I tried to post over the xmas period but there was some technical problems that have seemed to ironed themselves out now.
I am new to Permaculture having only heard about it for the first time a month or so ago whilst browsing on the web about small holdings. Since then I have watched alot on youtube and on here, I got sepp Holzers book for xmas and have read that aswell as watched alot of footage by geoff Lawton and Bill M.
To be honest im quite consumed by it all and have found myself laying awake at night with all sorts of things whizzing around in my brain.
Whilst my goal is to have my own land and be self-sufficient like alot of people I really lack the funds right now, but I was lucky enough to get an allotment space near by in my town so I thought I can make a start here.
SO what I really need help with is my plant list, but Ill lay down my situation because any other advice you can offer will be great.
Firstly the allotment is 30' x 90' thats 9 metres by 27.5 metres for the metric guys out there. the Allotment DOES have running water which I am hoping not to need whilst my forest garden is established but it will come in handy in the beginning.
as long as I maintain the borders and none of my plants encroche on my neighbours allotment its ok, obviously cant go planting any trees that will shade to much light from other people but small fruit trees and bushes should by fine.
Animals, I can keep chickens or ducks, livestock is not allowed, sheds and greenhouses are allowed.
I have a few ideas that Im still working on with design any suggestions are happily recieved, I want to try to stick to some of the patterns that geoff and bill talk about the ones that re-occur in nature, I will also need a swale and the ability to keep plants watered naturally,I am thinking of incorporating a natural pond in the swales somewhere to attrack wildlife ie frogs to eat slugs, and other insects and birds. one I have got settled I will also write to the allotment owners regarding having a wild beehive to help pollenation of plants.
some more important information:
the allotment is in Kent the very south east coast its south facing so has daylight ALLLLLLL day. it is on the edge of town right next to a farmers field and it is on flat ground.
Also Im thinking of using the ducks as slug patrol how high will my fence around my allotment need to be to keep them in??? I also plan to keep the chickens inside the greenhouse and use mesh to partision them from my plants in there but im currently researching how to do that best.
so to plant list:
I would like planty of legumes,
i would like a very high yield with comparrison to work in and food out, also I would like to feed the chicks and ducks completely from what I grow so a variety of plants for that also.
My list so far is as follows:
spuds, carrots, onions, garlic (is it a herb LOL), lettuce, spring greens, cauli, sweet potato, radishes, courgette.
others that mayfall into categories above are: comfrey, watercress, horse mint and a variety of other herbs a spiral seems to be the best option there, Bracken.
other things I plan are to have the a pond on the most southern part and try to incorporate some micro climates on my raised beds I have access to quick abit of natural rock from a local abaddoned mines so I was going to try and us that to regulate the water temperature of the pond and just try to work something there, I know with a small ponds its quite neglegible but start as I mean to go on I spose, I saw on a vid that for evert 5 degrees a slop goes up its like going 100 miles further south so if I can get a nice slope and bouce the sun of my ponds I might be able to grow something there that normally wouldnt grow so well, it will be fun to try any way.
ok there it all is guys I will try ro draw my current plans on paint and post em for you guys to look at soon, I have never done any of this before so IM presuming that it wont all go to plan, but it be fun observing my way to getting it right.
sorry in advance for any spelling and grammar mistakes.
My allotment plot is in New Malden (Kingston upon Thames) and is the same size as yours (although I do have the benefit of an additional half plot under my wife's care).
Have been working this plot for 4 years.
Depending on your needs (how much fruit & veg you need or intend to grow) you may find that your standard plot may be a bit too small to accomodate all the things that you listed (greenhouse, ducks, swale, pond, beehive, fruit trees etc). And by the way, you didn't mention a shed, although you might not need one (I myself haven't got one and have only used a wooden chest to store my tools. Plenty of space saved. The downside is that I have no rainwater collection facilities).
So what I mean is: you may have to prioritise all these elements, as space will be limited.
I found the following plants very rewarding:
- Fruit trees on dwarf stock: I planted these in the middle of the plot so that they form a little "oasis". Plum (Tzar), cherry (you may need 2 or more of these trees if they are not self-fertile and there are none on the neighbouring plots) and apple (again at least 2)
- Strawberries (I have 3 beds as well as some scattered under the trees & bushes)
- A patch of black currants underplanted with strawberries.
- Herbs: I have a mediterranean herb garden in the driest spot of the plot - rosemary, lemon balm, oregano, thyme, hyssop and lavander. Initially also had mints but had to remove them as they were becoming invasive.
- Other great herbs (growing here and there, especially between the trees): perennial chamomile, annual chamomile (this will self-seed every year), borage (another self-seeder), calendula (also self-seeds), bergamot (perennial with beautiful flowers), and lovage (a perennial - it grows very tall, over 2m in my experience, and very wide)
- Plenty of stinging nettle !!! If you have this growing on your plot as a weed, do not destroy it !!! If it grows in an inconvenient spot, try to replant it. I find nettles very useful to cut down and add to compost heap or liquid fertiliser about twice a year.
- Phacelia can be sown periodically (especially on vacant beds after the autumn harvest). It's great for adding to your compost heap, but it's also great bee fodder when it flowers in summer. And if you let it flower and go to seed, it will keep self-seeding year after year.
- Same for mustard - pretty yellow flowers that attract bees, lots of green matter for mulching / composting
Other plants I grow on my plot:
- A strip of raspberries (mine are summer-fruiting) - so far not very rewarding as fruit yield has been low due probably to exposure to strong winds
- A patch of about 10 or 12 comfrey plants which I use to make liquid fertiliser or mix into the compost
- 3 gooseberry bushes - nice fruit
- I've planted chives in several spots but for now they have been growing very slowly - haven't had much yield from them
- Kept several bushes of brambles that grew as weeds on the edges of my plot - their fruit is excellent
The annual crops that do very well on my plot (probably will on yours as well): potatoes of course (I grow these under sheet muching, no digging required), beans, broad beans, runner beans, squashes, courgettes, beetroot, radishes, and all types of leaf vegetables, especially lettuces
I hope this helps - good luck !
posted 6 years ago
Thank you for your reply,
I hadnt thought to have a shed because I have a Van and can take tools with me I need which will save space but like you said I will lose on the water gathering capabilites I'll see if I can rig something up there, Since earlier I might also hold off on the ducks for now, until I have an established system.
Your plant list looks really nice, I will look into the ones you have said.
Also do you buy seeds and plants local or from the net, and if from the net which website do you use?
anyone else who has done this or has experience please feel free to post:)
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