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.