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An End of the Year Ramble around our Plots


By balcony


An End of the Year Ramble around our plots

View along Gerry’s plot

Bed half dug

View along Plot 12A from bottom

On my own allotment, Plot 12A, I’ve made up raised beds only a few feet wide so I can get to the centre of the beds from the paths. I dug in lots of horse manure last year but we don’t have any this year. The soil on my allotment is very shallow in some places – not more than half a spade’s depth! Most of it is about a spit deep but it is underlain by sand & gravel.

It seems that a 100 years ago it was a gravel quarry but it became uneconomical to run & was filled in. As it was deemed unfit for housing & it was turned into a big allotment field.

Apparently the landfill came from the works of widening the A1, then they put a thin layer of topsoil over it before converting it for allotment use. At least that’s what a couple of the old guys down there have told me. I wonder if I should look it up in our local reference library. But it’s only a curiosity which will just be academic in a few year’s time as the cemetery alongside is expanding. A few years ago it swallowed up about 1/3 of the entire field & in about 10 years time they will need the half of the field where my plot is for expansion as well!

Just before Christmas last year (2011) they started to use it for the 1st graves. Now they have used up 3 or 4 rows the width of the old plots. Even at that rate they have space for a few more years yet! All the same it’s a bit disheartening knowing you only have your plot for 10 years! Not very conductive to long time planting of apple/pear/fruit trees or to plant up fruit bushes! I’d have liked to do that but once they (Town Council) told us their plans for the future I just forgot about the idea! I’ll content myself with the usual annual crops we plant.

Gerry has plenty of fruit bushes on his plot between 12 Gooseberry bushes, 2 Black Currants & a White Currant plus two big beds of Raspberry canes, one with 2 small Fig trees in it. He also has 3 Victoria Plum trees & a Black plum he thinks may be ‘Czar’. There are several yellow plum trees as well that produce delicious tasting orange/yellow plums & a Blackberry bush.

Fig trees under fleece in new Raspberry bed

Gooseberry bushes behind shed

Gooseberries – Close up

Black Currant bushes

Then there is the big old Apple tree under which we placed the shed a few years ago. It’s a cooker of unknown variety which produces more apples than we can get rid of! I bring some home & Gerry has given other plot holders permission to help themselves but more end up as birdfood than what we humans can consume!

Apple tree in flower with shed underneath

He also has a dessert apple, a dwarf, right in front of where we put the greenhouse. It has only produced a very few fruits up to now. Though every year since I’ve been there, 3 years, it’s doubled the production of the previous year! But, before you think that’s great, you should realize the 1st year it produced just 2 (TWO) small very red apples, the following year it made 4! A 100% increase on the year before! This year it made quite a few more – around 10 or so. A few were even a bit bigger than bite-size! Who knows what will happen in 2013??? Perhaps it will have enough to take to the Farmers’ Market in town! ;D

I’m going to put an end to this now. Happy New Gardening Year 2013! :)

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some inspiring allotmentness here!
I am so jealous there are not any in the locallity and the parish council/local council are dragging their feet. :o(

7 Jan, 2013


I dont want to cause trouble but Balcony wrote p.m. to me about this threat of the Town Council. I have sent him the detail of what to do. Every Town Council has a duty to provide allotment land. I have advised him to get a copy of the Lease Agreement from the Town Council. His Committee should have one, maybe they wont give him a copy. He has been accepted as a Tenant therefore he has a legal right to a copy of the Lease.
If the land is being used productively, and the % usage agreed in the Lease complied with, he cannot be evicted. Or any of them asked to move to be together, which is called rationalisation, and frees up derelict plots for other purposes, usually house building.
Some Allotment Committees think the % usage means % let to Tenants, which it does not. Usage means growing productively.
Rather than listening to gossip he should pursue this threat of eviction properly, now.
Also write to the National Association of Allotment and Leisure Gardeners, Hunters Road, Corby and take advice from them.

7 Jan, 2013


It's awful to see land used as allotments/kitchen gardens (my Dad tells me that allotment as a word could only be used in the war!) but seeing councils taking the land back for whatever reason. Growing our own is important on so many levels.
Best of luck with it Balcony.
Does that fig tree produce fruit?

7 Jan, 2013


I can remember lots of the places where the allotments were in my town, we still have some on the outskirts of town but lots more are now housing estates, where dad had his is the college and its carpark and the leisure centre is next to it, I can see why you don`t want to plant lots of trees Balcony but you do seem successful with what you do grow, enjoy it and I wish you well with all your gardening this year........

7 Jan, 2013


Fight it, Balcony! I don't mean to disrespect the dead (and there is an alternative to entombment), but surely land for the living is more important? Follow through Diane's good advice with some fellow supporters from the allotments and let us all know how you get on. :o)

8 Jan, 2013


Sad that you only have a limited time on the alotments. A cemetary is such a waste of land. I know people like to bury their deceased relations but in other countries they re-use the old sites where the graves are no longer being tended. Here the old graveyards are just allowed to decay. It doesn't make sense to me.

8 Jan, 2013


Thank you everyone for your comments. I'm 100% agreed with you, Hywel!

9 Jan, 2013

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