Allotments: the bad side

As well as measuring sunflowers and shooting the breeze, there are other things we allotment officials have to do as we tour the site, one of which is looking at the plots and deciding who needs a weed notice. On our site, after a certain number of weed notices the tenant gets a termination notice and then we (under our new rules) divide some plots into four, offer each quarter to a new tenant and then, when they’ve proved they can cope with a full plot, move them up to a full or half plot, as they desire.

That’s the theory. Of course, from time to time, we have to cast that stern eye over our own plots, and 201, to be honest, is heading for a weed notice! See, I don’t hide the ugliness at the heart of our paradise. We won’t get a weed notice, not because I’m on the committee (they were handing out weed notices to each other like Christmas cards last year!) but because the site rep who covers my area knows that we’ve had a tough few months, first with my stomach op and then with Himself getting swine flu. Also, the plot was totally neglected before we took it over in November 2008 and it takes more than a year to get to grips with really ingrained perennial weeds. So that, along with our health woes, gives us a few month’s grace to get this mess tidied up.

So if you’re an allotment holder, and you’re struggling to cope for some reason, talk to your allotment committee BEFORE you get a warning, not after. It helps us when we’re going round the site if we know there’s a reason for your lack of good housekeeping, and it helps you if you know that your committee understands why you might not be on top of the weed problem.

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Posted by The Allotment Blogger on Friday, August 28, 2009


OpenID said...

I can an allotment holder who has had recent surgery but I did talk to the head of committee before going in for my op. so they are well aware I'm out of action for a few weeks and no that as soon as |I can I'll be right on top of it!!...It's definitely good advice for all those out there to know.

August 28, 2009 at 6:33 AM  
Blogger Joanna said...

This brought back bad memories of being in America with the scourge of the home owners association, the difference is that they don't come to find out why you haven't been eliminating weeds they just post a letter to you. The first time we had one the grass was too long but being British we didn't think it was wise to cut the grass in the heat and with a stiff wind but how were we to know? The next time I had been diligently pulling weeds by hand but then my father-in-law died and a week away meant they came back with a vengeance. Good job they aren't around here in Latvia, we had two weeks away in the UK in July! Explains a lot.

August 28, 2009 at 10:25 AM  
Blogger Claire said...

Hello, I've not commented much this season as I've been unwell and my garden has suffered. My scrappy veggies really aren't very inspiring this year. Anyway, knowing how important bees are to allotment holders I was wondering if you would be willing to possibly call by my duaghter's campaign site, (she's eight by the way), which she is hoping to use to help lobby MP's to spend moey to investigate the decline of the honey bee. Any support you could give her and the bees by commenting or spreading the word about her site would be much appreciated.

Many thanks

August 31, 2009 at 2:48 PM  
Blogger The Allotment Blogger said...

Tanya, good for you. Joanna, yes I've heard this kind of horror story too. Claire, I'm off to visit right now!

September 3, 2009 at 8:41 AM  
Blogger Linda said...

Good advice. We were away for nearly 4 weeks a couple of summers ago, doing a house exchange with a Canadian family who were not into gardening at all. Of course we came back to a weedy plot and The Letter. Next time we go I'll definitely get in touch with the allotments officer beforehand.

September 6, 2009 at 12:05 PM  

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