Triangle shaped allotment - help needed to plan!

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MClan
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Triangle shaped allotment - help needed to plan!

Post: # 238234Post MClan »

Hi. I am lost. I have finally got an allotment after waiting 4 years. It is a triangle shaped one and o don't know what to do with it! I've been on an organic allotment course years ago and have all the books but somehow I'm just getting stagefright and don't know what to do anymore. Heeellllpppp. It's it's 10.46m (34ft 5 inches) by 15.37m (49ft 15 inches) by 18.53m (60ft 9inches). I was going to make a path down the middle and have 1.5m wide beds either side. About 6 of them. Rest of the space left over for rhubarb etc and a seat/shed. Then how do I rotate the crops. I thought you had to grow families together then rotate. I would like to grow spinach corn beans kale garlic lettuce beetroot tomatoes celeriac celery leaf broccoli butternut squash asparagus rhubarb chard I do realise I won't be growing them all in the first year though! Anybody able to give me some pointers?

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Thomzo
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Re: Triangle shaped allotment - help needed to plan!

Post: # 238237Post Thomzo »

Sounds to me like you need a three-part crop rotation regime.

First things first. Decide where the shed is going to go. Do you want it to provide some shelter from wind and frost? Can you position it to avoid shading the plot?

Then think about drainage. Does the plot slope? Is there good run-off or poor drainage. It might be difficult to tell at the moment so ask the neighbours. Again, can you put the shed at the highest point of the plot so that the water collected in the water butt can run down hill.

Do enjoy your new plot, take your time, relax and plan. The more time you spend planning, the easier it'll be.

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Re: Triangle shaped allotment - help needed to plan!

Post: # 238239Post pumpy »

Hi Mclan, don't know where you're situated (always helps on gardening questions) but you do need to consider things like; full sun/partial shade, East/West (etc) facing? & all that other gubbins. Pathways tend to occur naturally as suits the plot. Keep asking the questions, as there will always be an answer on here, & also the knowledge will benefit others! :icon_smile:
it's either one or the other, or neither of the two.

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Re: Triangle shaped allotment - help needed to plan!

Post: # 238241Post MClan »

Thanks Zoe. The problem is that it is a new site so the top layer is stones, some building rubble oh and a bit if earth on top of thick heavy clay. So not a great start. Everybody is starting from scratch so I can't get inspiration from my neighbours. It appears to be fairly flat. I thought you could only grow potAtoes every 4 years in the same bed.

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Re: Triangle shaped allotment - help needed to plan!

Post: # 238242Post Green Aura »

Well I think, despite the alignment etc, you've got a triangle and need to deal accordingly. If you cut off all the corners you're left with a rectangle. So I'd start by making raised beds to fit the corners, making sure it's big enough to be useful but that you can reach the middle. Leave access round all three sides.

That resolves the problem of plot shape, will cover up most of the stones, clay etc by planting on top and will leave you a reasonably sized rectangle-ish shape that will be much easier to deal with. In that you can work out where to put shed and more raised beds etc.
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MClan
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Re: Triangle shaped allotment - help needed to plan!

Post: # 238253Post MClan »

Pumpy thank you for your encouragement. My plot is on the outer perimeter of the site next to the water supply (hooray) when it is set up by Thames water. I'm in Swindon so fairly mild by uk standards and there is no shade but there is a ruddy great big pylon next to the site which I guess will cause a little shade.

Green aura. I'm going to have a look at your idea sounds like a plan. My husband is breaking up pallets to make raised borders as we can get them free :) it just seems a bit odd having square beds if you can't reach all the way across as you will have to teeter in-between plants. So I was thinking 1.5 metres across, maybe 2m as you can just about reach then.

I've already planted angelica and 2 bean plants in a corner because they were dying. We were promised the plot over a 2 months ago so all my seedlings have been dying waiting :( my sunflowers are knackered)

Any further ideas re croprotation and how to fill these raised beds welcome.

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Re: Triangle shaped allotment - help needed to plan!

Post: # 238280Post grahamhobbs »

I assume you have one right angle, I would align the beds according to this, hopefully in a basically north south direction, with a path down the middle. You should then be left with 3 triangular beds (2 at the corners and one on the long side), these I would use for your shed, compost and for perennial plants.

There are many rotations, it depends a lot on the quantities of each type of veg you grow but a common one is Legume, Brassicas, Onion/roots, Potatoes/tomatoes/peppers. Basically you lime the ground for legumes, they provide nitrogen for brassicas although you can add further manure because they are heavy feeders, the manure and ground will be broken down for the onions and root crops, then the solanacious family (potatoes, tomatoes, etc) come the furthest away from when you limed the ground as they are lime haters. After lifting the potatoes you lime the ground ready for the legumes again.

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Re: Triangle shaped allotment - help needed to plan!

Post: # 238305Post Thomzo »

Hmmm, Swindon, new allotment, ruddy great big pylon. I think I know where you are, just don't tell the Sunflowergal, she'll be dead jealous.

So - are we going to see you at the Wiltshireisher meet?

