Top Tips and How To
You’ve had your name on the waiting list for months, you get the phone call and – yes! - you are, at last, an allotment holder. Now you need to plan.
The Small Print
The first thing is to check over your assigned allotment to ensure all is good. Ask the council (if council owned) or site representative if any extra services are available. Some will rotavate plots free of charge - but only do this if the plot is weed free. Otherwise you will be propagating mare’s tail, bindweed and couch grass.
Check the local rules and regs. There won't be anything too daunting but they should answer questions regarding bonfires, water use, upkeep and any discounts at local shops.
Unclothed, an arbour adds beautiful structure and presence to any garden. Acting as a focal point, it’s somewhere for your eye to stop - a full stop in a garden design.
Drape plants over your arbour and it becomes an oasis of perfume on sultry summer evenings and an enchanting hideaway to enjoy a few precious relaxing moments in a day. A place to plot, perhaps, or even engage in illicit trysts?
So, get that arbour clothed right now!
Hotter than Tahiti, Brazil and Cor-phew! Headlines scream ‘heatwave’ as gardens plead for help. It is warm and dry so here's what to do to keep things happy in the garden:
Water, obviously, is required and in the absence of rain your hosepipe will be on red alert. Use water wisely and only water plants that need water! Established trees and shrubs will be fine in the dry weather but baskets, containers and anything newly planted will need your help. And leave your lawn alone as, yes, it will turn beige but equally, yes, it will turn green when it rains again.
No longer do gardeners have to spend their weekends and evenings trawling through the age-hardened pages of endless magazines, or struggle with heavy, outdated textbooks just to find the answer to a simple horticultural question. In today’s world, thanks to the wonders of the internet, a quick search yields thousands of results in mere seconds. Atop Google’s results for all things flowers and vegetables? The UK’s premier gardening and allotment blogs, of course.
Is there a better way of discovering the tried and tested tricks of the trade, the old tips, and the new ideas, than spending a quiet moment or two reading the musings of experienced gardeners, conveniently condensed into relatable, entertaining articles? We think not. We’ve done our research and analysed dozens of different blogs to find our favourites; why not take the time
Do yourself a favour and get a container:
Here’s a bold statement for a sunny afternoon - any plant can be grown in a container. You just need to keep in mind a few gardening tips and tricks and all will be well. In fact, better than ‘well.’ They will be stunning.
As the sap rises, we all get the itch to garden. That itch turns to an urge around the end of March and many plunge headlong into the wonderful world of Grow Your Own come April. But to be successful, vegetable plots have to be ready. They have to be prepared to accept our plantings and receive our seed. So, if your plot is overgrown and untidy, get a few things straight before ploughing on.
Sometimes, we tend to hold onto things that we really ought to replace. For example, we might insist on running an old 1998 Volkswagen Polo into the ground, even though it’s clearly time for a newer model. Similarly, we often let old fence panels rot away until they’re next to useless, when we should really replace them once they start to deteriorate.
What should you do with your old garden fence panels, though? Of course, the obvious solution is to simply load up the boot and take them down to the local tip. However, with a little creativity, you can actually find many uses for your ‘antique’ garden fencing and wooden fence
Who would have thought that a major hit in 2005 by pop-combo Westlife could be attributed to your back garden veg plot? Oh yes, I can exclusively reveal that the song ‘You Raise Me Up’ (you know the one - big ballad type affair perfect at weddings and maybe even funerals?) was inspired by the grow-your-own movement and the use of raised beds. I know it’s hard to believe, and may even shatter many emotional memories, but in these days of fake news, anything goes. And apologies if the song is now in your head or you’ve had to look it up.
And cue piano…
With the Christmas festivities over for another year but the joys of spring not yet in sight, the second half of winter can sometimes feel like a depressing time. The last thing you need, particularly if suffering from those ‘winter blues’, is to have your shed ransacked. Unfortunately, with it potentially full of Christmas goodies, and with the nights not yet having noticeably shortened, January and February are the months that it is most at risk. But don’t let your latest power tools or the kids’ new bikes be carried off without a fight. Now is the time to take our advice and beef up your shed security.