't wait until all of our sections are thriving with life instead of this bare soil; although there is something very soothing about freshly dug earth!

Oh! and we have all of our earlies and main crop in now too (we don't earth up until the plants have grown a bit) Not that you can see anything!

@cazwebs
Person
19th Apr 2024

Finally, the sun has been out long enough to dry the soil out a bit to dig - our soil is clay and can be far too sticky to dig or concrete!

Today it was perfect conditions to finally get stuck into turning over the soil in the beds and start tidying for this year's direct sowing and planting on.

I tidied around the over wintering onions too. We have a way to go, but not too weedy just several hours of digging to freshen up our 10 pole plot.

I call it 'achey April' 

@cazwebs
Person
19th Apr 2024

Well the wet and cold weather coupled with working has delayed the start of our own growing but finally we have our usual windowsill filled with promise!

We have leeks x 2, sprouts, tomatoes and chillies x 2....

@cazwebs
Person
15th Apr 2024

I was lucky to be on the waiting list for just 3 weeks. Along we went to choose a plot; there 4 to choose from and we picked what looked the easiest for absolute beginners. Nobody told me what a nightmare couch grass is (I have been told it’s a herb - could have healed the UK lol). We have or rather Steve dug for victory all last summer to clear it much to the entertainment of the old boys; he did it and then it was covered for the winter. But still it persists in other areas. 

Right in the middle was a good place to start which wasn’t so bad and that is where we started with our first row of potatoes which were damn fine. 

Follow for more ……

@earthmarineangel
Person
02nd Apr 2024

I sometimes boast that I receive no negative feedback or complaints, however, this changed recently! I received this neg feedback.

Sadly my trug was not fishished well. Rough, frayed edges to wood, clearly not sanded. Contacted company with my genuine complaint and was treated brusqely. Such a shame as good customer service is also part of a good business!

Mrs T********e
 

My genuine emailed response to the customer, (that she perceived as 'brusque') was as follows: -

 

Dear Mrs T********e, obviously you will disagree, but to my wife and I, service and quality is absolutely paramount. We believe we do achieve both, perhaps in excess of other Trug makers and most certainly many other businesses. The sad truth regarding feedback, is that customers of every business are far more inclined to leave negative feedback than positive, understandable, but a fact! Despite this fact, I have never, before yours, received negative feedback, conversely, my positives are in their thousands, a tiny proportion are on my website - https://www.trugmakers.co.uk/Trug-feedback.html. Regarding your critique of the finish, sandpaper is not a tool of the Trugmaker as it is a rustic item. For cabinet makers, sandpaper is a required tool. Naturally as a rustic handmade item there will be hairs and minute variations, as I have said many times to visitors "they are all the same, but although I have made over 100,000 Trugs, there have never been two identical, these are not machine made". Upon completion, I examine, then sign and date my Trugs and before shipping, my wife checks every Trug for possible imperfections. If any are discovered, Jaqui brings the trug through into the workshop and it is rectified. I have no way to 'prove' that I never get negative feedback, I wish I could, but perhaps enough to compare my feedback with other businesses? In addition, my Trugs were voted No.1 by the Gardeners World magazine.  Your pictures are accurate but in high magnification, I am sure there are many hand-made items sold that could be faulted while magnified. If you are not happy with my Trug please return it and I will happily refund, but I will not supply another as it will probably be the same, I will not give it special attention - that would be wrong.

My Regards

Kevin & Jaqui

Trug Makers

 

She did not return the Trug!

@Kevin
Person
16th Mar 2024

My blogpost from last weekend

https://plot7marshlane.blogspot.com/2024/03/woman.html

It’s March and today the Sun is shining. Feels like an allotment kind of day!

@bel
Person
13th Mar 2024

I don't know how many of you out there have bought one of those cheap tubular walk in small greenhouses. Well I have! on average one every year! Every new season we discover, what was a greenhouse is now a twisted pile of tubes, plastic bits and a holy cover (that is with holes. There's nothing sacred in our garden. Anyway, fed up with the same annual expense equivalent to my website hosting fee, last March I decided to upgrade one of these greenhouses. In high winds, the tubular components that make up the chassis, tend to separate. Of course it is impossible that they would fall back into place. Once they have separated, it's goodnight greenhouse and now just a kite! So as you can see by the images, I bought a box of 1/2" self-tapping screws (£3), drilled 1/16 pilot holes and at every point a tube meets a joiner, fixed the buggers. One year on, it still stands completely intact. So pleased with myself and the success, I bought another. So now have ample room for millions of seed trays etc. Smart eh! Wife was so pleased, I managed three visits to the snooker club this week.

