ALLOTMENTS

DIG FOR VICTORY! – Solve the ‘food miles’ problem, keep fit and do your bit for the environment! Grow your own – an allotment, spare patch of garden, containers or even a few pots on the window sill – you can’t beat your own home-grown produce.

Many of our members grow vegetables on an allotment or piece of ground which they rent from the local Council. There are a number of dedicated sites in the Hull and East Riding areas and you can find out more from the respective Council websites shown on the page Useful Links – Organisations.

The winner of Pocklington Allotment’s large plot category in 2021

Immaculate cultivation by this tenant who visits his allotment every day and in all weathers. Rabbits are a problem here and most plotholders have erected wire fencing around their plot borders to protect their produce.

The polytunnel houses cucumbers, tomatoes and peppers and there is a fruit bed beyond that

Most of this tenant’s produce is grown for the table but this small polytunnel has been dedicated to growing a few exhibition leeks and onions for the annual Allotment Show

A well-kept allotment with neat paths, a greenhouse and a shed can provide enjoyment in all weathers

You can erect guttering to your shed or greenhouse to collect rainwater. If you connect the guttering to a giant plastic cube, you can then run a hosepipe from this
container which saves carrying heavy watering cans 

 

This tenant has fitted a 100W solar panel to his greenhouse roof at a cost of about £125.  You will see what he uses it for in the next pictures

The solar panel is connected to this wall-mounted terminal which charges a 12V car battery and also powers two USB ports for charging other electronic equipment such as a mobile phone. 

It generally takes about 12 hours to fully charge the battery using solar power but longer if the weather is dull and overcast

The transporter is made from an old hospital gas cylinder trolley and the pump is a boat’s bilge pump purchased from an online auction site. Add a plastic water container, a length of hose, a nozzle gun and ……..

…… it works a treat and reaches to any part of his allotment without the need to carry heavy watering cans !

Even if you have access to a rotovator, digging is often a necessary chore. However, it can provide healthy exercise provided you take it steady and don’t try and do it all at once!

Planting flowers alongside vegetables attracts useful pollinating insects.  

Some people claim that flowers such as marigolds, as well as looking pretty, also deter pests

Marrows grown in the traditional way; on top of a manure heap which provides nutrients and a source of water

This is the way to grow exhibition marrows – suspended off the ground to allow light to reach all sides and removing any leaves which might scratch and scar the developing marrow skins

Gooseberries grown as traditional bushes

Gooseberries grown on a single vertical stem saves space and aids harvesting

Once established, an asparagus bed can provide spears for many years. 

Don’t harvest all of the emerging spears from each plant; you must let some develop into full foliage to feed the plant for the following year’s crop

But beware the Asparagus beetle during the summer months.

It is a very pretty beetle to look at but the adults and the larvae can do a lot of damage by eating the fronds which may even cause the plant to die if the infestation levels are high

Young sweet corn afforded wind break protection, although it won’t keep birds and other pests out

This fleece surrounding a carrot bed offers lateral protection only and may not be sufficient to ward off attacks from the dreaded carrot fly

A carrot bed completely enclosed with fleece or mesh offers much better protection from insect pests whilst still allowing water and light to penetrate

Pigeons are a particular problem on this allotment site.  Unless protected with fleece or netting, young brassicas will not easily survive their predations

A simple wood and cane frame construction using mesh to protect brassicas from bird attacks

A polytunnel enables a special growing environment to be created. These carrots and other vegetables were sown at the beginning of June and have made remarkable progress under this protective cover in the course of only six to eight weeks

A polytunnel devoted to growing parsnips and long carrots in barrels. 

Note the extra half barrels added to the top for extra length, the elasticated strings for holding protective fleece sheets over the barrels during the early growing stage, the plastic watering/feeding tubes for the parsnips and the metal base supports and additional sand bed underneath the barrels

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