I have this bad habit. Actually I have lots, who doesn’t, but this particular bad habit involves the allotment.
If, for whatever reason, I’ve not been able to get up to the plot for a few weeks I start to imagine that someone else has come along and taken it over in my absence.
It’ll play on my mind during the day and give me sweaty nightmares at night until I resolve to make the 10 minute trip up there to set my mind at rest.
So that’s how I came to find myself stepping through the gates to the site on a very cold and frosty Monday morning, and heaving a huge sigh of relief when everything was exactly as I’d left it in October.
Well maybe it’s a little more wild and weedy and windswept than when I left it but, suffice it to say, no-one had seen fit to turf me off my plot in my absence.
Despite the frost there were a few signs of life. The overwintering veg is chugging along nicely, even the cabbages which has to be a first for my plot.
This year I’m aiming to fully adopt the No Dig method, having been around 85% No Dig last year.
A year ago I was diagnosed with a rare bone-densifying condition that causes me a great deal of pain in my pelvis and right hip joint. Digging is definitely out of the question now, not that I was that enthusiastic about it before the diagnosis!
To help me go No Dig I’ve got not one but three compost bins on the plot. The idea being that one is for putting stuff into, one is for taking compost out of and the other is merrily rotting down ready for next year. This system won’t produce enough compost to completely meet my needs but it’s a step in the right direction.
I’m also going to be switching up the varieties of veg that I’ll be growing.
Last year, with the unexpected heat wave, I really struggled to keep on top of harvesting during the summer months and a lot of veg bolted or simply stopped producing as what little time I could spend at the plot was taken up with watering.
Here’s what I’m planning to grow this year:
|Pumpkin (Pacific Giant)|
|Sweetcorn (Golden Bantam)|
|Carrots (Autumn King 2)|
|Parsnip (Tender & True)|
|Garlic (Provence Wight)|
|Brocolli (Autumn Green)|
|Spring Cabbage (Spring Hero)|
|Brussels Sprouts (Rubine)|
|Kale (Nero Di Toscana)|
|Pak Choi (Colour & Crunch)|
|Fennel (Di Firenze)|
|Climbing Bean (Violet Podded)|
I’ve chosen varieties that will either be out of the ground before summer hits or have later harvest dates.
Whether it’ll work or not remains to be seen but I’m looking forward to trying.