Growing Advice

Consider how much time, space and energy you have for growing vegetables – use the colour coding as a guide – the easiest vegetables to grow are marked green wheelbarrow which is a good starting point; these vegetables give more reward for less time,  for example peas, runner beans, Potatoes.

  1. If growing vegetables for a successive year, check out Crop rotation. All vegetables are hungry feeders and thrive on good soil with plenty of organic matter muck and compost. If you don’t have time to dig, and who does, an alternative gardening tip is to spread compost on the veg plot when you get round to it – late autumn and early winter and let the worms do the digging. Whatever you are going to plant, prepare your plot carefully to ensure the soil is enriched, well drained and your plot is in a sunny position.
  2. If you are in the North of England or an exposed site, accept that some vegetables need a very sheltered spot or glass cover, such as tomatoes, French  beans, melons, Sweet corn and squashes and a decent crop may prove very difficult,  and more so in a poor summer. There is a difference of around 7 weeks between spring in the far South and the North. There is also a difference in temperature, and in some areas of light levels,  which the books and seed packets do not always make clear.
  3. If you plant out early, March, & April you need to be ready to protect either with cloches or fleece to ward off the frosts. If the summer is poor, there may a correspondingly poor crop.
  4. If you don’t have the time  for seeds and propagation, buy plug vegetable plants, which are still good value. Remember, some seeds are easier to germinate, as a rule of thumb larger seeds are easier.  An easy starting point if you want to try germinating from seed are peas and beans, & courgettes.
  5. Salad crops need slug protection and here is detailed gardening tips on how to beat the slugs. Slugs love lettuce more than you do. The best protection if you have the time, is to water in nematodes just as the soil is warming up but there are many other ways. Follow the link for slug beating ideas but be prepared to tackle slugs or they will have your lettuce.
  6. To avoid vegetable gluts, it is best to sow or plant in succession, the usual gardening tip is sow every fortnight. Plants seeded at the same time, or planted at the same time, will produce fruit at the same time which can create a glut. To avoid this plant /sow a quantity of the veg and then a fortnight later repeat and continue doing through summer until the end date for planting, often around end of July. Even with care, some vegetables, notably runner beans always seem to come in a glut- step-by-step guide on how to freeze runner beans.
  7. If space is limited use tubs and containers for veg,  bearing in mind that containers will need more attention  particularly the need for watering. For gardening tips on growing vegetables in containers, follow this link. Tubs are a contained environment and as such they dry out more easily, which may present a problem over holiday periods. click here for gardening tips  on looking after the garden whilst on holiday.
  8. Accept the weather, as you can’t control it. Torrential wet summers are a perfect condition for blight and dry summers cause plants to bolt and it never rains when you want it to.

Mulching
Mulching is a top priority for a healthy garden. It does so much work that it’s hard to oversell the importance. Proper mulch maintains the integrity of the soil beneath it, protecting the earth from drying out under the sun and/or
washing away when the rains come and/or blowing away in the wind. It creates water retention, mulched gardens credited with requiring as little as ten percent of the watering that other gardens do! Mulching prevents weeds, provides habitats for useful insects and microorganisms, and moderates soil temperatures. The right type even feeds the soil as it decomposes. In other words, it’s a good idea.

  • A barrier to weeds – to kill or suppress existing weeds, and to prevent seed from germinating and colonising.
  • To prevent soil erosion by wind and rain
  • To reduce water evaporation from the soil
  • To clear an area of lawn or weeds, ready for cultivation
  • To add organic matter

 

Pest & Disease

Having an allotment is a big commitment and responsibility to take on board. It’s a passion for all gardeners, big or small to be able to grow your own fruit and veg. Our plots are all different sizes and are measured in square meters, not poles. There are paths between all plots so you not walking on someone’s plot.  There are standpipes and water troughs nearby which have hoses that can be utilised by all.

Woodchip is readily available and free, manure is available  in the bunker and is priced at £ 3.00 per wheelbarrow, soil and compost can be ordered by us through our “Thompsons compost run”, Look out for emails

 

Sustainable Water Use

Having an allotment is a big commitment and responsibility to take on board. It’s a passion for all gardeners, big or small to be able to grow your own fruit and veg. Our plots are all different sizes and are measured in square meters, not poles. There are paths between all plots so you not walking on someone’s plot.  There are standpipes and water troughs nearby which have hoses that can be utilised by all.

Woodchip is readily available and free, manure is available  in the bunker and is priced at £ 3.00 per wheelbarrow, soil and compost can be ordered by us through our “Thompsons compost run”, Look out for emails