• Jon Matthews

The 15B Diaries - Part 1. Getting the Allotment

The long awaited allotment key arrived this week and we have at last been able to begin taking measurements, making plans and gathering resources. As you can see from the pictures there is much work to be done. We have, however, been very lucky to inherit an allotment that has only been abandoned for one year, meaning the weed growth and damage is minimal.

We are going to be using the no-dig method as much as possible. The first task, therefore, will be to cut all the weeds down to the ground, remove any that have a large stalk and cover the entire patch in a plastic sheet. Whilst the weeds are dying and rotting beneath the sheet, the jobs of maintaining the site, building a compost pit and a small seating/storage area will be undertaken before sowing can begin.

I will uncover a strip of the plot at a time when I sow to allow the remainder of the plot to continue to rot. When a strip is harvested it can be re-covered, with added compost, to allow the soil to become re-enriched for the next time it is sowed in. I plan on growing a wide variety of vegetables, as well as potted herbs and strawberries.

I have grown vegetables in the past and have helped friends to set up their own vegetable gardens, but this patch, approximately 75m², is much larger than anything I have managed before. It will be a steep learning curve but I am very excited about the fun and the food we will be having along the way. I'll be sure to keep you updated.

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