Tales from the Allotment – National Gardening Week 2021

30th April 2021 in Allotments

This week is National Gardening Week – the country’s biggest annual celebration of gardening!

Organised by the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS), the focus for this year’s National Gardening Week is all about the feel-good power of plants and gardens.

We caught up with three of our allotment holders to find out how they got into gardening and for any top gardening tips they could share to help you get started!

Rae – Trannack Allotment

After years of growing a small amount of fruit & veg in pots at home in our small backyard, we started our allotment journey at the end of November 2020.

Our first day on the plot (which is approx. 100ft x 30ft) was very daunting……. the area was completely overgrown and unrecognisable as an allotment!

Over the weeks & months since, with only weekends (and the occasional day off from work) available to get down the “the lottie”, we have worked hard to clear the thick blanket of weeds, brambles, couch grass and a whole host of other debris from about half the plot!

Although it has been tough going, with a learning curve like the north face of Everest, the sense of accomplishment in the progress and improvements we have made is incredibly satisfying, especially as we are complete allotment novices.  

In such a relatively short space of time, we have managed to clear & create 3 large beds, dug them over (several times!) and have now planted them out with a variety of fruits and vegetables.

We are now hoping that, with a little bit of luck from Mother Nature, our hard work will be rewarded with a successful harvest of our first crops!

Roger – Love Lane Allotment

On taking early retirement, I put my name down for an allotment as I assumed it is what retired people did, and promptly forgot all about it! 

Sometime later I received a call saying that my name had reached the top of the list and I had an allotment!  Having never grown anything before in my life I through I would give it a go.

The last five years has been a steep learning curve.

I now realise that onions and potatoes, like all fruit and veg, have their own different names and characteristics. 

We now grow enough onions, leeks, peas and beans to keep us going throughout the year and shallots to provide pickles. We eat fresh fruit from mid-April until October with having enough surplus to make a variety of jams and to freeze for winter puddings. We now eat summer pudding throughout the winter.

“Our allotment has been a ‘go to’ place during lockdowns providing a focus and gentle exercise.”

In general, our allotment is a peaceful oasis of quiet only broken by birdsong and the rhythmic striking of the town clock.

It provides a place to think and ponder the profound mystery of seed soil, water, and warmth. 

I have realised that gardeners live both in the present and the future as they are always planning what to grow in the months ahead while evaluating what worked well and what needs changing.

Our allotment has been a ‘go to’ place during lockdowns providing a focus and gentle exercise.

It is a shared activity with my wife where you meet, socially distanced of course, with other friendly and supportive allotmenteers.

Having got the allotment close to how we want it, it only takes an hour every other day to keep it under control even in the summer when it is at its most abundant so ‘little and often’ appears to work well for us although you can put as much time as you want to an allotment.

Judith – Gulval Allotment

Top Tips

  • Water, weed and feed is my little saying
  • The secret to planting anything is to make sure the soil is well prepared, the roots are firmed in properly and the plant is watered well before and after planting.
  • The more effort you put in the more you get out in every respect.

“I love my little patch of ground. My peaceful, happy place. Especially during this Covid crisis!”

I have a great sense of purpose and pleasure working with nature on my allotment. Being outside benefits my physical and mental well being. There’s always something to look forward to.

I love my little patch of ground. My peaceful, happy place. Especially during this Covid crisis!

And socially I’ve made some lovely friends over the years.

Our Allotments

We manage approximately two hundred plots across eight sites in the Parish.

Anyone who lives within the Parish can rent a plot from us (proof of address required).

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