Anyone with an allotment?

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  • Everyone’s getting jelly for Xmas next year haha

  • I wonder if I could make a living rotovating people s allotments

  • Not much of a living, but would probably get some interest. The way I see it, it’s only worth me getting someone to rotavate my plot if it cost me a tenner or a few beers. If I can pick up a cheap second-hand tiller for under £100, I can use it and then probably sell it on again for the same money or very little loss.

  • Our site has a rotovator for hire at £10 a go. We’ve got some bindweed and lumps of concrete to remove first, but is that something I should definitely do?

  • I was told by our neighbours not to rotovate an overgrown plot as you just chop up all the weed roots and spread them making things potentially worse next year. We were advised to hand dig each bed the first time to get as many roots out then rotovate in future.
    Whether that’s old wives tales or facts I don’t know...

  • as you just chop up all the weed roots and spread them making things potentially worse next year

    Not an old wives tale.
    Any major earthworks are going to reinvigorate dormant weed seeds as well.
    If you combine rotavating and picking out the roots year after year they will get exhausted eventually.


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  • Oh yeah for sure, which is why I mentioned removing the bindweed first. TBH there's going to need to be a fair few additions of top soil or something to level things out anyway, and I've been recommended by a plot neighbour to add some height to any beds due to 'damp' (I imagine this was a nice way of saying 'flooding')

  • If you have an area 'infested' with bindweed you could cover/mulch with something light excluding like carpet/sheeting/cardboard. The stuff comes up and spreads just under the surface of the cover and you can then lift the cover off and gather up the blanched stems. The idea is that the bindweed gets fed up with this.

  • Area I’m doing is largely grass but the biggest issue is that it’s so uneven. Potato ridges that we’re never levelled. Now it’s hardened over and will take a lot of digging up. A rotovator will save me plenty of time.

  • I was really lucky and found this one for £50 on eBay.

    The one thing I’ve learnt about maintaining an allotment is; there’s no rush. Every year I’ll improve the plot just by adding manure and putting down cardboard. There is unfortunately no silver bullet for weeds or soil improvement.

  • Squash question: I’m growing some slightly poncey heirloom squash. It has set tonnes of fruit but only one has grown into a proper squash. The others mainly just go yellow and die. Should I remove the big squash as it’ll ripen up off the vine (I’d have thought) and let the plant put more energy into what fruit is left or just leave it?

  • ^ not sure, 2yrs in a row mine have set no fruit despite many flowers.

    In other news I wondered how I grew these by my shed. Turns out they're a gift from another plot holder after I'd put a new roof on her shed.

    Todays harvest too, pretty much last of the tomato and chilli crops. Not long before frost gets here judging by last nights temp.


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  • I think the lack of fruit settings is the flower not being pollinated - you can do that yourself with a cotton bud.
    Maybe next year grow some flowers next to them to get the pollinators round!
    Also I don't think poncey is a word people use anymore...

  • My squash have rampaged over most of the plot, was going to ask if it's better to remove some of the fruit to get the plant to focus on fewer better squash or just have a bumper harvest? Might be too late now anyway... They are a type I haven't come across before, half green, half yellow. Don't know what they are called.

  • Yes, thinning the fruit out works for squashes and will get you better harvest but with a lower volume of the fruit.

  • Also I don't think poncey is a word people use anymore...

    Oh really? Just thought it meant a bit pretentious, or that’s how it was intended. Anyways, noted for the future, thanks. I think at this stage of the season I’ll just let the good one grow.Probably 4-5kg now so decent enough.

  • I'm always amazed at the size of some of the pumpkins and squash I see, so big! I hope they get eaten and fulfill their vegetable destiny.

  • This one will definitely get eaten. :)

  • Poncey does just mean pretentious. Don’t see anything wrong with it. I think some people assume it’s a derogatory homosexual remark.

  • I have grown squash and pumpkin quite successfully this year, originally I aimed for two fruits per plant (something i read somewhere), but they grew more than this, some up to five per plant.

    I've been quite ruthless at picking the best looking/strongest fruit taking any weak or poor looking out, and trimming back foliage, they also needs tons of water and feeding, I put pots in the ground next to each plant root with a cane sticking out so knowing where to water was easier when they grew all over each other.

    We had a flower bed next to them with loads of borage and kosmos which bees love, which might be why we've had such success, we've had 2-3 bees sleeping in each flower, they seem to love the squash flowers.

    Probably the most enjoyable thing I've grown this year. Selection we grew (largest one was 11kg), we still have about another 15 or so to pick at the plot.


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  • Ah ok. No derogation or offence intended. It’s a “ute Indian winter squash” from the real seed company who tend to get a bit self-righteous about their open pollinated, organic, very very non F1 hybrid seed. But I do quite like them.

  • This is great advice, thank you. Maybe I didn't have enough flowers about to attract the bees. Probably got it in the ground a bit late as well. This one spread like crazy (I originally germinated 4 plants but killed them) They would have completely taken over the allotment. This has set probably 25 small fruit but only a few have grown bigger than fist-size and most go yellow and then die. Might get pruning and see what happens, probably a bit late in the year for it.

  • https://dictionary.cambridge.org/diction­ary/english/ponce

    https://www.collinsdictionary.com/dictio­nary/english/poncey

    Each to their own I guess.

    Anyway, this isn't the thread for it.

    I though all my squashes were done for the year, but picked 5 more patty pan this weekend!
    Lifted the last of the potatoes too.

    What's the squash that looks like two different ones stuck together? Are they good for eating?

  • different ones stuck together

    Butternut? Ours didn’t do very well. Lots of pumpkins thou
    Edit. Butternut are lovely in a risotto :)

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Anyone with an allotment?

Posted by Avatar for big_daddy_wayne @big_daddy_wayne

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