Tips for starting out on an allotment
· If you’re a beginner, starting on a smaller plot will make it easier for you to manage.
- When starting out it’s a good idea to talk to other gardeners who work on the allotment to find out what’s been successful and what hasn’t been on their plots – this could save you a lot of time in the long run!
- First job should be take care of your soil and make sure it’s fit for purpose, so sort out any weeds and other pests.
- Make sure your tools are up to scratch and well looked after – investment in the long term will yield better results. Keeping them in a secure shed or outbuilding will ensure that they stay safe and in good condition.
Cabbage – there are three different general types of cabbage – winter, summer and spring types. For example, the Kilaxy variety of cabbage is a summer type and can be harvested in late summer/early autumn.
Carrot – if you want to start growing carrots as soon as possible, go for the type Adelaide AGM as this can be sown in February or March. Make sure to use a cloche for protection.
Cauliflower - there are many different varieties of cauliflower – why not try a purple variety such as Purple Graffiti to add some vibrant colour to your vegetable patch. Just remember to harvest cauliflower as soon as it’s ready.
Lettuce – Set AGM is a variety of lettuce that is fairly easy to grow, so would be good for beginners. However, in the summer watch out for lettuce root aphid – this pest attacks the lettuce roots so you may not be able to see it but look for ants around the plant as this can be a sign. Keep the plants well watered as this can help suppress the damage.
Onion – You can start sowing onions from March to April and they are better suited for open ground so they are a great choice of vegetables if you’ve got an allotment or a spacious vegetable patch.
Potato - Ideally potatoes need be in a sunny site away from frost, so before planting anything have find out how much sun exposure your plot receives. March/April is the perfect time to start planting tubers.
Tomato – You can plant tomatoes indoors or outdoors depending on what you resources you have available. Ferline beefsteak tomatoes have some resistance to tomato and potato blight so could be a good variety to start with for a beginner.
Whatever you decide to grow, good luck and here's to a bumper harvest in 2013.