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14 messages
05/02/2012 at 17:39

hi all

I am very excited at being given a 1/4 plot after waiting 3 years for an allotment. There are some raised beds already in place and I wondered if its too late to be getting manure and putting on the beds, i don't really know what the soil is like and it has been snowing so cant really get started yet! I tried to grow potatoes last year at another allotment i was sharing and they were very dissapointing, just not very many. I didn't prepare the ground very well. What do potatoes need to do well? Any advice very welcomed.

xTabby

05/02/2012 at 19:34

Hi Tabbycats

I like yourself have a new allotment and am rearing to go! 

A good double dig and lot's of well rotted manure will do the trick!! 

Happy Digging!!! 

05/02/2012 at 19:48

Hooray for new allotments 

But don't some things not like growing in recently manured ground? Can spuds and opions go in?

05/02/2012 at 20:57

Hi Tabbycats,

Onions and potatoes will be fine. Try to make sure your manure is well rotted (should be mostly black and veering towards crumbly) as the growing season is almost upon us. If you have fresher manure (with a lot of straw) just pile this up in a corner and use it in the autumn. I have found that if you put it in strong fertiliser type bags it will rot down to a lovely crumbly texture and is also easy to move. Fertliliser bags are difficult to get sometimes though.

Regarding potatoes I have always planted these as I was shown by my father in Ireland - straight onto 3 to 4 inches of trodden well rotted manure covered with half an inch of soil. Always seems to work fine and it breaks the soil up beautifully for the next crop.

In the autumn just cover your beds with 3 inches of manure and let the worms do the work!

Enjoy your allotment!

05/02/2012 at 21:04

Yeah!! Roots, like carrot n parsnips don't agree!!  But Potatoes love it!!! Not a computer kind of a guy, or I'd download the link for ya!!  but I get by, so now ya on the site, gunna advise you type in crop rotation in the search bar top n centre of ya screen, and watch Monty Don's video on the subject!! All will become a little more knowlegible!!! Oh!! I got a spare spade want's manning if ya in the neighbourhood!!!

06/02/2012 at 17:13

Tabby,

Really pleased to hear you have. at last, got an allotment and good advice given by the other respondants. This isn't a direct answwer to your question but I have been an allotment holder for over 30 years and (at the risk of sounding patronising) I have seen many people come and go and really hope you succeed. Yes definately grow potatoes, onions (from sets) and, I would suggest any other non-root crops i.e. courgettes, tomatos, lettuce during the first season. However my main advice is to prepare the soil slowly and thoroughly, plant in the part you have well prepared so that you get a reward from your efforts, then continue to work your way across the rest of the plot. There is nothing more demoralising than quickly digging the whole plot, it looks great at first, but then finding a green carpet of weeds after a couple of weeks. Good luck.

PS Does anyone know a remedy for Leek Moth?

06/02/2012 at 17:58

glenn,

I cover my leeks with fine mesh, the sort used to protect against carrot fly, it worked

for me last year.

06/02/2012 at 18:56

Glenn,

No, but if you find one can you let me know as it's rampant near Bristol.

I'm glad to hear that mesh works so I'll give it a try this year.

EB

09/02/2012 at 16:58
Did my carrots and parsnips 'fork' last year because I put them in a raised bed with manure in it. I think this might be the case after reading the above comments.
09/02/2012 at 18:24

So pleased you have at last an allotment, last year was my first year at being an allotment owner, I dug organic manure in all my raised beds and what a bumper crop of veg had to purchase another freezer waste not want not, Good luck

17/02/2012 at 11:54

I am not the best allotment keeper in the world - last year was very disappointing , but I am learning from my mistakes . I've just started up a blog on which I will give weekly updates about my progress and hopefully receive some good advice from other allotment holders

http://plot151.blogspot.com/

26/02/2012 at 20:41

Hi Everyone

Thank you for all your comments. I am trying to prepare beds as best I can and go slowly as little and often is defintely best. 3 beds very workable the rest completely weedy so will maybe be best covering in black plastic for now and working slowly through it? Tis a lovely thing to have ones own plot...makes me very happy 

26/02/2012 at 22:56

I am new to forums so please excuse me, I have had an allotment for a few years, and should know something, but I think I need to make lots of mistakes first.

If you are afraid that you will kill your plants with newly manured soil, just pop them in and feed them liquid fertiliser, I make my own with nettles and confrey, so I have just broken down the leaves put them in an old black bin added some water in 3 weeks it stinks but you dilute this up and you will have super plants lovely green beans you  can use this liquid feed for your toms and salads, but I wouldn't apply and then pick them leave for a few days .At other times I used the comfrey leaves as a mulch on top.

An old chap who has a plot up with me, never does anything to his plot until may and every year he grows the lovest crop you can imagine, so you have lots of time so don't panic.

I think its the type of spud you plant, I tried picasso, another friend of mine used to plant when we had a full moon sounds loopy but it is something to do with the magnetic pull of the moon, I didn't do that I was just lucky to get them in. Give them space, and don't leave too many sprouts on because the plant is trying to do tooo much, and you get ditty one.

Good luck, get a digging party going you get your mates to dig and you supply fish and chips and a few beers, I was told of this just when I finished digging for the  very first time, and thought a few friends would have saved my back.

01/03/2012 at 20:02

While the weather is still cold...Take some time to work out what you like to eat and want to grow.Make a seed list. Make a rough plot plan...Draw in your beds and paths etc (if you haven't already got any). If you have a water supply on or near your plot decide which plants need the most water and situate them near to the water source for the first season. That way you can save time when watering in the (mornings) and or evenings. Start "collecting" items like old net curtains, string, pieces of wood....don't let friends and neighbours throw anything away that could be useful. Make a compost bay out of old pallets.

But most of all....GO AT YOUR OWN PACE.... and enjoy the experience.

Good luck and have a great growing year

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