Oh I do love this time of year on the allotment. All of that potential. The promise of wonderful things to come. It’s so exciting!
The seed catalogues are landing with a delicious thump thump on the doormat. I have a scrap of paper torn from a ToDo list and I’ve pinched my daughter’s drawing pad and colouring pencils. I am ready to make plans.
One of the biggest plans this year is to follow the No Dig approach popularised by Charles Dowding. 80% of my plot is already No Dig, or minimal dig at best, as digging is not easy for me. Going 100% No Dig would really ease my aching back.
My first task will be to spread compost/manure over all of the beds so that the frost can break it down into a lovely crumbly mix in time to start sowing in Spring. I just have to kick this awful pneumonia first!
Last year was a tough one on Plot 15. You name it, the plot suffered from it. Blight, powdery mildew, blackfly, club root, rust. It was plague-like in its intensity. The greenhouse fared no better. My tomatoes had blight and there was the curious incident of the dog and the cabbage seedlings (Evie ate them!).
So this year I’m going to be trying out some of the more disease resistant varieties. If you’re interested in what I’m planning to sow here’s a list.
Pea – Show Perfection
Runner Bean – Benchmaster
Dwarf French Bean – Primavera
Broad Bean – Luz De Otono
Kale – Curly Scarlet and Dwarf Green Curled
Broccoli – Green Calibrese
Brussels Sprout – Rubine
Kalettes (or Flower Sprouts) – Petit Posy
Chard – Vulcan
Carrot – St. Valery
Beetroot – Detroit 2
Parsnip – White Gem
Cucumber – Telegraph Improved and Marketmore 76
Spring Onion – White Lisbon
Lettuce – Catalogna and Lambs Lettuce
Tomato – Sungold F1, Moneymaker and Ailsa Craig
Courgette – Easy Pick Gold F1
Pumpkin – Munchkin and Atlantic Giant
Potato – International Kidney
Sweetcorn – Swift F1