A Winter’s Tale

By | February 5, 2024

Winter is the time for us allotmenteers to sit back, relax, but most importantly, plan. So we’re told. Saw this interesting article in the newspaper that is worth a look (click right) if only to try to ‘connect’ to this seemingly dormant period of the growing season. 

And a neat video I found via the National Allotment Society called ‘Plotting for the Future’ on why allotments are important to all of us.

Both of these things started me thinking as to what I was going to do this year.

To be frank, I have mixed feelings about this because as a household we don’t eat an awful lot of the produce I grow for any (or all) of the following reasons:

  • Don’t like it much.
  • Too much of it, as huge amounts become available at the same time.
  • My wife is suspicious of anything without a ‘best before’ date on the packaging.

My daughter once said that she didn’t want any potatoes thanks, as they were dirty.

To compound these issues, I have made some space in my garden for more vegetable growing so I really must examine why I do this. At some point. When I get around to it. But not now.

So . . . for 2024, I am planning a two-site strategy. High maintenance crops that need daily watering, close weeding, or frequent harvesting, will be grown on the garden patch, whereas lower maintenance crops will be grown on the allotment.

The next question is . . . . what to grow?

Garden Patch

Quite small and (right-angle) triangular in shape this offers 3 distinct areas.

The tip of the triangle (2.4m2) will be for a herb garden for things like Chives; Thyme; Mint; Rosemary; Dill and Parsley

The middle area (2.1m2) will be for salad stuff such as radish; lettuce and dwarf Veranda Red tomatoes

The base of the triangle (2.9m2) the largest area, will be for two types of dwarf beans, namely Hestia runner beans and Ferrari french beans

Allotment Plot

This will be for things like potatoes, onions and leeks but I am also going to have a go at fruit. I thought about apples even though we have height restrictions on our allotment plots. Dwarf trees would be acceptable and I thought perhaps a miniature tree rootstock (M27) and train it into what’s called a stepover style. There is a good guide to dwarf fruit trees here. However, the cost and time to fruit is putting me off. Watch this space.

I also want to have a flower patch with things like lavender and foxglove that will attract Bee’s for the benefit of all. Apparently purple is best.

I make no apologies for using a [mostly] single supplier D.T. Brown in the links above as I have used them many times before, and placing the majority order with one supplier helps keep shipping costs down. I will probably get potatoes and onion sets from the allotment shop in Tamworth or a local garden centre such as Wm Wheat & sons or Dobbies in Shenstone.

I’ll update later in the year with photographs to let you know if things have gone to plan (or not). Meanwhile below is the planting schedule, so February is definitely the time to start ordering.