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When I started out helping my Dad and Grandad on their allotments in the 70's I cant ever remember seeing a raised bed.
Just wondered what people here do these days.
We have a large plot and while I like the the look of the old style allotment when its full to the brim with veg, I do have raised beds aswell, mainly for succession sowing of salad crops.
Many of the allotmenteers have gone fully over to raised beds and I can see the advantages, it's just my roots(pardon the pun) are located within the traditional style.
Hi, we found our raised beds,no digging, nice clean easy paths between, rotation easy,and almost weed free, the weeds we did get were just pull outs, the setting up was hard but very enjoyable in summer,but after the initial work the allotment was just so easy to operate.
Have to agree Alan that raised beds have lots of advantages. I am certainly not advocating that the traditional style is better, but perversely I enjoy the digging, back breaking though it can be, then seeing the bare earth transform during the spring and summer.
My soil is clay based and though I work a lot of organic material into it its still a challenge getting a nice tilth, on that count my head says raised beds but my heart says traditional.
Once I feel the back is not up to the job anymore I will go the way of raised beds so I can continue my allotment into my dotage
Most of my veg plot is the traditional on the ground type with drills furrows beds and the like. But i do have raised beds for my strawberries. This makes it easier to get into harvest tho crop and keep the weed supressing membrane intact.
I have raised beds in the back garden for growing veg and after the initial preparation of double digging, they've been easy to maintain over the years.
In February I got an allotment. The site was covered in black plastic, brambles, couch grass...to name but a few nasties and so I've spent most weekends there clearing the site to the point were today I started putting in raised beds.
Each weekend I've taken idea's from the other plot holders, those with traditonal beds seem to work harder at keeping their plots and returned earlier than those with raised beds. Some of the plots with raised beds appear less wild life friendly sites than traditional plots which have untidy corners of nettles, brambles and random flowers popping up. etc...
In terms of maintaining, raised beds seem the easier option. I'm used to planting vegs closer together and sow alot of veg in modules so have opted for raised beds but plan to have a bug hotel and plant flowers around the plot.
Very interesting reading the replies. When I am out and about, either walking or in the car I cant help but take a look at allotment patches as I pass by.
I would say at the moment the majority of plots are still in the traditional style, however on our patch I would say that a lot of gardeners are going the way of rasied beds, this is I believe because we have lots of new gardeners that haven't been influenced by their peers into the traditional style.
I think it might help with people retaining their allotments because they are definitely easier to maintain once the initial work is done. There is always a significant drop out after a year or so on traditional plots when people realise how much work and time is consumed by them.
Overall a very bright future for allotment gardening but I hope we keep some traditional plots as when well maintained they are a joy.