The Livestock & Home produce thread - An Alternative investment in Green Energy's Sustainable Living Posted November 17, 2020 · Report reply It's been quite some time since I posted here, since which I've fallen 'out of love' with working an allotment. I found the 'rules' (no bonfires, no hose watering from mains) far too prohibitive to ensuring a successful season and neighbouring allotment holders' practices ('no digging' philosophy or 'blown over' contamination of my/our plot) made maintenance very hard work, and eventually demoralising to the extent I gave up the investment. I also became tired of one of my shared plot managers constantly disappearing 'on holiday' at times when major works were scheduled (rotorvating, planting, compost management and watering by hand during dry months) then reaping the benefits at harvest time ......... needless to say we 'fell out'. I had a major life change about 4 years ago but now share a large good sized garden with my partner of the past 4 years, who also had a share in the previous shared allotment. Initially the garden was overgrown with bindweed and brush which for her alone was too much to maintain. It's been an enlightening few years since which I've learned the tricks and laziness of former works on the property and land ........ I've dug up buried solid bags of concrete, lumps of hardcore from an extension to the property and butchered telegraph poles from the previous owner over the past 3 - 4 years and had many a bonfire to get rid of waste whilst drinking beer, and looking for shooting stars. We've concentrated on the lower tier of the garden, eradicating the bind weed, adding compost and top soil whilst introducing shrubs such as bay, rose, camelea, azalea, dahlia, lupin, echinachia, rhododendron, hydrangea, wisteria, clematis and added tree fern, magnolia, olive, banana and acers some of which I've grown from seed very successfully. I've grown bedding plants using my experience from growing fruit and veg from seed to create a summer of both scent and colour ........ it certainly made the UK Spring/Summer lockdown a relaxing outdoor space to relax and consider 'life' and as such was a very valuable and a worthy investment both financially and physically. An added bonus, it's helped hone my growing from seed skills and reminded me often that a little bit of work often is so much easier than a lot of work infrequently. During the Autumn/Winter/Spring we need to do a lot of work on the upper tier. There's a large pond which is poorly positioned and often suffers from excess algae growth during periods of hot sunny weather. I've already introduced a pump/filtration system, oxygenating plants etc but have found it really tricky to maintain a healthy long-lived balance ...... something I will re-start again in early spring. The fish must like it though ....... thems a breeding like mutha fuckas!!!! I've a plot of land in the upper tier I've dug over and had covered in sheeting for the past 9 months which in spring I hope to build a pagoda and seating area, lawned underneath then planting climbers (grape?/hop?) to create summer cover close to the pond for an area of quiet contemplation. Then I'll get to work on my veg patch ......... This year I've grown strawberries, dwarf/french bean, leek, cabbage, corn and tomato, and considering they've played very much a 'also-ran' role, have done really quite ok. There's a Bramley apple tree which I pruned back heavily late last year, though which produced many small fruit which were thinned etc, produced nothing of value this year. Any advice?