This past weekend it was a year since I signed for the allotment.
The weather hasn't been nice enough to do much the last few days but we did have a walk up yesterday and reflected a little on what we need to do (which is a lot)
Our plan was just to grow on the bit that we had cleared last year and we achieved that - not hugely successfully but we did get things growing.
My plan of covering some of the plot with cardboard to smother the weeds paid off and I will be putting some more down over the top and cover some more sections over the coming weeks.
The one thing that has really annoyed me is how little, if anything, the council do on this site. You can see on the above picture the state of the path that runs alongside my plot fence. There are two overgrown empty plots to the side of the path and then a farmers field. The field has now been sold off and houses are being built on it. The farmer hasn't planted anything for the last two years because he was in the process of selling it so the weed seeds have taken over. Even to clear the pathway wouldn't make much difference to the spread of those weeds. I planted a lot of hedgerow plants on my side of the chicken wire fence we erected during the winter. They have really struggled to become established with the weeds. I have a battery strimmer which has kept the plot under control to a degree but when you are faced with such an overgrown jungle at the side it is disheartening. My plan for the coming year is to try and either buy or hire a petrol strimmer or brushcutter and get the immediate area next to the fence under control. It will die off soon anyway so next spring I will be prepared (hopefully) with the big guns to try and stop the spread onto my plot.
I did a bit of a photo collage of before and after looking up and down the plot. It doesn't look like much from the photos but we have put up the fence, cleared one side and planted, planted some fruit trees/bushes, had a decent strawberry harvest and probably lots I've forgotten about.
One thing I'm happy with are the rosa rugosa bare rooted plants I bought in the winter. They have produced a lot of red rosehips. I've harvested a few and will sow them in the coming weeks and have left the rest for the birds. Hopefully some will self seed. I may try some on the other fence where the bad weeds are because these have flourished even with an invasion of nettles.
The one thing I set out to do when I got the allotment was having homegrown sprouts on Christmas day. I don't have a photo but they are on their way to being ready and that makes me happy.