Seen at the Festival of the Tree

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

Monday, 5 August 2013

Plot Plan 2013 Style

Happy National Allotments Week! It's a while since we had an overview of my plot, so I thought now is the ideal time to do so. I do love this time of the year when the plot is full and there's loads of harvesting to be done :)

When I gave up half of my plot 2 years ago, I speculated I might be more productive as I wouldn't be constantly battling to keep everything up to scratch. After last year's false start (all that rain), it's proving to be true, especially after I installed some raised beds earlier in the year.

I was sad I might not have the space to experiment any more. I'm glad to say this fear was unfounded as I currently have 4 of them on the go: growing onions, shallots and garlic with or without biochar; a new variety of sunflower; using various seed tapes; and growing potatoes the no-dig way. The latter is a failure so far (compost not deep enough) and I'll say more about the others at a later date.

The pictures above don't show everything, so here's my Plot Plan for 2013 - click on the diagram to enlarge if needed. The items in black are the perennial areas, such as all my fruit.

I'm pretty happy with the way I have things laid out now with the mix between raised beds, permanent planting and other areas.

However, the bramble amongst the gooseberries is proving to be a thorny(!) problem. I'm going to have to dig out the gooseberries (and possibly take cuttings to replace them - I haven't decided one way or the other yet) in order to tackle it more thoroughly.

You'll see from some of the accompanying notes that I still have some planting left to do later this year. Most of it will go where the potato no-dig experiment is. The exception is the wasabi which is earmarked for a space below the apple trees as it likes a shady spot.

So I have a few weeds to get rid of, some further planting, plus loads of harvesting left to do this year. Overall I'm pleased with the way things have gone so far. How about you, how's your plot faring this week?

This is my first post celebrating this year's National Allotments Week. Wednesday's looks at the fab Roll Out the Barrows and Friday's is For Seed.

18 comments:

  1. Happy Allotment week!

    I have very fond memories of helping my step-Grandfather on his plot (which in effect was a double plot as son had the plot next door)as a child.

    We have toyed with the idea of taking on a plot but don't really have the time to do it justice... yet :)

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    1. Hi Gaz - with your recent news you have more than enough on your plate. I was pleased to see your green shoots of recovery happening so quickly over at yours :)

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  2. I feel that small plots are often more productive as all the space is utilised. At the moment I'm just harvesting - potatoes, dwarf French and runner beans, onions, beetroot, cucumbers and blackberries - deadheading pot marigolds and collecting some flower seeds. Flighty xx

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    1. That's exactly the conversation I've been having recently Flighty. Someone I know was bemoaning how small their plot was and saying they needed a much larger one to be effective. They don't!

      You're doing well with your harvesting :)
      xx

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  3. Allotments are just becoming used around here. Yours is looking great.

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  4. I loved seeing your plot, it looks wonderful - really productive. I have some brambles and many other weeds to get rid of too. I'm not getting down there as much as I need to at the moment, particularly with all the showers, but at least I'm not having to water anything! And every time I go I come back with masses of stuff, which really makes it all seem worth while.

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    1. Hi CJ - yes, this is the time of the year when we get a reward for the hard work earlier in the year :)

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  5. Oh your plot is looking full and colourful VP. Good luck with the goosegog operation - I'm planning to relocate my two bushes too but not sure how to go about it.

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    1. Hi Anna - yes I've been putting off the 'goosegog operation', but it looks like hard digging with attendant scratches is the only solution :(

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  6. Happy Allotment week to you too! Great to hear how things are getting along for you. Mine is just one big jungle still since we went away during the hottest week of the year! I have so much to do - but importantly I have so much I want to do. It's not a chore, it's such great pleasure tidying things up. I just wish work didn't get in the way during the week haha! Hope you're well :)
    Anna B

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    1. I bet you had a good week though Anna! It's amazing how things run away when you're on holiday. Good to see it's a pleasure for you :)

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  7. When I see my mega productive Chinese neighbours' plots, I can't help thinking I need to up my game rather more than somewhat. Trouble is we now have two plots in different locations, and we need really to decide whether to give one up. Problem is we have invested so much in the one furthest away, that it will be a huge loss of some of the things we have put in (i'm thinking of my beloved asparagus bed here) and the second plot is not really big enough to accommodate much by the way of permanent beds. Oh gawd.

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    1. Hi Colleen - what a dilemma! Is the further one so very far away? It sounds like you'd find giving up all that asparagus quite a wrench. I have a super productive Nepalese neighbour (who took on my other half of the plot) it's fascinating to see how differently she manages her plot.

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  8. So good to hear that your half plot is working out well for you. It is certainly looking good - do you think you will gradually put in more raised beds, or do you like having a mix? I am interested in whether you think some crops are better *not* in raised beds. I am putting all my perennial crops in the borders and leaving the raised beds for the annuals, but I can see myself growing more perennial veg as I learn more, so that is likely to change.

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  9. Hi Janet - no plans for more raised beds at the moment, but you never know... I do like having a mix :)

    Most of my perennial crops were planted pre-raised beds and I'm not sure how plants like raspberries would fare - it might stop them from popping up elsewhere though...

    I wouldn't plant trees in raised beds either and they form quite a bit of my plot - I think allotment fruit is very rewarding and much more expensive in the shops...

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  10. Glad your plot is doing well...most of mine was good too...some new beds and a bit of tweaking for next year...lots still to harvest.

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    1. Lots still to harvest here too - hurray!

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