After a semi successful year of “pottering” about on my plot last year I have decided that 2015 is where things need to get serious.
Last year I successfully grew onions, potatoes, salad crops, sprouts, beans, corgettes, chillies and carrots but the growing season M&S short (may-sept) and this was mainly down to my poor planning and laziness. Basically if the weather was nice I went fishing!
This year it’s a different story, a bit more free time on my hands and a lack of money to throw around means I could really do with my allotment paying for its self. If I can produce from March/April all the way through to the winter and plug the big dent that the shopping bill creats each week I would really feel like I’ve achieved something great, ideally I want May through to October to be months when I don’t spend a single penny on fruit or veg! (Except bananas, I can’t grow them and I do probably eat one a day!)
So far in January I’ve spent around 3 dates down the plot, around an hour or two here and there tidying and laying out the plots design. Last year it was flat two raised beds and veggies just dotted around the ground, this year I want an allotment to be proud of, somewhere I can go with the family to relax and escape, so the main project this month has been to lay out a path and give the plot some order and “flow” allotments seem to have very straight edges… I’ve never been a fan of them so I have decided that all my paths will be wiggly and made up of random recycled objects like bricks, stones and sticks. This also helps with the cost, why spend money you don’t have on new material from garden centres when most of it you can get in a skip, after all an object should do its job first then look pretty second.
I’ve also decided to make a cold frame some hopefully I can bring on my seeds more frequently throughout the year producing little and often and increasing the growing and most importantly the harvest season. I was very lucky to find an abandoned chicken coop on our plot so with a bit if TLC and a good saw I’ve been able to remove the front but keep the frame. I just need to find some Perspex now to cover it up with and create the greenhouse effect.
Finally I’ve tidied out my shed, gosh this was a state! 12months of rubbish and old newspapers, most of this will be composted but I’ve found that retreating (from the rain) into a tidy shed really helps your mental state, I can light my ghillie kettle make a brew and watch my plot from the comfort of my Ikea chair!