Everyone has their own ‘right way’ of doing things when it comes to gardening and allotments. I have seen this cause debate a number of times, no-dig vs dig, when to sow, spacing between seeds, the list is endless.
I recently met a lady who has plot near mine for the first time. The first thing she said to me was “it is great to see someone doing it the right way” and how she doesn’t see it enough these days.
I have had my overgrown nettle and couch grass riddled plot nearly 4 months now and getting it ready for planting is certainly not easy or a quick process! This is because for me I am doing it the ‘right way’.
I have had numerous people say to me ‘why not use a rotavator?’ or ‘have you thought about weed killer?’ My response is always either ‘No chance!’ or ‘Are you mad?!’
Part of me wonders if some of these people are just trying to test me.
1. Why would I take a short cut that yes it going to save time now, but is going to make my life ten times harder in the long run?
To me cutting up a mass of nettle and couch grass roots in to tiny little pieces that will spread everywhere and re-root, sounds like madness.
2. Why would I want to kill every living organism including the hard working worms under the soil with weed killer?
As well as having my own outdoor space of tranquility , the main reason for having an allotment to me is to be able to grow my own produce as naturally as possible, so using weed killer seems completely unethical.
If you don’t have any perennial weeds such as nettles, couch grass and bind weed then rotavating might be right for you, but I am not that lucky.
For me, doing it my ‘right way’ when it comes to getting my plot ready is the only way. I want to feel the soil, really get to know what I am working with from the start and give myself the greatest chance of success.
The soil texture on my plot is completely different in some areas, I would only know this by digging deep into the soil, and hand weeding.
Don’t get me wrong, once the whole plot is transformed and I am in my second year of growing then I am going to try the highly recommended ‘no dig’ method. But for now whilst I have my plot in the state it is, neglected for 4 years other than being rotovated once a year ago, digging deep and weeding is my ‘right way’.
Do your research, make your own decisions, be open to ideas and remember that gardening is a never ending journey of discovery and trial and error.
Everyone has their own ‘right way’ of doing things in life, just because it’s not your ‘right way’ that doesn’t make it the wrong way.