Allotment planning

by Jane Moore

At last, the plot is free of snow. It's time to get down to some serious preparations for spring.

CabbageAt last, the plot is free of snow. It's time to get down to some serious preparations for spring. The plot looked beautifully tidy and well kept while it was covered in snow, but after the thaw I'm fully aware of how much work there is to do!

I was busy, though, while the snow was lying deep and crisp and even all over the allotment. I spent a couple of happy evenings planning the plot and deciding on my crop rotations for this year. I kept to my New Year resolution and decided to only plant things that don't need regular picking. So this year I'm saying 'no' to courgettes and 'yes' to butternut squashes.

I'm planning a couple of beds of onions which always seem to do rather well on my plot, as well as a small bed of shallots. I've had great results with shallots in the past and they pickle well if there are too many to eat.

For greens I'm sticking to cabbages (red, savoy and winter types) plus a couple of beds of leeks, because I love them so much. I'll also sow a few herbs and salads like parsley, dill and rocket as they're no trouble to grow.

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Gardeners' World Web User 13/02/2009 at 20:00

Butternut squash have never done well on my allotment, so I tried one called Cobnut last year.It gave a really good crop; slightly fatter shape--more flesh less seedy bit. Kept quite well too.

Gardeners' World Web User 14/02/2009 at 16:39

Both my mimosa trees are shedding their leaves down to bare branches, and look terrible, do you know if this is just a cold winter shed, or have I lost them, been in same position 6 years and never had this before, any answers please?

Gardeners' World Web User 16/02/2009 at 14:45

I bought a new mimosa in the summer of 2006, last years winter did the same to mine as yours, and I had protected it as much as I could with fleece, it did sprout from the bottom again,late last spring, but we have had harder frosts and snow this year and I did not get to protect it this winter, and the same has happened, so like you I am hoping I have not lost it altogether.

Gardeners' World Web User 25/02/2009 at 16:50

im going to be growing veg etc for the first time my raised beds are fertilized and turned over ready has anyone any advice on what is best for a newcomer to grow and advice on timing of planting thankyou

Gardeners' World Web User 27/02/2009 at 08:36

When deciding what to grow, think about what you like best, then have a look at other plots to see what does well. Talk to plotholders. Have a go. What works one year may not the next, but unpredictability is part of the fun. For planting times, send for a kitchen garden catalogue from Dobies. This has a handy chart with sowing & planting times. Good luck!

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