January and February Allotment Jobs
People often say to me “ I guess there’s not much to do regarding the allotment in January and February. I say well actually I've been rather busy!
So what have I been up to? Well firstly after the stormy weather we have had, I had some repairs to do. The arch blew down and some fences were Broken by flying debris from other allotments.
But it is also a good time to renew the paths with wood clippings and if you have a greenhouse give it a good clean. Tidy the shed and make sure you have all you need for the coming season, like string and ties etc.
There is still time to top up the beds with more mulch, manure or chopped seaweed. And you have time to carry out any improvements in sheds etc.
Also if I haven’t already I like to cover my beds with black plastic. This draws the heat and the ground warms up so when you do plant things get off to a flying start! It’s surprising how doing this makes such a difference. I just roll it back as I plant.
But my absolute favourite job is planning my next year of crops.
I keep a journal and as I am a very visual person, I draw a little plan each year. This helps me to remember where I have planted previous crops so that I can rotate my growing. And the reason I do this is because different veg take different nutrients from the ground. And to give the ground
time to recover, I rotate so that I’m not growing brassica or onions where I grew them the previous year.
All the new seed catalogues are out and again I reference my journal as to what grew well and what didn’t. Sometimes I choose not to grow something again. And sometimes I try a different variety until I find one I really like.
Lottie is just one big experiment and for me the planning is as much of an enjoyment as the planting and picking.
I like to make myself a list of what seeds need to be planted in what order. Because if you have a propagator you can actually start planting mid January! Once I have my seeds I look at the back of the packet to see when they can be planted and put them in planting order and jot in my journal what to put in when.
I don’t have a proper greenhouse as such, but am hoping to get one this year. For me the early season is spent juggling pots on windowsills and in a mini greenhouse thing with a zip front that I screw to the fence on my driveway to stop it blowing away, there is never enough space. So this year I am going to experiment with starting a few things off super early like tomatoes on my windowsill. My only concern is that they will get leggy and spindly but I will see what happens and keep some seeds back in case I need a second planting.
Last year I have to confess I bought tomato plants. So this year I have bought seeds. Katie and I have bought different varieties of tomato seeds, so that we can do some swaps. So watch this space and I will share the results with you later on!