The Cottage Smallholder


stumbling self sufficiency in a small space


How to improve soil organically on your allotment or garden

Posted in Allotment, General care | 6 comments

How to improve soil organically on your allotment or garden

We have two big borders at the bottom of our kitchen garden that formerly were just a rough patch where very little thrived.  With great hope and optimism these became our first space for growing vegetables. I scattered a bit of Growmore and watered my seeds fervently. Things germinated and grew in a spindly sort of way, the nasturtiums were the only great success – these don’t mind a poor soil and will grow virtually anywhere. We extended our kitchen garden to a slightly more fertile patch. Now we had the opportunity to compare the...

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Update on our allotment – 3 weeks on

Posted in Allotment | 9 comments

Update on our allotment – 3 weeks on

We haven’t done anything on our plot this week. Since the treasurer rang us and said that our ryegrass-covered plot was going to be scraped. We had finally completed one 6’ x12’ border – it had taken 8 hours so we jumped at the chance. My good friend The Chicken Lady (aka @KittyGG on twitter) alerted me to the fact that our allotment was being ‘scraped’ last night. The allotment committee had hired a nifty little mini digger for a week, to clear the debris from the stream, dig up tree roots, clear ancient carpets and have a go at...

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Starting an allotment from scratch

Posted in Allotment, Gardening | 21 comments

I was dropping Danny off at the station when we saw the sign. “Allotments for Rent”. On the way back home I stopped and had a potter through the allotment site. A woman and her small daughter were watering their crops. Absorbed in their tasks in the sultry afternoon sun. The air was filled with birdsong deadening the whoosh of passing traffic. Magic. I’d assumed that there was a long waiting list for allotments in our local town. Danny has been keen to start a new outdoor veg growing project for a while now and this seemed like a good...

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