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Wellington Field Allotments Hixon


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Taking Over A Second Plot.

Everything is well advanced on my plot this year after a late start last, so I have decided to take over a second plot as a share with one of my mates who used to have one elsewhere. Now he is only working part time, like a lot of middle-aged people, he has made the decision to grow a few vegetables to help things out.

Last year I started my plot by hoeing and mulching instead of digging, but this time we have started by digging out all the docks, thistles, dandelions, nettles and other perennial weeds before digging the whole plot more thoroughly afterwards. The lads who had the plot last year left most of their potato crop in the ground, so when we started digging we found that many were good enough to use as seed for this year. The lads had manured the plot before planting the potatoes and found that when they tried to harvest them they had “scab,” so had left them in the ground and abandoned the plot in disgust. Over the winter most had rotted in the ground and of those that survived many were rotting and had to be thrown away, but even so, there must have been over 60 or 70 pounds of good “seed,” left.

This second plot will mainly be used for potatoes, onions, tomatoes, cucurbits and beans (Runner, Climbing and Broad.) I am going to start off all the beans in pots so that when they are planted it can be done through the neck of a plastic bottle for rabbit protection. Although, after last year’s observations, I am expecting that the tougher Broad Beans won’t need any rabbit protection when they are planted out.

The onion sets went in first and one lot of winter, “Japanese onions,” have already been dug up by the rabbits on my other plot and even the Rhubarb has been nibbled, but generally the Rhubarb is growing well after being divided up in the winter and having had lots of fresh manure round it. We have already picked about 4 big armfuls to make “Crumbles.” The Raspberries on my first plot are also starting into growth and going to make big clumps, although as they are “Lates,” they seem to be well behind those on sale in many Garden Centres. Even the cheap fruit trees, that had been planted late last Spring and didn’t grow very well last year, seem to have leafed up well this season.

Now that my official “Let,” has expired on the first plot, the site owner has told me that this year there can be no more “Lets,” and the allotments do not exist, but he will let me use some ground as a friend of the family. In response to this I have decided to plant up a missing section of hedge on the boundaries as part payment in lieu. In enable to do this I have bought and potted, some “Hedging,” Roses, Hazels and Sloes or Blackthorns, so that they can be planted at a later date when the site is more organised as regards his building operations. Most of them will need tree guards as well that are generally available at “Farm Supply,” type of outlets more cheaply than garden Centres. To add to the mix of hedging, I have some self set Hawthorns and Hollies that I have been nurturing in old pots, behind my Greenhouse, at home. Willows and Cornus grown from cuttings will also be included in the hedge planting at a later date because when I looked more closely, the new hedge will run against a very wet drainage ditch, although It will have to be maintained carefully as they may eventually block it though their extreme liking for water.