Go To Intro

Wellington Fields Allotments - Hixon.


Plough Field Allotments at Amerton


Gardening Tips
By Mrs FM


Unusual & Old
Fashioned Fruit


Herbs & Other
Edible Plants.

Environmental Issues And Going Green.

Books By
Alan J Hartley




The Pleasures Of Nature!

A lot of people seem to spend greats wads of cash on their allotments without spending much time on them to get the benefits of the site. I haven’t bought a shed, new wheelbarrow, new plastic compost bin, or anything else like that. In fact generally I have kept spending down to a minimum with the exception of a few exotic plants! However, feeling flush one month we decided to treat ourselves to a nice new wooden bench to go between two of my plots. After much wandering around the local garden centres we finally chose one that my mother and I both liked. The bench has a curved back and seat making it very comfortable to sit on and it came in kit form, but my friend with his big powered screwdriver soon made short work of putting it together. It was a job that would have been hard work for me with an old-fashioned hand powered screwdriver! As soon as it was assembled the new bench proved very popular with all the allotment holders in the immediate vicinity of my plot coming over to have a look and try it out! Even a Grey Squirrel found the bench interesting. He had been running round the hedges by the car park for a few minutes when suddenly he ran down the side of the hedge that came straight up to my bench where I was sitting. Motionless, I watched, fascinated by his antics until he was no more than 6, or 7 feet from me. Then just as quickly as he came he had gone again. I don’t know if it was the smell of the fresh timber that had attracted him, or if the bench just happened to be on his route round the site, but the brief encounter put a smile on my face for the rest of the day.

After such a wet Winter and seemingly constant wet ever since, everyone has been having trouble with Slugs and Snails that are everywhere - munching away on all the young plants. We are not supposed to use many of the chemicals that are sold for dealing with such pests as it is a “Green Site,” but there are some nature friendly pellets available that I am going to have to buy. I planted quite a few rows of Bean seeds of one sort or another that took a long time to come up because it went cooler after sowing and when they did they had their tops eaten by the Slugs. The Runner Beans I simply re-planted with some cheap plants from Oak Tree Farm Rural Project, but the others won’t be so easy to replace. With any luck some of them will shoot again if the Slugs are kept off for a week or two. The same maybe true for my Yellow Courgettes that were also eaten, but I am not very hopeful.

Some Plot Holders have had their Bean seeds eaten by Mice in the past, but I think that happens more often when the ground is dry and the beans are slow to germinate. If the ground is wet and when the Beans have started to germinate the Mice seem to leave them alone. Apart from Mice people have caught sight of the odd Rat running around the big communal compost heaps. Personally, I think that having the allotments in the middle of an area with Grain being grown on one side of the site and Pony paddocks around the rest, there are bound to be Rats about and we should just accept it as part of the countryside. Rats will be found in the hedgerows everywhere and although Compost heaps can attract Rats, they are far more attracted to them if old vegetables and food waste are added to the compost heaps. Ordinary weeds are not a favourite part of their diet! I think on the allotments we have just got to accept Nature and learn to live with it!

Click Here For Information