It's finally 2021! Which means.... only ~3 months before I can start growing stuff woohoo!!! I havent put a post up since Dec 6th and for that I apologise however, there hasn't really been alot going on. I added to my huge pile of rubbish, burnt some stuff and that's honestly about it, until I finished work on the 18th that is. During my time off I've managed to build my DIY pallet compost bin, complete with roof, and decided I'll probably add a second and possibly even a third at some point in the future, and then created layers of green and brown waste, which half filled it. I plan to add a front to it at some point as well but I need to get back to work and get hold of some suitable wood.
On the subject of wood, I've managed to get ahold of a shipping crate from work which measure roughly 3 meters x 1 meter x 2 meters high, which you can see above, I've been and chopped it down in to 8 pieces which are 3 slats high and plan to use them for my raised beds, I estimate that i'll get at least 3 possibly 4 beds out of it if i make them about 3 meters x 1.2 meters or 10ft x 4ft which should be plenty for what I want to grow this year. I ordered some pond liner, to reroof the wooden shed as it comes with a 25 year guarantee and is UV resistant plus it'll last longer than regular shed felt and can pinch some bits of the 3rd shed at the top of the plot to make the roof watertight and good again. Then it was christmas day, honestly with everything going on this year I 'm amazed it's not still March, it really has been a blur. There were a few things on my wishlist for the allotment such as the book Allotment Month By Month: Grow your Own Fruit and Vegetables, Know What to do When and the WolfGarten Double Hoe, and is always the case I got none of the things I asked for but I don't want anyone to think that i'm being ungrateful there, it's a running joke in my family. I did get some new signage for the allotment alonmg with some useful books and a "colourful" coffee mug from my dad haha.
The books are really useful and i'd thoroughly recommend all of them to novice and expert alike(I'll put links at the bottom of this post), and as I usually end up doing each year I treated myself to Double hoe and book mentioned earlier as To Me From Me gift, haha. The other little christmas gift I got was from the council themselves, in the form of rubbish removal! Thats right all the crap is GONE!
It's amazing how much of difference to the both plot and my mood finding all that rubbish gone made, it reignited my excitement about the plot and made me want to get started immediately however the heavens had other ideas and decided to cover the North West of England in snow! Now I love the snow as much as anyone, BUT... it's kind of scuppered my allotment plans whilst I have time off work such as reroofing the shed, and borrowing my works flatbed truck to transport the wood for the beds, it has left me with plenty of time to research crop rotation, organise my seeds and work out what I need to buy and plan the plot layout more. Which led me to my new favourite planning website Veg Plotter, if you've never used this site I recommend it, it's a bit clunky to start with but once you work it out it's brilliant! I've been trying to decide whether to go with a 3 year or 4 year crop rotation, and I'd be really interested in what everyone else does and thinks of my layout suggestions below.
I also plan on moving the sheds and polytunnel to match the plans above as ii think it will give me more room at the bottom and waste less space. As I mentioned before I also took stock of what seeds I have and what I need, I put a post on a local FB gardening group with a list of what I was looking for and what I had going spare and a lovely chap by the name of Dan, who just happens to have an allotment on the same site as me, had a bunch of spare seeds going! It's certainly saved me a few quid, which is always a good thing! I decided to improve/update my sowing guide list(below) I made before and plan to use this as a kind of sowing diary which tells me what I have/need, when and how to plant and I also plan to add a yield column and possibly an info column to it later in the year, so I 'll have an idea of what did and didn't work in 2022 and onwards.
And that pretty much sums up what my time off work has involved, hopefully the snow clears soon and I can get the flatbed from work, then i'll feel like i'm making some real progress once I get some raised beds built up, although I've still got to work out how to fill the things as cheap as possible but i'll worry about that later. I think going forward i'll limit the blog posts to 1-2 a month unless things really pick up and I have lots to tell you guys. Anyways thats all for now, thanks for reading and be sure to let me know your thoughts in the comments or on instagram or facebook, the links or at the bottom of the page.