Plot Cultivation

Important Notes for Plotholders

 

Allotments are in great demand.  As an allotment society we need to make sure that all our plots are put to good use.  Anything else would be unfair to the people on our waiting list.

That is why your contract requires you to maintain and cultivate your plot.

 

What does that mean?

 

Five characteristics of a cultivated allotment

 

  • Your plot is tidy and relatively weed free.

This means that tools are tidied away, rubbish is removed and, within reason, pathways are clear.

Everyone has the odd weed or two, so you are not expected to keep your plot weed free, but if the weeds are beginning to hide the plants, your plot is in need of attention.  There should be no more than could be removed in an hour or so.​

  

  • The plants on your plot are healthy

Your planting should be ordered and organised to ensure a good crop.

Plants should at the least be watered regularly, pruned as necessary and removed if they are failing.

 

  • Plants are yielding a crop

Healthy plants will produce a good crop.  In season, your plants should be producing fruit, vegetables or flowers.  Not all plants will produce in abundance.  There will be good and bad years, but if your plot is cared for this will give you the best chance to grow tasty fruit and veg.

 

  • Crops are harvested

The harvest is not left on the plants to rot.  Fruit and vegetables are picked, windfalls are tidied.

 

  • After the harvest, plants are dug out and the ground is prepared for the new season

When the season is at an end, plants which have finished cropping should be dug out or pruned back, ready for the winter.  Plots should be dug over and prepared for the next season as appropriate.

 

Why?  It’s my allotment

 

Your allotment is rented – on loan to you for the period of your lease.  You have a duty to yourself and to others to cultivate it because:

  • there are many others waiting for a plot to cultivate

  • other allotment holders will suffer if your plot becomes weedy and untidy

  • you will gain much more if you cultivate your plot on a regular basis – health, fresh vegetables, feeling part of a bigger group

 

What if I don’t?

 

The society gives you three months to get established on your plot.  If at the end of that period, or at any time during your tenancy they feel your plot does not meet the required standard they will send you a reminder.  A further letter may be sent if there is no improvement, and finally your tenancy will be terminated if your plot does not meet the criteria above.

Look after your plot – it makes sense!

Things to do in July 

July is usually one of the hottest and driest months so a lot of time may be spent watering. You can reduce water loss and so save yourself some time. Mulching with a layer of organic matter will help preserve moisture but may encourage slugs so you will need to take action against them.

Another good method of preventing water loss is to hoe. This both kills the weeds and breaks up the top of the soil stopping water from being drawn to the surface by capillary action and evaporating.

Although the hectic sowing of the first part of the year is past, there are still things to sow, plant out and happily harvest.

Those early potatoes should be coming out of the ground now and although they do not store as well as the maincrop varieties they will store until finished.

 

Sowing & Planting 

 

Direct Sowing

 

In dry weather draw your drill and water it well prior to sowing and then just water with a fine rose after to settle the seeds in.

In really hot spells you might need to water young seedlings early morning and late evening to keep them going.

Although the sowing season is coming to a close there are still things to sow in July:

 

·      Spring Cabbage

·      Chicory

·      Chinese cabbage

·      Kohl rabi

·      Lettuce

·      Peas

·      French Beans

·      Beetroot

·      Carrots

·      Radishes

·      Turnips

 

Planting Out

If they’ve not gone out yet, it’s time to plant out your leeks. Just dib a hole about 150mm 6″deep and drop the leek into the hole. Water it in