Tuesday, 29 January 2013

Plot Planning for 2013

Unfortunately the weather recently has meant I have been unable to do anything on the allotment. No snow, just lots of rain. Well, that isn't entirely true - last thursday was a lovely day, sunny, cold and crisp but I spent that having a walk at Golitha Falls. I had a great day but I did keep thinking about what I would be able to achieve at the allotment on my other day off (the friday). Well friday was a washout so I sat down, got out paper, pencils and a ruler (I haven't used one of those in years) and made a plan of the plot.

I had previously managed to get up the allotment and measure it boundaries, I tried to be as accurate as I could but the measurements are approximate - and possibly unreliable! Here is a basic plan of the plot in 2012:

Plot A2 2012
c = Compost (this has not been made yet)
p = Patio (this has not been made yet)
1 = Roots
2 = Brassicas
3 = Legumes
4 = Potatoes

Working on the plot this year I realised that the beds were too big. To weed successfully I had to walk on the soil, compacting it. I really want to be able to reach every part of the bed from the paths. After reading some books I decided when re-planning the plot the bed widths to be 1.2metres, which would mean this should be easily achieved. In the literature it is recommended pathways to be 60cm wide with at least one main path 90cm in width. I have included these recommendations in my plan, it does mean some growing space shall be lost on what is already a small allotment but I hope that the beds will be far easier to manage this way and by growing in blocks rather than rows i  can cram in more plants to keep up yields.

Here is the first plan for 2013:

Plot A2 2013?

The 'path' at the top of the plot will be the main path at 90 cm in width. Behind that is a hedge which runs between the allotment site and the road. There are quite a lot of roots from the various plants in the hedge that so it makes sense to increase the path size here and have it run the length of the beds.

The beds are not all exactly 1.2m in width, 1 is slightly smaller, this is just to fit them all in.
With rotation in mind here is what the beds will contain in 2014:
1 = Potatoes
2 = Potatoes
3 = Potatoes
4 = Onions & Roots
5 = Onions & Roots
6 = Brassicas
7 = Brassicas / Legumes
8 = Legumes

To enable a fairly even square metre per bed, 7 shall be split in half.

We put up a shed on the plot last year which does need a thorough tidy and organising! To the right of the shed I plan to have a compost area, at the moment it actually looks like a thriving Ground elder bed. Hopefully I will be able acquire some pallets to build a couple of compost bins, failing that I do already have a black plastic up-turned dustbin style compost bin.

 To the left of the shed I hope to have a small patio area which will be approximately 2m in width. As I currently live in a flat with no outside space it would be nice to have somewhere to go and sit on a sunny day and have a cup of  tea.

Fence! The plot is very exposed and gets extremely windy up there. My dad has already bought some fence posts and a fairly strong plastic mesh type fencing in a role. Hopefully we shall get this up when he returns from holiday. Nearly all the plots on the site have some sort of fencing around them, some have more than one! The allotment secretary reckons it is a must have.

I am counting on my days off this week being much better weather wise. I really want to start on rearranging the beds and digging them over. The hope is, with smaller beds they be easier to manage and what is grown may actually be half decent.

Now my attention turns to what veg to grow in 2013. I think I need to be realistic and not get too carried away with seed buying. Block growing will enable me to cram as much in as possible but I feel space is going to be at a premium on plot A2...

1 comment:

  1. Love it Adam!

    I too went back to pen and pencil this year and spent several evenings messing around drawing a scale plan.

    Had a great time though. Really brought everything to life.

    And you should definitely have somewhere to sit. That's really important, especially at lunch time. :)


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