The first year on our allotment and chicken keeping has taught us many things, here are 5 that spring to mind:
You can’t plant leeks too deeply… I thought I had planted last years plenty deep enough, but there’s not much white ‘stem’ on them and the exposed tops have really suffered over winter. If they were deeper, they would have been more protected – simple!
Nothing is safe from the chickens… Chickens will eat, peck at, scratch up anything within their reach. And if it’s not in their reach, they will climb on and knock over things until they get there!
We don’t really like Swiss chard that much… Or broad beans… or courgettes. They’re all easy to grow, so you feel ‘successful’ at gardening. But we just don’t use them and an awful lot goes to waste.
It’s worth protecting crops from the very start… This is an obvious one, but it’s easy to underestimate the damage rabbits, pigeons, blackbirds and those pesky cabbage whites (or rather their offspring) can do to freshly planted peas, just ripe fruits or brassicas that look like they’re doing really well. It’s so disheartening to lose crops like that. So cover early and properly!
Sometimes, just being there is enough… An allotment on a sunny day is a wonderful place. And sometimes, even if there’s things to do, you just want to be there and sit quietly. I’d often wondered at people who go to their allotments and just sit – I always thought, what’s the point? Now I know!