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Best ideas for allotment garden?

Posts: 604
Location: Southern Germany
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If all goes well, we soon will be owners of two little garden plots in the next town.

There are two narrow strips with a total of 470 square meters (around 5000 sq. feet) which is probably what many of you have as a front garden - but I am excited nonetheless because to get a plot here in the perimeters of the most expensive city of Germany is a great deal, and our own garden by the house is smaller than that, with all the limitations of surrounding buildings.

The plots are situated in a communal garden area (which here are commonly known as "kale fields" because there you planted your more hardy veggies as opposed to those tender plants you had near the house).
You might not build a permanent building (a shed or greenhouse, yes), but apart from that there are no limitations which you often find in the allotment gardens ("one third lawn, one third vegetable beds, one third flowers/recreational area" or similar).
The area is surrounded by fields, trees and it is very idylic there, you can hear the cuckoo singing, the gardeners have achieved a lot, there are raised beds, hoophouses, greenhouses, trees, someone keeps a lot of hens and has a dozen bee hives, so you really get into the gardening spirit. There are about 20-30 individual strips, but some people have more than one, and some are leased.

These two plots have not been planted for the past 30 years (the owner had inherited them and was not interested in planting). However, the soil seems to be rich.
One strip consists of lawn that was used as access to one lot, and half of it was plowed (accidentally, as the "neighbours" had expanded their plots towards the unused strip over the last decades), the other strip is currently a meadow with long grass and lady's bedstraw (galium) and you can't even make out where the borders are. We plan on having the borders measured to avoid any quarrels with the neighbours.

So when everything is signed, it will be late June/early July and I will try to start planting some things at least.
I might use a mix of lasagna mulching and turning the sods and I will probably go slowly, bed by bed. For winter, we will try to get a lot of horse manure spread on the ground.

It will also be the first time that I have to drive to the garden (about 18 minutes from home), I will have no electricity or running water there. Several of the owners there have a well which should be easy to install (and there is a small creek where I could fill watering cans). I will have to bring all tools with me until I have a little shed there where I can leave things.

I have made a list over the last days of things I could do there.
I will add this list in a second post and I hope for some comments and input.
Anita Martin
Posts: 604
Location: Southern Germany
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So here is the result of my brainstorming - Ideas for garden plot
(some plants may fall in several of the categories below)

1. Veggies you want in large quantities:
Potatoes, carrots, onions, garlic, leek, hokkaido pumpkins, pepita pumpkins, kale (cavolo nero, Brussel sprouts, sprouting broccoli, other), corn, beets

2. Veggies that take up a lot of space per plant:
Artichokes, Rhubarb, physalis, tomatillo

3. Fruit trees and berries:
espaliered trees, blackcurrant bushes, dwarf trees (morello cherries, fig), raspberries, strawberries; maybe even an elder tree?

4. Tall plants for microclimate / shelter /privacy:
Sunflowers (even Jerusalem artichokes?), runner beans, a trellis with honeysuckle, magenta spreen

5. Place for surplus seedlings that don’t fit into my regular garden:
Tomatoes (select for those that don’t need shelter), peppers, cucumbers, physalis (ground cherries) etc.

6. Plants for mulch / chop&drop:

7. Medicinal and kitchen herbs:
Dill, meadowsweet (filipendula), chamomille, mints, perennial fennel, lemon balm, borage, saint john’s wort, walking onion, garlic chives, lovage, feverfew, yarrow

8. Experimenting:
Try out things that would take up too much space in my normal garden (in case they fail), like sweet potatoes, peanuts, a hugel bed, a special guild, a special compost...

9. Propagation & seed saving:
A place to plant the cuttings from berries (blueberries, blackcurrants), roses, and taking up roots like Iris and Phlox that need to be divided and have no place to go.
Plants that go to seed for seed saving: beets, chards, salads

10. Flowers:
All those extra flowers that I’d love to have in my garden but just don’t have the space, both annuals and perennials like sunflowers, campanula, calendula, hollyhock,  purple loosestrife (lythrum salicaria) and others, for pleasure and for pollinators

Could I plant some plants for chicken feed?

For the moment, there will be no raised beds, no greenhouse
As soon as possible we will set up a compost and dig a well

So is there anything I forgot? What are your thoughts / experiences?
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