Get growing and don’t lose the plot
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