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  • Hi Everyone. We also have just taken over an allotment. We have dug and covered some of the ground and cleared a patch that we have grown things on. our onions leeks look ready to pick but how do we know? Sprouts when are they ready? We also have sprouting broccoli loads of green but no purple is this correct? What do we plant next any ideas..... Thanks
  • Hi, my husband has had two adjacent allotments for a number of years and kept on at me to join him down there. I agreed three years ago, on the understanding that I looked after one plot myself. We have very different ways of gardening. It has been commented that his plot looks like a battle ground (deep digging and trenches the whole way across) whilst I have now made small manageable square plots for myself which I weeded well.

    The moral is we both enjoy our time there, both work together with what we plant, help each other when needed, are proud of what we grow, but we have very different ideas how to manage the ground and grow the plants. Listen to ideas, but go with how you want to work it. Oh, and I grow flowers at the allotment too!! Our home garden has a demarcation line mine (flowers) and his (veg and fruit).... good luck and enjoy.

  • I've had a multitude of compost heaps from wooden, slat types to many different plastic types but has anyone tried the 'new' compostumblers which look like they are too good to be true (10 months compost in 14 days!) but pricey or what? I'd be interested to hear if they really are any good or just another gimmick!
  • Chris Knight - I pruned back a similar old Victoria Plum tree late this September that produced an abundance of small fruit this year but to get better fruit decided to prune it back to see what happens! I followed the advice from Plant Answers. It looked a bit drastic but I know I won't have killed it off and basically I cut back all the branches that crossed over the middle of the tree and cut each one back to where spurs for new branches looked to be appearing. I basically looked to reshape it and visualised where the new branches would grow out to, making lots of new growth and hopefully a resurgent, nice shaped tree again. I covered the sawn cuts with anti-fungicide. Down and inward facing growth were out and upward and outward facing growth were in! I am sure I made the right decision to rejuvenate this tree and apply the adage that we are all experimenting and have to sometimes take a risk, but above all be optimistic!
  • I've taken on my first allotment this week (180sq mt, some just grass-covered but one end with brambles and really serious looking tall stuff! I can feel my back protesting already) - haven't got the keys yet! Would like to say thanks to you all for the advice here so far. If anyone cares to share tips, I'll be very grateful to hear from you.
  • I took on an overgrown allotment this year, 4 ft high and thick couch grass that rooted in excess of a spade depth. Now to cause a few frowns lol. I strimmed site and applied a treatment of roundup weedkiller.It attacks the weeds through leaves and neutralises on contact with soil. Rotavated after and have a perennial weed free 70ft allotment and all roots dead. Now have very tasty veg for great deal of winter either stored. Pickled or frozen.
  • What weed killer can I use in a cemetery in wales that is full of buttercup and other weeds without killing the new turf just put on the graves. all around the grave (very old graveyard mostly unused now) are these weeds.I do not want them to take over my new turf must do something before they get a hold. Thanks.
  • In every gardening forum I look at, I find that someone still believes that weedkillers like Roundup are inert in the soil/biodegradable/safe. Please do some research and don't believe advertising. Here's a tiny section from a recent review of the expose film, "The World According to Monsanto", and the facts cited here are widely reported elsewhere:

    Cancer is also implicated in Monsanto'€™s showcase herbicide, Roundup. According Professor Robert Bell's research showing disrupted cell division, "Roundup provokes the first stages that lead to cancer." Bell, who is with the National Center for Scientific Research and the Pierre and Marie Curie Institute in France, says, "The tested doses were well below those which people normally use."

    Monsanto has promoted Roundup as harmless to both humans and the environment. But their advertised environmental claims, such as "biodegradable," €œ"leaves the soil clean", and "€œrespects the environment", were declared false and illegal by judges in both the US and France. In fact, Monsanto'€™s own studies showed that 28 days after application, only 2% of the product had broken down. They were forced to remove "biodegradable" from the label.

    No one has to resort to chemicals in clearing ground. We've inherited a large, neglected garden on heavy clay and have cleared it by hand. We are not super-fit and don't have much time, but it is surprisingly manageable. The key is to do a thorough job of removing roots the first time. Then, when things re-sprout, they are usually shallow-rooted and can be hoed off easily.

  • im liking the sound of John's advice above- one dose of roundup, strimmed/burnt last weekend(8hrs!) &now about to collect the rotavator. carpets great if you want to wait, but i dont and i want 10x25 metres cleared in a fortnight.
    if the veg/fruit is good i will post to say so; if i die of cancer or through strangulation by perrenial weeds the mrs will post a reply. ta for the advice
  • Hi, I'm a relatively new gardener and until now have only been a container gardener. I have recently acquired an allotment and am ever so excited to get it sorted before winter - ready for planting in spring.
    The plot is overgrown this grass and weeds and I am finding getting started quite daunting. I have been advised to first clear the overgrowth with a bush cutter (strimmer) and then a turf cutter and then to bring in a rotavator. Would you agree with this advice and more importantly, is this equipment managable for an average 30-something woman? I don't mind spending the money as long as I can use the equipment and get my money's worth. Thanks
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