Seen at The Festival of the Tree

...if you would be happy all your life, plant a garden - Chinese proverb

Friday, 28 January 2011

Replotting the Plot

Replotting the plot for 2011, not 2010 as the picture suggests! Click to enlarge if needed

So here's the plan for 2011: a new bed for wildflowers (previously the nettle bed underneath which lurked dozens of bags of soot) and the previous fire area (in reality a massive pile of weeds and grass clippings) will house this year's crop of autumn onions, shallots and all my saved garlic.
The right handside used to have the same layout as the left, but instead this year it will have larger plots and two edible hedges: one using the Fuchsia 'Genii' cuttings I took last autumn and the other some Japanese Quince including the bargain C. 'Crimson and Gold' I found last year.

Other projects include planting a wineberry plus a couple of bushes each of honeyberry and blackcurrant. The installation of the edible hedges plus the wineberry and honeyberry are due to the inspirational 'A Taste of the Unexpected' and herald the redoubling of my efforts to do something for my ongoing Incredible Edibles project.

The apples need to have stronger cordon training wires installed and all the new strawberry plants need setting out. I'll also be replacing some of the mulch paths with slabs as soon as I get hold of some freebie or cheap ones.

There's a No dig vs Dig experiment to conduct and a new biological pest control to trial. Oh and Kai Lan to grow - I seem to have left that off the plan. Thank goodness all the non-perennial crops are marked in pencil! I'm also hoping a space for my planned cutting garden will also make itself known - it might have to snuggle up with the Dahlias.

So there's quite a lot to be getting on with as well as growing all the usual stuff.

How's your plan looking this year?

12 comments:

  1. Hi,

    I love the idea of the wildflower bed, you might even be able to have the odd veg amongst the flowers too - that is if you don't mind a bit of disorder :)

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  2. Hi Liz,

    I'm not growing any food where the wildflowers will be because I removed lots of soot and I'm concerned about all the heavy metals that might be there. There's loads of little bits of plastic too. The wildflowers are also intended to make up for having to remove all the nettles.

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  3. I love your wildflower patch and edible hedges. You also have a really interesting selection of fruit in or planned, makes me wish I had a whole plot which is ridiculous as I haven't yet proved I can cope with my current half a plot!

    My plan is still being tweaked, but I have at least now got as far as putting some paths in and manuring the bed that will hold the peas, beans etc. Now if the ground would only unfreeze and allow me to carry on digging it...

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  4. I have a 'Crimson and Gold' quince it really is a beauty, flowering often starts at Christmas and gets more and more bounteous up until late spring.

    I love your overall plan and it has reminded me that I should be doing ours for the year...

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  5. Nice to hear of other people growing quince and honeyberries. Those are pretty rare crops around here but I'm trying them both. The honeyberries have been incredibly slow growing.

    My design is drawn on a very large newsprint pad so I'm not sure how I could scan it. Lots of room in the sun for veggies, some more fruits, and a chicken coop!

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  6. Such an attractive looking plan - regardless of the contents!

    Esther

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  7. my plan is no where near as ambitious as yours! ;) will be interested to read how your edible hedge works out.

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  8. With so much effort put in to that plan I'm amazed you have energy to plant it up! lol

    Looks great and I can't wait to see more of your plot in 2010 . . . I mean 2011! haha! Have been doing it all month too :)

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  9. Dear VP,
    Great plan, how creative you are!

    I would like to know more about heavy metals in soot? As one of my neighbours at the allotment uses soot from having his chimney swept when he plants his spuds every year. He always gets a good crop, even when others suffer from scab and blight. Is smokeless fuel likely to be less toxic do you think? Or should I warn him about it?

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  10. Looks great. I noticed the quince hedge - we could have a competition.

    The two two large raised beds are being built in the next couple of weeks - I plan for veggies and salads but clearly I need to do a plan like this too

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  11. I always enjoying nosing at other people's allotments whether in real life or in blogland :) Wish I was so organised but hoping to draw up a plan before the end of next month. What a lot of fruit you have managed to pack in. We should not plant fruit trees according to the tenancy agreement but people seem to get away with it by planting dwarf rootstocks. I am growing kai lan too -it sounds most tasty.

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  12. Plantaliscious - the secret with a bigger plot is to grow lots of perennial crops ;)

    Arabella - mines in bud and looking like it's going to be very prolific this year :)

    Eliza - I'd love to have some chickens, but animals aren't allowed on the plot and my garden's unsuitable :(


    Esther - thanks. I thought you might like it :)

    Petoskystone - I'm a bit worried about the quince as it's quite thorny. That's why I've gone for wider paths either side

    Ryan - the secret is to draw up the plan with all the permanent stuff on there and then photocopy it for years to come. You can then pencil in the rest of the year's crops and move them around when reality bites.

    Scattered Gardener - that question's better suited for someone like Garden Organic. They don't recommend the use of soot at all (because of the heavy metals) though of course it was seen as a very good thing and still is by some of my allotment neighbours who hoover up the soot delivery as soon as our local chimney sweep leaves the bags by the gate.

    I don't know whether the smokeless fuel process removes or concentrates the heavy metals found in coal. The RHS will be a good source of advice on this too.

    Mark - looking forward to seeing your plan and your new plot :)

    Anna - we're not allowed trees either, but are allowed shrubs up to 6ft. Mine are dwarf rootstick and trained as cordons or over arches. I've also made sure they're placed in such a way that they don't shade my neighbours.

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