@Kevin
Person
04th Mar 2024

The start of 2024 has been a rather grim one for many gardeners with their properties being so waterlogged. As I stand and look out of my kitchen window at the desolation of my garden due to gales and high rainfall, it only makes me more determined to get stuck in at the earliest opportunity and make it better than ever. In truth, my wife and I must admit to being shamefully fair-weather gardeners, we need the sun on our back, stripped to the waist (just me, not the wife, neither a good look) and a glass of vintage cider glinting on the decking table.

It says something for both our resolve, considering the catastrophe’s we have suffered over the years, that our garden is not completely paved over! I will explain: -

 

Catastrophe 1: Last year I constructed a 5-meter-long raised bed for Dahlia’s, a total disaster! Just as they achieved full growth, we realized that as beautiful as they were, the stems were far too short to cut and display without sacrificing many new buds, which would be a shame. Deciding to leave them to bloom in the garden, almost overnight, the entire crop acquired a white powder-like covering on both leaves and flowers and the stems had developed the weirdest twisting contortions. My wife denied using my home-brew cider to promote growth, so the cause remained a mystery. This year we will replace the triffids with Chrysanthemums!

 

Catastrophe 2: At the rear of our pond is a large are of soil supported by log-roll. The entire area was covered in probably a hundred plus of beautiful Hosta’s, which are apparently a ‘McDonalds’ to slugs! Off the shelf slug pellets were of no use as the foliage was far too dense to apply around the base, anyway, the slugs would only trot along the slabbing around the pond perimeter and leap across to my Hosta’s. As a child my ambition or career intention, was to be a ‘mad inventor,’ so slug purging became my new challenge, to invent a no-slug solution.  And a solution it was! I dissolved a whole bag of table salt in a full watering can (to a slug, salt is the equal of 20,000 volts to a human) making a brine solution and showered the entire Hosta area knowing that nomatter how hungry, no slug would touch them from thereon. The following evening, I found every single plant brown, withered and dying fast, eventually to disappear without trace, never to return. On each subsequent visit to garden centers, I swerved any Hosta display for fear of further retribution or injury from the leader of the opposition in public!

 

Catastrophe 3: A friend lent me a huge tub of expensive fertilizer. Preparing the soil of a designated area for runner beans, I mixed the contents into the bed. The runner beans were grown against three trellis topped fencing panels which eventually grew to the length of snooker cues, I chopped, blanched, and froze them all. One evening, a neighbor beckoned me over from his garden and handed me a huge bunch of runner beans that would have taken gold in any large veg growing competition. Thinking he was boasting having grown runner beans akin to railway sleepers, I said "no thanks I already have a freezer full". He said "they are not mine, they are yours, they’re growing through the panels on my side". Good stuff that fertilizer, but the catastrophe was, upon cooking, they were tougher than tree bark and tasted similar. All had to be disposed of and a return to Tesco’s to complete our Sunday dinner. I later learned from my ‘ex’-friend that I should have used a handful “NOT THE WHOLE BLEEDING TUB!” Anyway Spring is springing shortly, time to grab my trug that I bought cheap off the head gardener.

@Kevin
Person
05th Mar 2024

1st beds ready for planting 

@sunnyshaun
Person
03rd Jan 2024

So it’s roughly 3 months since I got the keys. 
it still doesn’t look like much….

but I have - 

  • got a new shed
  • got some tools! 
  • Cleared the bottom that was overgrown and waist high
  • planted onions and garlic as I was so eager!
  • planned where paths and beds are to go
  • got a compost bin on the go

theres still lots to do ready for spring. I continue to dig over the soil and pull up all the weeds. Then cover them with cardboard to suppress new growth. I hope! 

my garlic is doing well. Onions seem a bit slow… fingers crossed. It’s my first growth and I’m very excited every time I see them! 

Fingers crossed this all works and I can get a bit more done before any frosts arrive…. 

