Allotment News

Allotment News

Well here’s our first allotment update. 

We’ve already had more interest than we have allotments but I guess the reality may not match the dream for some so if you haven’t already put your name on the list but would like to, please feel free!

For those of you who haven’t looked at the site for a while, the allotments occupy the old hay meadow to the left hand side of the drive.  We’ve created three reasonably flat terraces with a selection of apples, plumbs, pears, greengages and quinces planted on the banks between each terrace.  The whole area has been surrounded by deer proof fencing and, just inside, there’s a stone track circling the allotments for easy vehicular access. We’ve tried to give the soil a head start by spreading the original topsoil, rotavating it twice and fertilising it each time with cow muck.  Unfortunately we are seeing an amount of cooch grass and dock coming through and whilst we will keep rotavating, it will keep coming back.  Perhaps ideally we should cover it (recycled cardboard and bark) for a few months but that would obviously hold things up quite a bit.  If anyone has any thoughts be sure to let us know through the comments section after this post. 

As soon as the weather allows us, we will be putting 3 large water troughs (one in the middle of each terrace) filled from the runoff water from the buildings which is stored in a vast underground tank. 

We’ve had some questions regarding sheds, greenhouses, raised beds and prices (£30 pa).  Whilst we haven’t written a rule book yet because we would like to do that in consultation with the allotmenteers, we do want to make sure that the allotments look good because of their prominence.  Raised beds definitely won’t be a problem, but in terms of buildings, we are going to offer the option of a small wooden tool shed which we can supply.  For us, the most important rules will be around ensuring the allotments aren’t neglected and we would also really love to see some of the produce find its way through the shop or into the cafe (at a fair price of course). Use the comments section if you have any thoughts.

Anyway that’s it for now other than to say please tell any ambitious chefs or restaurant managers you happen to know, who would like to play a big creative role in our project, to get in contact with us! 

This Post Has 12 Comments

  1. Lauren

    Good morning, this all sounds great. I have registered my interest in an allotment already, however I thought I would respond to the comment you have made on neglect.
    I live opposite the site and would like to share ownership with my mum, who is a keen gardener, so the allotment would be visited daily and tended to. I also have a toddler who loves being outside so he would relish having the space to grow lots of veg!
    I’m not sure how allotments will be assigned but thought it was worth giving a bit of a background to my request.
    Kind regards

    1. David

      Thanks Lauren
      Good to know!

  2. Judith

    We used to have an allotment at Ashmead Green 2. This was an old sheep field, with not much soil. We rotavated and added manure and covered our plot to blot out the weeds. We had a very successful first 2 years growing broad beans, caulis, cabbages, tomatoes, sweetcorn, and apples. But then the local wildlife got wind of free food so we had to create fencing our plots to keep out deer, rabbits and cows. Unfortunately as it was a difficult site to work lots of people gave up which meant adjacent plots were overgrown and encroaching on our plot so it became increasingly unmanageable we had to give it up. So we are up for a new challenge!

    1. David

      Hi Judith
      Fortunately the whole allotment site is fenced so the bigger wildlife at least won’t get a chance!
      Just the weeds to think about…

  3. Steve

    Hi David, I have sent a few of my thoughts/ideas to you on email. The weeds should not be a problem!

    1. David

      Thanks Steve – just catching up on emails. There have been a lot!

  4. Fiona

    As this is a very open space with stunning views , will you be allowing plastic compost bins on each allotment ( get blown away in high winds) or having one central compost area which will be hidden from view.
    Very impressed with your project.

    1. David

      Hi Fiona
      We’re well aware of the visibility of the site so we’re considering a central compost area that will actually be better as it can benefit from composting for the whole site and not just the allotments. We’re already putting in place low level communal water troughs using the run-off from the built area and we will make sure that any tool sheds are small and of common design. Pleased that you are impressed with the project:-)

  5. Mary Bird

    Please do not rotavate couch grass! Every little chopped up piece will grow! I talk from experience!
    Good luck with your new venture.

    1. David

      I know! Unfortunately, because the land was terraced and earth had been shifted around so much it happened inadvertently. Now we’re hoping that we can weaken it enough through multiple rotavations to restrict regrowth through eventual covering and mulching…..

  6. Phil Taylor

    Hi David. My daughter and I have just signed up for one of your allotments (plot 20). Must say that your project is very impressive and now is the ideal time to start up with plenty of time on our hands and the site being ideal for maintaining social distancing. I have one question though. We would like to have a small amount of storage in situ and I see that in the newsletter you mention a small wooden tool shed which you can supply. Is that still the plan or should I just go ahead and get something. If so what are the rules/guidelines in terms of dimensions. Very happy to comply with whatever and just looking for guidance.

    1. David

      Hi Phil. We are currently looking at options and will communicate with all allotment holders shortly. We want to keep the site looking beautiful so we are considering how to keep tool storage consistent.

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