Having moved to a flat in Gravesend in 2015, losing my previous big garden, I was gutted that the big balcony that I had planned to grow on was useless. It hardly got any sun apart from in the middle of summer and it was cold and windy. I put my name down on the allotment waiting list and was told that I would have to wait an average of 2 years. Resigned to buying vegetables from the supermarket given the lack of local grocers nearby, I was therefore surprised and overjoyed when 2 months later I got the phone call to say that there was a plot going locally and I would be offered 1st refusal.

The plot was overgrown, however I was advised by other plot holders that the man who had it before me had taken very good care of it and the soil would be fertile. Apparently he used to grow potatoes and onions and not much else.

The plot is 5 rods, has running water and is in the middle of the site so gets the sun all day. I’ve decided to do the raised bed method as the soil is clay and tends to be either extremely dry and hard, or wet and claggy. At last count I have 24 beds measuring 1.5m x 2.4 m (the perfect size for my little arms). The beds are made out of pallet wood which is easily replaceable as and when they rot. In between the pallets I have carpet, put down mostly to stop me from falling over when its wet (1 wet, sore bum is enough to put you off bare mud). I have plans to put down woodchip eventually but for now carpet is doing the job. As I live near a friendly horse owner and the Thames, the beds are topped up with seaweed and well rotted manure.