Do you like to forget your plot in winter or do you like to prepare for next spring? Here are some jobs that can be done on those cold, crisp mornings in winter.
Order and prepare manure
You can order manure now or up to the end of February. If you lay some cardboard on the soil first it will rot down with the manure. If you leave the manure on the surface, it will protect the soil below from the harshness of the winter.
If you want to spread some around early, decide where your potatoes are going and dig some into that area. The winter frost will break down the soil making it perfect to plant your potatoes in the spring.
Stack the rest and cover it for the rest of the winter. The cover will protect the manure and help it break down.
Make sure you don't spread manure where you will plant root vegetables. They won't do well in freshly manured ground. Brassicas also don't do well in freshly manured soil; they need soil with a good coating of lime. You can do this in late winter or the spring.
Make a runner bean trench
If you are planning to grow beans, the manure will improve the structure of the soil. Try making a runner bean trench. You can fill it with kitchen scraps, compost, manure and old plants. This will rot down nicely and help to retain moisture for your beans.
Overwinter onions, garlic and broad beans
Some plot holders don't grow much over the winter, but overwintering veg can make good use of empty space and they will be harvested before you need the ground in spring. You can put the veg in the ground as late as the end of November so now is the time to think about doing it.
Harvest your existing veg
Kale is usually cut and come again so you can harvest it regularly and it will keep growing. Leeks will sit happily in the ground until you need them. Sprouts usually do well after they have been exposed to frost making them perfect for your Christmas dinner.
Otherwise, relax and enjoy a break before the fun starts again next year.
Plot holders cogitate and ruminate about allotment life.
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