Everything you heard is true, I have only gone and bagged myself another allotment and not another half plot either a FULL plot in full sun, YIPEEEEEE!
Are you ready to meet her?
OK then, here she is……… Meet No.9 Dream…… isn’t she beautiful?
I had my name down for just over a year and the wait was truly worth it. The former owner of my new plot can no longer keep up to the management of a full plot plus a half plot next door due to arthritis so handed it back, which was very lucky for me as it’s not in bad nick at all. Compared to my other plot (No.34b) when I first took that on it was completely covered in Bindweed, Couch Grass, Nettles, Mares Tail and Comfrey and lots of Ash saplings. So the new plot was a welcomed pleasant surprise as I was expecting hell!
The new plot came with completed raised beds down the left hand side that just needed a spot of weeding, an established strawberry and raspberry bed, a wild flower patch a plum tree and a shed! This was a dream come true, I had just won the jackpot of allotments!
I signed the contract and was handed the keys, No.9 Dream was mine all mine!
After an hour of wondering round the plot with my head buzzing with ideas and excitement I decided to look a little closer at the plot. The left hand side where the established raised beds are is in great condition, there are just a few annual weeds to tackle, so I got onto that right away so I can begin growing almost instantly. I purchased some manure and sharp sand to spread on the beds because the soil is very heavy clay, which isn’t the best but feeding it will help improve that. I cleared out a waste pile that the previous owner had accumulated in the top right hand corner, in total from this corner I did 3 waste tip runs filling 15 garden waste bags. I also had a fire with some of the left over dried out debris and added the ash to the beds too.
As I wondered around the more unruly right hand side, it was becoming more true to taking on a new allotment. Upon closer inspection it would appear that I have quite a lot of Couch Grass, Lesser Celandine and Ground Elder to tackle and unfortunately I can’t just cover the ground either as there are a tonne of random raspberry canes everywhere, that’s on top of two established raspberry beds. Someone definitely liked their raspberries!! They are all over the plot, in pathways, in raised beds, amongst the flower patch, so I need to dig these up. I have decided to just have one large raspberry patch on this plot. All the surplus and random canes I am donating to others. My brother is taking some for the garden at the school he teaches, my two netball buddies are getting some and a new plot neighbour is having some too. Yes there really is that many!
It’s a good job I have had the time spare to get straight stuck in with the graft as my council allotment contract says in 3 months you need to have 50% of the weeds and rubbish cleared from the plot and 25% needs to be in cultivation otherwise it’s keys back and pack your bags your off!! This is fairly strict but there are so many messy uncultivated plots that there needs to be firm rules in place.
My new neighbours all seem lovely too, I’ve already got chatting to most of them and one of them grows dahlias too. Remember the one I lost that arrived rotten and had sold out, well she’s offered to give me a cutting of hers yayyy! This is why allotments are fantastic everyone is always willing to help one another, it’s such a wonderful thing to be a part of.
So I guess by this point you’re wondering what plans a I have in store for No.9 Dream?
Well the area where I cleared the debris from is going to remain the wildflower patch which wraps around the entrance, I have decide I am going to build a pond here too. I swear by installing ponds to help with pest management, those frogs, toads and newts make easy work of those pesky slugs and snails. There’s a beautiful plum tree just below this area that fruited for the first time last year so I’m very excited about this, lots of jam and fruit leathers in the near future. Around the plum tree are yep more raspberries and a tonne of Iris, that have stopped flowering. This I presume is because the rhizomes are sat in wet heavy clay below a mound of couch grass and not baking in the sun like they require. So I will dig these up and plant them around the pond area, I love Iris flowers they are so pretty, I’m hoping thias will give them a new lease of life.
I will then go on to installing more raised beds down the right hand side and making new paths here too, whilst clearing out all the weeds and raspberries then covering with membrane so we don’t get the weeds back from any missed stray roots that still maybe lurking in the ground. After this I won’t dig the ground or beds again, as I intend to have another no dig plot.
The back end of the plot needs clearing as there are more weeds and raspberries, another pile of debris and a Hawthorn tree, which can’t stay as it’s not on a dwarf rootstock. The plan for the back will be to have 2 compost bins that I will make from pallets and a wildlife area which will consist of a bug hotel, log and stumpary and maybe another raised bed too, I will keep the blackberries that are growing up the fence and just tie them in so they don’t root elsewhere on the plot. I think I may pt in another fruit tree down here too, but I’m still undecided on that.
So that’s the grand plan, for now at least. I’m pretty sure these will change over time or I will have to make changes to include something else, but so far I’m happy with my choices and over the moon with my new plot. I want it to be my sanctuary where I can relax when I’m not grafting on it, take in the sunshine and enjoy the lovely wildlife.
What are your thoughts, is there a vision you see that I have missed for No.9 Dream, please share with a comment below, I’d love to hear them.
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