The First Day of 2019 – My Life at Lottie 52A Journal

What better on the first day of 2019 than to visit my newly acquired allotment, make notes, take photos, make a plan and start a blog journal. After 7 months cutting my allotment teeth as a lottie newbie caretaking a very neglected plot, I have been very lucky to be handed the keys to a half plot that has been loved for many years with the sweetest little shed.

The previous owner left me a little note along with lots of useful bits and bobs. The plot comes complete with a dinky shed and a leaky roof, which in time will have to be replaced with something a little larger. I have been watching Homegrown Garden on YouTube and am smitten with the idea of a pine dresser with a camping stove and kettle along with potting up area.

It is a half plot measuring approximately 11.4 x 8.5 metres with 14 narrow 1.3 x 3.5 metre beds – seven down each side. As the previous owner had back problems she covered most of the beds with membrane and has only worked a few during the last years. Personally there are too many beds for my ideas so I will do a little digging to make fewer, slightly larger beds.

There is a medium sized cherry tree surrounded with strawberry plants and another bed full of strawberries next to it, so I want to pull this lot up, grass it over and have a little seating area to sit in with my cup of tea. Not having a garden anymore I want to use my plot as a haven to relax, when not finding jobs to do – that’s the idea anyway! I am lucky that this is a council owned site, with no allotment association and therefore no ‘allotment police’. This morning I met my allotment neighbours, two elderly ladies who have had their plot for 20+ years. I spoke to them about my plans and they were quite excited, so I guess if they are happy I’m ok.

Behind the shed is a storage area, two water butts and a broken down garden waste heap, one of the first jobs is to fix this. I also want make space for a small plastic greenhouse for tomatoes, and starting off seedlings in the spring.

When I accepted the keys to the plot in mid-December, I wanted to plant something straight away to make it feel like mine. I uncovered one bed and planted lots of daffodil bulbs so I have some colour in the spring. They were a little late going in the ground, there is nothing to see yet, although the neighbours have a bed of daffodils with about 5″ tall green shoots.

It’s so exciting walking around a garden you’ve just moved into to discover what gems are growing. This is the same taking over an allotment. I found this morning that I have a substantial rhubarb, now I’ll have to read up care notes. Any advice would be appreciated.

What are planting plans for 2019?

  • 60% flowers/40% fruit and vegetables.
  • Dahlia and rose beds
  • make a small water feature – perhaps using an old Belfast sink
  • cutting flower bed
  • wild flower bed.
  • Sweet peas
  • Potatoes
  • Peas, beans, carrots, courgettes and pumpkins.
  • tidy up the gooseberries, raspberries, strawberries and blackcurrants already in situ.

My New Year resolutions are:

  • use my blog as a journal and write regularly – I’ll be seeking advice throughout the year and
  • get to grips with No Dig.

Happy New Year everyone and successful gardening for 2019.

12 thoughts on “The First Day of 2019 – My Life at Lottie 52A Journal

  1. Many projects actually with this new allotment. The size is correct and sufficient to do what you want to do. I also have strawberries like that under 2 pear trees : it’s the only thing that can grow there and there are many strawberries. On the other hand it’s difficult to add potting soil and manure. It will wait a while and I will move them later. Good luck and I’m looking forward to seeing the new small greenhouse built

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    1. The strawberries have done their stint apparently and need to be pulled up and I do want a grass area. The other bed of strawberries has lots of runners which I’ll sort out for new plants- can’t not have strawberries 🍓

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  2. Such a sweet little shed! Enjoy your new plot, it looks great 🙂

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    1. Thank you – it is bijou but as long as I can store things and have room for a camping stove and kettle I’ll be a happy girl!

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  3. What a great adventure- I look forward to reading how your lottie develops

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    1. I’ve got so many ideas but will have to find a strong able bodied person to help me with some of them. Things like re-roofing the shed and rebuilding the compost tip. It’s exciting I can make it my own after months of the restrictions looking after someone else’s plot.

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    2. I’m looking forward to having something tangible to blog regularly about.

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  4. Thrilled to see your post Ronnie as I signed to share a half plot with a non-gardening neighbour over Xmas and yesterday was my first day on the plot. Mine is more neglected than yours but I’m looking forward to reading all your advice about what to do and in what order. I love every aspect of the new challenge. It was just what I needed and I feel Fate dropped the chance into my lap.
    I hope you follow my blog too and also on instagram where I will put pics of the plot. Best wishes, Julie (66, nearly 67yrs)

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    1. Happy New Year! Well done on getting a plot, how exciting. I can’t say I’ll be one to give advice, I’m constantly watching YouTube and making notes. I bought a practical guide for allotments called The Allotment Book by Andi Clevely. When I asked about it on a Facebook Allotment group it got great praise and appears lots of people use it. I found it on Amazon for 99p as a second hand book (£2.81 postage) and is in very good condition – so worth a look. I will follow your lottie life and look forward to exchanging ideas.

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  5. Wishing you all the best for 2019 on your new allotment, what a wonderful year you have ahead of you!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you Pauline, I really missed having my own space to garden in last year and look forward to making it into a little haven.

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