This post is a helpful repeat of the Newsletter Articles from the October 2020 and February 2021 editions in full. Let us know if you have any comments or feedback. We will be adding further similar articles as the 2021 growing season gets going.
A number of new tenants have taken up plots on the site over the last few months & perhaps are wondering what to do next. So here’s a sample list of resources that may be helpful for first time ‘allotmenteer’.
What to grow? – See the chart on this page to give you a good idea of what you can grow and when it requires sowing/harvesting. Of course, some of this depends on what the soil is like on your plot, making a soil test will help you understand that. You can also ask other tenants what grows best.
Crop Rotation – The RHS defines this as ‘The principle of crop rotation is to grow specific groups of vegetables on a different part of the vegetable plot each year. This helps to reduce a build-up of crop-specific pest and disease problems and it organises groups of crops according to their cultivation needs.’
There is an amazing amount of online information about this subject – the author works in a four year rotation – but you can also have a three plan. Here’s some more information about the subject.
- Crop Rotation for Growing Vegetables from GrowVeg
- Planting plan and crop rotation from Garden Organic
- The Three Year Crop Rotation Plan from Allotments & Gardens
- The Four Year Crop Rotation Plan from Allotments & Gardens
You may have taken over a plot that has not been used for quite a while and needs some work done on it to get it back in shape and one of those things that will help is adding organic matter back in.
It will take a bit of time to build up your own compost heap, so what to use?
Again a wide variety of information is online, here’s a few (in no particular order) that may help…
- Adding Organic Matter in the autumn – from the Compost Shop
- Ten Ways to Improve your Soil – from Quickcrop Blog
- 9 Ways to Improve Garden Soil – from Gardenista
- Adding Organic Matter to Your Allotment & the Importance of Soil Fertility – from RMS
- Organic matter: how to use in the garden/allotment – from the RHS
- The new allotment: soil improvers – from the Guardian
- How to improve your soil – from Gardeners World
There may seem to be a lot to do on your new allotment; don’t try to do everything in the first year, sow some easy to raise produce to have a small but productive harvest.
It will take time to really get your plot into full production and at the end of the day; you want to be able to enjoy your newly found hobby.