This is just a few thoughts on what I learnt last year from our first year on the allotment. The main thing I learned was slugs really will eat everything you put in. In fact let that be the main lesson of this article. The slugs and to a minor degree other pests, are the enemy of the gardener. The domain forced off having allotment is a constant battle between you and the slugs. You grow plants in pots to stop the slugs eating the seedlings as soon as they come up, and the slugs eat them as soon as she put in the ground. If you sow directly into the ground the slugs will just eat a lot. That’s not true actually I did have several rows of beetroot, or, and my rats tail radishes came up really well. The parsnips came up quite well to, the carrot is not so good. But I did notice that everyone our screw their carrots in containers up on a shelf somewhere or on top of a compost heap.
The peas and beans needed to be grown in pots. Slugs just love beans and even when they were planted out in pots and quite big plants the wind got them. Although they survived enough to give me quite a lot of beans in fact half a freezer full, I did feel that the should’ve been an easier way of stopping the slugs from getting them. I’m not quite sure what that is though.
I did use the slugs pellets, I tried a couple of brands.. But the slugs seemed to quite like both.
I do know however that seeds need a really fine seedbed if you planting them directly out into the ground. That means plenty of raking to make the soil very fine. I suppose for plants that don’t mind being disturbed, a pot is probably the best way to start them off. If you get those trays where you stand the pots in, then it is easy to move them about in the greenhouse or in a cold frame. Just try to manage a large number of pots moose would be a nightmare.
Someone on the allotment had started off a lot of seeds for me, which I found very useful book I haven’t given enough thought about what I wanted to to be growing. I ended up with some cabbages, when I really published of grown red cabbages. However we live and learn. I was also given a margarine tub filled with leek seedlings. These grew really well into leeks and I was very pleased with them.
I also like to have another go at growing butternut squash. I really like the taste of butternut squash, but apparently not as much as the slugs like the leaves. They were completely by the slugs. Although I did have one plant which flowered these never lasted and I never produced any squashes.
We really did enjoy growing tomatoes and will be doing this again for sure. The taste of freshly picked tomatoes is just something out. And although they take a lot of effort looking after and watering I think the taste is justified. I can barely stand to eat supermarket tomatoes.
It is a lot of work with the allotment, I’m sure you could do quite a lot in a small garden if you tried. You just have to be imaginative space, and decide what you want to grow. I’d very much like damson tree at home, although I think it will take up quite a large bit of garden stop I’ve just started on a jar of jam that I made from damsons grown on my allotment and it is utterly delicious.