Saturday, 5 May 2012

Asparagus, Rhubarb and Perpetual Onions

All of these 3 things will still be here in their same growing positions in 10 years time. But what else will be here in the same place in 10 years time. Will we? Who knows? But we must plan to be.

I planted the Asparagus only yesterday. I had never thought about or even wanted to grow it, mainly due to the long wait for the first harvest. However, when I saw a pile of crowns reduced to only 19p each in a supermarket, I really couldn't refuse. I bought 7 crowns, and for just over £1 I can't complain if they don't come out too well. We'll wait and see!

In order to keep the cost of growing down we need to be as sustainable and even as thrifty as possible. You just can not justify spending money on needless things when you are growing your own in the long term. The first year is going to be expensive but after that I don't really want to spend another penny. That's why buying quality equipment and planning provisions are essential to long term allotment gardening sustainability.

Composting is the most essential fundamental of sustainability on the allotment. We brought 1 bin up from home, but have since ordered 2 more from the council and these are now doted quite handily around the allotment for easy access when we need it next year..

It is amazing what the compost bins will eat up. Everything from chicken poop to teabags and even the fluff that comes out of the tumble dryer. Just chuck it all in and then next year we will have the best compost going and the cheapest too.

Not forgetting we also have that old, rusty metal bin in the wild area which will be covered by a clematis in summer but will hold leaf mould in bags in the winter..

Water is also such a necessity. What are we going to do if the drought (hard to say when it is chucking it down outside) continues throughout summer and we have a hosepipe ban. The water we are collecting now is going to be invaluable...

If it's a long dry summer then where else are we going to get the water to quench our runner beans thirst.

The slabs and raised beds should also be there in 10 years time, so the foundations of our potting/play area will always give us a starting point in future years.

There aren't many excuses to not compost or collect water these days. They are so easy to do and the equipment you need is often subsidised by the local council authority.

It's always cool to recycle and upcycle on the allotment. Broken and unwanted objects can quickly become quirky or useful parts of the plot. Even seemingly rubbish like old rasberry canes can be used as pea sticks and ultimately spared from the bonfire..

Other rubbish such as plastic bottles can be used as perfectly good cloches, they're giving our lettuces some really important protection right now. Just cut the bottles in half and the remove the tops for a ventilation hole, the bottom half can be used too. Just turn them upside down and use a pair of scissors to cut a couple of small windows in each side. They are really useful for keeping slugs at bay and also keeping them warm whilst the threat of late frost or even SNOW still looms..

You can also use them as great bird scarers. Take the top off and place them on top of a bamboo cane in the ground above your vulnerable peas and beans. The bottles rattle around making both movement and sound hich will scare the birds off...

Have a good day. I've had a few enquiries about the number of courgette plants I've sown so I'll be doing a little feature on how and why I grow them in the next few days!



  1. I agree wholeheartedly - we have things that are very much older than 10 years - so worth the initial investment

  2. We don't have mains water on our allotment site so we have to find a way of collecting enough water every year. I have water butts on the allotment, but have been known to take a few bottles of water with me from home when they've run dry. In the main though, most things can manage with much less water than we tend to give them. I've got wooden compost bins which were there when we took the plot over, but I need to buy a new bin for home.


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