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17 messages
22/04/2013 at 14:13
Hi I am about to take on my first allotment in scotland and I want to grow everything. I have some experience growing veg in containers but never anything of this scale and I can't make my mind up. Any advise on what tends to survive better. Many thanks
22/04/2013 at 14:42

To avoid desperation, back ache, hearfelt disappointment and a desire never to garden again, I beg you not to try and grow everything in your first season!!   Take it a bit at a time, grow a smallish paatch of the things you a) like best and b) cost the most.  Maybe something like peas and raspberries (my personal choices only), because a whole allotment space gets very large when you try to do it all at once for the first time.  i do not want to discourage you, but I do know you will discourage yourself if you try to do it all at once - we've all done it, and ended up overworked and with not as much for our efforts as we hoped.  concentrate your energies ad efforots on a few areas, get to do those well and thoroughly enjoy the results, giving yourself a well deserved pat on the back, then move on to the next thing.  I have a dear friend who is retired, very vigourous and energetic, who spends all his time on his allotment and who would be ther first person to agree with 'don't do it all at once.'   The point about gardening, veggies or flowers or fruit, is that you should enjoy it and working yourself into a frazzle at the start ain't enjoying it!   Put in what you really, really wan,t to quote someone, put down some green compost elsewhere and get  yourself into it like a very hot bath, slowly by slowly, it's then wonderfu when you are completely in!! Have great fun, 

22/04/2013 at 15:28
Thanks for the reply, I think I'm going to sit down and make a plan. I want to try to plant so I! can get a steady harvest and not just a one off. I think I'm just greedy when it comes to veg haha I want it all but I know its not realistic. Will keep posting how i get on and what gets put in ground this year
22/04/2013 at 15:51
Geewiz, we are apart of 25 other allotmenteers here in Tenby and all agree Raised beds,, spend your time preping your garden,as booky said dont rush into planting till your ready lots of info on here scaffold boards and water butts and all that info is here ,prep it once and no digging from then on it doesnt need doing again, just adding top goodness and let the worms do it, When you do your plan remember that rotation is required as well ,we spent last summer building our allotment from a field of an 18" high wasteland and its all being planted now after all the hard work is done, just keep asking we did
Good luck G
Alan4711
22/04/2013 at 15:57

Wonderful answer from Alan, grab his advice as he knows whereof what he speaks - of course raised beds are great but can be a bit pricey when starting out - though if you have access to scaffolding boards - way to go! 

22/04/2013 at 16:36
Hi GeeWiz and Co. I have started quite a large veggie plot this year for the first time ever and I am growing potatoes, onions, broad beans, carrots, leeks, spinach, cabbages and runner beans. I've had some help from my Dad and I usually have a couple of hours a day to tend to it. The preparation took a long time but I enjoyed it. So far I have spinach seedlings and sprouting onions to show for it but I am seriously worried about my potatoes as planted them far too early! I am definitely prepared for some disappointment. I am growing my cabbage seedlings in the house so hopefully they'll survive. A lovely old man next door and the Internet are my usual sources of wisdom! Would love to hear how you get on
23/04/2013 at 12:35

Hi

I totally agree with the others, soil prep is the most important and what you should spend your time on.  Leeks are a great veg to grow and easy too, it comes with its own pests but I tend to net mine, also how about Kale - winter hardy and will see you through the winter months as will Swiss Chard.  Mind you though, Im down in the south of the country so I don't know what your growing conditions are like in Scotland other than cold and icy/snowy, but these should cope with frosts and snow.

24/04/2013 at 09:54
Thanks for all the advice, got supplier of free wood sorted to create raised beds so I will will hopefully make a start on Sunday digging ground if Mr sunshine blesses us with an appearance pretty wet at the moment. Just need to get on and draw out my allotment plan so excited
24/04/2013 at 22:44
Scotland is a big little country with lots of micro climates. Where abouts are you? Conditions on the balmy West coast can be very different from the chilly North East for example which might influence suggestions. Those unfamiliar with the country might have seen some of the Beechgrove programmes which should give an idea of how variable it can be.
24/04/2013 at 23:01
Can only echo advice above, just took a plot on myself had it about a month now. I'm also building raised beds, it does take a bit if time and money to fill them. I too was lucky enough to source free wood. The rest of the ground has been dug in order of what crops need to go in first. I find that I do some digging, then move onto a bit of planting, it makes the digging less tedious. The main thing is to enjoy the space.
26/04/2013 at 13:17

I'm in Glasgow, hoping to start digging on sSunday . Managed to barter for free wood, going to work on free coffee grounds for fertiliser and free eggshells to deter the slugs. So hopefully will get a good bit dug out this weekend and build and maybe plant a little next weekend. Think I might try kale as suggeearlier an earlier post was reading up on it and may be a slightly easier one to start with, I've also got onion sets and going to start some seeds inside not sure which ones.thanks again for all your advice

30/04/2013 at 13:23

Well started digging out my allotment ,area has been a bit run down so found loads of glass and bricks . Got my fruit canes in yeah. I've had most of them for a couple of years so they are pretty hardy. Saw couple of large bees about too so yeah pollinators. My seedlings are starting t come up inside, but I have a lot of digging to do before I can start sowing and planting in the ground 

30/04/2013 at 14:19

I've just taken on a new allotment in west Norfolk - had it three weeks. I sympathise, its very hard not to get carried away, I knew I really wanted to grow asparagus and so nearly every spare moment has been spent prepping the ground for those and making sure they were in in April- which they were- just! I've also planted some spuds, garlic and onion sets. That's one half of the allotment taken care of, the other I'm growing seedlings at home undercover to transplant later. I have sweetcorn, tomatoes, climbing french beans, courgettes and chillis. I plan to sew direct heritage carrots and salad leaves! Don't let your enthusiasm be squashed, if you really want to do something, you'll do it

30/04/2013 at 19:12

I agree with Bleeding Heart. I made a boo boo already putting my potatoes in too early but I'm moving on unabashed. If something doesn't appear, I'll just sow it again or raise it inside until it b****y well does! I think it's good to be a bit reckless as you learn from your mistakes and also get some surprise successes.

30/04/2013 at 19:19

Take a sneaky peek at what everyone else is doing ie planting potatoes etc then follow. I have a bed of asparagus, its wonderful.

I have made raised beds and it saves a lot of digging in the long run. Enjoy it all even the mistakes. Other allotmenteers will happily give you advice and quite often a cup of tea. Unless they set their shed alight like my neighbour did.

I wish you every success.

05/05/2013 at 17:32

Have been given some seed potatoes so will plant them at allotment tomorrow and then do some more weeding. Does it never end?

05/05/2013 at 21:00

well I have ordered some kale seeds to try, ive got some onion set ready to plant straight out. most of the ground is now prepped phew. I just need to section my space and decide whats going where. Most of the seeds started inside are doing well, going to sow somethings straight out so i must remember to leave space for whats still in the house. I hace probably sown too much inside but I think there are a few newbies on the allotment so I can always share if I have too much.

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