Here are ten top tips on starting to grow vegetables and preparing a new piece of your garden or taking on an allotment. You can follow these & more hints & answers as ‘live’ tweets on Twitter via #WoolliesAskAlison every Thursday evening 8-9pm UKtime.
As summer comes to an end it’s time to look at veg growing: this week preparing a new veg plot or allotment
Decide how much time you will spend tending veg plot and don’t prepare an area too big to manage.
Prepare plot well when you start & make like easier for years, especially important for permanent veg & fruit beds
If starting with lawn, best to strip off grass & compost separately to avoid grass re-appearing through veg seedlings.
If taking over old allotment covered in weeds, avoid rotavating or you’ll spread fragments of couch grass all over it.
Lawns are often compacted with poor drainage: dig deep & add loads of organic matter for structure & nutrients
Clay soils are best dug roughly in autumn & left for winter frosts to break up clods – if we have frost this winter!
Sow green manure crop on unused free draining soils in autumn to reduce winter rains leaching out nutrients.
If choosing an allotment plot think about access for bulk loads of compost/manure, water supply & rules on sheds
Start a list of what you want to grow but remember constraints of time & space. More on this in 2 wks.