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in Fruit & veg
Got an allotment this yr and am thinking of putting some raised beds. Looking around at my fellow gardeners there doesn't seem to be many raised beds. Or shall I just divide the plot into sections so I'll know what to grow and where? I'm still learning how to grow my veggies. Advice needed. Thanks.
Raised beds have disadvantages too Weyplotter. Crops can dry out very quickly, for example.
Your fellow gardeners haven't raised beds, maybe, for a good reason.
I would concentrate on growing your crops by enriching your soil, rotating your crops and understanding your soil, crop requirements and local conditions.
Raised beds can be very good ESP in areas prone to waterlogging or where soil is very heavy but they aren't a solution to everything. as you said, "learn" how to grow your crops first.
Thank you so much Verdun your advice much appreciated and will be taken on board.
Did make a fair amounts of mistakes this yr due to my keenness and I guess impatience to get the seeds in. So although some of the crops did well I'm pretty sure it was due to luck and not knowledge.
We all make mistakes Weyplotter. We are all impatient. We are all over eager. When things grow well it is down to our "skill". When they fail it is down to bad luck
Lots to be said for raised beds especially for new starters.If prepared properly ie dug over to loosen ground beneath and properly weeded (perennial weeds are a bugger to shift once you've got your goodies planted) they are a god send. get plenty of well rotted manure in and good compost and topsoil and you will be laughing. No digging over every year, ready for planting earlier as they heat up quicker and easily defined areas to manage. When you start out and have one large area it can be daunting and very easy to lose confidence whereas when its split up you can see your successes and tend to persevere as its impossible to get everything right straightaway.I would certainly go with raised beds.Good luck!
Just to add Weyplotter, I'm a no dig gardener. I now simply add compost or manure in autumn and "scratch" it in during the early spring. The goodness is retained in the top levels of soil just where crops need it. So, its the first year of proper digging and trenching in compost followed by annual top dressings. Best way I think. And the soil looks good too
The plot was in a bit of a state so have had to do loads of digging and managed to get lots of horse manure on it. At the moment I've got those anti-weeds sheets on where the veggies will go in. I like the idea of no digging and actually I think it makes sense however I really enjoy digging -its the 'feel good factor'.
Steve I agree its very daunting staring at a piece of land not knowing what to do and when to grow! I'm going to divide it up, managed to get lots of planks from builders so just waiting to put my plan in action,
My advice with a new allotment ( and they're always in a state when you take over, tee hee ) do a little at a time. When you've had enough, stop. Don't let it become a chore. Even if you cover half and work on one half this season, it's a start. The other piece of advice I'd give to a new allotmenteer : talk to you neighbours. They'll have probably gone through what you're going through now and will have a good idea what does well, and what's not worth the bother. It's also a great way to make new friend and become part of the family there.
My fellow allotmenteers are great-they can open their garden gate go straight into the plot which means they've been at it for centuries. Actually they have been really helpful and encouraging and yes its a family.Gardening will never be a chore-after a stressful day its very therapeutic and keeps me sane! My plot is a safe haven-no phone away from it all.