I may be crazy. Recovering from a hysterectomy, a toddler, a new business and now I have an allotment. I think I must like to keep myself busy. I’ve been waiting 5 years for this allotment. Now you might think allotments have waiting lists but they are not normally 5 year waiting lists, so why such a wait? Well I was waiting for a brand new allotment site to open within a short walk of my house. I first read about this on our parish councils notice board and emailed the councillor to find out more. This is when I was told that it could be a bit of a wait as Leeds City Council had to sort out a disagreement with the Co-op that needed access to the back of its shop as well. Two years later I checked on the progress. It was still going to happen and my name would be passed on to the relevant allotment person at the council. Last year I noticed that the fence had been put up and a Tarmac car park laid but no allotments yet. I waited to be contacted. Just over a month ago I walked by the allotments again to use the local playground and couldn’t believe my eyes. There were now allotment plots and people had very obviously been allocated one. What had happened to me being contacted? It didn’t take me long to find my last email written in 2012 and ask how I could find out about getting a plot. I may have mentioned that no one had contacted me but no one bothered to answer that one. Anyway, after my request got forwarded a few times, I got offered a half size allotment. Yippee, there was one available and only round the corner. Of course with this massive upside came a few downsides.
- The whole plot is boggy clay but I am used this with my back garden.
- There is no water supply on the plot. I have no idea why this is but I will work out a solution.
- This year I am in a race against time to get even a few things grown.
Whilst the council won’t help to clear your plot, they have offered enough topsoil to help all of us to raise our plots. They deliver 1 tonne and then top up by request. In a bit of luck moment, plot 14, mine is by the double gates where it is being left. On Friday 24th April my key arrived in the post. I was so excited, so when my hubby returned from work, we went to have a look. It’s big and it’s half size! I was a little bit daunted, especially when you looked at other allotments much further on and with sheds and raised beds on them. I’m less worried now that I have started work and have talked to people. PLOT14 The best thing that I have done is draw a plan of what I want to achieve and be realistic that I won’t have it looking quite like I want till next year. In my race to get something planted, I bought some seed potatoes and got planting. I have 6 rows planted so far. If I had thought a bit first, I should have left a path down the middle. Never mind, I’ll sort that out next year. I have been busy at home planting seeds ready for the allotment. I will me more organized next year as I can start all if this a bit earlier. At the moment, I have to take all my gardening equipment with me each time that I go but I will get a shed at some point, then I can just walk round, which will be great. I just need to get permission from Leeds City Council first. The biggest challenge is how boggy it can get. I have bought some horse manure from a local lady that will help and I am starting to make my own compost. It will take time with digging organic matter and grit in to it. As well as this, I am adding raised beds. I found some great value ones at http://www.greenfingers.com that cost about the same as buying the wood locally and making them ourselves. I have bought 6 so far and my husband has built 3 so far. Hopefully, these will all be in situ this weekend and some direct seed planting can begin. I am actually very excited by this and being able to further introduce my daughter to growing food. She already visits grandad’s allotment. Watch my blog for updates of how I am getting on. (I am doing most of this on my own as my hubby is a non gardener but my dad has been very helpful so far).