Cold start to the year!

Hi!

It’s been a while since my last post…sorry! I’m going to try and be more active again!

I’ve managed to clear the greenhouse away, and not one to be beaten I have found and erected another second hand greenhouse. This one seems a lot sturdier than the last one!

My onions are growing nicely and so are my seedlings at home. Just hoping the warm weather is here to stay now.

Have you put your seedlings outside yet, or are you waiting a bit?


Martyn

Winter weather

It’s certainly been an interesting few weeks weather wise. It’s dropped.to minus 3 C around here a fortnight ago and now it’s up to 15C!

My plot has gone from being soaking wet, to covered in snow, to relatively normal ground.

Well, anyway, the weather’s been nice this weekend and I wanted to take advantage of that. I was on my plot for about 7 hours yesterday! And finally, the greenhouse frame is up!

Works been a bit crazy for me in the last couple of weeks, probably the busiest I’ve been since starting this job. I could feel that by Friday evening I was incredibly stressed out. However, that all drifted away when I got to the plot.

I feel very fortunate at my allotment site. It’s pretty close to my home, I can cycle there in about 5 minutes. But It’s fairly large and you can easily forget you’re in a city. You really can’t put a price on the tranquility of a place like this. I’m sure many of you feel the same.

The greenhouse (well, the frame anyway)

Very happy that I was able to get it up and fixed down yesterday. My site is fairly windy, so I’m hoping that securing it to bricks will be enough to keep it in place.

I can’t wait to get growing in here.

I live in a terraced house, with very limited window space for growing seedlings. I have one sunny room, and even that window is shaded from about midday. That’s why I was so keen to get a greenhouse.

I have to say, I’m very happy with the transformation on the plot so far. Bit by bit it’s getting there.

I’m hoping to get the glass in in the next week or so.

Have you started any seedlings yet? I’m not sure what to sow first. It almost feels like Christmas!


Martyn

Greenhouse!

All been a bit quiet on the plot. I’ve been rather busy at work, so making progress when I can.

I was lucky enough to pick up a greenhouse for free recently. It took a lot longer to take it apart than I thought it would, but it was quite fun still.

I was hoping to put it up this weekend, but Norwich has had a bit of snow overnight, so it seems like the greenhouse will have to wait!

The greenhouse, before I started taking it apart.

I was able to get up the plot and do a bit more digging in the past few weeks. So the beds are coming on and should be ready for spring.

What have you been doing in your allotment this month?


Martyn

Week 1 (and a bit)

Jodie and I have made a start on clearing the plot. It’s hard work, but it’s fairly cathartic. We’ve met a few lovely people on the site, one lovely lady gave us a cutting of a jostaberry bush!

We’ve built a compost bin out of old pallets and put some doors on it, it’s not much but we’re very proud of it.

The 165bin

The plots looking a bit tidier, the weeds are cut to a more manageable level. We’ve been toying around with ideas for paths. Some neighbours have compacted mud paths, others have grassy paths, we’re tempted by a woodchip path. Any recommendations? Pros/cons?

A lovely crisp day at the plot

We’ve been very lucky with the weather so far, it’s only rained on days we’ve not planned on going to the plot! Hoping that pattern holds for the weekend.

I initially said I wanted this piece of land partially as an escape from my busy job and a place of calm and reflection. Even in the early days of clearing weeds, I’m finding it’s living up to that.

Only a few weeks till Christmas now, where has this year gone? I hope everyone’s having a good December.


Martyn

165b – The beginning

Just a quick update!

I’ve now seen the plot and had a nice chat with a few of my plot neighbours. It’s covered in weeds and grass, there’s some rubbish on it, but it looks fertile and gets a lot of sun! There’s a lot of work ahead, starting with clearing the weeds. I hope you enjoy following along and (with any luck) the plot will look a lot better in a few months time!

I’m a little bit in love with my little patch of land!


Martyn

Sorry for the silence!

Been a while since I last wrote on here. I’ve been slowly trucking away, reading books and watching videos to give me an idea of what to do when I finally get an allotment.

It seems the wait is over! I’ve been offered an allotment, so will be going to check it out in a socially distanced manner soon, then hopefully the transformation can begin.

In the meantime, I have started growing some bits at home. I wanted to make a start on something that wouldn’t take up too much room at home.

I decided to grow some Meteor peas. They’re doing ok so far, though getting a bit tall for themselves. Jodie had the ingenious idea of propping them up temporarily with birthday candles.

I’ve also started getting some seeds in, largely due to a sale allowing me to get them for a very reasonable price.

What are you growing now? Any tips for winter jobs? Let me know in the comments.

Birthday Peas
Seeds galore

Thanks for reading, hopefully I’ll have some pictures of the plot very shortly!


Martyn

Why an allotment?

I’ve been thinking, why was an allotment so appealing to me? What in particular has made me want to go down this route. I think there are a number of aspects to my decision.

  1. My Grandpa – I never had the opportunity to meet my grandpa, he died several years before I was born. My dad always told me about how my grandpa would spend a lot of time down the allotment and my dad would often accompany him. However, when my grandpa passed my dad decided to not keep hold of the allotment (not entirely surprising, he’d told me that when he was young his favourite thing about the allotment was its proximity to the trains). In some small way having my own allotment, planting, tending and harvesting my own crops is already making me feel closer to my grandpa. I never met him, but we can share experiences separated by time.
  2. Renting – This is a much more practical reason and one I’ve mentioned in a previous post. I’m 27 years old now and despite my fiancée and I both having stable jobs, owning our own home seems a long way off. Our landlord has insisted that the garden is maintained by her, meaning we are unable to have many plants at home. Well, our house is slowly filling up with house plants, but that’s another story… The inability to plant at home creates a disconnect from the peaceful nature of a garden. It also acts as a constant reminder that this isn’t really my space.
  3. The environment – Over the past few years I’ve made a conscious effort to reduce the amount of meat and out of season vegetables I eat at home. It seemed to me that the next step was to try and grow those vegetables myself.

As always, I’d love to hear from you. Why did you first start an allotment or garden? Have your reasons changed or stayed the same?

DIY – The full monty

As a little bonus for reading this far, here are some pictures of the big box finally being finished. As you can see, my friend was very happy with his very rustic planter.


Until next time

– Martyn

DIY 2 – A Bigger Box

One thing I can struggle with is motivation. I agree to do something, dwell on it, get anxious then hide and don’t want to do it.

The most effective strategy for me to deal with this is to not allow myself time to dwell. So I’ve been cracking on with things!

I’ve been making lists of what I want to grow at my allotment (still waiting to find out exactly what plot I’ve got) and trying to improve my upcycling prowesss.

So I’ve made another box (well a planter this time) which is a bit bigger and looks a bit better (I think) than my first attempt. I’m also making a planter for a friend.

A slightly bigger box!
Starting on the large planter for my friend.

I’ve picked up a boot load of pots off a local freecycle group which was an unexpected bonus. Just on the lookout for a bargain greenhouse! Got to keep the plants happy so they can help keep me happy.


– Martyn

Choices choices

I’ve been doing a bit of reading into gardening and there are so many opinions on what to do and how to do it!

It’s a big world full of choices, hopefully in a few months I’ll be able to say what I think on the different methods.

Until then, I’d love to hear from you. Who has gone full no dig and how is that, who uses more traditional methods?

I’m really interested to hear from you and to know the pros and cons.


– Martyn