Allotment heat!

The heat is on in all kinds of ways for us. The heatwave is refusing to bring its promised storms and we’ve decided to enter the ‘Most Creative Allotment’ competition. Judging is early in July so we have a lot of work on hand to try and get this very new (to us) plot looking presentable. We’re not doing it because we expect to win, we don’t, but to try and encourage other people to enter allotment competitions and/or to look at innovative ways of growing crops that:
1. Improve health and wellbeing
2. Conserve planetary resources
3. Re-use and recycle existing materials that would otherwise go to waste.

Some of our ‘creative’ ideas will get good marks, we hope: we conserve water in butts and don’t use a hose-pipe, we mulch many crops and we try to use our small ecosystem effectively so that plants are in the best location for them to do well without intensive inputs of water, shading, external nutrients etc. An example is our basket herbs on the greenhouse deck – they are all sunlovers, but they are mulched with gravel to keep in the root moisture that they get from their water bottles and the containers were all rescued from bins and skips (with the owners’ permission) to be re-used.

Other ideas may raise eyebrows. The edible landscaping might be considered a bit ‘weird’ and the summer zigzag is bound to cause comment (and maybe consternation). It’s a zigzag of coriander, dividing up compartments of radish, salad onions, beetroot, oriental lettuce and spinach. In other words, it’s a complete meal in a bed. I’m about to sow the casserole zigzag, which contains parsnips, radicchio, winter radish and swede – much the same idea but for winter harvesting. Well, we’ll see how we get on. Even if we come last, I promise to be honest about the results!

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Posted by The Allotment Blogger on Tuesday, June 28, 2011


Anonymous EdibleLandscapeDesign said...

Good luck! That zig-zag is a fun idea!

June 28, 2011 at 7:38 PM  
Blogger The Allotment Blogger said...

Thank you - we're always looking for ways to combine attractiveness with productivity and 'meal beds' where everything in a set bed can be harvested at the same time and eaten in the same meal are one way to do that.

June 30, 2011 at 2:55 AM  
Blogger Dulcie said...

I also love the zig zag idea. Any photos of it?

July 7, 2011 at 1:58 PM  
Blogger The Allotment Blogger said...

I shall post a photo in the week, Dulcie! It's less of a zig-zag and more of a salad extravaganza now.

July 11, 2011 at 3:44 AM  

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