Bringing an allotment to life: March

So far, I have reclaimed half my allotment from the various vegetation that has been inhabiting it. The weather has prevented me making the progress I would have liked but I have been rewarded with around three kilos of potatoes (from my predecessor’s efforts) so I am glad I opted in favour of manual labour instead of machine.

Thankfully, I will have created sufficient space for March/April planting so I am pleased with progress. This year will be a ‘see how it grows’ as I haven’t had the opportunity to add as much nourishment to the soil as I would have liked but I can see, and I have heard from my neighbour, that the previous owner knew what he was doing. So, I am pushing on with a confident air.  

As well as digging there has been other activity – seeds have been sown (and are germinating nicely). Thanks to the efforts of my wife we are sharing house room with beans, leeks, and courgettes happily sprouting away, while in the greenhouse one hundred and sixty seed potatoes are waiting to hit the ground. Our plan for this year is to grow the basic vegetables we regularly consume, not do anything out of the ordinary- just as we have in our home veg patch but in an area around five times the size. We intend to enjoy the taste benefits of the short transit time from soil to plate that only growing your own can bring.   


Phil’s allotment is making progress although the weather in February slowed things down 

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Happily, my local garden centre were true to their word and I am now the proud owner of two ex bulb display units which, now they have treated with wood preservative, are ready for installation.

As far as knowing what we are doing, advice is being sought from various sources, our own previous (small scale) experience, various books (there are plenty out there on the subject), individual experts (particularly my father, but also here at Country Life). Plus, I will be keeping an eye on my fellow allotmenteers and hoping to glean information from their experience.

I have to say that, although the digging has been strenuous, it has been very rewarding (not just for the free potatoes). It is great to be outdoors enjoying a good workout and then, standing with a thoughtful look on your face pondering your domain and its future. This, in addition to pacing out imaginary plots, and nodding with a satisfied look on your face, makes for an enjoyable experience (and makes it look as though you know what you are doing).

Solitary digging can lead to your mind wondering over a number of subjects, it has produced my first allotment joke, which is as follows;

Two seed potatoes are talking and one says to the other ‘You know what happens next, they take you out and bury you alive!’

Alarmed, the other ponders this for a while and then says to the other ‘Nah, you’re chitting me!’

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