Taking advice from neighbors.

This week,  whilst out and about, I bumped in to one of my allotment neighbours. Lovely bloke, who like a lot of the people on the site will always stop for a chat and occasionally pass on their top tips.

Most of the advice this chap (Who I’ll call Paul) has given me has been sound – however there have been certain pieces in the past where I’ve thought to my self ‘ is he having me on here?’ One such piece was about sprouts:

‘What you want to do is stamp on the ground around the sprouts to compress the roots just before you take them out, that’ll stop them from exploding you see’ Says Paul.

Now, I don’t know about you, but this sounds a bit iffy to me.  But the fact he said it so straight faced, so matter of factly made me think perhaps he was being serious. Please do let me know if this is actually a sound piece of advice!

I haven’t actually seen Paul at the plot since about the start of November, and regular visits for him stopped in about mid October.

‘Been down there recently Paul?’ I asked just wanting to start a conversation, knowing full well that he hadn’t.

‘Nah’ He replied.  ‘Nowt to do in the winter.’

‘Yeah, that’s true.’ I heard my self saying.

‘I’ll Go down at the end of February and just Rotavate all the weeds in and then I’ll be ready to go. That’s what you wanna do!’

Of course,  like many of you, I’ve been working at the plot non-stop any chance I could all winter, digging, weeding, spreading crap, tidying, sorting the compost. ‘Nowt to do’ is surely far from the truth? So naturally I had to disagree with him.

Mentally disagree that is.

‘Yeah, I suppose you’re right’ was of course the natural reply.

Now, I’m sure everyone has there own methods when it comes to tending there plots, but I believe that the winter graft is part of the allotment experience. Digging is something I particularly enjoy doing in these cold winter months. So yes I disagree that the garden should be put to bed for winter. But should I question it? Air my opinion? Probably! But Paul has been gardening a lot longer than I have. 

Come to think of it he might even have a point. Perhaps I am doing it all wrong. Maybe heavy work during the winter is more damaging than it is good… My grass path certainly hasn’t enjoyed all the heavy wheelbarrowing. But even if he was right, and it wasn’t just about an easier alternative, I don’t think I could do it! Months on end without a visit to the plot? No thank you.

‘ Hard work though them Rotavators.’ He said ‘Sweating buckets by the end of it.’

I smiled and thanked him for the advice, then carried on with what I was doing.

Of course, as  I say MOST tips / advice I am given is sound, if occasionally odd. I’d love to know if it’s the same for you. Please do let me know what pieces of questionable advice you’ve been given in the past.
















6 thoughts on “Taking advice from neighbors.

  1. Exploding sprouts? That’s a new one on me … other than in a microwave. I can see that stamping the soil around the plants would help prevent them falling over but as a guard against brassica shrapnel?? He’s either pulling your leg or is a font of remarkable if obscure knowledge. If it’s of interest, I’ve adopted a no-dig policy on my vegetable beds (though I dug them over for the first couple of years). Now I just add a top layer of garden compost or leaf mould – worms do the rest! D


    1. Morning David! Thanks for the comment and yes I suspected as much – I struggled for words when he said it as it was that bizarre. And yes I see more and more people trying the no-dig, And wouldn’t mind trying it , certainly towards the bottom of plot where the ground is always quite water logger logged and heavy – I feel like I’ve read about your vegetable beds before but can’t recall what they looked like, are they raised beds ? And if so is having them a requirement for no-dig?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes they are raised beds and no, I don’t think it is a requirement as such. After all, it is what gardeners did for generations. I always used to dig them over and like you, enjoyed doing so but I read that digging can damage the soil structure especially when wet. And as the beds had been cultivated for two or three years, I decided it was far easier to leave them be … with that top dressing of compost each winter. It’s a case of ask two gardeners, get two different answers, I reckon.


      2. Certainly food for thought, Thanks for that David. Also I Hadn’t realised it was an old method, always thought it was something new, no idea why. Shall look into it for the future 😊


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