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Talkback: Annual allotments week

Had my allotment for 12 years lovely fresh veg all year round. Best thing I ever did.


  • I have just got my allotment this week and it is full of nettles, lots of work to do but can I use them for compost, or should I put weed killer on them?
  • We just held our Lotty Open Day against a backdrop of notice from the council that two thirds of our site is being sold off for housing. One of the plots earmarked for the bulldozer is over 100 years old and is filled with mature fruit trees, surrounded by a high privet hedge. It's an idyllic spot and to see it trashed would be unthinkable.

    Our lotty association is affiliated to NSALG and we have their legal team helping us to fight off the council.

    We want to use all means at our disposal to prevent the wanton destruction of our plots and anything anyone can do to help would be much appreciated

  • Just took on an allotment towards the end of last year. It's been hard work clearing it, but the little we've grown so far has been rewarding enough to want to continue. Enthusiasic plans for next year. Any advice readily accepted.
  • Joyce, I would recommend composting the nettles on your plot. not only does it mean you don't have to introduce chemicals into the soil, but they make excellant compost.
  • Can anyone tell me how to get rid of lots of little red flies on my compost? I dont know if they are supposed to be there to help decomposition but they are not very nice.
  • Joyce - I got my allotment a year ago and it was shoulder high in weeds - dragged my family into helping dig them up, then covered as much as poss with black plastic over the winter, planted spuds through the plastic in spring. Sowed broad beans in a small patch last October and reaped the benefits in May.
    Needless to say it is now payback time and all the family want the bumper crops. Planted pumpkins and courgettes through cardboard. Plot next door is still neck high in weeds and seeds, so I'm keeping mine covered as much as poss.
    Good luck
  • Oh! to be able to get my hands on an allotment...I've had my name on the waiting list here in Chorley Lancashire for THREE years...We only have one small site to serve the whole of this town and surrounding area .The council prefer to sell land for yet more 'little boxes' and are denying lots of us the opportunity to have the pleasure of growing our own.From what I can gather,other areas have loads of sites and waiting lists are unheard of?
  • I have just got an allotment with my neighbour we have started the dreaded task of wedding and digging, but cant wait to start growing we have great plans.we are very excited does that sound sad?
  • Gigi, Here in Blackpool there are 8 sites, each with a large waiting list. Our Council are trying to give us another large site in the North of the town. Allotments are at the forefront of the public eye now so, please, keep pestering your council and you may be lucky. Have you tried contacting the National Federation of Allotment and Leisure Gardeners Association? Good luck.
  • I've had my allotment for a few months now on the Saintbridge site in Gloucester, it's an amazing site & i can't wait to start growing my own. So far though all i've done is combat weeds as my plot was unoccupied for 3 years prior to my tenancy but i am determined to get it right with a little help from my girlfriend Susie & our two black Labs Molly & Rosie. My biggest problem is the dreaded Bindweed & a wall of brambles. What is the best way to tackle this ever encroaching menace please? I don't want to use chemicals if i can help it so i would welcome your comments please, thankyou.
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