Plot 17 Final Layout Plan

Plot 17 – The Earthly Comforts Garden

Season Two – Planning Plot 17 January – April 2023

The Allotment Plotters Directory
Plot 17 Final Layout Plan
“I always see gardening as escape, as peace really. If you are angry or troubled, nothing provides the same solace as nurturing the soil.” 

Monty Don

Plot 17 Layout Plan March 2023

As we get nearer to the sowing time on Plot 17, the layout has changed slightly to reflect how we see our requirements growing-wise. The diagram above is the final layout plan.

We have the following set up and ready to launch this season:
25 Prime growing spaces and one secondary space [polytunnel]. 4 of the 25 main areas are naked ground plots, and the remaining 21 are raised beds.

The polytunnel is still to be erected, we are nearing that time, but we are awaiting slightly drier and warmer weather, but if all is going well, the tunnel should be up by the end of March.

The four secondary growing areas are primarily for orchard-styled crops like berry bushes and dwarf fruit trees [Areas 19 and 20], and wildflowers. However, Area 21 is predominantly for the upright growing of peas and beans, which will be significantly higher-ratio vegetable sowings for our needs.

The insect/wildlife refugia or dead wall will take up considerable low-lying space, measuring around thirty feet long and ending with a bird bath. I will write about introducing wilding aspects into allotment gardening in due course and the importance of wildlife to the overall gardening experience.

The water station, although sited, is to have the station built above it to harvest rainfall, but we have five 200-litre water butts ready to slot into action once the building is finished. These will all be daisy chained together, awarding us a combined capacity of 1000 litres. But the beauty of this system is that we can continue adding more water containers and increase our water holding facility.

We have had a six-foot bath donated to us as well which will be a great area to have a dedicated small kitchen herb space – this will be placed in front of the shed – but we will also double it down as a mini-worm farm. We are waiting for drier weather to bring it down to the allotment.

Areas 19 and 20 are principally for berry bushes – like raspberry, blueberry, cherry and goji and Area 22 will be for vine crops. The polytunnel area will also host a wilding garden with wildflowers to attract as many pollinators to our space as possible. Still, again in due course, l will write about this separately.

The utility storage area is a large zone by itself and holds ten assorted spaces for compost creation, green waste storage and finished compost. In addition, several smaller containers for additional waste products are used with composting. I am still determining whether or not l transfer the worm operations into the allotment from the house to have everything in one location.

The utility area will be able to store three tons of finished compost and produce every sixty days to ninety days three tons of working compost. This area also has smaller containments around the allotment plot, such as leaf and mulch bins.

We planned to make Plot 17 a multifunctional growing and working space, which so far we have achieved. Of all the raised beds, but not including the three mini-doubles inside the polytunnel, three will be mini-triples, six will be heightened doubles and nine will be singles. All these growing spaces will be what we will need for an entire twelve-month growing season.

All available space allocated to growing fruits, flowers, vegetables and herbs had to be prioritised to award the highest yields. Several studies were carried out and performed, as well as speaking to Mike, who originally had the plot and, indeed, who crafted all the old and original raised beds, how the sun shone on the grounds, where flooding occurred, what the environment was like for planting into directly, where the wind would fall and many other considerations.

Sure, a gardener could come along without planning, begin dropping seeds, and take potluck, but we no longer live in a world where we can leave everything to chance. We have to plan. We have to schedule, and we have to have some idea of what the likelihood of success is to be and plan for those.

If we do everything right or as best as we can the first time, then everything that we learn this year that goes wrong from all this study makes our second year much more prosperous. Suze and l will be in the business of growing plants for the plate and farming for the fork, so we need to ensure we get as much right as we can from year one.

There is always a supply of little tasks on the allotment, little jobs. There is always something to be done, and as much as we have achieved together since last September, which alone has been a mammoth success, we still have many things to do.

The gallery below displays some of the progression so far.

But for the moment, weather conditions aside, we are on schedule. In the next few episodes, l will write about our sowings for the coming season.

The jobs Suze and l had to start and finish where possible from Saturday 4th, to Monday 6th, were – erecting the side fencing with the reclaimed paling fencing Mike, and l delivered to the allotment on Friday 3rd and erecting a new leaf mulcher bin. Sorting out all the newly arrived paling fence into sections ready for erection in other locations, pruning back the fig and attempting to retrain the branches, identifying the area for the water station, and starting the refugia, which will eventually stretch for around thirty feet against the back fence—and also increasing the height of several of the single raised beds to doubles.

The leaf mulcher bin is for, as the name suggests, leaves. I bag all the leaves in black plastic sacks, tie them up and puncture the bags. They are then placed into the wire bin, which acts as mini-composts, and the contents slowly decompose.

Whilst many composters opt to allow the leaves to not be in bags and simply fill the bins with leaf matter, by trapping the leaves into a bag, you are speeding up the decomposition and composting process and additionally, should you wish to, you can quickly grab a bag and tip the contents into a compost pile which acts as an accelerator as well as a valuable load of additional browns.

I hope you have enjoyed this post, thanks for reading and I’ll see you next time. Till then, have yourselves a terrific day!

The Autistic Composter

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Published by The Autistic Composter

Earthly Comforts is a wildlife journaling scrapbook focusing on the countryside, wildlife biodiversity and environmental conservation, flora and fauna volunteering projects, gardening, composting and vermiculture, inspiration, poetry and photography.

19 thoughts on “Plot 17 Final Layout Plan

  1. You’ve got yourself a small farm going there. Is there a farmer’s market nearby where you can sell what you grow? There must be way to monetize all your work (and knowledge).

    Liked by 1 person

      1. No, we have decided against chickens for a few reasons:

        1] We have so much avian flu now in the UK that it’s getting concerning about having chickens because it might not be a wise thing just yet.
        2] Also l have in the last 12 weeks cut right down on the eggs l was consuming – it used to be personally l was eating 40 eggs a week and the house would use maybe a dozen, so we would have 60 eggs a week.

        I discovered eggs were one of the issues to my problems, so l cut back in the extreme and now only eat personally 8 eggs a week although the house uses for cooking about 3 dozen a week. With these new figures, Suze and l decided that chickens was no longer a priority.

        Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes a little bit, bit nuttier maybe in an earthy type of way, but there are elements of a celery taste to it. It’s quite nice. Celery and celeriac are basically the same plant in many respects – celeriac is mostly grown for its root whilst celery for the stalks.

        The leaves are great to eat as well.

        Liked by 1 person

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