Allotments

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  • caligari 25 Jul 2013 22:09:19 17,193 posts
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    Any allotmenteers on EG?

    I applied (what seems like) years ago and have finally received a spot from the council - now I just have to decide whether it's really worth the time and money.

    I've never grown a vegetable-thing in my life - is it really that difficult?
  • boo 25 Jul 2013 22:11:44 11,928 posts
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    /remembers double-digging on Dad's allotment
    /gets Vietnam style flashbacks

    It's great. Enjoy!

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  • jonsaan 25 Jul 2013 22:12:20 25,440 posts
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    My mate has one and loves it. He was a complete novice when he got it some years back now.

    FCUTA!

  • Deleted user 25 July 2013 22:14:26
    caligari wrote:
    I've never grown a vegetable-thing in my life - is it really that difficult?
    It's very much like raising a child. You bury them in soft peat and make sure they're fed and watered, then harvest when fully grown.
  • mal 25 Jul 2013 22:29:56 22,826 posts
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    Be aware you'll need to put the hours in. A mate of mine got one but spent too much time down the pub rather than out in all weathers, and after a few months, they voted to take it off him.

    Cubby didn't know how to turn off sigs!

  • TheDarkKnight 25 Jul 2013 22:54:21 695 posts
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    We have a mini-allotment and it's a lot of work! After you buy all the plants/seeds, feed and stuff to protect plants (netting, slug pellets, straw etc) and factor in time, I honestly don't think it's much cheaper than buying it from the shop. That is not to say it isn't worthwhile though. It is relaxing and fulfilling, and of course at the moment is lovely to be outside on the plot.

    A silent guardian, a watchful protector. A Dark Knight. Twitch PSN The_Apostle

  • Psychotext 25 Jul 2013 23:01:46 55,032 posts
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    I have one, I've spent every night down there for the last three weeks... it's fucking hard work.
  • Psychotext 25 Jul 2013 23:04:19 55,032 posts
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    Oh, and forget trying to save money with it, that only works if you're willing to spend 8 hours a day there babysitting everything (which sort of misses the point).

    I worked out that my lettuces last year cost me 12 each and my cucumbers were 6 a pop (and that was only because I had a ridiculously good cucumber crop!).

    Do it either for health (relaxation, getting out, good food) or because you're some sort of ecomentalist.
  • Syrette 25 Jul 2013 23:05:52 44,208 posts
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    Or get a greenhouse on your plot and cultivate some ganja

  • Sid-Nice 25 Jul 2013 23:10:16 15,851 posts
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    You have lost the plot.

    NNID Sid-Nice

  • Anthony_UK 25 Jul 2013 23:10:34 2,547 posts
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    http://www.thedailymash.co.uk/news/society/fury-as-allotment-fans-discover-vegetables-can-be-bought-in-shops-2013042967035
  • rockavitch 25 Jul 2013 23:12:41 378 posts
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    I've got one, admittedly I haven't been more than 2-3 hours a week the last month due to 3 slipped disks so have pretty much come to the end of the season here.

    Knew nothing before I started but with trial and error I've got two large sunflowers, rosebush, strawberries (taste better than any supermarket), peas, beans all coming up nicely.

    Only using a 3rd of my patch so got a few spuds (around 30) at home, going to start them sprouting then plant them to break up rest of patch over the autumn/winter months as apparently it's quite good... we'll see.

    Costing me 17 a year, well worth it.

    Follow me on Twitter @MikeRockavitch ... from a distance of course ... No fat chicks ...

  • Nexus_6 25 Jul 2013 23:15:10 3,903 posts
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    You'll never save money unless you have a whole farm of crops and then you'll need tractor licenses and all sorts .... :-)

    I don't have an allotment but have a set of raised beds the size of a small allotment in the garden. As others are saying, it's hard work and the learning curve can be steep (no ctrl+z) but there is nothing quite like the thrill of pulling that first carrot from the ground, wiping the fox or cat shit off it, cutting the slug bitten bits off and munching on down.

    Get a book - RHS do a good one called grow your own kitchen garden year and it cuts it down in to seasons and what his to do things.

    Get a good mix of slow and fast growing crops, take time to sketch out a diagram of where things are going in the plot (position and time diagram) and get equipment second hand or from Asda or similar for much cheapness.

    And if it doesnt work out set fire to it for the insurance. Good luck!
  • Bremenacht 25 Jul 2013 23:27:39 19,647 posts
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    Grow the stuff that's most expensive to buy. In other words, don't bother growing potatoes and carrots, but if you like asparagus or fancy lettuce and stuff like that, then try it.
  • Psychotext 25 Jul 2013 23:34:00 55,032 posts
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    Yeah, I have a few asparagus beds. Much better tasting than the average shop bought stuff too because they use varieties that last much longer and transport much better... rather than taste the best.
  • Bremenacht 25 Jul 2013 23:49:57 19,647 posts
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    You doing it for love (of food) and health then? It is a big commitment. One I couldn't keep.
  • Nexus_6 25 Jul 2013 23:55:12 3,903 posts
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    Different crops to the norm are fun for sure. I still get the satisfaction of growing potatoes though.

    Take one up, clean it, slice it thin and fry in a pan with salt an pepper - beautiful!

    Pretty much everything in your plot will taste different to shop bought as well.

