Posted: 07/03/2013 at 00:11
Not starting sowing anything until April. Winter will be late leaving us this year, keep on with the digging, as you will expose lots of pests eggs, such as slugs, which the birds will eat. Digging when frost is due is also a good idea, as it helps to split the bigger clods of earth, which will make the soil better for your plants. I'd suggest putting some raised beds on the tarmac.
Don't use the chicken manure fresh, bung it in a heap somewhere and let it rot down, if you use it now it will 'burn' the roots of your crops and they won't do well. Don't dig manure in on the bed you're using for root crops such as carrots, parsnips, swedes etc, as they grow roots searching for 'food', which they won't need to do if you've just manured the bed you're growing them in.
Grow the stuff you like to eat, or that's expensive to buy in the shops. Potatoes are recommended as a first crop, as you have to do lots of digging (which prepares the soil for other things), you have to dig a hole to put your seed potato in, 'earth up' the shoots (cover the shoots with more soil/compost to encourage more potatoes to form), then you have to finally dig the potatoes up! That's why a lot of the allotmenteers recommend them (next door neighbour is my vegetable guru!)
Keep digging whenever it's dry, don't bother when it's wet, the cold weather is an ally when you're preparing any new ground.