Get grow­ing and don’t lose the plot

Harefield Gazette - - OPINION -

IN 1975 my hus­band had to wait 18 months be­fore he got an al­lot­ment. Now there are al­lot­ments for the tak­ing.

The plot we got was very, very over­grown and with the help of a weed de­stroy­ing ‘flame thrower’, im­mense hard work on his part and ver­bal help and plant do­na­tions from other plot hold­ers my hus­band got it grow­ing won­der­fully and was in­deed the win­ner sev­eral times of the best al­lot­ment in Hilling­don.

With plots beg­ging for tak­ers a few of those who take one on, strip the top six to nine inches of top­soil along with the top weed layer, pile it at the end of the plot thus ex­pos­ing the thick clay un­der­neath.

Then they try to dig and cul­ti­vate this clay! Once they have done this many go away and re­turn a cou­ple of weeks later to see how their veg­eta­bles are grow­ing only to find a ver­dant patch of weeds, as no grass and weed roots had been re­moved, in­ter­spersed with the odd hardy veg­etable plant that had sur­vived or if we have had a bit more rain than usual wa­ter­logged soil or a shal­low pond as the ex­posed clay will not let ex­cess wa­ter seep away.

Some peo­ple had ac­tu­ally asked for ad­vice which is ‘....get all of the weed roots out and don’t waste the top­soil by re­mov­ing it and pil­ing it up at the end of the plot.....’ This ad­vice is not taken on­board and now we have over­grown, shal­low ponds all over our site as our new­com­ers knew it all and have now given up.

Which is a great shame as they had worked hard to be­gin with.

Now, what few plot own­ers are left are also giv­ing up af­ter a dis­as­trous win­ter, spring and sum­mer. I feel that this time next year we may be the only plot own­ers left and that this site will be sold off for build­ing. Then, there may be an out­cry about the lack of al­lot­ments avail­able.

Who is to blame? The fair weather gar­dener with lit­tle com­mit­ment. So please, come and res­cue our al­lot­ment site.

I know it will be hard work at first but I as­sure you the re­ward is great. Fresh, free veg­eta­bles and fruit to see you all the year round.

I have not named our site but there are over 125 plots, at least, and about seven or eight of these are at present taken but some of these plot own­ers are now talk­ing about giv­ing up. Var­i­ous rea­sons old age, dis­en­chant­ment with the over­grown state or health. It is a great shame as it was a rea­son­ably well oc­cu­pied site.

It would be nice to see some peo­ple ac­tu­ally do some­thing and take one on. I look at other al­lot­ment sites in the bor­ough and they seem to flour­ish. Why can’t ours?

Hope this is printed as it may just get some­body in­ter­ested but if they come and view a plot I re­ally don’t blame them for not tak­ing it as re­ally who wants a jun­gle?

PAT SAL­TER Hayes via email

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