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This is the place to discuss not just allotments but all general gardening problems and queries which don't fit into the specific categories below.
(formerly allotments and tips, hints and problems)
fruitfly
Tom Good
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amateurgardening.com/news

Post: #289238 fruitfly
Sun Mar 19, 2017 6:38 pm

http://www.amateurgardening.com/news/ca ... mock-12611
This article is a couple of years old so it may have been discussed already! However, although a quarter size would be ridiculous (unless there were just a couple as tasters to start with and then when a larger one came up those allotmenteers could decide whether they wanted to continue with one of those or not after all, giving up the taster one on refusal), I do think half sizes are the way to go. Only when they become available, of course. I can't imagine all that many people make full use and are entirely self-sufficient on a whole plot and half sizes can produce quite a lot. Even the allotmenteers growing lots of stuff on a full size plot have lots of space not in use, as paths, grassy bits, teatime space, several compost bins or piles, etc., so it isn't as if they're REALLY making full use of the space. They would grow just as much on a half plot, but managing the space better. I think making the half size the standard size is really the way to go to increase the numbers of available plots without it being a silly size. (Printable) comments?

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Flo
A selfsufficientish Regular
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Re: amateurgardening.com/news

Post: #289241 Flo
Mon Mar 20, 2017 8:18 am

Thing is fruitfly, allotments were set up to allow people who no longer had access to smallholdings, shared land or agricultural land attached to farm cottages to go on growing their own. Done in the days when food was in short supply after the wars. The country was broke and there wasn't good coming in via exports like now. That explains why the traditional plot is the size that it is.

No matter what size your plot, compost heaps are essential in order to deal with waste and to provide soil improvers. That's more cost effective than buying in all the time. Water butts too are necessary. Paths you need so that you don't walk on the beds and spoil the soil or trample crops. A shed keeps essentials like hand tools and fertilisers as well as providing shelter from the rain which always arrives at unexpected times. And the larger plot allows people to have greenhouses or keep a few hens.

Quarter plots are fine for the older allotment gardener who doesn't want to retire yet but is not fit enough for anything bigger. Usually they become flower plots and the flowers go to the local shows. Many people locally have two half plots so in effect they have a full plot.

Smaller plots are a good idea if there is a long waiting list. However, do we want allotments to become home gardens and be neglected in favour of home (unless the plot holder has no garden at home as in living in a flat or terraced house).

With the use of the freezer, I reckon to keep two households in vegetables and fruit over 50% of the time from one full plot. I've two full plots this year and hope to go to at least 75% given a fair season and getting the soil going on the new plot.

But it's an interesting read the article and you do raise some good points. Here we are probably interested in being as self sufficient as possible but possible depends on a lot of things (health, time, space, money, inclination).

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Green Aura
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Re: amateurgardening.com/news

Post: #289246 Green Aura
Mon Mar 20, 2017 8:33 am

Flo wrote:Quarter plots are fine for the older allotment gardener who doesn't want to retire yet but is not fit enough for anything bigger.


It would be great if newbies could share their plot and learn. Sort of apprenticeship.
Maggie

Never doubt that you can change history. You already have. Marge Piercy

Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage. Anais Nin


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