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Nicks New allotment

Discussion in 'Allotments Discussion' started by OxfordNick, Apr 5, 2018.

  1. OxfordNick

    OxfordNick Super Gardener

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    Just been down & signed up for an allotment - not the best plot, right up against the fence & quite badly shaded by the trees but plenty of space to play with:
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    I see a few trips to the tip in the near future - but I do know the previous rentee so I should be able to get a reasonable idea of what they left - random fruit trees & bushes by the looks of it.

    Quite excited !
     
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    • JWK

      JWK Gardener

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      Great Nick - join the club
       
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      • Steve R

        Steve R Soil Furtler

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        All I see can be used in some way, fruit frame, glass house of sorts, corrugated iron for composting area.

        Allotments are different, they are production or working gardens with which you take a frugal approach. Don't see rubbish, see a future use and benefit for it.

        For example, trees overshadowing, covers down in winter, collect leaves for leaf mould. Some selective pruning of trees, free pea sticks along with more light.

        But a great adventure ahead for you Nick, best of luck and keep us updated.

        Steve...:)
         
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        • OxfordNick

          OxfordNick Super Gardener

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          Finally stopped raining long enough to get on with some work - two loads of scraps of plastic, broken glass & other broken junk carted off to the tip (they charge to take glass at our tip now..) first bed dug over & first early spuds in + rather optimistically some peas that I started a bit early:
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          Next batch of work is probably salvaging the herb patch that almost got dug out:
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          Clearing the last of the rubbish & saving anything that may be viable - the people before us used the space to grow things for their free urban food project, so theres lots of mysterious things in small plastic bags to check:
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          & then doing something with the shed which has been broken in too, looted of the few things that had vaule & left in a bit of state. Ive cleared it out & will be making it secure this afternoon but its got an old concrete-asbestos roof thats starting to flake badly so we need to get that off & disposed of. Thankfully its the only sort of asbestos that the council will take (with an appointment, and provided that its wrapped in double thick plastic etc) so we dont need to get the contractors in. I will need to source some cheap 1000guage plastic & masks / body suits to do the work if anyone has any ideas where to look ?

          Also - does anyone know where I can get a short replacement spade hadle ? theres a broken spade left from the junk in the shed that i would quite like to fix but it needs a short handle - if I put a 24" one on it it will be half way up my chest !
           
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          • Marley Farley

            Marley Farley Affable Admin! Staff Member

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            My Mum had a shed on the allotment and it kept getting broken into and tools stolen. She and her plot neighbour made a trap door in the floor which didn’t look any different to the rest of the floor. Then dug out u dear and sunk a lockable tin trunk eac in the holes.. the trunks were big enough to take spades and forks etc and all the small things you need on the allotment. When they have finished for the day it all goes back in the trunks which they lock and then replace the floor.. Their rakes and hoes are fixed in really tight catches length ways onthe roof line inside the sheds. They have all been broken into since but all their stuff has stayed safe.. Now they leave their sheds unlocked and they haven’t had anyone take anything since.. All the locked sheds are always targeted around here.. Just a thought..


            Body suit. Cat 3 Type 5/6 Asbestos Hooded Coveralls - SMS-Metec

            I would think this site would have masks too..

            Polythene... 1000 Gauge Polythene Sheeting Roll | Protec

            Take care but a good job done in the end.. :thumbsup:
             
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            • Scrungee

              Scrungee Well known for it

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              Construct your shed with an unopenable false 'door' nailed/bolted to the 'front' protected by a small padlock [1], and with the real door matching the boarding to the rear.

              [1] Put a large, secure padlolck on a front door and the theiving scum will think it's full of stuff worth knicking and smash through the side walls.
               
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              • OxfordNick

                OxfordNick Super Gardener

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                Thanks for the feedback - I dont think that theres too much of a problem with vandalism on our site, its more that the previous keeper of the plot let things go to the point that you could see that he had left the petrol strimmer in the shed & that the door was falling off.. anyhow - its secure again after bodging up a new door from some scrap timber from my stash, bending everything back into shape & a few screws / orange glue:
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                not my best work, but it will do.
                 
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                • silu

                  silu gardening easy...hmmm

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                  Good luck with your allotment and I like @Steve R 's PMA!
                  Just a word of caution, from your photo it looks like your garden fork is the same as 1 I bought. Mine had a head made of stainless steel. Looked pretty and lasted me less than a week:rolleyespink: before it broke. You look as tho you will have plenty of digging work so don't expect it to be the strongest. Personally if you are going to be doing quite a bit of serious gardening I wouldn't buy stainless steel forks again. I now have a Bulldog fork. They are not cheap but come with a lifetime guarantee which they honor, yup managed to break 1 of those too. Replacement is now about 5 years old and not even a bent prong (think the right word is tine? but not sure how to spell that:))
                  I hope you get hours of pleasure from your new allotment and good to see you are tackling it bit by bit.
                   
