The allotment design is situated between The Social and The Microfarm in the zone 1 area. It is the 2nd of our demonstrations. Separating the allotment and the microfarm is an off contour swale or ditch. This was created using an A-frame.
After several years of observation, this space is now ready for a redesign. The original elements are, a wire chicken fence and coppiced tree branches for stakes (now evolving as a hedge). Experimental willow path.
Plants include: Trees (apple and pear), Broom, soapwort, blackcurrant, black mint, ginkgo, apple mint, comfrey, lupin, poke weed, tansy, Austrain tree cabbage, sedum, mallow, mugwort, strawberry.
Design Ideas and Considerations
The allotment is our original experimental patch for growing. We first started to plant this area to see what would do well in the harsh, heavy clay and water logged, conditions.
We started with a small selection of plants, adding to these as we identifired plants dong well. There was no initial or specific design other than to observe how well plants took to the conditions. This gave us the go ahead to propagate these further and start to be more specific in our designing. We also did our first sheet mulching experiment here.
As with the social and microfarm, this area was dominant with rush. This was scythed and sheet mulched. Once we had sheetmulched, we planted with black mint and wild strawberries to act as temporary ground cover and to control the grass.
Over time we have continued to plant, including trees and shrubs, and coppiced tree branches for stakes, which themselves have surprisingly taken root to become a hedge which will take the place of the fence.
The soil can get water logged in places but a lot of plants have taken and are doing well. Maintenace is low other than weeding and mulching with leaves and comfrey.