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Post new topic   Reply to topic    Irish Gardeners Forum Home -> Vegetable growing, fruit and allotments in Ireland

Just got the key to my new allotment but where to start!?


 
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Dantonio
Rank attained: Hazel Tree
Rank attained: Hazel Tree


Joined: 03 Apr 2010
Posts: 1
Location: Dublin

PostPosted: Sat Apr 03, 2010 12:50 pm    Post subject: Just got the key to my new allotment but where to start!? Reply with quote

Hi, having been on the waiting list for a couple of years I have just been up to look at my new 100m2 allotment in Powerstown (near Tyrellstown) , Fingal. The key arrived in the post yesterday! This is a brand new launch of allotments with about 200 or so plots and nobody has had time to plant a thing yet although there were a few people up there today having a look about.

The whole site seems very damp at the moment with relatively loose soil. The allotments have a patchy and yellow grassy growth as if they have been sprayed some weeks ago.

I have no prior experience whatsoever but am really keen to get stuck into this. I want to do the proper research and have been reading through lots of websites and forums.

However, I have received no advice, instructions or rules from the parks department just a map and a key, (not that I'm complaining) but I'm a bit confused and would really appreciate some advice on the following:


- What codes of conducts or allotment etiquette I should be aware of, if any?

- Where should I start and what needs to be done before I plant?

- How can I determine the soil type and is this important?

- What tools will I need? (Fork, Hoe, Trowel, Spade, Bucket...?)

- Any other advice would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks in advance!



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Sive
Rank attained: Chlorophyll for blood


Joined: 18 Apr 2008
Posts: 1731
Location: Co.Wexford

PostPosted: Sat Apr 03, 2010 1:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Good luck Dantonio, quite an adventure you're embarking on ! Don't get overwhelmed about it all....all gardening needs to be taken slowly, and everything will fall into place.
I'm sure you will get advice here, from other allotment holders.
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monkeynic
Rank attained: Rowan Tree
Rank attained: Rowan Tree


Joined: 21 Jul 2009
Posts: 102
Location: Athlone

PostPosted: Sat Apr 03, 2010 2:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

We started by digging over the soil and making beds. We also have a problem with it being quite damp so we made the beds by digging drainage channels and putting the soil up into beds to make sort of raised beds. Has helped with the drainage then we added some manure to this to help the soil. I dont know if this helps at all. But god luck. Smile
_________________
Please excuse my ignorance I'm new to this.
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fontodi
Rank attained: Hazel Tree
Rank attained: Hazel Tree


Joined: 13 Feb 2010
Posts: 23
Location: Dublin south

PostPosted: Sat Apr 03, 2010 5:14 pm    Post subject: Just got the key to my new allotment but where to start!? Reply with quote

Congrats and good luck.

Dont expect to get too much done the first year. Look at the long term and plan where you will put everything, For instance rhubarb comes up every year and should be in a corner.

Divide the plot into 4 sections so you can plan rotation.

get a hold of heavy duty black plastic or old carpets ( hard to dispose of later) and cover the soil where you dont intend to dig for a few weeks and this will kill all the weeds and make digging easier.

Consider throwing together a few raised beds to protect your crops the first year.
here is photo of one my builders put together for me from leftovers. All my spuds are in there. Cost nothing.

Go to itunes and listen to "Tales from Terry's Allotment", besides lots of good advice he is very funny and gives an idea of the kind of fiends you could make with your fellow "Urban farmers".

Plant veg that are expensive to buy such as rockett, fresh peas etc.

And most of all have a great time.
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Michael196
Rank attained: Silver Birch Tree
Rank attained: Silver Birch Tree


Joined: 24 Jul 2008
Posts: 194
Location: WEXFORD

PostPosted: Sun Apr 04, 2010 6:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

looking at your picture, I would go in and dig up the site, get the turf layer overturned and buried, take a sample of soil and so a soil test, to see how much sand , silt and clay u have ( 1/3 each perfect mix ) see if anything needs to be added, consider adding organic material ( compost / horse manure, drainage . se eif the soil is marley or clay, or compacted or wet, then plan to change as appropriate. consider rasied beds if the soil is wet and poor draining.
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Michael196
Rank attained: Silver Birch Tree
Rank attained: Silver Birch Tree


Joined: 24 Jul 2008
Posts: 194
Location: WEXFORD

PostPosted: Sun Apr 04, 2010 6:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

u could get peas in for this year as a start. and maybe main crop potatoes if the soil is ok.
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michael brenock
Rank attained: Chlorophyll for blood


Joined: 12 Aug 2008
Posts: 1275
Location: cork

PostPosted: Mon Apr 05, 2010 9:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

dont waste time or money getting the soil tested just start digging as it has to be dug anyway before you sow a seed or plant a plant. Make a list of your favourite vegetables and buy seeds or plants of these, start off with potatoes or onions which are easy. Broad beans are easy. See what the other people are doing, share ideas and share seeds and plants. if you are in for the long haul, buy rhubarb stools, also strawberries raspberries, blackcurrants loganberries, artichokes. See what plants are available at the garden centres. April is the busiest time for sowing and planting and has long bright evenings. you could refer to a few good books but modesty does not allow me to name authors here. I would recommend good waterproof clothing and a good spade fork, hoe and rake. Dont do too much the first day and never be afraid to ask for advise.
michael brenock horticultural advisor (retired)
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Elektra
Rank attained: Hazel Tree
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Joined: 09 Apr 2010
Posts: 1

PostPosted: Wed May 05, 2010 11:04 am    Post subject: Facebook for Powerstown Allotments Reply with quote

Hi guys, for any of you in Powerstown Allotments, please check out the following link to a facebook page I set up for those who have sites up there.

http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=116077418425304

Please join the group, so we can share ideas and tips, especially for us first timers.
Thanks,
E!
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cuemaster
Rank attained: Hawthorn Tree
Rank attained: Hawthorn Tree


Joined: 19 Apr 2010
Posts: 63
Location: Nenagh, Co. Tip

PostPosted: Sun May 09, 2010 2:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Be careful what fruit bushes you plant, raspberries should be kept in containers as they will send out roots everywhere and appear all over your allotment and your neighbours
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