Tuesday, 22 January 2013

2012 - A brief overview

This post should give you a brief understanding of what happened to Plot A2 last year. Most likely no correct procedures were followed (I don't know what I am doing!). Even so there has been, and still is, edible veg produced - some of it very nice too. There has also been some absolute failures - carrots and peas that didn't germinate at all, onions and garlic that grew some nice foliage but then had nothing under the soil, celery that stayed alive after planting but didn't grow, amongst others...

Anyway, here is that brief overview I was talking about.

Plot A2 was taken over by myself and my parents on February 2012. We (well *they*) also took over the adjacent plot A1.

We are located on the North Cornwall coast, a couple of miles up from the beach. This is a lovely location and makes for some nice views but it also means it is very exposed and subject to some extremely strong winds!

Plot A2 is a 'half plot' and triangular in shape, although it isn't a full sized plot it isn't actually a 50% reduction in size but it does mean a 50% reduction in rent! Plot A1 is full size. The idea would be for A2 to eventually be my allotment and A1 my parents. When we took them over they were barely detectable as separate growing spaces and pretty much just grassed over.
Let the digging commence!

I was doing shift work abroad at the time and had to fly out just as we had taken ownership, so my hard working parents began the tiring task of digging them over and (trying to) dispose of all the perennial weed roots. Plot A2 would be done first as it is smaller and therefore looked a more manageable task! So for 2012 it would be a joint effort on A2(although they did most of the work!) and 2013 would see myself take charge.

A2 was dug over one bed at a time. When a bed had been finished it was planted up with some seedlings that had been raised in a greenhouse by my parents and other plug plants bought from a local garden centre. Apart from where the potatoes were planted there was no addition of organic matter but a scattering of chicken pellet fertiliser to try and give the plants a fighting chance.

A very basic planting scheme was undertaken to assist rotation in the future. Starting from the point where a shed would eventually be placed four beds were created. Which in 2012 went something like this:
1 - Roots
2 - Brassicas
3 - Legumes
4 - Potatoes
The plan was loosely followed - onions and garlic ended up in the potato bed as it was the first to be dug over. But it was a little bit of forward planning (which is good) which is probably going to get chopped around a bit by me this year (which was inevitable).

Once A2 was finished being dug over and planted up A1 was started on, but I won't go into that here as this blog is about A2 - it has had a shed erected on it and has a proposed patio, therefore far more important!

Overall I would say 2012 has been a success. My parents have previous experience growing vegetables in their garden and greenhouse and were able to produce some lovely tasting produce which we are still harvesting and enjoying. 2013 sees A2 transferring into my name and solely my responsibility which I find very exciting. It could be an interesting year as I am probably entirely incapable but hopefully it will be fun what ever the outcome.

Soon there will be a post with the plans for 2013. I am planning on doing a little rearranging of the allotment; reducing bed size, making more beds and more paths. Adding a fence, small patio, compost heap etc... Until then here is a couple of photos of A2 as of the 18th of January 2013.

Looks a bit like an allotment?

View from the shed. Plot A1 can also be seen

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