Posted: 06/09/2014 at 19:11
Amanda, don't worry, I've been in a similar position. I took over an allotment in late spring, it's previous holders obviously hadn't fed it over the years and despite adding bonemeal and FBB, it's still been a poor year for me too. My plan of action is simple, I do have access to several tons of well rotted horse manure, so the allotment is getting a serious depth of manure this autumn, plus other organic fertilzers and sharp sand as the soil is quite heavy.
Poor soils can be quite common, and your soil sounds light, so the addition of as much manure as you can get your hands on this autumn will help significantly.
I'm leaving most of it fallow over winter so that the worms can do their work. A lack of worms shows there is little humus and organic matter in the soil, manure will rectify this very quickly, their rate of reproduction is staggering when conditions are right.
Over the summer I came across several neglected gardens ( new customers) and the addition of a thick layer of manure has boosted the worm count amazingly, and the condition of the soil has been vastly improved.
So take heart, feed the soil this autumn and start again next spring, I'm certain you'll reap the benefits next year.