Littered plots

Hmmm. There’s a huge amount of this going on – and if you take over a new plot, I can bet that it’s about a 50/50 chance that you’ll find your new ‘green’ space has become a municipal dump.

The culprits may be:

1. fly-tippers who get onto allotment sites when gates are left open and dump car boot loads of rubbish on untenanted plots or along paths

2. the dear old general public, who wander along public rights of way, dropping (accidentally) rubbish or depositing (deliberately) old fridges and mattresses

3. your fellow allotmenteers – especially where bonfires are not allowed, some folk develop the habit of using unused plots as rubbish dumps.

What can you do?

• Check the allotment rules and bye-laws – the council may have to clear the rubbish for you
• Talk to your allotment association – many organise skips a couple of times a year so that plot holders can get rid of this kind of rubbish
• Call the council if you suspect flytippers – they can launch prosecutions if they identify the culprits

And if all else fails

Buy a crate of beer and a couple of disposable barbecues along with some sausages and salads and invite your mates up to the plot to help you shift the rubbish with a Barbie and beer reward … but only when all the litter is gone!

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Posted by The Allotment Blogger on Thursday, April 24, 2008


Blogger Claire said...

I've recently found your blog and think it's great. This is just my second year of growing veg and I've got a lot to learn.

Can I ask a question? I have three compost bins in my veg plot. Just the past couple of weeks I've noticed lots of really small white flies in there. Will these be harmful to my plants? Have I done the wrong thing to place the bins right by where I am growing things?

April 26, 2008 at 12:09 AM  
Blogger The Allotment Blogger said...

Dear Claire

How nice to have you on board, and how great you're growing your own!

Now, those flies - worry not. Assuming they are white or brown flies no more than 2mm in length and present in large numbers, they are fruit flies. If you put fruit and vegetable debris in your bins, you WILL get them and they do no harm, and in fact they're part of the composting process because they feed on the fruit acids contained in the material as it breaks down. If you want to get rid of them, temporarily, cover the top layer of fruit or vegetable peelings with a thin layer of soil or compost and they should disappear within a couple of days as they can't get through to the goodies underneath.

More worryingly - if your bins are very close to crops, you may get runoff in hot wet weather - this is the liquid compost which is great for the garden but can scorch tender crops nearby. Rhubarb loves it, as do all the brassicas, but tenderer skinned things like garlic or parsnips might look a bit poorly - just dig a little channel if your bins start to seep, and let it run off into an area where it won't do harm.

April 28, 2008 at 10:06 AM  
Blogger Claire said...

Thank you. We do put lots of fruit and veg scraps in there so I suspect that must be it. I feel reassured and will take on board your comment about the run off. So pleased as I wasn't looking forward to the prospect of moving three almost full compost bins!

April 28, 2008 at 1:07 PM  
Blogger The Allotment Blogger said...

My pleasure - what are you growing this year?

May 1, 2008 at 8:32 AM  
Blogger Claire said...

I'm growing red cabbage, brocolli, leeks, onions, peas, runner beans, broad beans, rocket, raddishes, chard, summer suqash, winter squash, courgettes, perpetual spinach, fennel and cucumbers so far. Not all of those are planted out yet. Some are still in the conservatory and some are out but under a plastic frame. I've bought some mooli seeds and pak choi seeds this week too and will sew them over the weekend. I found them really easy to grow last year - straight into the ground.

I'm going to buy some sweetcorn plants in a couple of weeks too.

Last year I only grew about half from seed. I've brought a lot more on from seed this year and I've learned a lot (the hard way) about potting on and hardening off. Good job I've had plenty of seeds as I seem to have managed to kill a lot off! Thankfully I've not lost all of any one thing. At least some have survived of everything.

Starting to think about a poly tunnel too but that would mean depriving the kids, three hens and the free range rabbit of more of the lawned area!

May 2, 2008 at 1:44 PM  

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