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New season, new plot, new ways

March 7, 2013 Website 1 Comment
Jamie and Anna

My name is Jamie Milton and I am 41 years old, I have had an allotment since 2009 - the year I married my Wife Anna. I took up growing veg when I gave up drinking in 2008 starting in our back garden, having been addicted to booze for years and also using recreational drugs for over 20 years.

Gardening was a way I could keep my mind occupied, I enjoyed it and I surprised myself how green fingered I was. Anna takes a back seat when it comes to the allotment, but she is mean with the hoe and weeds do not stand a chance when she is around. We see the allotment as our little space and spend a lot of our spare time there enjoying sitting and watching nature at its best.

We have never grown in rows and have different approaches on different parts of plot from dug beds to no dig beds to new no dig plot. We enjoy growing lots of different vegetables, fruits and flowers, the latter being crucial for beneficial insects and bees.



We have 2 plots (3A and 3B) at Stapleton allotments, Bristol. Our allotment site has a country feel as we are surrounded by small holdings on the north east boundary of the city.




Firstly I would like to give a summary of the 2012 allotment year. Dry with drought up until April praying for rain and then as follows-

April rain and floods
May rain and floods
June rain and floods
July rain and floods
August rain and floods
September rain and floods and so on and so forth…………

Crops that did alright last year were runner beans, tomatoes and brassicas especially sprouts.





 Enough about last year, as this year I have high hopes and have taken on another half plot, it is the one I have wanted since I arrived back in 2009. The plot has 3 very old Victoria plum trees on it and the last owners did nothing in the 3 years that they were there.

The new plot will be a whole new adventure as I plan to have it completely no-dig, this is a method of gardening where as it says on the tin - you do no digging. The digging is done for you by nature itself i.e. worms, the way you do it is mulch and add organic matter. Due to this plot being plagued with couch grass, I have laid a double, sometimes treble layer of corrugated cardboard and then covered in a very thick layer of manure as you can see in the pictures below.


I will keep people updated through twitter and hopefully my blog as to how well the no-dig method works compared to other methods, one big advantage is you save your back from the pain of digging.





  I have to say though no-dig does not mean no-work, so don’t think you are getting off lightly if you adopt this method. Horse and cow manure still has to be forked in to wheelbarrow and wheeled to said area!

The other big winter project was acquiring a summerhouse as Anna and I had nowhere to sit and relax while at the plot. After much deliberation I opted for beach hut style summerhouse which I bought from Waltons garden buildings. The construction was straight forward and barring another lick of paint and interior design being finished we are there. Here are some photos of progress so far.


see you soon, thanks for dropping by. Jamie and Anna.



Currently there is "1 comment" on this Article:

  1. All looking good Jamie hope this year is a better year for the weather and growing,even though it was a pants year for the rain we had but I was happy what I got. I did lose quite a lot but what I got I couldn’t complain about,a new year to try new things out on this big learning curve. Keep up the good work look forward to reading posts.

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