For many parts of the country – and our allotment included – January has not been a good month to work on the allotment. The rivers are as high as they have been for twenty years in our area, and still slowly rising.
What opportunity does the exceptionally wet weather give? Firstly, there are a few things best avoided:
The ground right now is tremendously soft. It can be tempting to think of this as an opportunity to turn everything over deep down. However, it also means that the soil will become compacted when you walk over it, squeezing out the air and tightening the whole soil structure.
Related to the point above, but also as a waterlogged soil – with freezing weather coming soon – are some of the worst possible conditions for planting. Shallots, garlic, and some onion varieties are best planted around now in usual conditions – but can rot in very wet soil.
And here are a few ideas for what to do …
If you have anything that that needs to be hammered into the ground, now is a good time, including tree stakes, supports for raspberries, fence fixing etc. Provided you can avoid walking over your beds, it should be easy to drive them deep into the soil.
- Emptying Water Butts
Freezing cold weather is likely to arrive soon, and when it does, the full water inside water butts will expand and potentially burst or split the sides of the butt.
- Staying At Home
Avoid the temptation to work, and walk, over the allotment beds by working at home! There are plenty of jobs to be done, including sorting out last year’s seed, ordering new seed (why not research and experiment with different varieties?), and making your growing plan (what to grow and where to grow it). It is surprising how quickly spring will be upon us (hopefully!)
Here are a few links that may be helpful
- Dobies have been awarded “Best Buy” seed supplier status by Which. See their full vegetable seed range here.
- Sutton Seeds have held the Royal Warrant as suppliers of seed to the Royal household since 1858. See their featured seed collections here.
- See our Allotment Planner & Record Keeper – now available to order in a 3 year format from Amazon UK.