Where can I get plug plants?
Garden centres stock veg plug plants - though their supplies may be running down at this stage in the growing season. For mail order plug plants Rocket Gar- dens (rocketgardens.co.uk) are tried and tested and their customer service and plants are excel- lent.
I’ve seen a lot of plots with vegetables covered with white mesh, others with netting - what needs to be covered and what can be left uncovered?
Cover with butterfly proof net- ting as cauliflower, broccoli, cabbage, brussel sprouts, kale are all susceptible to being pecked by pigeons and also to the caterpillars of cabbage white butterflies Carrots - if growing in open ground cover with insect proof mesh to prevent carrot fly. Alternatively sow in a large high sided tub as carrot fly don’t fly above 60cm.
Having had a crop of sweet corn destroyed by crows, we now net the sweet corn against birds
Leek moth is the main pest, so cover leeks with insect proof mesh
Soft fruits - the following needs to be netted against birds:
Summer raspberries, strawberries, red currants, black currants, blueberries, The netting and mesh mentioned is all available from the allotment shop.
If you can’t be bothered with netting grow the following: Parsnips, courgettes, squash, all types of beans, radish, spring onions, onions, shallots, chard, asparagus, potatoes, autumn raspberries, tree fruits, blackberries.
What can I do during the winter months on the allotment?
Winter is the perfect time to prepare the allotment for the next growing season. You’ll still have plenty of produce to harvest, potatoes, parsnips, kale, sprouts, cabbage. In autumn sow green manure. Mulch the soil with your own compost, composted manure. After the first frost, clear away courgette debris, beans, put away nets, bamboo canes and have a general tidy-up.
In February, cut back autumn raspberries, prune fig trees, shape the beds. On a cold day sit indoors go through the packets of seeds you already have, prepare a seed list and work out what you’re going to sow and where.
Finally, do chat to other plot holders and glean information and learn from their experiences. Walk around the site to see what others are growing and get inspiration for setting out your plot.
WAHGA’s Website features an excellent month-by-month guide, with lots of effective tips about how to manage your allotment throughout the year.
The allotment facebook group is also a great source of useful information and a great place to ask questions!