Register with us or sign in
in Fruit & veg
Can i grow in my plot/allotment all year round or should there be a break so i can sort it all out only asking as my dad says i should stop for winter then end of winter dig over fertilise etc...i was hoping to use all year round
There are some veg that you grow through the summer and then harvest throughout the winter, like Brussels Sprouts, winter cabbages such as Savoy and January King, and Kale. Summer sowings of chard will stand most winters and provide you with pickings in mild spells and in early spring. Also you should sow Broadbeans Aquadulce Claudia in the autumn (I do it in Oct/Nov) and then you will have a crop from them about May time.
This article will give you lots of information about growing winter veg and salads http://www.sarahraven.com/how-to/growing-food/9/winter-salads-garden
You can also dig part of your allotment over and leave it fallow for the winter, and the frosty weather will break down clods of earth, or you can sow a 'green manure' crop in the autumn and dig it into the soil in the spring. This is very good for the soil - this article explains about it.
Don't forget to rotate your crops every year. Never grow the same type of crop in the same piece of ground 2 years running i.e. grow potatoes and roots one year, then pulses and legumes the following year and then leaves like brassicas the following year. I'm not saying you should devote the whole plot to the same crop but you should divide it and rotate the areas like so. This is because spuds and roots (carrots, swedes beets etc.) will clear the soil and break it up ready for beans and peas the next year. These fix nitrogen in the soil through their roots and this is beneficial for greens the following year. It also helps to prevent a build up of diseases.
Oh yes I forgot to say, this means that once the roots are finished you can sow catch crops like salads till the end of the season then dig over and manure in the autumn or winter ready for the spring or sow green manure and dig that in in the autumn and you can leave the brassicas that last you through the winter and you won't need to do anything to that plot (apart from a fork over) as roots don't like too much feed. Over manuring can cause forked carrots - if that's a problem! This is just rough version and you can fit in other crops around this scenario to your own taste (excuse the pun!).
Plant rhubarb and garlic in November too.
There's no particular reason to leave an area of soil bare in the winter, as long as you keep rotating your crops. You can follow one crop by sowing another straight away, as long as it's of a different type. But in practice most people don't have enough year-round crops to fill their plot, and don't want to spend too much time in winter looking after crops. You'll probably find that once you've got some overwintering crops established (brassicas, parsnips, leeks, chard) that there will also be some ground you don't need to use in winter. Just turn the soil over and let the frost break it up. You can also refresh the soil by adding compost to the bare areas.