We've changed the name of this board from 'Greenfingered MoneySaving' to simply 'Gardening'. This is to help make it easier to find for the horticulturally inclined. The URL remains unchanged for the time being, so all links to the board are unaffected.
🗳️ ELECTION 2024: THE MSE LEADERS' DEBATE Got a burning question you want us to ask the party leaders ahead of the general election? Submit your suggestions via this form or post them on our dedicated Forum board where you can see and upvote other users' questions. Please note that the Forum's rules on avoiding general political discussion still apply across all boards.

help - have the chance of an allotment and not a clue!

Options
skintbint_2
skintbint_2 Posts: 1,822 Forumite
hi folks - hoping for some advice. i have the chance of an allotment complete with greenhouse but it is in a bit of a mess, whats the best things i can do - plant the whole lot in potatoes for the first year to clear the ground? i have no seeds planted so am wayyyyy behind from what i can gather and cant afford to spend lots on plants, any advice or ideas would be fantastic

thanks
skintbint x
here's tae us, wha's like us - fell few and and they're a deid"
10k in 2010/£6988.30-69.88%@29/12/10, 11k in 2011/£897 07.04.11- fell by the wayside!!!
12k in 2012 - £204.00 @ 4/1/12

do not confuse me with the other skintbint who joined dec2011 - i am the original bint:rotfl:
«13

Comments

  • angelavdavis
    angelavdavis Posts: 4,714 Forumite
    Mortgage-free Glee!
    Options
    Congratulations!

    Well the first thing to do is not panic! Regardless of the threads on here, there are still plenty of things to plant this season - you aren't too late for most things.

    You could plant potatoes, but I am not 100% in favour of limiting yourself to just potatoes. I took over an allotment in mid-June last year and we still managed to get squashes, courgettes, strawberries, cabbages, chard, beetroot and lettuces out of our plot before end October. You are taking over a plot at a great time. What do you like to eat?

    When you say it is a mess - in what way? It sounds like an established plot that needs weeding - if that is the case, then the best policy is to pick a small area and get cracking, loosening the soil to shake the weeds free.

    Get hold of some well rotted manure free from a stables close by and dig some in ready for planting.

    Cover any areas you aren't likely to develop this year with some layers of newspaper well wetted and covered in manure. This will rot down while you are working on the parts you do have time for.

    If you can get access easily to the greenhouse, you can start off some seeds off in there in multipurpose compost and a few yoghurt pots (with drainage holes added to the base). There is still time to start off almost everything from seed except possibly tomatoes and chillis. These can easily be bought as plants cheaply from a garden centre or market.
    :D Thanks to MSE, I am mortgage free!:D
  • cootambear
    cootambear Posts: 1,474 Forumite
    Combo Breaker First Post
    Options
    spuds dont break up the ground, breaking your back digging them up does

    go for easy to grow stuff
    Freedom is the freedom to say that 2+2 = 4 (George Orwell, 1984).

    (I desire) ‘a great production that will supply all, and more than all the people can consume’,

    (Sylvia Pankhurst).
  • misskool
    misskool Posts: 12,832 Forumite
    Combo Breaker First Post
    Options
    you're not behind at all! Lots of things still to sow. Clear a small area and plant it. Don't try to clear too much as the weeds will grow back before you plant anything in it.
  • soupdragon10
    Options
    Sowing seeds for many varieties of veg is only just beginning. Beans, peas, cabbages etc etc... don't spend a fortune - Lidly do packets of seeds cheaply, Morrisons have veg seeds on offer as well.

    Don't try and grow too many!! I've been down the road of loads of cabbages all ready at the same time and no plans for cooking/freezing etc. You might find that fellow allotmenteers have spare plants that they'd let you have - it's easy to sow too many tomatoes etc.

    Think whether you want to grow in rows or blocks; do you want raised beds in the future? Things to mull over while you are tackling the weeds. Make a note of which way the sun is in relation to your plot as it may determine what you plant where.

