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I've had an allotment for 13 years. It is an acidic heavy clay subsoil with about 20-30 cm of improved top soil, but still suffers from clay holding water in winter, and cracking in hot weather. We get quite a lot of rainfall and it can too wet to work in autumn and spring particularly this year. It is orientated east- west and I put in a willow "fedge" to reduce cross winds and wind rock damage. I've added more wildlife habitat than the surrounding allotments who are mostly old school and remove everything at the end of the season, leave bare soil and rotavate or dig (I'm not popular as I get blamed for giving the small mammals cover to hide!) and I have been converting to no dig over last couple of years, by installing raised beds. I've practised some companion planting with mixed success. I am interested in being more scientific about what I try, especially monitoring what works more accurately. I'm also interested in working with local school children again if I can find a way of funding it , to encourage them to grow more. I have done this in a small way in previous years at my cost, but would like to increase my knowledge to be able to pass it on to them, so I'm hoping this course will be the start


Good to hear about your situation Tamzin and sounds like you are doing well. Being part of the GROW community and taking our courses should help you out on all these things - it's what GROW is all about! Stay in touch on this forum and I'm sure you'll get responses and advice from other growers - there's lots of us out there.

Reply — Last edited

Hi Tamzin,

Good for you to grow in your way rather than the old school way. I had an allotment for six months and then scarpered - couldn’t bear the attitudes.