Richard from Sharpen Your Spades has written in with the following:
If you were to take on a new allotment plot now, what would you do differently? What have you learned and experienced that would lead your approach to developing the allotment?
As it happens I’m in the process of starting again and I’ve just hit the halfway mark.
I totally would do/am doing things differently for sure. I find that I’m doing a lot more thinking before I rush in with a fork and spade – I’m looking at the resources I have verses what I want to achieve in the long run.
Covering unused ground has been a master stroke for me personally. It’s something I wanted to get into the habit of doing before, but for one reason or another didn’t get around to doing.
Covering the ground really does slam the breaks on weed growth and has paid dividends so far. It’s probably my first time for new allotment holders as well.
Not only will it kill the weeds underneath the sheeting, carpet, cardboard or whatever you are using – it will also stop the blowoff from other weeds from getting into your bed.
In terms of learning, I think I’ve learnt to not take too much on in one go. Going to the plot with a particular job in mind helps to keep everything on track and also reinforces a sense of achievement.
I’ve also learnt to work smart and not hard. You don’t want to be doing a job twice if you can help it. Gardening isn’t for those who want things instantly – it takes time and patience to get where you want to be, and being efficient in places can help.
All said and done, everyone has their own way of doing things and all I can do at this point is pass on what I’ve learnt – everyone needs to explore what works best for them.
I hope that’s useful and I’d love to hear from new plot holders.