Now that I know you are in Swindon, then there is only one thing for it - raised beds. As you say, you don't want to make them too big. I did and it's a pain trying to reach the middle. I'm planning to swap my big raised beds for really small ones - about 2mx70cm. That way I can rotate the crops much more easily and net/fleece individual beds as necessary.

Personally, I would grow potatoes in containers. Saves them volunteering the following year. I never manage to dig up all of the tiddlers. You can use the same container the following year, just change the soil.

Enjoy

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Re: Triangle shaped allotment - help needed to plan!

Post: # 238322Post Henwoman »

I seem to remember Joe Swift having triangular raised beds on his allotment.

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Re: Triangle shaped allotment - help needed to plan!

Post: # 238445Post MClan »

Thankyou for all your help so far. Grahamhobbs I think your plan about working plots mat work out the easiest and I will work out which crops. I gather you can have a precrop with some things and an after crop with others. Anybody know what?

Zoe I love your fabric by the way. You should start making cloth nappies with them. I'd love to go to a meet but something closer to home and cheap (5 of us) such as a picnic is more manageable. I've got the entertain the outlaw now.

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Re: Triangle shaped allotment - help needed to plan!

Post: # 238544Post Big Al »

for my 2penneth worth go for raised beds that are 1.2m wide. This allows you to have a bed where you can reach the middle from either side. Also the paths between the beds wanrt to be the length of your leg from the heal to the knee. I've seen so many problems when people use piggin little paths to squeeze more growing space in and then when you need to kneel down between the beds to weed etc your body gets all twisted and plays havoc with your back.

If you do the paths the length of your bottom part of your leg you can then kneel comfortasbly head on to your plot.

Gardening is about trying things out and then those that work you keep, those that don't you change. The VERY VERY BESTEST bit of advice is to take photos throughout the seasons and make copious amounts of notes :study: about all the site. Direction and times of the sun rise and fall, wind blowing, pests, problems with crops, suxesses and failures, [ failures are only in that part of the garden that particular year] how many cups of tea you need to keep going. After the first full season you can :dontknow: weigh things up then bark orders :director: to your :hugish: husband and get :banghead: exasperated when he does not do as he is told but above all :lol: laugh at the problems and if you get stumped :scratch: ask on here.
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grahamhobbs
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Re: Triangle shaped allotment - help needed to plan!

Post: # 238627Post grahamhobbs »

MClan wrote:Thankyou for all your help so far. Grahamhobbs I think your plan about working plots mat work out the easiest and I will work out which crops. I gather you can have a precrop with some things and an after crop with others. Anybody know what?
.
To work out pre and post cropping the easiest thing is to draw out a bar chart of all the veg you are growing showing when they are planted out and when the harvest is over on a week by week basis. Then it becomes obvious what can follow what. Just remember you have to rotate your crops as well.
I aim to get at least 3 crops in a bed over 2 years and to keep beds full over winter. As there are less overwinter crops I usually work around them to start with.
If you raise plants in modules it makes a significant difference to the length of time in the ground. If you can't do that, have a bed for seedlings, a 'seed bed', in the rotation.

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Re: Triangle shaped allotment - help needed to plan!

Post: # 238671Post Thomzo »

MClan wrote:Zoe I love your fabric by the way. You should start making cloth nappies with them.
:lol: I think I'll take that as a compliment - thank you.

MClan wrote:I'd love to go to a meet but something closer to home and cheap (5 of us) such as a picnic is more manageable. I've got the entertain the outlaw now.
No reason why a few of the Swindon mob can't get together for a cuppa one day. Maybe we can all admire the work you are doing on the allotment - hint hint. :lol:

Seriously, the Sunflowergal and I are usually up for an excuse for a brew but I can only do weekends at the moment. Give us a shout when you have a free weekend.

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Re: Triangle shaped allotment - help needed to plan!

Post: # 240025Post MClan »

Hi again Zoe.

I can only do weekends as well. But our allotment is put to shame by our neighbours! Life is a bit manic at the moment so I just need life to slow down a little but it would be really nice to meet up. Karen

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Re: Triangle shaped allotment - help needed to plan!

Post: # 242216Post Peggy Sue »

Ah wish I'd spotted this earlier- I've got two triangle allotments!
Fortunately they are not clay so I guess my experiences probably won't count for much but nice to know I'm not alone!

I basically have divided one into three- the top sliced off as one bit that is always a triange then the two bottom bits in half making them a bit squareish. The paths are sort of dug over each year but tend to run around each plot.The other plot os more complex, it's not even a true triangle, it came with a path down the middle and one side of that divided in half naturally by a coule of small vines, so 'quarter' it was with some bits bigger than others, a shed at the pointy end and one section being permentant fruit bushes. It does work as a rotation but you have to accept some years you have to use the smaller bits for your favourites (carrots this year are limited but next year they will have loads of room!)

We have clay in the garden, I have tried really hard for years and I be;ieve raised beds are probably the best- definitely less demoralising than trying to dig clay!

Good luck and don't worry about shapes :icon_smile:
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