Anyone with an allotment?

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  • All our stuff is growing super slowly…
    It’s our second year, and we didn’t put any major effort in over the winter to replenish nutrients, so I imagine this is the reason.

    Is there anything I can do to fix this now, chuck fresh compost over the top, that sort of thing?

  • Radish’s never grown those

    You could grow radishes this year, tbh. You get a crop in a month.

  • You could mulch with compost or well rotted manure and it would help a bit. Or you could just add some feed/fertiliser to your watering?

  • Couple of pics from the weekend.
    Parents visiting soon, need to tidy up the paths a bit and more weeding.

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  • Awesome will do.

  • If you can get a supply of horse manure. Put it in the bed, cover it with cardboard. Weigh it down so it doesn’t blow away.

    I had a water tank dropped off on our plot years ago and it was brought by a farmer from the area. He was adamant that I should not walk on the soil where things are growing at all.

  • Thanks - and @tonts too. We’re pretty lucky at our site and manure is delivered every other weekend - however we are rarely here early enough to grab some 😂

    Managed a few bags worth last year which we let rot on our plot, but it didn’t go v far.

    I think I will go with a liquid feed thing, hopefully while the old folk on either side aren’t looking as I’ll wind up getting a lecture no doubt.

  • I’m really lucky on the cardboard front, one of the other businesses next to my workshop imports/builds commercial fridges for supermarkets. They have an endless supply of used cardboard in 8x4’ sheets with not a staple nor bit of parcel tape in sight. All my beds are roughly this size, or multiples thereof as well so should make the big winter cover easy this year.
    So am I right in thinking:
    -harvest everything, pull up plants
    -roughly dig over old soil
    -cardboard layer
    -manure layer

    Or do I just go soil - manure - card? Can’t help but feel regardless of what I weighed the card down with it’ll blow away as it rots on our plot…

    Never tapped them up properly before but was having some allotment/forklift chat with one of the lads and he’s gonna fill my van to the brim with card ready for our winter manure delivery.

  • Just to add. That’s a crop of the little globe/salad ones. Lots of varieties, but most summer ones get going pretty quickly.

  • If you watch Charles Dowding’s video(s) on starting a no-dig bed, that should give you a rough idea. If you have enough manure/compost the cardboard won’t blow away. Apart from deep-rooted docks etc he doesn’t recommend digging at all. Jealous of the cardboard supply, sounds perfect.

  • Your advice is consistently great

  • Nice one, so poop above card then?
    Will watch that vid tonight, sure I saw it a couple of years back.

  • Yup, card as a barrier to suppress the weeds etc, then the poop/compost/mulch etc. on top. The card will rot away over a few months (depending on rain I guess) and the organic matter will rot into the soil and do its work. I have one bed I tried like this and it is consistently the most productive, has fewer weeds and weeding that does need to be done is so easy. I am convinced by it as a method. Dowding does one where he throws the cardboard down, puts a load of compost on top and plants directly into that, probably won't be able to do that with fresh manure but I fancy giving it a try.

  • That's very kind of you. If you saw my allotment you'd see I talk a much better game than I practise. I will be turning as much of the plot as I can to no-dig this autumn/winter, though. I just need to get my act together. :)

  • The other thing to do is water the cardboard heavily when you put it down, before compost etc. Makes it a lot less likely to blow away

  • I do cardboard, manure and then a 2nd layer of cardboard to suppress any weeds in the manure.

  • Day off with my lad today so trying to solve the problem of how to grow our tomatoes where they get most sun for most of the day whilst at the same time not killing the lawn and exposing them to getting pecked by the chickens.

  • Here’s what we came up with.

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  • Photos in classic lufguss order.

  • Harvested another bucket (and bag) of spuds today and had my first big disappointment. Whole thing was an ants nest and the spuds were all trashed, presumably by the ants as there was nothing else there, not a single usable one. You live and learn. The ones in the bags were fine enough, though.

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  • ^ unlucky

    My Squash are all in stasis, which is disappointing, I think they got shock when I planted them out. Oh well, 2023 will try again.

    Consoled myself with another big pick of Peas & Broadbeans. Looks like some dwarf & runner bean plants should provide next month too.

  • Squash tend to have a good long sulk after you plant them out. Then they get busy. You’ve still got plenty of time to get a crop. My squash climbing experiment seems to be going ok. A little bit of climbing has started, a few squash have started to grow, but the vines themselves (bar the one kuri I put in late) are really going for it.

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  • The first year I did squash I let them take over pretty much the whole plot and ended up with a load of tiny [inedible] fruits. Last year I did mainly crown prince and cut back the runners to focus energy into the fruits and stop them taking over again which resulted in much bigger fruits and a better crop overall.

  • Noted, thanks! I have not cut back the runners yet and these are going pretty wild. Might try on one plant as see what happens.

  • Today I broke some big allotment rules. I’ve cobbled together a hose reel that I can connect to the trough water system to water my plot.

    I haven’t got time to be lugging dozens of watering cans every day. So I’m hoping to drench everything once a week so not as to arouse suspicion 👀

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Anyone with an allotment?

Posted by Avatar for big_daddy_wayne @big_daddy_wayne