New allotment owner needing help

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New allotment owner needing help
« on: July 20, 2011, 14:15 »
After waiting several months i got the news this morning that an allotment had become available for me. The problem i have is i cannot take over the allotment until september. I don't want it sitting empty over the winter as i want to make the most of what i have. Does anyone have any suggestions for what i could plant in september or the following months to utilise what i have. I have always grew a small amount of vegetables and fruit in the garden but never carried it through the winter. Would appreciate any input :)




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Re: New allotment owner needing help
« Reply #1 on: July 20, 2011, 14:36 »
Hello and welcome!

I'm new myself so others with more experience will give better advice, but my 2p:

What state will the allotment be in when you get it? If it's anything like mine it may be a few month's before its sorted out enough to do anything with... I have a small patch dug over with some quick salad leaves in, but I know most of my plot will spend this year being dug, manured, erecting sheds, building fruit cages, etc in preparation to really go for it next year.

Also, will you be putting up a green house/poly tunnel? If so, this may allow you to grow some crops in it that it's too cold for outside. I plan to experiment in mine this winter, mainly with salad. If nothing grows, all I've wasted is a packet or two of seeds...

You can also put in over-winter onions and next years garlic...

Hope this helps a little...




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Re: New allotment owner needing help
« Reply #2 on: July 20, 2011, 14:53 »
hi and welcome
try these

 early Winter Lettuces and Spring Cabbages
 early Carrots

 Broad Beans, Spring Cabbages, Turnips, Spinach, plus Carrots & Lettuces (under cloches).
plant out Spring Cabbages towards the end of the month





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Re: New allotment owner needing help
« Reply #3 on: July 20, 2011, 15:05 »
Thankyou for the kind welcome Kosh,

The allotment itself will be dug over the lady that has it currently wants to harvest her crops first so it will be a blank canvas, but generally will be ready to go. Fortunately for me i am buying the shed already on the plot. The allotments here are new and residents only took over them in march so i am very lucky to have this chance. A polytunnel might be an idea for the winter i have a smaller one for the garden, also considered planting some seeds now and putting them in the cold frame.



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Re: New allotment owner needing help
« Reply #4 on: July 20, 2011, 15:56 »
You could get strawberry beds going and also raspberry canes if you like them, blueberry bushes and other fruit bushes. These can then be allowed to settle in over the winter for cropping next year.

You want to consider whether you will want to add manure to the soil - not a bad idea on a new site where the soil will not have had years of loving, tender care. Mind you, be careful in the areas if you plan to grow carrots as they don't like a particularly rich soil.

This will mean leaving the plot bare till the spring but good soil preparation is the secret to good crops.

Also you can get water butts and composting areas into place. I know that there won't be a lot to go in the composting area over winter but you will still be able to collect household vegetable peelings, teabags, paper and such like to get yourself started. You should also be able to get your water butts full over the winter for use in spring and summer.

A good book on gardening month by month would also help you to decide what you want to grow - and make sure you only grow what you like and are going to eat! The more you know the better you do.

Likewise you need to spend time sitting on the plot seeing where the sun shines at different times of the day so that you know which bits will be better for sun loving plants and which will be better for shade loving plants.

If you garden at home you will have some of the tools that you need but do consider carefully whether you want to be carrying tools to and from home (hard work when carrying produce too) and whether you need to have one or two duplicates to save problems.

Another late season activity is gathering netting to protect crops from various "sharers" - pigeons, cabbage white butterflies and smaller birds who do so love the tender shoots of peas as well as things like strawberries and raspberries. If you are doing fruit then a fruit cage could be a consideration. Also canes or some form of support for things like beans and peas if you think that you will grow these.

It took me a full season to get the plot going in the right direction when I first went on - and like you I took on a well cared for space.



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Re: New allotment owner needing help
« Reply #5 on: July 20, 2011, 17:01 »
If sown now you could plant out spring cabbages in September.  You might get lucky doing the same for early purple sprouting broccoli.
You could try overwibtering broad beans, peas or onions.  But most people seem to think they work best left to spring - I agree with this but it is up to you (not sure where you are which will make a difference).
You could also sow radishes.
Mainly though as mentioned before concentrate on prepareing the soil for spring.  It is really nice when you get going in spring and the ground just needs quick dig over as it was well prepared in autumn.



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Re: New allotment owner needing help
« Reply #6 on: July 21, 2011, 09:43 »
Thankyou for all the kind replies and ideas, I will prepare the soil as best as i can for spring and maybe get some fruit bushes in.



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Re: New allotment owner needing help
« Reply #7 on: July 21, 2011, 12:50 »
Green manure might be an option for some of it
Self-sufficient in rasberries and bindweed. Slug pellets can be handy.



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Re: New allotment owner needing help
« Reply #8 on: July 22, 2011, 21:22 »
overwintered onions and defo some garlic .

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