Learning by My Mistakes

Lots of visitors and advice at Plot 5A, this weekend.
Lots of visitors and advice at Plot 5A, this weekend.

Another very busy weekend on Plot 5A.  This weekend we’ve had a constant flow of visitors, onlookers and ‘chatters’.  Each one has been full of praise for the work done so far and has had plenty of ‘advice’ on just about everything!

Decking started, fruit bed dug, beds raked and some planting done.
Decking started, fruit bed dug, beds raked and some planting done.

“Ooooo, I wouldn’t have put the greenhouse there – should have put it next to the shed!” “Yes, it’s looking good. Herbs? Why there?  Where are you going to put the bulk order of manure, when you need it?” “Blackberry…that should go over an arch!” “Why do you have space between the strawberry plants?  You’ve got loads of little ‘uns left over. I’d of planted ’em all!” “Definitely should rake the mud straight after digging, even if it’s wet!” “You’re using bark chippings! You might have mushrooms growing there in the autumn”. “The greenhouse door MUST go on the end…it’s all wrong…when it rains it will sink and ALL the glass will fall out!”

The Sunflowers have sprouted causing great excitement amongst the 'Tiddlers'
The Sunflowers have sprouted causing great excitement amongst the ‘Tiddlers’

Arrrrrrrrrrgggghhhhh!!! I know each and everyone is an attempt to offer some advice but this little collection is amongst many, many more ‘babbles’ I have heard this weekend!  All contradicting the usual opening comment of “Looking good” or “You’re doing a good job”. I believe, if you say you’ve never had few failures in the beginning, then you are fibbing. I know they can be highly frustrating at the time, but you most definitely learn from them. My collection of cheap and cheerful spades and forks fall into this ‘learning category’.  I think, at the last count, I own at least eight spades!  I now understand that I need to take the weight of the digging implement into account…if I want to be able to dig for more than five minutes and stainless steel is a must!

On Plot 5A, I have decided on my targets and nothing / no-one is going to knock me off track.  I am prepared to put in a silly amount of labour in order to enjoy the fruits, quite literally so the “I think it’s about time you stopped today” comments fall on deaf ears! No chance. Not unless it’s in my plan for the day!
I’m not 100% knowledgeable on a few topics…’bulk manuring’ haha and the best way to grow potatoes (earthing up method, black polythene method or in containers).  Advice will be gratefully accepted, then I’ll choose the one I like best. The great thing about allotmenteering, is that most mistakes can be rectified. Developing strategies to sort out the ‘wobbles’ can be fascinating and a good excuse to try something new!

18 thoughts on “Learning by My Mistakes”

  1. Hello! You are going great guns. Congratulations. Can i ask what you set your greenhouse onto as a foundation? I see it had a metal base, but did you sit that onto something else? I have just fallen heir to an 8X6 and am wondering how to anchor it. Mine has no base as such.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The greenhouse has a metal base frame which is anchored into the ground by huge metal hooks. Then the base is basically buried (partially) into the ground. This method was suggested by a ‘well seasoned’ allotmenteer 🙂 Levelling was the biggest pain, to be honest, luckily it’s only 8X4 so we could keep packing up and testing without too much backache 🙂 Good luck with yours 🙂


  2. You are doing a good job. You will find your own way, make your own mistakes, probably have to listen to a fair few ‘i told you sos’ along the way. You’ll constantly be improving how you do things, learning what works best for you, your plot and your soil, what grows, what doesn’t etc and you may even have to rearrange things at some point to accommodate a bulk manure delivery (the mind boggles) but so long as you stay true to your plan for your plot you’ll succeed and who knows, before long your friendly advice givers may be borrowing some of your ideas 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you 🙂 I’m bracing myself for the ‘Told you sos’ but yes, hopefully I will have a good number of successes in my first year and I would be thrilled to see an idea of mine being taken up by a fellow allotmenteer…one day! 🙂


  3. Heed here!

    i don’t understand bulk manuring, when you can get cheap chicken pelleted manure that’s easier to handle and store.

    Go with your gut, its often right….if not adjust next time.


    Liked by 1 person

  4. Hahaha, I know what you mean. I’m still fairly new up at our allotments so everyone I meet gives me plenty of advice, and a lot of them contradict each other. I’ve also been offered lots of spare plants and I’ve said yes to everything out of politeness. I don’t think I’ll have any room for anything I actually want to grow now.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. We’re the opposite… no visitors or advice yet. We may only be allotment novices but we need to learn over the seasons and realise not all advice is good. Actually this is a bit like an apprenticeship and we need to learn as we grow! Ooh I like that phrase! 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Me too…I might steal 😆 In truth I’d prefer the friendly advice to being treated with suspicion. I live in Wales and everyone talks to you no matter what you’re doing or where you are! No escape…Haha 😀


  6. Ah, the well meaning advice! I think it’s part of the allotment experience, advice from well meaning folks who always contradict each other. My advice (ahem) perfect your smile and nod, listen to the advice doled out and use what you’re inclined to agree with. I think people have given up giving me advice!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I was extremely lucky at our plot; the site had been derelict for years an only on couple (who are lovely) were still going. When the council revamped the site, we were all new and beginners so I didn’t face any of this. Now though, I have a new neighbour who seems to think I am Alan Titchmarsh in disguise and is always asking for advice… He even writes it down! It freaks me out to be honest… I keep telling him I’m still winging it after 8 years but he doesn’t seem to believe me!

    Liked by 2 people

  8. Cracking up laughing at the “advice”. Happens everywhere. I just nod & smile but still do what I intend to do. People love to feel superior. If it’s one thing I’ve learned after 5 years of allotments it’s that I’m always learning & experience is the best teacher. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s