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ALLOTMENT ANGUISH - what do i do?


By jvt


I have only been growing vegetables as a complete novice for a couple of years but very little space has always been an issue.
Just over a year ago i applied for an allotment with a local society in the full knowledge that i would possibly have a long wait. Imagine my complete surprise when two weeks ago, i received a call from the lettings officer offering me half a plot. We duly arranged to meet the next day on the plot and i was like a kid on Christmas day. The first thing i noticed was how lovely the whole site was and in such a lovely location, not to mention how friendly the letting officer was.
My anguish is this, in January this year my health took an unexpected turn for the worse and i have gone from being a very active 47 year old healthy man to one who on a good day could walk an hour with the dog but i would have to have an immediate sleep for two hours upon my return.
There is a chance that my health could improve but there is also a chance that it won’t. I don’t want to not accept the plot just in case i get better but there must be others in a similar position. I would love to find out.
There is nothing as frustrating as not being able to physically do things that only months ago you could.

More blog posts by jvt



Could you find someone to share it with you?

21 Oct, 2012


I think that is a good suggestion. Please dont make any rash decisions re turning down the plot, after all not a lot need go on over winter! Why not play the waiting game and see how you are coping next spring and maybe then you will be better able to decide? I wish you well and hope you are able to return to better health soon.

21 Oct, 2012


On some fields there are retired men who would dig your plot for payment. Usually about £10 an hour.
The Steward may know of someone.
I have sent you the detail of digging the 'Wright' way in my 'ALLOTMENTEER' October issue.
This is done with the spade, turning the soil so that it is laid in lumps on the surface for the winter frosts to break down, ready for next Spring.
Its important to get this work done now, to get any weed growth turned in.
If your plot is neglected you will get a letter under the 3 Month Rule, as Local Authorities want this valuable land used wisely and well.

22 Oct, 2012


Hi John
I’m 46 have diabetes and some days I feel so tired that I will not go to the allotment but other days I am fine and spend all day there my step son does most of the digging etc and I do lighter stuff .There is plenty of time over the next few months to get prepared for spring split the plot up into beds with canes and string and concentrate on one bed at once create some paths and lay membrane down and lay tree chippings from your local tree surgeons the other allotment holders will have advise on where to get this from and usually free. All these jobs is what I started doing at first and very slowly as they is no rush. Just remember when you look around and see all these fantastic looking allotments on your site the tenants have had these for years and they have taken years to get to that stage.
All the best

22 Oct, 2012


Take the advice offered because you can't go through life worrying about what might happen. You could be run over by a bus tomorrow. When others see you struggling you will probably find someone who is prepared to take up the slack for you. If you really feel you have to "confess" to your health problem, you might find the help you need is readily available. If you can't find anyone to help or the cost of paying someone is too high, put black plastic down on the ground which will exclude weeds and you can even plant potatoes under it without having to do a lot of digging. You sound as if this is something you really want to do. Go for it and if it does not work out you won't have lost much. Good luck.

22 Oct, 2012


Lots of good advice here for you. I struggle with garden jobs, how about the nodig ideas with raised beds?

I would advise not to try to do it all at once, just what you feel you can cope with and cover up the rest to protect from weeds, looking at the whole area is overwhelming but think of it portioned into bite size pieces?

22 Oct, 2012


I will continue sending you 'The Allotmenteer' free of charge. That contains the best advice.
I have 32 years experience.

22 Oct, 2012


I'm glad to see from one of your other questions you have taken your allotment and your boy has been helping out. The silver lining is a bit of father and son time. Well done.

22 Oct, 2012


Sorry if Im repeating myself but first of all thank you for taking the time and trouble to comment, there are some wonderful ideas.

I have actually spoken to the letting officer who is more than happy to allow me a couple of seasons to sort the plot out and as it is only half a plot (thankfully) i think it is quite manageable given the time scale. It measures 25 m x. 10 m which i think is huge!

Although the other allotments are extremely well kept there are a couple of others that need lots of T L C so that has helped me with my decision too.

It's too good an opportunity to miss and i know that it looks pretty daunting now but as long as i split the area up into manageable bits and concentrate on those Im sure it'll fine.

Thanks again, kind regards John

22 Oct, 2012


I`m pleased you have accepted the allotment John, there is already lots of good advice been given so I wish you well and has already been said you work it a bit at a time as and when you are able, mainly enjoy it...

22 Oct, 2012

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