Did you know it’s National Allotments week? We asked some Greenhavens members to tell us about their allotments. Our first one is Alison’s allotment in Newhaven! Thanks Alison!
I’ve had my allotment for 3 years now. It’s in Newhaven, behind the cemetery in Lewes Rd. I was on the waiting list for around 7 years before I got it though!
It has 4 raised beds, two baths(!), a shed, water butts, a greenhouse and a fruitcage so I was very lucky to have so much in situ. Each year so far has been different, some things have done well in one year and not the next, it’s definitely a case of trial and error – and seeing what grows well for your neighbours!
This year my mange tout peas have been great but the radishes – which did well last year- have been rubbish. The courgettes have been dire but last year the patty pan squash I grew were fab. Runner beans are late this year as are most of my veg as I was away for 2 weeks in May…key planting out time! I’ve got lots of interesting tomatoes growing and have just picked some tigerella and early cherry. The fruit cage has also been good, with Raspberries, red and blackcurrants, though not as many as last year. I was excited to see mini cucumbers appearing and chilli peppers in the greenhouse.
The main thing I struggle with is time. It’s a lot of work keeping the weeds etc under control for one person, especially if you work, as I do, in London, so only have limited time at the weekends to do stuff. It can be disheartening to see carefully nurtured plants disappear – nearly all my cabbages have gone and the strawberries were eaten before I could pick them. However it’s so lovely up there that I lose track of time, pottering and watching the butterflies, birds, bees, rabbits and mice! I can’t wait til I retire and can devote more time to it.
You can find out more about Newhaven allotments here. There is a bit of a waiting list for plots, but in the meantime, did you know you can cultivate your own plots at Newhaven Growing Together Community Garden?