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                  • OxfordNick

                    OxfordNick Super Gardener

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                    Quite possibly - it was a £20 for fork & spade job 'cos I didnt want to leave anything expensive down there until we have been there a while & got an idea of how oftern the scum vist ; Im told that the beds have been rotovated in the last year although theres little sign of that - we will see how it goes ..
                     
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                    • Scrungee

                      Scrungee Well known for it

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                      Buy Y handle spade and fork, cast a steel ring/ U bar/etc. into a conctrete foundation in the shed floor and lock them to it with a cable lock through the handles, which can also pass through the end of a dutch hoe, some designs of rake and a wheel barrow frame.
                       
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                      • OxfordNick

                        OxfordNick Super Gardener

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                        Cleared out the pile of plastic & a huge ants nest, recycled the compost & filled three black bags with rubbish to take home. Went over the entire plot with the strimmer, tidied up the fruit trees along the fence, then took an executive decision & dug out & split the herbs from the old herb bed & replanted them where the pile of rubbish used to be:
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                        Chives, two types or Oregano & a variegated Lemon Balm - Ive left the rest of the old herb patch to see if anything else appears that can be salvaged, then its getting dug over for sweetcorn.

                        Next jobs are sorting out the asbestos roof, setting up the waterbuts & doing something about the chicken wire fence around the plot. After Ive had a bit of a doze.
                         
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                        • Scrungee

                          Scrungee Well known for it

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                          Is there a rabbit problem? I have to fence absolutely everything, even stuff they don"t eat because they'll still scratch it up or dig burrows amongst it, I have to use mesh doors on polytunnels to keep them out (also keeps blackbirds off strawberries in them).

                          I buy all my mesh from Wilkos when reduced to 75% off at the end of season.
                           
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                          • OxfordNick

                            OxfordNick Super Gardener

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                            Dont think so - most of the plots havent bothered but the lot before me appear to have put it up (poorly) & then planted 5 or 6 dwarf fruit trees which they started to train to the fence. They only used staples to hold the mesh up & those have rusted so the wire has come away from the posts leaving the little trees in limbo. Ill run some 1.2mm wire along for the trees & then see if I can be bothered to take the mesh down & put it back up properly.
                             
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                            • OxfordNick

                              OxfordNick Super Gardener

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                              Bodged the fence for by stretching the chicken wire back by hand & wacking a staple in - will do for now & gives the little trees some support but really it needs taking down & doing properly.

                              Stripped the asbestos roof off the shed & wrapped it for disposal:
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                              Bit of a panic about half way thru sawing the old nails from inside - there was a Wren nesting in the corner in what I thought was an old nest ; couldn't really stop the work at that point so carried on carefully & made sure that the new roof had similar access for her when we put it back - happy to say that she was back today when we returned :-)

                              Worked on my Garden on Sunday - but back for a couple of hours today, cleared up the existing compost bins, added a couple more pallets to fix them up. Dug over whats left of the old herb bed & made it ready for planting up & got halfway thru weeding & tidying up the stuff in the fruit cages - should be loads of fruit in there although I might have cut the blackberries back a bit much this year 'cos I couldnt work around them.

                              Getting there slowly - first early spuds are just coming up & peas are in flower !
                               
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                              • OxfordNick

                                OxfordNick Super Gardener

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                                Been busy with life but theres been some progress:

                                First earlies are flowering & Ill be havesting the first batch this week I think:
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                                Main crop went in too late really so are only just appearing, along with loads of bindweed thats been spread around by the rotovator at some point before we took over. Netting is up on the fruit cage though!

                                Dug over the rest of the easy bits & have beetroot, sweetcorn / carrots & runnerbeans in:
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                                Slugs were under control with the beer traps until the week of rain at which point they came out for dinner, we still got a few peas & most things are still alive if a bit chewed:
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                                Pretty much done all the clearing up & the easy bits so we are now looking at the other side near the trees - there are a lot of treeroots near the surface that side which isnt going to be ideal, so we are thinking raised beds rather than too much digging .. we will have to see how creative Im feeling (and how much compost I can get hold of!)
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                                Edit - just to add that the Wren from the shed went on to fledge 3 chicks despite us ripping her roof off .. so Im planning the rest of the shed work for the next few weeks just in case she returns..
                                 
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                                  Last edited: Jun 11, 2018

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