The Plot

Just to warn you, this is picture heavy.

The results came in and we gained 72 1/2 points out of 100.

I’ve had a couple of requests (actually only two, but thats enough.. lol) to share my plot, warts and all, as we came 5th out of 154 plots in the best kept plot competition on our allotments judged by independent judges from the National Society of Allotment and Leisure Gardeners Ltd. (which according to our allotment secretary came all the way from Essex!)

This is our second season, it won’t be a full two years until February. The first three months on our allotment were spent digging the whole plot, I did rather alot of that, some days I could hardly get down the stairs my muscles were so stiff, and removed barrow loads of mares tail and other rather ugly long rooted weeds, whilst hubby dug out the footings for our second hand greenhouse, as we had hoped to get a plot for some eight months, and the second hand greenhouse had been dismantled some five months before we got the plot. I think hubby did a wonderful job at resurrecting the greenhouse as it really did come back from the dead.

He then put the footings in and built my shed. You need a shed, yes, its useful to store tools etc, make tea, store things, pot things on, but even more importantly than all of that, as a girl, you need a shed, well, and a bucket. And also a hook and eye to attach to the inside of the door and door frame to prevent a gust of wind showing tomorrows washing.. or worse!

Anyway thats the gist of it all, I had no idea we had been nominated, it was a shock, so, this is our plot. And just before we go on, I grow everything myself from seed. I’m a busy beaver come late February and am to be found sat in my shed, listening to the radio, actually its normally radio one or mercia, as my hubby is far too educated to listen to such rubbish and my boys would just look at me with pity in their eyes, in five layers of clothes, two pairs of hand knitted socks, (by me) and some gorgeous Fetchings, which are pick pocket type gloves and knitted by me. I have a kettle, various cup of soups and on a good day some hot chocolate, I must remember the Rum this winter. I feed the birds, they are wonderful, its like my very own hide.. I adore it.

The start of the plot taken from the shed. Personally I think its a good idea to put your greenhouse as close to your shed as possible. If your worried about people that are really not nice, and who isn’t, I can understand putting your greenhouse as far away from the track as is possible, but why not put your shed there too. (so many have the greenhouse at the other end of their plot to the shed) When I’m planting seeds, pricking out, potting on its right, that the greenhouse is next door. Note, the greenhouse longest side is east west, to gather as much sunlight as possible.

You might note the extra chairs, its my mothers fault, just as we had rescued two lovely chairs from the tip, she gave us her old set…

Inside of the greenhouse, with my toms, seven varieties three of each, along with some aubergines, which I must pot on. Did you note my marigolds to help prevent whitefly?

Just to show you some little tricks. Hubby has built an inside bamboo cage. The toms really seem to like it.

And,,, from reading allotment sites I learnt many different ideas, one of which was to cut of the bottom of pots and plant the tomato plant in them and then into grow bags. This really aids watering. We water every single day at half strength of tomato feed.

Our compost and manure heaps. Its been a bit of worry with everything thats been going on with manure lately, (to my knitting friends I must tell you about that). We have some old straw which we use for the chickens which they seem to love and we compost that along with their waste. 3 and a half bins… (its to do with hubbys construction, dont ask me) We managed an 8 points out of 10 for this..

Runners and French beans.

Four rows of peas.

carrots, beetroot and parsnips.

leeks and globe artichokes

Onions, shallots and swede,, (the swede are the distraught looking weeds in a straight line)

red cabbage and summer cabbage, along with the start of the marigold soldiers.. Some people might think I’m daft, most of the time I would agree. This started as a thought one late summer evening as I watched the cloud of white fly having a lovely time on my brassicas as I was standing in my greenhouse. It really was bad, and I looked backwards and gave my marigolds that were stationed in my greenhouse a grateful nudge that they were looking after my toms so wonderfully. And then, it hit, me.. Well, if the marigolds have done such a wonderful job here, could they not help in the cabbage patch..

Sometimes its a long winter and thoughts travel through your brain, so, I decided to find out more about marigolds. What I found out, was that they can exhibit a strong chemical from their roots which can kill other plants,, … not so good then… and that they attract slugs. … Okay..

So I thought, Pots,, thats the thing, place them in pots, so … none of that chemical root business and if the slugs make a bee line but get distracted by my cabbage plants on the way, just remove the pots to the house.

So, far the slugs have not been a problem.. I’ll let you know in the autumn what the whitefly thought of them…

brussel sprouts.

Best brussel sprouts on the whole site.. (according to the judges). These are Wellington.

Strawberries, blackcurrants and raspberries.

Some very young lettuces that are suffering in the heat.

Potatoes in dustbins, we ran out of room on the site, this was the only to grow spuds.

A shot of the plot,

chilli’s that I had forgotten about.

Normality returns, Mandy’s shed, scruffy devil ain’t she. I do so love it though.

And blackcurrants picked today and the last of the raspberries.

2 thoughts on “The Plot

  1. Ali says:

    Hi there, came across your Lotty Blog and I love it! Congratulations on coming 5th for the best kept plot – well done you!! I love your greenhouse – I am hoping to get a shed & a greenhouse soon – it will make such a difference, but I have to clear my plot first as it's in a bad way!!Keep up the hoeing! I will visit again soon for more veggie tips.Ali :0)


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