Allotmenteering ‘vs’ Orienteering

We’ve had ‘the letter’! You know, (or perhaps you don’t) the letter from the Parish Council that tells you your allotment needs a good tidy up or you’ll be evicted… Yes, that one. Admittedly, we’ve had a very busy few months and not paid nearly enough attention to our beloved patch. Lets just call it a fallow moment….

We’ve not gone to wrack and ruin through a lack of interest, love or thought for our allotment, just a serious lack of time. Allotments, as any gardener will know, are time consuming places, especially when they’re not on your doorstep. We love gardening (sowing seeds, watching our food grow and then cooking with homegrown produce is awesome) and we’ve not lost that passion, we’ve just gained another – orienteering! And we love this too. That’s all of us, three children, two adults and one dog.

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Nettle Fertiliser


Despite their weedy, stingy reputation, nettles are actually a really useful addition to your garden. Yes, they can be a pain to get rid of (and certainly painful if you get stung!), but they’re also jam-packed with nutrients like iron, potassium, magnesium and calcium.

You can add nettles to your compost heap to boost vitality or make potent fertilisers that your plants will love. The minerals in the nettles will encourage super-strong, healthy growth, making plants less susceptible to disease and definitely less attractive to pests. Hooray!

Here’s how to do it…..

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Allotment garden planting plans 2015….


I think this is my favourite time of year! Sitting around the kitchen table with my family, chatting about what everyone wants to grow in the garden….perfect. So here we are. We’ve pretty much decided on our planting plans for the allotment garden 2015 – lots of old favourites and some very exciting newbies. We saved loads of seeds from last years crops and still have many left over that we bought, so we are in fact buying very few this year, which is brilliant when you’re on a budget and exactly what being self-sufficient is all about.

As many of you will know, we garden organically, but have also been experimenting with biodynamic gardening techniques for many years. If you’re not familiar with the concept you can read a post about it here. Our seeds come from a biodynamic company called Stormy Hall, but if they don’t have what we’re looking for then we use Tamar Organics or the Organic Seed Company. All excellent suppliers and their details are here.

We group our plants into 4 categories – leaf, flower, fruit and root, similar to regular plant groups, but with a biodynamic twist! We have 9 raised beds on our allotment (including 2 new ones for 2015) and every year we rotate our crops for the health of the soil. We’re also great fans of companion planting, so you’ll see lots of herbs and flowers in our crop lists. So here goes……

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I love growing things from my own seeds – it’s the ultimate in self-sufficiency! Every year I try to collect seeds from my plants for next years crops, but it doesn’t always go according to plan – the birds and mice often have other ideas! If I do need to buy seeds then I use three great seed suppliers.

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