@kimmie
Person
11th Dec 2023
@blundy
Person
27th Nov 2023

Today my dad, my son and I went down to make a start on the allotment and it mainly consisted of seeing what we could keep, what needs binning, and what we could reuse.

The old owner had the path come in to the right of the plot before continuing down the middle which I didn't like. I managed to use some of the old fencing to create a fence at the front with a path down the middle. This will allow me to have 6 foot long beds to the left of the 2 foot path, and about 5.5 foot to the right. I haven't measured how long the full plot is yet, so I'm not sure how wide each bed will be. 

My dad pruned the currant bushes and made a start digging over some of the existing beds on the left whilst I made a start digging over the front removing a rotten raised bed which was held together by bind weed! My son created a "bug hotel" out of pots and bits of wood, we will do a better one together I think when we get chance, as he enjoyed playing with the worms and spiders!

Managed to staple some roof felt found in the shed to try and make it a bit more water tight, it's a temporary fix but will hopefully allow it to dry out a bit so we can get some use out of it for a year or two. Got some cardboard down on a particularly weedy patch, eventually I think I'd like to go no dig here, so it may be that we just leave this on this part, or add some more in the future! 

Finished off the visit by planting some tulip bulbs on the left side of the plot along the front fence which Jake, my son, was very much looking forward to and enjoyed. I think it would be nice to try and finish each visit by doing something like that together to keep him interested, although it might not always be possible. 

Won't get chance to head down next weekend, so unsure what we'll get back to, but it's definitely going to take some work and a lot of hours... But will do it in stages, this year focussing on the left side of the plot where the soil looks much better to allow us to get some things planted to grow next year

Ed 😄

@ed
Person
27th Nov 2023

Date of entry: 18/11/23

Hello, my name is Ed and this is my first time having an allotment! 

To start, I'll tell you a little bit about myself. I live in Cottingham on the outskirts of Hull in East Yorkshire, and that is where my new allotment site is. I have grown up in Cottingham, and over the years my Grandad, my Great Uncle and my Mum and Dad have all had an allotment at some point on the same site, so I have grown up reasonably green fingered! Today, I picked up the key to my very own!

Nothing very productive other than that happened today, other than having an explore and dig in the mud with my 6 year old son and 4 year old nephew. The site has a few beds which have had produce grown in recently (some still there), some large overgrown currant and gooseberry bushes, some raspberries, and a few beds with lots of couch grass in. It also has a small shed with half the roof felt missing at the bottom.

Today was mainly used to find out where to start and I have come away with more questions than answers but...

 

Let the fun begin!

Ed 😄

@ed
Person
09th Nov 2023

Pleased to have planted by garlic and onions late October before going away for half term! Dodged the rain!

Popped to the plot yesterday to see the garlic are doing really well already! 

The sprouts have taken a bit of a bashing with a bout of whitefly followed by winds but will have to keep an eye on those...

We have a cauliflower head forming! 

Exciting times - even during a gloomy November!

@cazwebs
Person
16th Mar 2024

My blogpost from last weekend

https://plot7marshlane.blogspot.com/2024/03/woman.html

It’s March and today the Sun is shining. Feels like an allotment kind of day!

@bel
Person
13th Mar 2024

I don't know how many of you out there have bought one of those cheap tubular walk in small greenhouses. Well I have! on average one every year! Every new season we discover, what was a greenhouse is now a twisted pile of tubes, plastic bits and a holy cover (that is with holes. There's nothing sacred in our garden. Anyway, fed up with the same annual expense equivalent to my website hosting fee, last March I decided to upgrade one of these greenhouses. In high winds, the tubular components that make up the chassis, tend to separate. Of course it is impossible that they would fall back into place. Once they have separated, it's goodnight greenhouse and now just a kite! So as you can see by the images, I bought a box of 1/2" self-tapping screws (£3), drilled 1/16 pilot holes and at every point a tube meets a joiner, fixed the buggers. One year on, it still stands completely intact. So pleased with myself and the success, I bought another. So now have ample room for millions of seed trays etc. Smart eh! Wife was so pleased, I managed three visits to the snooker club this week.

@Kevin
Person
04th Mar 2024

The start of 2024 has been a rather grim one for many gardeners with their properties being so waterlogged. As I stand and look out of my kitchen window at the desolation of my garden due to gales and high rainfall, it only makes me more determined to get stuck in at the earliest opportunity and make it better than ever. In truth, my wife and I must admit to being shamefully fair-weather gardeners, we need the sun on our back, stripped to the waist (just me, not the wife, neither a good look) and a glass of vintage cider glinting on the decking table.

