Sunday, 28 June 2009

Dragging out old news

I found this article linked from the front page of the BBC news website. It is written by someone who had an allotment in the 1970s and who gave it up within the first year.
Whilst I know that a proportion of people are unable to maintain the commitment to their allotments for a a variety of reasons, and that they will normally last less than a year, I found it amusing that they couldn't find someone with a more recent experience to write about it!
Having taken over a very neglected plot I know that feeling in your stomach when you haven't been for a couple of days and you have to spend half an hour or so digging up bindweed and mares tail before you can even think about doing anything with the planting.
However, the best tip I can give is to divide the plot into manageable chunks and not expect to be able to do everything all at once. I still have two beds covered with black plastic and that is how they will stay now until next year.
I have planted strong, ground covering plants which will hopefully block out some weed growth. The courgette leaves are now covering most of bed one, and the nasturtiums I planted are also sprawling well.
If you have an allotment, don't lose heart. Hang on to the reasons why you took it on in the first place, and balance the small time commitment against the ability to produce fresh, organic and very, very local food for you and your family.

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