Malcolm Smith's
Allotment Weblog

 

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I have an allotment in Fordingbridge, and I use this website as a means of keeping my records and also sharing with anyone else who is interested. I have set out my allotment into defined areas to enable the rotation of crops and also provide fixed areas for soft fruit. Additionally, I have utility areas at opposite corners of the allotment.

In order to keep a record of growing conditions and results, I started to keep a diary with effect from 1 January 2007. As weather patterns are changing due to global warming, it seems that the old fashioned method of planting to the calendar is becoming obsolete. After the unpredictable season in 2006, I decided in 2007 to attempt to plant to the weather patterns. Whatever happened was not likely to be any worse than the poor season previously.

2006, after an early cold spell, the weather became mild ready for early sowing. However, that was followed by a prolonged spell of freezing east winds which set everything back. Once the main sowing season started all seemed well until the prolonged drought which spoiled most crops. I had tried to conduct some trials with potatoes but the crops were too poor to be representative. The heavy and continuous rain came too late in the year to be of any use for growing.

2007, in line with my cultivation methods, I double dug the areas that were to be manured and worked dung into both layers separately. When sowing or planting, I inserted watering funnels made from recycled milk containers. Water on the allotment comes from handpumps, so there are no water restrictions to worry about. However, every drop has to be drawn and carried. Results generally were good this year except that all Onions were lost due to blight and also Potatoes and Tomatoes suffered bilght

2008. Preparation has been to double dig of all plots apart from those where rootcrops will be sown, using both imported stable manure and compost from my own bins. After some research I have decided to adjust the sequence of my four year rotation planting.

 
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