It says something for both our resolve, considering the catastrophe’s we have suffered over the years, that our garden is not completely paved over! I will explain: -

 

Catastrophe 1: Last year I constructed a 5-meter-long raised bed for Dahlia’s, a total disaster! Just as they achieved full growth, we realized that as beautiful as they were, the stems were far too short to cut and display without sacrificing many new buds, which would be a shame. Deciding to leave them to bloom in the garden, almost overnight, the entire crop acquired a white powder-like covering on both leaves and flowers and the stems had developed the weirdest twisting contortions. My wife denied using my home-brew cider to promote growth, so the cause remained a mystery. This year we will replace the triffids with Chrysanthemums!

 

Catastrophe 2: At the rear of our pond is a large are of soil supported by log-roll. The entire area was covered in probably a hundred plus of beautiful Hosta’s, which are apparently a ‘McDonalds’ to slugs! Off the shelf slug pellets were of no use as the foliage was far too dense to apply around the base, anyway, the slugs would only trot along the slabbing around the pond perimeter and leap across to my Hosta’s. As a child my ambition or career intention, was to be a ‘mad inventor,’ so slug purging became my new challenge, to invent a no-slug solution.  And a solution it was! I dissolved a whole bag of table salt in a full watering can (to a slug, salt is the equal of 20,000 volts to a human) making a brine solution and showered the entire Hosta area knowing that nomatter how hungry, no slug would touch them from thereon. The following evening, I found every single plant brown, withered and dying fast, eventually to disappear without trace, never to return. On each subsequent visit to garden centers, I swerved any Hosta display for fear of further retribution or injury from the leader of the opposition in public!

 

Catastrophe 3: A friend lent me a huge tub of expensive fertilizer. Preparing the soil of a designated area for runner beans, I mixed the contents into the bed. The runner beans were grown against three trellis topped fencing panels which eventually grew to the length of snooker cues, I chopped, blanched, and froze them all. One evening, a neighbor beckoned me over from his garden and handed me a huge bunch of runner beans that would have taken gold in any large veg growing competition. Thinking he was boasting having grown runner beans akin to railway sleepers, I said "no thanks I already have a freezer full". He said "they are not mine, they are yours, they’re growing through the panels on my side". Good stuff that fertilizer, but the catastrophe was, upon cooking, they were tougher than tree bark and tasted similar. All had to be disposed of and a return to Tesco’s to complete our Sunday dinner. I later learned from my ‘ex’-friend that I should have used a handful “NOT THE WHOLE BLEEDING TUB!” Anyway Spring is springing shortly, time to grab my trug that I bought cheap off the head gardener.

@Kevin
Person
05th Mar 2024

1st beds ready for planting 

@sunnyshaun
Person
03rd Jan 2024

So it’s roughly 3 months since I got the keys. 
it still doesn’t look like much….

but I have - 

  • got a new shed
  • got some tools! 
  • Cleared the bottom that was overgrown and waist high
  • planted onions and garlic as I was so eager!
  • planned where paths and beds are to go
  • got a compost bin on the go

theres still lots to do ready for spring. I continue to dig over the soil and pull up all the weeds. Then cover them with cardboard to suppress new growth. I hope! 

my garlic is doing well. Onions seem a bit slow… fingers crossed. It’s my first growth and I’m very excited every time I see them! 

Fingers crossed this all works and I can get a bit more done before any frosts arrive…. 

@kimmie
Person
16th Mar 2024

My blogpost from last weekend

https://plot7marshlane.blogspot.com/2024/03/woman.html

It’s March and today the Sun is shining. Feels like an allotment kind of day!

@bel
Person
13th Mar 2024

I don't know how many of you out there have bought one of those cheap tubular walk in small greenhouses. Well I have! on average one every year! Every new season we discover, what was a greenhouse is now a twisted pile of tubes, plastic bits and a holy cover (that is with holes. There's nothing sacred in our garden. Anyway, fed up with the same annual expense equivalent to my website hosting fee, last March I decided to upgrade one of these greenhouses. In high winds, the tubular components that make up the chassis, tend to separate. Of course it is impossible that they would fall back into place. Once they have separated, it's goodnight greenhouse and now just a kite! So as you can see by the images, I bought a box of 1/2" self-tapping screws (£3), drilled 1/16 pilot holes and at every point a tube meets a joiner, fixed the buggers. One year on, it still stands completely intact. So pleased with myself and the success, I bought another. So now have ample room for millions of seed trays etc. Smart eh! Wife was so pleased, I managed three visits to the snooker club this week.

