More plotting at the allotments

I had a back-breaking morning at the allotment today. The mustard yellow shed has inspired me to get some other jobs done that I’ve been wanting to do for ages, one of which was to remove all the stones and weed matting. Never, ever put weed matting and stones down. Weed matting is just awful stuff that the weeds do eventually penetrate and because it’s plastic and doesn’t break down it ends up looking awful.

This is how it looked on our plot:

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Stones are equally problematic because they don’t break down either and end up getting dirt mixed in with them. Today, I removed the stones and the weed matting and replaced them with bark. The nice thing about bark is you can instantly freshen it up by putting more bark on top. It took lots of wheelbarrow loads to get it like this.

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The allotment provides bark and mulch which any plotters can help themselves to. These are topped up regularly by the city council who dump bark from tree removal there. Bark is also nicer to walk on and even sit on. For the first time since we got the plot I actually enjoyed sitting and relaxing there.

It’s starting to look so nice.

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Unfortunately, our neighbour on the left has been completely absent and their plot is overrun with weeds. It’s annoying because the weeds grow through the fence from their plot onto ours and I spend the most time on that boundary trying to stem the spread. I’m surprised they haven’t been asked to relinquish their plot.

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One of the best plots is this one which someone has clearly put a lot of work into. It looks very inviting.

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14 thoughts on “More plotting at the allotments

  1. I love how your garden looks! But I know what you mean, with the plastic weed mats and stones. The person who previously had my allotment put down plastic landscape matting but then took off for a year and allowed the garden to go to seed. The weather and tree seedlings then punctured the plastic, creating a mess. I had to tear up the plastic and throw it away—it couldn’t be recycled, not in the shape it was in. Wood chips, which our city supplies for free (but you have to come get them yourself from the city waste yard) work well.

    1. That’s great that you can get wood chips for free also. Can you only use them at the allotment or can you use them at your private residence as well? The ones at the allotments are only for allotment use.

      1. The wood chips are free to anyone (thank goodness). They come from the branches trimmed from park trees, and the limbs picked up by city maintenance following a storm. Unfortunately, we had several violent windstorms last winter that knocked down many of the old boulevard trees in town. The street cleanup crews saw them into smaller chunks and put them through a wood chipper. So what’s sad for the trees and the neighborhoods that lost them is a win of sorts for the gardeners here. The only thing is that you have to drive in and pick up the chips yourself. I have a Honda Civic, so I comically rigged my trunk with a plastic tarp and garbage bags. I managed to bring back over 50 pounds in chips, but on the drive home I got the side eye from other drivers, who must have thought I was mad, LOL. It was well worth the effort, however. I don’t have to water my garden as much with a thick layer of mulch over the soil.

      2. That is so great although sad for the lost trees of course. Wood chips look so nice, help suppress weeds, and also limit water evaporation which is particularly helpful in a hot dry summer.

    1. Stones aren’t very nice to walk on either but there’s probably some personal preference there. I’m sure there are many people who prefer stones. I’m not one of them 🙂

  2. Maybe your neighbor had something happen to them. We had a garden year like that. All the best intentions then one family member after another ended up hospitalized, and with all the traveling we couldn’t keep up with the weeds. It was rough. Your lot looks lovely, though. Love your shed!

    1. I think you’re exactly right, Chrissie. I suspect there might be illness or something. That’s the only reason they’d let someone hang onto their plot while it looks like that.

  3. Thanks for the no stones on weed mat tip! Someone I know did that same thing here, and I always wanted to emulate them. But now I won’t! I will consider using bark instead, although nobody is going to give it for free for me here 😀

    1. A good trick with bark is to put cardboard down first and then the bark on top. The cardboard will keep the weeds at bay for longer and it will also break down so you’ll never have to lift it and remove it as is necessary with weed matting.

  4. It looks lovely Rach! Could you lay some cardboard boxes down on their side of the fence line to suppress the weeds? If they don’t like it it’s easy to remove, and if they don’t notice it will just degrade. That’s how I killed our grass to start my veg patch.

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