    Best of luck with it.
  • mrbadexample
    mrbadexample Posts: 10,805 Forumite
    First Post First Anniversary Combo Breaker Photogenic
    Options
    Agree with above. Clear a small area to start with, and get it planted with a few things you like. That'll get you going, and provide impetus to your subsequent efforts.
    If you lend someone a tenner and never see them again, it was probably worth it.
  • skintbint_2
    skintbint_2 Posts: 1,822 Forumite
    Options
    well its not been touched since last year so its overgrown and will take quite a bit of work to get into shape, (so do i so that wont help) i can get hold of manure no problem =BIL is a livestock haulier so have it on tap if you like! the committee is quite strict and wants it tidied up as soon as possible - it is a half plot but still big - they do not give ladies full plots as its too much work !!!!! only thing i have ever grown before is lettuce, spring onions and tomatoes but even if i can get those on the go that would be fine. We eat just about every type of veg and fruit going - was buying organic for a while or going to the farm shop as the taste is totally different to the shops but just too expensive now so would like to grow carrots, leeks, onions,
    with being so far north on the east coast we are normally a few weeks behind so hopefully wont hinder me to much, was thinking of putting an ad on freecycle to see if anybody has spare plants
    skintbint x
    here's tae us, wha's like us - fell few and and they're a deid"
    10k in 2010/£6988.30-69.88%@29/12/10, 11k in 2011/£897 07.04.11- fell by the wayside!!!
    12k in 2012 - £204.00 @ 4/1/12

    do not confuse me with the other skintbint who joined dec2011 - i am the original bint:rotfl:
  • splodger_seedswapper
    Options
    just clear it a bit at a time - you can always cover weedy areas with carpet/cardboard or plastic - to make it look as it it is better condition that it actually is (and that will actually weaken the weeds anyway) ;)

    don't go mad on spuds - especially if you haven't had a chance to chit them yourself

    get a load of manure - lay down some sort of membrane (any of the above mentioned will do) pile the muck on it - then slowly start to clear the plot - and plant as you go - take your time - a good plot is only as good as the soil - so it is worth taking time and effort to get that soil just right - so what if you can only actually cultivate a small part of it for this year (next year you will be rocking if you get that soil fed right ;))
    saving money by growing my own - much of which gets drunk
    made loads last year :beer:
  • Mojisola
    Mojisola Posts: 35,559 Forumite
    Name Dropper First Post First Anniversary
    Options
    skintbint wrote: »
    well its not been touched since last year so its overgrown and will take quite a bit of work to get into shape

    Many allotment groups have some equipment which the members can use. If the group owns a strimmer, you could go over the lot a couple of times and soon get it tidy. You can then take your time digging over a piece at a time and getting it into production.

    When you've got a bit more experience, get on to the committee and tell them that other groups keep the spare allotments tidy until someone takes them on. It can be very off-putting for a newcomer to be faced with an overgrown allotment full of perennial weeds.
  • skintbint_2
    skintbint_2 Posts: 1,822 Forumite
    Options
    ahah have got an old carpet waiting to go to the skip! and also a roll membrane stuff that goes under roofing tiles - would never have thought of those for ground coverage, thanks. have also just checked freecycle and someone is offering seeds that they no longer require so have emailed them, they havent listed what they have but am sure there will be some that i can use, even if just in the greenhouse.

    am quite excited about this now, wont be thinking the same when i've aching back, legs and blisters.!
    skintbint x
    here's tae us, wha's like us - fell few and and they're a deid"
    10k in 2010/£6988.30-69.88%@29/12/10, 11k in 2011/£897 07.04.11- fell by the wayside!!!
    12k in 2012 - £204.00 @ 4/1/12

    do not confuse me with the other skintbint who joined dec2011 - i am the original bint:rotfl:
  • Mojisola
    Mojisola Posts: 35,559 Forumite
    Name Dropper First Post First Anniversary
    Options
    skintbint wrote: »
    they do not give ladies full plots as its too much work !!!!!

    This is mind-boggling in 2011!

    It makes good sense to offer either half or full plots to any new member. I know men who would struggle with a half allotment because of their health and women who could take on two full allotments with no trouble.

    I hope not all their thinking is this old-fashioned! Are women allowed on the committee or are they only there to make the tea?
This discussion has been closed.
Meet your Ambassadors

Categories

  • All Categories
  • 8 Election 2024: The MSE Leaders' Debate
  • 343.9K Banking & Borrowing
  • 250.3K Reduce Debt & Boost Income
  • 450K Spending & Discounts
  • 236K Work, Benefits & Business
  • 609.2K Mortgages, Homes & Bills
  • 173.4K Life & Family
  • 248.6K Travel & Transport
  • 1.5M Hobbies & Leisure
  • 15.9K Discuss & Feedback
  • 15.1K Coronavirus Support Boards