Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Allotments really do EAT time!

When I first thought about taking on an allotment I really didn't appreciate how much time it takes. Now obviously it is relative to the amount of space you have and how low or high maintenance your plot is. I don't say this to put off anyone from taking on a plot but it really is (I think) one of the factors that make people give up plots so quickly. Our plot has large areas of grass, the paths and the space where we park the car are grass and this take a lot of my time in mowing but I do like the look of the grass but I must admit it is tempting to do away with some of it.
On the flip side of that though is the fact that when I'm at the plot on my own I disappear into a place of my own. Our allotment site is tucked away behind housing estates and next to a railway line which doesn't sound idylic but it is sufficently private enough that it's like a hidden oasis.

One of the jobs I did in my 5 hour marathon session on Monday was putting in the leeks, a job that I find really nice to do. For leek planting virgins it couldn't be easier, you make a hole with a dibber, drop in a leek and pour in some water to settle it and that's it, no filling in with soil or anything else, it really must be the easiest veg ever to plant.
Leeks in holes, Gladioli in background
The parsnips that I chitted in the tupperware tub are doing really well, I spent ages hand weeding the bed as last year we fell behind with weeding and I really do want to keep things tidy. I also thinned the carrots which is why they look a bit bedraggled in the picture!!!
Parsnips and Carrots

Generally things are looking great and we've just had our first crop of broad beans which were fab. Loads more to go in but it's filling up nicely!


baz said...


I have really enjoyed reading your blog, especially as I have just applied for a allotment in Glos. myself. May I ask how long it took from applying to being allocated a plot? apparently there are 20 others waiting for a plot at Saintbridge and they didnt really give me a clue how long I would be waiting.
Its encouraging to read that you were complete novices at this game as I have never given this a go but it really appeals to me, I love my garden but dont have an earthly about running an allotment and growing vegatables, anyway keep the blog up its great I'll be looking out for all the tips



glosterwomble said...

Hi Gary, thanks for the kind comments. When we applied for our plot there were loads of available spaces on this site AND Saintbridge. Make a pain of yourself, keep ringing, the organisation of Gloucester allotments is APPALING (I don't say that lightly!) and I really do think the only way now to get one is to be a pain in the behind!!! When an allotment plot is taken on the new tenant agrees in their contract to keep it cultivated and weed free (within reason) maybe you could go to saintbridge and see how many TOTALLY overgrown plots there are to be able to ask for one of those?

I think one of the biggest things you can have when 'doing' an allotment is enthusiasm and patience. I don't have loads of patience! Be practical and realise that you might not clear an overgrown plot quickly. Good luck, keep me informed with your progress on the waiting list!

Jo said...

I guess the grass must be a bit of a pain to keep looking so nice and short, but it does make your allotment look very well kept. In fact, it looks more like a garden than an allotment.

As you know, I have had my name down on the waiting list for an allotment since last year, and I can imagine the time it will take to look after, because growing veg in containers in my back garden keeps me very busy now.


glosterwomble said...

Hi Jo, thanks for the nice comment!! I hope my post about it taking lots of time to run an allotment didn't sound pessimistic but I think loads of peple do go into it with blinkers on, in fact I think I was like that at first.

Square Foot Hammer said...

Gardening and time are two things that don't mix! I just pop into the back garden to do some small things, "I'll just be ten minutes dear", and before you know it, a couple of hours have past!

They should call it the Garden Time Continuum?

glosterwomble said...

You are so right!!! Nice blog on Square foot gardening by the way!

Anonymous said...

Looking nice...there really is something great about cut grass, looks well tidy. I think taking on an allotment is a lifestyle choice that not a lot of people can cope with. You def. have to be comfortable with your own company and we self motivated...a lot of people like to think they are i'm sure

glosterwomble said...

too true vegmonkey!

Anonymous said...

Fantastic - your plot looks amazing! Very well kept and tendered & everything blooming....allotment envy! Going home to have a bit of a tidy! Cat x

Tim said...

Looking good glosterwomble!

I agree with you that grass paths take up a lot of time, but look great being the most natural looking. I'm thinking eventually of turning my chipped-barked ones back to grass - hoping they'll be level and free from weeds (the main thing I think which makes them such a big chore when starting from a neglected plot).

Your leeks remind me that I must move mine on - Cheers!

Best Regards,
Tim :o)x

glosterwomble said...

Thanks Cat for your kind comments!!

Tim, stick with the wood chip paths, much easier to mantain I reckon!!