Welcome to our plot!

I'm Hazel, and in Nov 2006 my friend Jane and I took on a half plot at Hill Allotments, Sutton Coldfield - we want the satisfaction of growing and eating our own fruit and veg, and to improve our diet (and fitness!).

This is the story of what happened next...........

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Carpentry Again...

A bit of a tatting around day today, which was a shame as if I’d have put my mind to it I could have done so much more. No matter, it’s not a race, I suppose.

I picked FRENCH BEANS (triomphe de farcy & emperor of Russia), a couple of COURGETTE (golden yellow & all green) & some sweetpeas. I then chopped off the parsnip seedheads which look dry enough for the seeds to start shedding.

Then the main job for the day was to finish constructing bed a2, now that the onions are out the way, & to start a1. I knew that I’d run out of wood & would have to get some more, but in the event I just did what I could with what I had.

I’ve been mulling over the beds for some time now, & although they are an undoubted asset & a real success in many ways, what I didn’t think about when I first started making them is the balance between the space needed for both the rotation & the permanent crops, which means that I’m struggling for room for soft fruit & a future possible asparagus bed, for example.

So a radical decision – by re-jigging the beds so they are 16’ & not 20’ long, I’ll have a 5’ or 6’ wide strip at neighbour Ted’s side of the plot which I can use for permanent crops. These can either be planted up as is, or I can make 4’ square beds at that side for fruit bushes etc – this works out rather neatly as taking the final 4’ off the existing beds, I’ll have plenty of 4’ lengths of wood ready to re-use.

Brilliant! Certainly in theory, let’s see how it works in practise…


  1. Cor, those parsnip seed heads look amazing.

    I'm a little relieved to find you also struggling with the "where to put perennial crops" issue. After your great help with planning raised beds at Bag End (plus the Nectar Bars), I now find that four of the eight are "out of rotation" (asparagus and in future, rhubarb, artichoke and strawberry).

    Have ommitted to tell Management that I am going to need considerably more beds . . . and that's before we start planting soft fruit!

    How's the bite?

  2. I was pleased with the photo of the parsnip seeds which was taken - like all the others - just on the phone camera.

    The parsnip seed at the end of each 'umbrella' is actually a pair, and they ping apart when they are ready to go.

    Surely you can sneak your rhubarb and artichokes into the flower borders without any difficulty, if necessary? Although I can see you constructing an extra 4 beds 'just to even things up'...? {grin}

    The bite is ugly, but not so swollen - I'll live!


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