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

How often do I need to tend to my allotment


 
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trammo
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 02, 2011 9:34 pm    Post subject: How often do I need to tend to my allotment Reply with quote

Hi there,
I have been lurking on the site for a few years now and have got some great info from posters.

I am looking for some opinions/advice.
I have been successfully growing tiny amounts of veg (carrots, courgettes, tomatoes, spring onions and garlic) in my very small Dublin garden.
I have tried for a couple of years to get an allotment anywhere nearby but haven't been successful.
I am very interested in growing more of my own with the ideal scenario being me growing all my own veg (for me and my family).
Anyhow I have been given the option of using a site (planned for a house but not going to happen now) near my parents house in Wexford, the site is .75 acre and I would really only be using a small section of it, maybe two allotment size plots. Hopefully keep some beehives too (a neighbour who is a beekeeper has offered to help).
I go down to my parents house at least every two weeks and I'm just wondering if people think it would be feasible to plant a few plots on the site considering I will be only really able to tend to it every couple of weeks. Is it likely that two weeks would have my plots overrun with weeds or would weeding it every two weeks be enough?

If you think it is a runner i could now start digging in some manure to prepare for spring.
Appreciate any advice you might have.
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Sive
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Location: Co.Wexford

PostPosted: Wed Nov 02, 2011 10:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

In my opinion you could certainly give this a try. Weed growth varies enormously depending on how much rain there is, but I don't see that two weeks' growth would be that much of a problem. I'm a great believer in trying....what's the worst that can happen ? And in the process you will be learning a lot. I'd be tempted to plant potatoes for starters......go for it, and good luck.
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Gautama
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Location: Cork

PostPosted: Thu Nov 03, 2011 3:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Honestly, once every two weeks, not a chance!

I'll give you two examples of my experience.
In July 2008 I went to the continent on holidays for two weeks. My sister offered to keep my allotment (90 sq metres) watered. It rained a lot in Ireland over those two weeks therefore no watering was necessary.
The place was covered in weeds. I learned these lessons:
If you want a successful vegetable garden, go on holidays between the harvest and the planting.
You'll get someone to water your plot, but don't expect them to weed it.
A two week gap once a year is a substantial period of indifference. To do that regularly is doomed for failure.

July 2010 was a five-weekend month. I spent only one of those weekends in Dublin, though I did visit my plot mid-week, in dribs and drabs. By August some of the weeds were up to my waist. Having said that, it was a blight-ridden summer, I didn't spray at all that year, and despite having some lumpers, none of my potatoes caught blight.

You read as though you're doing the vegetable gardening for the vegetables only, rather than for the vegetables and the gardening. They tend to go together.

However, as the other poster has stated, it's worth a try, and I would agree to try potatoes.
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Ado
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 09, 2011 11:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'd be inclined to give it a shot too.

Re: the watering, take a look at this article by Klaus Laitenberger on the GIY website

https://www.giyireland.com/market/articles/water_water_water

In it, he says that 'In the last 12 years in Ireland I have only watered my outdoor vegetables about 5 times and that was just before I planted out some crops.',

Imagine all the hard work we'd have saved ourselves on watering if we'd followed his lead!

Good luck with your allotment adventure - I've had mine now for about 2 years and absolutely love it.

Ado
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Gautama
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 10, 2011 11:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I watered my early potatoes heavily and the were a great size.
I hardly watered my maincrop potatoes at all and they were quite small.

Experience is more valuable than opinion, I reckon.
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Blowin
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 10, 2011 8:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The practicalities of fortnightly gardening have been well and truly discussed above but I think you're courting disaster if you expect parents to tolerate seeing you vanish out of their door ten minutes after arrival, festooned with tools of all descriptions for a day up the road.

I honestly feel your admirable motivations will only work if, perhaps, your father will take an active role in the plot so that a fortnightly MORNING with the two of you together on it will enable you to grow your crops AND actually spend some time with YOUR folks?

_________________
A novice gardener on newly cultivated, stoney ground.
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michael brenock
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 15, 2011 8:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

my advise for what it is worth is have a go at it. I never water the garden and in my book i do not advocate watering. Of course watering is helpful if crops are wilting for want of water. But compost and organic natter (humus ) acts as a sponge and holds and releases water as required.Once a month is sufficient to visit the allotment during October to March. The period of most rapid growth is April to August and frequent attention is necessary. There are certain time critical operations, seed sowing, transplanting and thinning and if these are not done within a specific time period then crop reduction or losses will
follow. Pest disease and weed control are more important than watering. Gardening is not something that you can do things in advance and then take things easy. There is a time for everything. It is a good idea to dig the garden roughly in the winter to make things easier for Spring. The use of mulches films nets all contribute to better gardening and the benefits of gardening even every two weeks cannot be overestimated
michael brenock horticultural advisor (retired).
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trammo
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 19, 2011 10:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for all the advice guys. I'm going to give it a shot. As mentioned, two weeks will be the longest between visits, more than likely I'll be down there every weekend.
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Greengage
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 20, 2011 12:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

As your going to have a go anyway good luck.
But i dont think it will work, a garden needs a little work often. If you only turn up every 2 weeks it will become a chore and not much fun. Gardening as a hobby should be fun not a chore.
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Sive
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 22, 2011 7:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

good luck trammo, prove all the sceptics wrong !
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dormouse
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 23, 2011 11:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

One thing you could do to help you greatly is mulch mulch mulch. It will retain soil moisture and keep the weeds back. Watering and weeding are two of the big activities, if you can keep to these to a minimum it will help greatly. Compost, manure, leaf mould, porous plastic will help a great deal.
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fontodi
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 30, 2011 10:24 pm    Post subject: How often do I need to tend to my allotment Reply with quote

Go for it.
Why dont you start by planting things that come up every year by themselves, Ruhbarb, artichokes, Horseradish, fruit bushes, The easiest vegetable to grow, I found, is Jerusalem artichokes, they grow like big sunflowers and you eat the roots. I.m sure there are lots more annuals. Have a look at online youtube videos on permaculture to get ideas.

I agree with the above that mulching will make the job a lot easier,

Best of luck.
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Gautama
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 26, 2012 9:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

trammo wrote:
Thanks for all the advice guys. I'm going to give it a shot. As mentioned, two weeks will be the longest between visits, more than likely I'll be down there every weekend.


So, how is it going?
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stephen prendergast
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 26, 2012 10:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

id go for it if you gave it a really good weed every two weeks ul have no problems but youl have to weed every bit of it every two weeks. if the weeds get 4 weeks they'll smother everything.
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