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Overgrown allotment advice

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Hi,

 

I've just been offered an allotment on the Highcliff Rd site. My excitement turned to horror today when confronted with a huge piece of land, all massively overgrown.

 

I'm still tempted to take it as the potential would be enormous. My better half is a gardener so she knows what she's dealing with but physically I can't see how we can manage the land.

 

Although it's only £80 per year, I did feel SCC would be taking the proverbial by taking this money. Do they offer any additional support? Is there a management team that may clear the weeds/ grass? I appreciate they're not going to dig over the land, but even just using an industrial strimmer to help get us started???

 

Any advice would be appreciated. My back aches just thinking about it :help:

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I am not shore if this will help but I had a similar problem but on a smaller scale. In an attempt to remove the drudgery of removing stones and weeds I have designed and built a mechanical sieve that works by means of a 12 volt battery. Its not quite finished but I would be prepared to let you use it as a means of trying out the principal and assisting you. I tried the machine two weeks ago and it looks very promising.

Unfortunately you still have to load the unit.

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If you can get hold of sheeting cover the area weight it down with sand bags and begin to weed it next spring

Use the time to plan and do any fencing path works etc

 

---------- Post added 09-09-2017 at 17:16 ----------

 

Making a compost area is a good task to start with.

Ideally have three to rotate the compost into

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Rotovating weedy ground can increase the weed problem,its best to clear them first.

If you have no objection to chemical treatment glyphosate is the popular choice

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Hi,

 

I've just been offered an allotment on the Highcliff Rd site. My excitement turned to horror today when confronted with a huge piece of land, all massively overgrown.

 

I'm still tempted to take it as the potential would be enormous. My better half is a gardener so she knows what she's dealing with but physically I can't see how we can manage the land.

 

Although it's only £80 per year, I did feel SCC would be taking the proverbial by taking this money. Do they offer any additional support? Is there a management team that may clear the weeds/ grass? I appreciate they're not going to dig over the land, but even just using an industrial strimmer to help get us started???

 

Any advice would be appreciated. My back aches just thinking about it :help:

 

I understand where you are coming from, Even without any weeds, it still sounds like a lot for you to be taking on. You could ask if anyone wants to take over half of the allotment and each of you pay £40.

 

If it was me I would use one of them flame guns. You singe a small area, then go over it 2 days later and burn it up. Just clear a small area of weeds etc, then dig that patch over before moving on to a bit more of the area. It is no use trying clear all the area of weeds first as you won`t get top side of the job.

 

The flame guns are supposed to be run on parrafin or parasene. I found it a lot cheaper to use heating oil. Failing that, I find that diesel works too even though it can smoke a bit.

 

I bought one of these a few years ago.

http://www.cheapmowers.com/acatalog/Sheen_X300_Flame_Gun_.html?gclid=EAIaIQobChMIjfXFvaiZ1gIVU4myCh1VzQTZEAQYASABEgJvg_D_BwE

Edited by Janus

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Rotovating weedy ground can increase the weed problem,its best to clear them first.

If you have no objection to chemical treatment glyphosate is the popular choice

 

This what i would do then get it covered.

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Many thanks for all your suggestions. Would love to see your invention in action Rollingroad but it's a bit too early for that at the moment.

 

I've been down again today and noticed a couple of small areas already covered with tarpaulin and I've found 2 further sheets folded that may come in use. I've been checking out the glyphosate option and, although there's a lot of debate, realistically it seems the only option and hopefully the ground will be ready for clearing after the winter. I like the flame gun idea, but I reckon I'd need the one you linked to Janus to make any impact and I can't quite fork out £150 at the moment.

 

I'm going to ring the council tomorrow and see what other site they can offer as I'm allowed to reject 2 and stay at the top of the list. Whatever option you're not going to escape the hard work so I suppose you just have to take the plunge at some point.

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Just be careful what chemicals you use. Whatever weed killer is used, there is always some risk that some will enter the food chain, if vegetables or fruit is what you will be growing.

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I had an allotment at that site, on the lower one

It was in a similar state, I did get in some help to clear some of it, and got a load of manure to add to it, however because of the extreme slope of the plot, I found it was flooded most of winter and then dry as a bone in summer. Also a small stream seems to run thru some plots, I actually had a pond at the bottom

In the end, after all that work, I gave it up. I don't think there's any waiting list there, but try to get one on the top site

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In my experience, SCC don't offer any support, and expect you to have a fully cultivated allotment in less than a year (despite what their helpful hints sheet said).

If you work, and/or allotment gardening isn't your exclusive hobby, jolly good luck to you....

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