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New Allotment - Exciting times


Acquired an allotment after being on the waiting list for about 18 months. It’s 15 yards by 5 yards (good old imperial measurements)! So I’m pretty lucky I guess. Although the plot I’ve acquired is a complete wasteland and hasn’t been cultivated for some years – at least three in my reckoning. It’s is lumpy and full of couch grass and perennial weeds – docks and the like. Nothing on it worth salvaging apart from some desperate looking raspberry canes that will need shifting and seeing if they are any good and worth keeping.

First job will be digging the whole plot over and removing all the couch grass. I’m planning to dig it out and leave it in a heap to dry out before burning. I don’t want to compost it as I don’t trust the stuff not to return reinvigorated and raring to go! And I reckon a fiery end is what it deserves after all the hard work it’s put me through!

But I will have to be sensible as if I go at it full blast I’m liable to strain something and that will put me out of the game. So short bursts of activity ( about an hour or an hour and a half) and not be too bothered even if I don’t get it all done this year.

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Good luck with your allotment. I am pleased for you :)
You have the right approach - gently does it ! lol You'll be surprised how much you can get done like that.
I hope you'll show us how it progresses throughout the year :)

9 Mar, 2016


Have you got a rotivator? We have one for our allotment and we go over it with that and then pile all the weeds up on the compost heap. Much less work than digging.

9 Mar, 2016


Well done for at long last getting the allotment, makes you wonder why you didn't get it earlier if it has stood fallow that long, but as they say the wheels of industry grind slowly but not as slow as committees!
Sad about the couch grass (called foul grass in Norfolk - for a reason) but picking up even the smallest bits of root that comes to light will help. I know a rotovator sounds easier, but I would caution using one as it will chew up the roots to minute pieces - all of which will grow. The roots would also love the compost heap so burning or drying out and disposing of would be better.
I agree with Hywel, little and often, I wish I always abided by that rule - hence the bad back!
Good Luck and have fun, that's the main thing.

9 Mar, 2016


I think I'll consider a Rotavator in future years but I do like the "hand to eye" inspection required by a slow dig. It means you can take your time and do your best to remove every weed root (although I know I'm bound to have missed some).

I've no great object to limited chemical use either and plan to use a systemic weedkiller such as "Roundup" on the allotment grass edges. Actually I'm a bit of a tight git so will be buying the "Poundland" equivalent at £1 a bottle rather than the £4+ charged for the branded versions. I can detect no difference either in their active ingredients or their effectiveness. I wonder if others have had the same experience?

9 Mar, 2016


Lots of cheers that you've got an allotment at last!
If you can't dig it all in one season a sheet of heavy black plastic or an old carpet will kill off what's under it very effectively. A farmer friend gave me a piece of that plastic they wrap haylege in and it worked a treat, on couch, willowherb etc.

9 Mar, 2016


I wish you well with the allotment, will take time and effort but a bit at a time is the way to go, that way you will soon have something in the ground doing its bit whilst you are tackling and preparing more...

10 Mar, 2016


looking forward to seeing your prgress. as far as perenial weeds are concerned my solution has always been to put them in my compost weelie bin.

i know i have to pay a subscription to my local council, but the reason i do it this way is that the temperatures reached by large compost sites is more than adequate to kill off weeds

10 Mar, 2016


I think I just like bonfires and of course the element of revenge and retribution. Primitive instincts really but I am looking forward to seeing all those roots going up in smoke!

As for the black plastic ground cover - well its a great idea but would take a year to implement and I really want to get going this year. If I do fall behind with my digging and have an area not cultivated then for sure I will cover with black plastic.

My other plans for such are to grow some plants through such ground cover - strawberries and early potatoes. It should warm the ground up, retain moisture and keep the weeds down.

10 Mar, 2016

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