@Kevin
Person
04th Mar 2024

The start of 2024 has been a rather grim one for many gardeners with their properties being so waterlogged. As I stand and look out of my kitchen window at the desolation of my garden due to gales and high rainfall, it only makes me more determined to get stuck in at the earliest opportunity and make it better than ever. In truth, my wife and I must admit to being shamefully fair-weather gardeners, we need the sun on our back, stripped to the waist (just me, not the wife, neither a good look) and a glass of vintage cider glinting on the decking table.

It says something for both our resolve, considering the catastrophe’s we have suffered over the years, that our garden is not completely paved over! I will explain: -

 

Catastrophe 1: Last year I constructed a 5-meter-long raised bed for Dahlia’s, a total disaster! Just as they achieved full growth, we realized that as beautiful as they were, the stems were far too short to cut and display without sacrificing many new buds, which would be a shame. Deciding to leave them to bloom in the garden, almost overnight, the entire crop acquired a white powder-like covering on both leaves and flowers and the stems had developed the weirdest twisting contortions. My wife denied using my home-brew cider to promote growth, so the cause remained a mystery. This year we will replace the triffids with Chrysanthemums!

 

Catastrophe 2: At the rear of our pond is a large are of soil supported by log-roll. The entire area was covered in probably a hundred plus of beautiful Hosta’s, which are apparently a ‘McDonalds’ to slugs! Off the shelf slug pellets were of no use as the foliage was far too dense to apply around the base, anyway, the slugs would only trot along the slabbing around the pond perimeter and leap across to my Hosta’s. As a child my ambition or career intention, was to be a ‘mad inventor,’ so slug purging became my new challenge, to invent a no-slug solution.  And a solution it was! I dissolved a whole bag of table salt in a full watering can (to a slug, salt is the equal of 20,000 volts to a human) making a brine solution and showered the entire Hosta area knowing that nomatter how hungry, no slug would touch them from thereon. The following evening, I found every single plant brown, withered and dying fast, eventually to disappear without trace, never to return. On each subsequent visit to garden centers, I swerved any Hosta display for fear of further retribution or injury from the leader of the opposition in public!

 

Catastrophe 3: A friend lent me a huge tub of expensive fertilizer. Preparing the soil of a designated area for runner beans, I mixed the contents into the bed. The runner beans were grown against three trellis topped fencing panels which eventually grew to the length of snooker cues, I chopped, blanched, and froze them all. One evening, a neighbor beckoned me over from his garden and handed me a huge bunch of runner beans that would have taken gold in any large veg growing competition. Thinking he was boasting having grown runner beans akin to railway sleepers, I said "no thanks I already have a freezer full". He said "they are not mine, they are yours, they’re growing through the panels on my side". Good stuff that fertilizer, but the catastrophe was, upon cooking, they were tougher than tree bark and tasted similar. All had to be disposed of and a return to Tesco’s to complete our Sunday dinner. I later learned from my ‘ex’-friend that I should have used a handful “NOT THE WHOLE BLEEDING TUB!” Anyway Spring is springing shortly, time to grab my trug that I bought cheap off the head gardener.

@Kevin
Person
05th Mar 2024

1st beds ready for planting 

@sunnyshaun
Person
03rd Jan 2024

So it’s roughly 3 months since I got the keys. 
it still doesn’t look like much….

but I have - 

  • got a new shed
  • got some tools! 
  • Cleared the bottom that was overgrown and waist high
  • planted onions and garlic as I was so eager!
  • planned where paths and beds are to go
  • got a compost bin on the go

theres still lots to do ready for spring. I continue to dig over the soil and pull up all the weeds. Then cover them with cardboard to suppress new growth. I hope! 

my garlic is doing well. Onions seem a bit slow… fingers crossed. It’s my first growth and I’m very excited every time I see them! 

Fingers crossed this all works and I can get a bit more done before any frosts arrive…. 

@kimmie

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