The Thorny Issue Of Non Cultivation

By far the most hotly debated issue on our allotment site at the moment is that of ‘non cultivation’ of plots, particularly as many perennial weeds are about to go to seed.  Visiting other sites and seeing pictures posted on blogs and forums I realise that we are far from alone in having a problem with this.

To clarify, I am not talking about a bit of untidiness around the edges for whatever reason, but those plots that don’t see their carer for months at a stretch.   Those that pitch up on receipt of a letter to chuck on a bit of weed killer, strim and then disappear into the ether until the next time.

I waited over two and a half years for my plot but through that time reasoned that if the site was so popular that when one did finally become available I could at least expect it to be in a reasonable state.

Of course those of you who’ve been involved in this for many years can now have a good chuckle at my naivety.  As it happens it could have been a lot worse but given I got the plot in late April and didn’t want to waste another growing season it also could have been a lot better.  Even with all the help I was lucky enough to receive, it was still pretty much a full time job for the first two months to get half of it in a good enough condition to grow and this didn’t even begin to deal with the twenty square metres of rubble, metal pipes, broken glass, carrier bags etc. that we had to clear from the back.

Our lease tells us to ‘Keep the garden weed free, rubbish free and properly maintained at all times’ whilst the Code of Conduct outlines a procedure for dealing with instances where this does not happen.  In essence three strikes and out.  However the interpretation of this differs widely.  A year to get a plot in order, fifty percent cultivated, fine as long as it’s kept tidy, being just some of the views I have heard expressed over the past couple of weeks.

So I do wonder what the root of the problem is: a lack of consensus on what the specified regulations mean or a process that is not firm enough to deal with the issue? I also wonder about all those who are waiting patiently for their opportunity to have an allotment and what they would have to say.

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8 Responses to “The Thorny Issue Of Non Cultivation”

  1. Catharine Howard August 14, 2012 @ 5:17 pm (#)

    A wide difference of interpretation but the thing (new allottee too) that puts me into a panic is the remorseless flowering and seeding of the most profligate weeds sending out literally thousands of spawn. I am posting on allotment ownership too but luck did not bring me your rich haul of drainpipes etc.

    • Southbourne Gardens replied: — August 14th, 2012 @ 7:25 pm

      I think it’s to do with ‘thrift’ an ideal which seems to be at the heart of allotmenting but in reality often means hoarding lots of rubbish on the off chance it might be useful one day. The weeds are never ending but can be beaten in retreat a little bit.

  2. Catharine Howard August 14, 2012 @ 5:17 pm (#)

    A wide difference of interpretation but the thing (new allottee too) that puts me into a panic is the remorseless flowering and seeding of the most profligate weeds sending out literally thousands of spawn. I am posting on allotment ownership too but luck did not bring me your rich haul of drainpipes etc.

    • Southbourne Gardens replied: — August 14th, 2012 @ 7:26 pm

      Thank you. I didn’t know that. Really enjoying it.

  3. Diana of Elephant's Eye August 14, 2012 @ 7:20 pm (#)

    going off at a tangent – welcome to Blotanical. You are our 3,000th Blotanist!

    • Southbourne Gardens replied: — August 14th, 2012 @ 7:26 pm

      Thank you. I didn’t know that. Really enjoying it.

  4. Gardens at Waters East August 20, 2012 @ 11:44 pm (#)

    I never even thought of the problems one could have in a community plot. Having “neighbors” who do not weed and keep their plot in order never occurred to me. How sad that you have to put up with that. Here on the shores of Lake Michigan in USA, the only problem seems to be the seaweed that shows up at times. Enjoyed your posting today. Jack

    • Southbourne Gardens replied: — August 21st, 2012 @ 5:03 pm

      Thank you for reading the post Jack. You are in such a stunning location it must be hard to imagine growing in a city. If I am honest on a day to day basis it doesn’t affect me, I just carry on but plots are such short supply in some area that I do think that it’s selfish of those that hang on to them and don’t use them properly.

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