HAGLEY VILLAGE ALLOTMENTS
Hopefully October and November have been kind to you in the garden or at the allotment and by December the winter brassicas should be at their peak and a good frost will sweeten up those parsnips, swedes and turnips.
It’s a good time now to plant garlic and rhubarb and if the ground isn’t too hard, you can now also plant bare-root fruit trees and bushes but be mindful that December really is your last chance if you didn’t do so last month.
December is also the month for housekeeping and putting the plot to “bed” for winter. Where possible start to feed your soil with well-rotted organic matter, pull up any perennial weeds and cover to protect.
There are many benefits to covering beds over winter, both in the garden or at the plot as follows:
• Suppress weeds
• Keeps off heavy rain
• Helps to warm the ground for spring
• Prevents leaching of nutrients
• Protects from frosts
An all-time favourite for ground cover in the garden is leaf mould and I can often be found shovelling up buckets of fallen leaves in my street. If like me, you have left any perennial tubers and/or bulbs in the ground then make sure you give those an extra helping of mulch, just in case!
To finish off, during December it’s a great time to think and plan for the next growing season, reflect on what worked well and what didn’t work so well, re-plan and work out crop rotation and perhaps any other structural changes, like adding an extra bed or some arches for vertical growing and with that I’d like to wish you all a merry Christmas and a happy New Year!
Abi at Plot 42 @the_anxious_allotmenteer