Allotment Diary

Wonky beds or allotment chic?

Not so long ago, actually maybe toward the end of last year and the beginning of this year I decided to merge some beds together to get more growing space and add some edging to the borders. It was part of my first plan of trying to rejig things on the plot.

As usual with these sorts of attempts, I think I gained top marks for effort but fell down at the execution stage – although I am my own worst critic. Although I tried to keep everything straight, it just didn’t happen.

I would probably say I fell down at the execution stage because I am notorious for not measuring things out properly or not even using a guide or a measure at all – so it’s no real mystery.

I’ve defended my inadequacies by using lines like “It’s meant to be like that, it’s allotment chic.” or “I’m going for the rustic look.” The truth is, I didn’t use a tape measure.

Don’t be fooled by the following pictures, the beds are actually super wonky, these images were taken earlier on in 2018.

Once I completed a few beds, I never bothered to change them until I decided to start again…again.

I’m about a quarter of the way through making drastic changes to my plot and I thought I would start to do things differently in how I’m building things – and it’s not really a major change in method… I’ve started using a tape measure and the results are showing.

I’m also using plastic sheeting to keep everything covered and weeds at bay and because the sheeting is 1 meter in length, this has also been a good way of keeping everything in line and much more squarish.

It’s a complete working progress and each time I go to the allotment, I go with the mindset that I can create a new bed, and it’s great to see it all come together slowly.

I feel that I’m slowly winning with the war against marestail and bindweed.

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The other evening I got to the point whereby I found that I was working with different pieces of wood for the edging. I decided that a great trick to try and keep everything straight as you’re laying the edging is to first make sure that at least one edge is straight.

After that, use a piece of wood or a guide to the width that you want it and use that to keep everything the same length-ish. If necessary, dig out a little bit extra for the edge as you can always backfill what you’ve dug out.

Granted this isn’t an absolute perfect method, but it does the job for the allotment and you do end up with more or less straight, or even edging for your beds.

One of the tips is to use the guide at the same point, so in this case I was using the guide at the joints where the pegs hold in the edging.

In the end, it begged the question – wonky beds, or allotment chic? What do you think?

How do you keep everything straight on your plot? I would love to know what tricks are being used out there. 

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