So! That competition I entered – The annual event organised by the Leeds & District Allotment Gardener’s Federation to find the best allotments in the city…….
A letter came through the post today with the results………
How do you think I did? The criteria was based on crop quality, range of crops, cultivation skills, successional sowing, use of space and discretionary points for anything else positive that was worth noting.
Well, I came 2nd in the Newcomer’s class and had the 8th highest scoring plot in the whole of the competition. I’m in the top ten best plots throughout Leeds and the surrounding area and I’ve only had the plot for nine months: I’m rather thrilled about that if I’m honest……… Not so happy at only coming 2nd in the Newcomer’s class but I suppose beggars can’t be choosers. Guess I’m too much of a perfectionist at heart 😉
Here’s a breakdown of the marks I got – Something to refer to and work on to improve for next year (I’ve already set my sights on a place in the top 5!):
Crop Quality (40% maximum): My score was 34% – I blame caterpillars, pigeons and slugs for blighting the brassicas – Next year I’m going to work harder to keep everything under cover so that the little monsters can’t get at ’em! And my fruit crop is pathetic this year – Even though we had tons of blossom on the fruit trees There’s actually only 1 apple clinging on for dear life! Maybe I need to concentrate on ways of bringing more pollinators on to Plot 29 next year…
Range of Crops (20% maximum): My score was 15.2% I thought I’d done well this year with ‘a little bit of everything’ as well as a few exotics like soya beans, sweet potatoes, globe artichokes and Jerusalem artichokes. I’ll have to wait until the club secretary receives a more detailed mark breakdown before I decide on a plan of action for the next season…
Cultivation Skills (25% maximum): My score was 23%. What can I say? Most of this allotmenteering lark been completely new to me – A huge learning curve! I’m delighted with this score 🙂
Successional Sowing (5% maximum): My score was 3.5%. I’m still planting by the moon: I’m still getting to grips with trying to avoid gluts of ripe produce. Everyone around me seems to be doing the same. Is this something that I’ll continue to battle with forever?
Use of Space (5% maximum): My score was 5%. Yahooooooooooooh!
Discretionary points (5% maximum): My score was 2.8%. Again, until the secretary comes back with a more detailed breakdown of the marking allocations I’m not sure what this is for. I’m guessing I got brownie points for things like water conservation (I still could improve in this area) and provision for wildlife. I’ve also got two compost bins, a leaf mould pile and a vile smelling bucket of comfrey fertiliser on the go. There might also have been an allowance for health & safety issues and general appearance – Everything was immaculate when the judges turned up as I’d spent the entire week before on my hands and knees pulling up every little microdot of weedlife, chopping off every ailing leaf and tidying anything and everything away! Who knows? I’m looking forward to seeing a bit of detailed feedback very soon 🙂
And overall 8th in the competition? Can’t knock it really 😉