Time for Beds

It’s a Saturday and it hasn’t rained!! Whoo hoo!! Obviously I had to make the most of the opportunity and grab a few hours on the allotments.

Plots 4a and 5a are coping quite well with the appalling winter weather, but the clock is ticking and I need to get the plots ready for the growing season.

Jobs of the day were:

  1. The 3rd raised large bed needed to be erected and filled.
  2. Move mini raised bed.
  3. Put weed suppressant on the paths between the beds.

All done!

I have a second mini bed to take up tomorrow (if the weather holds) and I need to buy some bark chippings for the paths.

Raised Beds X3

I must admit that when I took over plot 5A January last year, I was 100% against having raised beds on the plot, even though for some reason, it seems most new gardeners grow their vegetables using raised beds. It’s fashionable at the moment! Gardening magazines and programmes are full of raised bed images (and adverts).

Allotment site
Allotment Site.  A mixture of methods!

However, I like the look of veggies planted in rows.  I love the watching the experienced allotmenteers, use traditional methods to produce plots bursting with tasty goodies. Every possible space is used for growing!

Last year some of my ‘ground grown’ vegetables  weren’t entirely successful.  Carrots for example…they grew. Yes – but were very misshapen! I tried growing a batch in the mini raised bed and the results were fantastic!! My cauliflowers grew nicely but were nibbled to nothing by tiny slugs!  So frustrating!!

For me raised bed gardening seems like another useful trick up my allotmenting sleeve. It would be absurd not to give it a go… I have enough room, with two plots, for the best of both worlds.  Who knows, my ‘chosen veggies’ may actually enjoy being snuggled up in a nice warm bed!

The Enthusiastic Allotmenteer

The allotment system, as we know it, was introduced to provide a source of good quality, healthy food for the working class in industrial areas.  They proved to be an alternative ‘hobby’ to drinking at the local pub after a long day in work!  Today, the allotment appeal has crossed the class divide, but they offer the same benefits – an alternative to the TV, phone or laptop. I would most certainly prefer to be growing potatoes than become a couch potato! However the dark, dank winter months are have tested me to my limits and I have to admit to a certain amount of enforced hibernation.

Now, at this point you might be asking, “Why is she wittering  on about the history of allotments?” I would have to say that you’re right – I am on a bit of  Tangent – however my point is, that my allotment is more than a hobby!  I know that I’m not growing my own veggies out of necessity but, there are plenty of reasons why my allotment is really important to me and I’m looking forward to the growing season.

Purple sprouting broccoli ready for picking!
  1. Organic Food

I’ve become accustomed to eating organic veggies. Quite simply they taste good. I am one of the increasing number of people who focus on growing, organically or naturally produced food. I like knowing exactly what I’m eating and everything I grow is 100% chemical free! However, my organic supplies are now at an all time low…I only have a few beetroot, cabbages (red and savoy), some lambs lettuce and newly sprouting purple broccoli left on the plots.

Rhubarb is growing nicely! 

2. Money

Growing my own fruits and veggies has not only put more green in my fridge and diet,  but it should  (now I’ve bought the basic gardening kit) also put more green in my purse!

Cardoon…I adore this stunning plant!

3. Mind Space

My allotment, as I have said before, is my perfect place  to clear out all of the competing thoughts that life brings.  Digging trenches, constructing vegetable beds and destroying weeds is a great way to work out day to day frustrations!

Angelica…looking beautiful!

4. Exercise

Talking of digging….I’m not a runner and the gym feels like torture, so working the allotment is a great way for me to get in some exercise.   Digging, walking, planting, harvesting and watering (no hose pipes allowed on my allotment site!) all help me to burn off a few pounds while growing some beautiful flowers, tasty fruit and delicious veg.

Lots of work to be done…

Just over a year ago, I was dreaming of an allotment buzzing with life and filled to the brim with fresh tasty produce.  I’m on the brink of another year as an allotmenteer and I’m just as enthusiastic.  I’ve loads of work ahead of me once again but nothing beats a bit of hard work and determination…ding, ding let round two begin!!