This is my second year as an allotment holder.
The first year wasn’t great, I didn’t really know what I was doing and therefore, although I did manage to grow the odd thing, it was a year of mistakes. The whole ‘owning an allotment’ thing is trickier than you might think. Here are a few issues I had in year one:
- The weeds. The bloody weeds grow all the time, they grow quicker than the actual crops, it is a constant battle.
- The pests. I’m not entirely sure what the ‘pests’ are but they eat virtually anything you plant. You never see them. Even the 6ft beast that must have devoured the sweetcorn manages to do it without getting spotted, never mind the little tiny bugs.
- Time. An allotment needs more time than you actually realise. You need loads of it to keep on top – leave it a week without popping down there and you’ve lost the battle.
- Your fellow allotmentiers. They are good at growing stuff. Their allotment is always full of lovely looking crops. They have loads of advice for you, some of it good, some of it just to baffling to understand.
So, it’s my second season on the allotment, and I still don’t really know what I’m doing, although I do manage to actually look like I do.
Here are some of the ways I have tackled the issues I had in year one:
- The weeds. I’ve been on the ball. I’m up the allotment a couple of times a week just weeding. It’s still a constant battle – only this year I’m just about winning.
- The pests. This year I am only growing stuff that grows and doesn’t get eaten: carrots, potatoes, onions and runner beans. Although I’m still persevering with the sweetcorn – I’m hoping to beat the beast to them this year. I’ve also even began to experiment with some crops that bugs love – brassacias – and covering them with netting.
- Time. I’ve made a big effort to spend a bit more time at the allotment. I’ve also found that I can do things a lot quicker.
- Your fellow allotmentiers. I’ve embraced them all: the ones that talk nonsense, the ones that talk sense, and the ones that just talk and talk and talk. They are a lovely bunch. And all the advice I’ve been given? I just take it or leave it. No worries.
This is what it looks like at the moment:
Results are ok….