Allotment Heaven!

For the 2nd year in a row, Burlington Green, working together with the City of Burlington, has offered garden allotments to the public via a lottery process.
29 8’X12′ garden beds plus 2 raised, accessible beds were offered in this years’ lottery, and, luckily, my daughter was able to get one.
This is such a marvelous opportunity for people to be able to grow their own, local produce if they don’t have the space for a garden where they live. In early Spring the beds are all ready to go – soil turned over, beds clean and tidy. There are rain barrels for every couple of plots as well as a hose hooked up to City water. Thanks to donations from community partners there are garden tools, gloves and even hats available for the budding gardeners.
If you have the space to grow a garden you should definitely do so. There’s nothing quite like the freshness and tastiness of something you have just plucked out of the ground. It’s also a lot easier than you think.
All you need are a few packets of seed or some bedding plants. Thanks to the potential energy contained in the seeds, all you really need to do is either broadcast the seeds directly over the soil, if the seeds are small, or push them down into the soil about 1/8″ if the seeds are larger. Mother Nature, the Sun and some diligent watering will take care of the rest.
If using bedding plants, dig a small hole, add a tablespoon or so of compost and bury your plant into the hole, making sure to tamp the soil around the plant firmly, to try to minimize air holes (air is the enemy of roots!).
If you have broadcast lettuce seeds then you will need to thin out the plants every couple of days to make sure they don’t get overcrowded, otherwise they will just perish. This is such a good method for having fresh salad greens every day, at least until the weather gets very hot, when the lettuce plants will hurriedly flower (called bolting), after which you can’t eat the lettuce as it’s too bitter.
Even if you just experiment with a few packets of lettuce and spinach seeds and maybe a tomato plant or two, your health and well-being are bound to improve. You get outside every day, plus you get to eat the fruits of your labour – how good is that?

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Burlington Green garden allotments at Central Park. Growing like mad!

 

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this is what happens when you broadcast lettuce seeds: mega salad!

 

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Lamb’s Quarters (Chenopodium album). A weed which is actually quite tasty!

 

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2 thoughts on “Allotment Heaven!

  1. Nena

    Tell me more about those graden beds. I want to plant vegeis in my patio in a small site where my dogs can’t get at it. What kind of soil or fertilizer substitute can i use that i don’t have to buy at the store cos i know here in vzla i won’t find.

    Reply
    1. Alicia Post author

      Hi Nena,
      All you need to do is throw ALL your kitchen scraps (no meat or bones) plus all your leftovers into a hole in the dirt and let nature and worms do their job. That’s all Mamush and Tatush ever did and they had a beautiful garden. Plus try to get some manure from somewhere (horse, cow, sheep, whatever). After a couple of months you can use a big garden fork to turn over the soil then plant your seeds. The best place to get seeds is go and find someone who already has a veggie garden and I’m sure they will give you seeds. The next best place is take the seeds out of vegetables you already buy in the store like tomatoes, peppers, cucumber, squash, etc. The only problem is that you either have to buy organic or try to buy them from a roadside stand because when produce is shipped they spray it with chemicals that won’t let them sprout. Especially potatoes, they’re always sprayed, but if you can find one which has not, just cut it into quarters, each having an “eye” and plant as deep as your little finger with the eye facing up. As soon as the plant finishes flowering you can harvest the most delicious new potatoes – anywhere from 20-40 per plant, so easy!!!

      Reply

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