After all this sitting and looking at the plot I have come up with the first stage design which I am sure will change but for now gives me something to work towards.
I have decided not to dig up the whole space but to opt for 6 separate beds with a working area at the top and an area at the the bottom for compost bins. This design means that I can define the growing areas more easily and have pathways inbetween.
Having paths allows better access to the growing spaces without having to walk over the soil. It also means that if there is ever a time when I have nothing better to do I can grass seed them a little at a time but still have full access to the more important vegetable patches.
As much as I’m in this for the food I still want my plot to look good!
I have been down to the plot several times to plan. I may have looked like a very relaxed person sitting drinking tea and reading a book but I assure you inside I was busy thinking and planning. It was quite tiring actually on one occasion I had to come home to have a nap!
The other good thing about taking the time to sit looking out at your plot is you also get to look at your neighbours and get some inspiration as to how you want yours to be. It is important not to get too despondant when doing this. When comparing my overgrown space to that of the other well manintained, organised plots I did feel a little overwhelmed but another cup of tea soon made me feel better.
So maybe my first piece of advice as to what to buy for your allotment is to invest in a good flask. No problem is unsolveable when you can take a step back from it, sit down and have a nice cup of tea.
The first visits to the allotment should be used as planning time. It is a great excuse to enjoy your space with a deckchair, pad and flask of tea without having to do any hard work. If anyone calls you lazy then just assure them it is a vital part of the process and for me it was the first time I really fell in love with the plot.
Whatever size your growing space, whether a full allotment, half (like mine) or a small patch in your garden, think about what it is you want to achieve. As yet no washed our summers, army of slugs or pulled muscles have dampened your sprirts.
That’s all to come but for now it’s your time to dream.