An unexpected half day at work left me with a glorious opportunity to spend an extra couple of hours at the allotment! With two plots we now have an extra half plot for growing crops (allowing half a plot for the extension of the chicken coop and associated greens for the chickens to eat over winter).
Due to the compressed and uneven nature of the ground in the new plot, we will have our potatoes there to break up the ground.
I have cleared the rubbish away from the sides of the coop and using discarded wooden planks, outlined the size of the coop extension. Allowing for a path to access all sides of the coop, the rest of the width of the plot will have a large raised bed for growing chicken food (chard, kale and marrows).
At the top corner (parallel to the coop) is a large compost box made from crates and doors. I plan to keep this as the amount of green waste from two plots makes my mind boggle. Two plots require a lot of compost! An additional bonus of having chickens is being able to use their droppings, diluted with plenty of water, to fertilise the ground very effectively.
Once the potatoes are harvested, we will build a series of raised beds surrounded by weed suppressant fabric. This minimises weeding and provides a path through the allotment without treading down the soil or, worse, plants.
There may be some value in getting a shed on this plot, if only to have somewhere to dash into quickly if the heavens open unexpectedly. But for the time being, we will try without.
Another key plan is to have a raised herb bed full of beautiful plants for cooking (oregano, basil, mint, rosemary, chives etc). I also want to grow lavender and other bee-friendly flowers in both plots to encourage the bees. I have also dabbled with making a hedgehog house as these wonderful creatures are great for eating slugs which can decimate green vegetables like cabbage.
To be grown next spring/summer:
Potatoes (x 3 varieties)
Cabbage (x 2 varieties)
Onions (x 2 varieties)
Beans (Field, French and Runner)
Peppers (Bell and Jalapeño)
Looks like we may have our work cut out…