An Allotment in Hungerford............
We're entering our 7th year as plotholders - doesn't time fly? You may think
that we should be expert growers by now, but it doesn't work that way -
our first year was one of our best, perhaps because we didn't have any expectations!
Here are some lessons learned – if only we heeded them - each one
could fill a page and be discussed at length, so I look forward to some
Little and Often: Organise your seeds to make successional sowings: salad
crops and peas are particularly worth sowing fortnightly. So much produce
can be stored, pickled and frozen, but there's nothing like eating fresh
from the plot, so try to extend the season if you can.
Check your spacing: Know how big your plants are going to get and plant
accordingly but remember that you're going to need access for weeding and
picking throughout the season. Some plants are susceptible to moulds so
they like space for the air to get through. Of course, the more earth on
show; the more weeds will grow!
Don't panic: If you plant late you're likely to get a smaller harvest, but,
you never know, if the weather's on your side you may still get a long enough
If your seeds don't germinate, ask around, one of your fellow allotmenteers
may have some seedlings that they’re happy to give away or swap.
Use the correct netting: If mesh is too big it will allow butterflies in
to lay their eggs and their caterpillars then have a free reign to scoff
your veg where the predators are unable to reach them – a perfect
butterfly farm! Similarly, if a plant isn’t self-pollinating, don't
cover with too fine mesh which prevents useful insects getting access.
Pick it when you see it: A week is a long time in the life of a vegetable.
If you're growing your own veg you may as well eat it when it's at its best
and most flavoursome - often smaller than the offerings in the shops. Keep
picking peas, beans, courgettes, etc. so that the plant knows to keep producing
rather than going to seed. If you can’t face another bean and your
family are fed up with finding courgettes in everything, from quiches to
cakes, you’re sure to find someone who wants your fresh produce.
Get an allotment! An all-round positive experience: fresh air and exercise
rewarded with your choice of fruit and vegetables. The Marsh Lane site can
be very sociable but also offers the opportunity for a quiet time surrounded
HAHA is holding an Open
Day on the Marsh Lane site on June 27th – Come and see what
we’re growing this year.
Contact HAHA on 0754 118 7274
Our Marsh Lane allotment life is recorded online through my blogs: