This is a timeline of my garden transformation. It documents the change in my allotment from a bramble infested wasteland to useful food production. You can read the full story by visiting my Covid Gardener page.
Before I get into the timeline pictures, here is a before and after image to show you just what a change my allotment has had. The rest of this article will show you the steps it took to get to the after.
This photo was taken less than a month after moving into the property.
As you can see the allotment is swarmed by thick brambles to the bottom left and along the fence on the right. In the middle was thick grass and weeds.
Only a couple of months later and it was impossible the see the boundary of the allotment. The plants had grown as tall as me (over 6ft) and the brambles still dominated the back fence.
So in August I decided to flatten the weed plants (still not sure what they are) using a cardboard box. This is the result, and for the first time it gave me an idea of the size of the allotment.
March 2020: Covid-19
Covid-19 hit the UK and by 18 March I was working from home – the next week the country went into lockdown. This photo was taken 19 March, my first day of work from home.
It clearly shows how big the bramble problem was. I needed to clear the brambles to start the allotment properly. It’s only due to the Covid-19 lockdown that I’ve been able to start my allotment, before I was too busy. Working from home has meant lunch times and evenings can be spent in the garden. Normally I would be at work for lunch and not get home until 6/7pm.
May has been a very eventful time in the allotment.
27 May 2020
It took over 4.5 weeks for B&Q to deliver the wood needed for my raised bed, but here is the result once I received the wood.
This photo was taken on the morning of 28 May as it was too dark to take a picture on the 27 May by the time I’d finished.
The veg started to show through this month. I grew potatos and courgettes.
- Potatoes – 2 rows in the ground, between the weed fabric.
- Courgettes – in the raised bed
June was a particually wet month compared to March, April and May. Combined with the hot weather it meant the vegetation took off. By the end of June into July the wall on the right of the allotment was swamped by nettles and brambles (again).
I harvested the first potatoes and oh WOW were they good. Also harvested the first rhubarb and courgettes.
August and September 2020
I can’t find an allotment pic for August or September. Which is strange I didn’t take them but they were both very busy months.
In August I harvested the rest of the potatos and we had 2 large bowls full. Regettably I didn’t weigh them. The brambles also produced a strong crop of blackberries.
September saw the courgettes produce bigger and bigger courgettes. My family loves them but it was too much for even us to consume. The biggest was easily as big as my thigh.
The rhubab died back and the courgettes stopped producing any thing decent. I’d maybe pruned the courgettes a little too hard. Not sure if you’re supposed to prune them but they were growing out of control so needed tidying up.
Early November I planted a number of Framberries in the raised bed. They’re apparently a cross between strawberries and raspberries but grow like strawberry plants.
Next to them are 18 onions. Hopefully they survive the birds as when I tried growing onions in the spring they were attacked by a bird or some other animal.
December was exciting. The apple and pear trees arrived and I planted them on the 24 December (Christmas Eve). They’re on the left side of the allotment. The apple is just above the raised bed and the pear is higher up next to the conifers.
They’re both on dwarf stock so should only grow a few meters, but still produce a great crop of fruit.
Here’s a picture to show you the usual messy state my allotment gets in when I’m working in it.
Again, I don’t seem to have any pictures for January 2021, though not much happened in the allotment. January was cold and wet and covered in snow.
A lot happened in February. Snow, lots of snow, plus lots more (after the image):
The rhubarb plant should have been split and replanted but it was rotten to the core. The soil appears to have quite a bit of clay in it and rhubarb likes a free draining soil. That’s the best guess I have as to why it was so rotten.
The final bramble bush was removed. It will make way for a 2’x4′ raised bed with space to plant something behind – maybe another fruit tree.
I added a path and ordered more wood for a 2nd big raised bed. It’ll go where the rhubarb plant was, accross from the current raised bed.