Turning my garden into an allotment: week three - my first crop.

Week three: clearing out the bamboo.

For fifteen years we've had a bamboo patch in the top corner. Never had any intention of having one; bamboo is like that, pervasive. This week, today, it went. Normally I throw it away. Now, allotment emerging, the canes are useful so they've been collected and are drying as I write.

It has, however, opened up the garden quite a bit. And made an awful mess of things. Such is life. The mess will be there for some time as the bamboo roots need digging out; not something I'm keen on.

Moving this wood store was a pain. Part of the allotment plan though, was to reclaim the patio back for human use. It's been a wood drying store for a year. There are parts of the garden that have always been useless, and always will, so why not put the stores in these places?

I guess the question is; why do I have so much wood? Because we had a log burner installed two year's ago now. This was just before those horrid storms, when all those trees fell down. Had a mad month collecting fallen branches, thanks to Twitter alerts. Two mild winters later and I still have 90% of them. The pallets are the remainder of several roof renovations in the street.

At least there has been some progress on the allotment side - the cat toilets, sorry, raised beds went in. Now that they are in I'll cover them with plastic and leave for a month or two. This will give the grass a chance to grow back.

Spend this week:
  • £30 on seeds.
  • £30 on a new spade.
  • £5 on weed killer.
Total spend so far: £148.

This isn't exactly cheap is it? And I used reclaimed wood. I'm enjoying the project, and the garden needed something doing with it. Financially, however, so far it isn't looking promising is it? My plot is perhaps one quarter of the size of a traditional allotment. In a good year, a full sized plot will generate £800 worth of produce. Factor in the time taken to do this, and it doesn't add up at all.

The bonus, I guess, is that at the end of this project our garden will be fully landscaped and abundant with plants. The raised beds can be turned back to lawn in a day easily enough if need be. All of this is reversible. Hopefully our garden will soon be the only one on this side of the street with any life in it. The rest are all muddy lawns.