    I have a single pepper plant that has just started with tiny wee flowers on - would be ecstatic if i got a proper pepper out that :-D
  • Psychotext 25 Jul 2013 23:56:42 55,032 posts
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    Bremenacht wrote:
    You doing it for love (of food) and health then? It is a big commitment. One I couldn't keep.
    Mostly for sentimental reasons. It's was my father's plot and he died a few years back.

    Gets me away from the computer though and I can't say I don't enjoy growing strange foods like Cucamelons, Black Radishes, "Red Strawberry" sweetcorn, Purple Carrots and the like.

    Edited by Psychotext at 23:57:03 25-07-2013
  • Bremenacht 26 Jul 2013 00:00:51 19,647 posts
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    :-)

    As long as you enjoy it.

    Those are some strange veg!
  • caligari 23 Dec 2013 11:53:09 17,193 posts
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    Well - after what seems like a lifetime - I have this time 'officially' accepted and paid for my sparkling new allotment.

    The one originally offered to me (and the inspiration behind this thread) was rejected, after I realised that the brambles were taller than me - that and the fact that it looked as though someone had been sleeping in one of the old chicken coops.

    The new one is actually in pretty good condition - I can walk to one end to the other without tearing my clothes to shreds - it even has its very own bench and wheel barrow (although both have seen better days).

    It's mainly covered in grass and nettles. Sooo...do I just get the gloves on and pull out everything individually, or just turn the whole thing over?
  • sport 23 Dec 2013 11:55:57 12,808 posts
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    Hire out one of these mate.

    And Congrats!
  • Load_2.0 23 Dec 2013 11:57:29 19,655 posts
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    Turn it all over and grow vast amounts of cocaine.
  • MrTomFTW Moderator 23 Dec 2013 12:16:38 39,732 posts
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    It's middle-aged day on Eurogamer today!

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  • TheSaint 23 Dec 2013 12:19:58 14,826 posts
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    Give it a once over with a Rotavator and start from a blank canvas.
  • Cappy 23 Dec 2013 12:50:08 12,115 posts
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    I inherited my Mother's allotment.

    The plot had been maintained for over thirty years, she invested so much time there it didn't seem right to just throw it all away. So now I eat potatoes five or six days a week, most of the other crops failed, just one cold night deflated the tomatoes like pricked balloons in September. The extremely dry weather in the Summer cooked the raspberries down to something resembling currants. I don't know how much watering it would have taken to get them through that drought but it wasn't feasible.

    The strawberries and red currants on the other hand went into overdrive and there was so much fruit I didn't know what to with it. So many potatoes also.

    If you're curious as to what happens when most of your meals are potatoes with salad; You start losing weight fast, I've switched to full fat milk and butter to try and fend off going underweight.

    Edited by Cappy at 12:51:52 23-12-2013
  • caligari 23 Dec 2013 21:58:01 17,193 posts
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    Cappy wrote:
    I inherited my Mother's allotment.

    The plot had been maintained for over thirty years, she invested so much time there it didn't seem right to just throw it all away. So now I eat potatoes five or six days a week, most of the other crops failed, just one cold night deflated the tomatoes like pricked balloons in September. The extremely dry weather in the Summer cooked the raspberries down to something resembling currants. I don't know how much watering it would have taken to get them through that drought but it wasn't feasible.

    The strawberries and red currants on the other hand went into overdrive and there was so much fruit I didn't know what to with it. So many potatoes also.

    If you're curious as to what happens when most of your meals are potatoes with salad; You start losing weight fast, I've switched to full fat milk and butter to try and fend off going underweight.
    Really sorry to hear about your loss (in so many ways), Cappy.

    I'd be amazingly proud of myself if I managed to grow enough potatoes for an actual MEAL - let alone enough for a meal every single day! Perhaps you could start frying the potatoes to add a little meat to your bones? Full fat mayo will also help things along.

    Edited by caligari at 21:58:44 23-12-2013
  • Psychotext 24 Dec 2013 19:43:37 55,032 posts
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    Also add meat to potatoes. Can't fault a bit of meat and potatoes.
  • Bremenacht 24 Dec 2013 20:02:20 19,647 posts
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    caligari wrote:
    It's mainly covered in grass and nettles. Sooo...do I just get the gloves on and pull out everything individually, or just turn the whole thing over?
    Give it a once-over with a strimmer and THEN turn it all over and THEN pull out all the nasty root systems left behind. Idea being to avoid having fresh new nasties growing up around the good stuff.

    Good luck!
  • Cappy 30 Jul 2014 16:37:36 12,115 posts
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    I'm doing a lot better this year, though I've still got a lot to learn.

    I've got a mini corn field seemingly growing inches overnight, they're not far off being taller than me, my current estimates point to well over a hundred corn cobs when they're ready to harvest.

    Beans in absolute overdrive, so many beans. I never really liked them much when I was a kid but I've been making vegetable stews and quite enjoying the beans I've grown.

    I have the usual potatoes and strawberries, plus I gave carrots and pumpkins a try. It looks like I'm going to get some nice carrots, the pumpkins are touch and go, I'm having to check them every day, the slugs really seem to like them when they're small.

    I got some fruit from the raspberries but not as much as my Mum used to get, I think I was supposed to prune the canes back in the Winter.
  • PES_Fanboy 30 Jul 2014 16:47:37 18,867 posts
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