Some while ago I wrote about considering whether to apply for an allotment. Today I'm telling you my decision. My decision is that I will NOT be applying for an allotment at the location I described. These are my reasons:-
Jane and I went along one day to see the allotment site, but to be honest it didn't look that impressive. A lot of the plants being grown looked thin and pale; many of them were infested with pests. Even many of the well-tended plots had veg in them that I would consider sub-standard. I concluded that the soil there was probably very poor - certainly in comparison with what I have in my own garden. Seeing the lie of the land also helped me to understand some of the chat I had seen on the Allotment society's website about flooding at the bottom of a slope.
Many of the plots were quite a way from a water-point, and hosepipes are not allowed. Fetching water could be a very time-consuming and laborious task.
Perhaps the biggest factor affecting my decision was the distance from home. It is not much less than two miles by road, though there may be a shorter walking route through the big housing estate that is being built. The allotment site is intended primarily for the residents of the new estate of course. Unless I took the car, I could end up spending a lot of time in transit, and taking the car would negate some of the health benefits.
There is a fairly long Waiting List already, and I would imagine that it would get longer as the new houses are completed. The list is actually two lists - with priority being given to residents in the parish where the allotment site is located, and a second list is maintained for people like me who live in neighbouring parishes. Even if I put my name on the list now, it might be a long time before my turn arrived.
A final factor is the matter of rules. The allotment site obviously has rules, which is understandable and sensible, but my garden doesn't. I run my garden the way I want to, and no-one can tell me to do otherwise. Now I am a relatively easy-going person and not unduly cantankerous, but I just thought there are bound to be some occasions on which I would rather not have someone else telling me what I can or can't do on my plot, so on balance it's best if I stick to gardening on my own property.
Anyway, the decision is made! No allotment for me.
Now, the other subject of my post today- just a quick mention of something nice I picked up a few days ago. We made a trip to our local Recycling Centre (aka "Tip") to dispose of some rubbish. While we were there I noticed in their sales area a rather nice wicker log-basket. I paid £3 to take possession of it. It's roughly the size of my 35-litre plastic pots, but an awful lot nicer to look at:
I have lined it will a couple of old compost sacks trimmed-down, filled it with soil and sown some seeds in it already. As you can see, I'm using the damp hessian technique again, because it seems to work very well. The Beetroot seeds I sowed the other day using this method germinated in just over 3 days. In this new container I have sown loads of Parsley seeds, in the hope that I will be able to have enough of that herb to keep us going over Winter. (We use a lot of Parsley!)
The ugly blue thing in my photo is the container in which the shingle was delivered. It is still about a third full. I will be using the rest of the shingle next Spring, when I construct my next batch of deep raised beds. Until that time I have to put up with having an unsightly blue monstrosity in the garden!