Nine ways to keep on top of your allotment this winter

Posted: 29th Nov 2018

Get one step ahead with your allotment this winter by following these tips from 

1. Sort it out

Start by finding a dry day to weed, rake any fallen leaves and then remove the remains of summer crops that you may have lying around to help you prepare for 2019. If you leave them to rot, it only invites diseases or pests.

2. Help the crops

Give your allotment beds a nutritional boost by applying a layer of compost or manure wherever you can. Spread the mulch to keep weak crops warm, and then move the especially vulnerable species into safe storage prior to the arrival of the worst of the weather.

3. Harvest the smart way

If you're plucking Brussels sprouts, start from the bottom and work your way up. When it comes to parsnips, you should only pick them after the first frost or two - the drop in temperature gives them sweet flavour by turning starches into sugars.

4. Take a flask

When you're out on your plot in the cold, having a hot and convenient flask of tea, coffee or soup becomes a must – just make sure you don't leave it at home!

5. Check your equipment

With little daylight around, the winter months provide you with the perfect time to make sure everything's working. If you have tools that need replacing or fixing, now's the time to do so! You should also ensure the shed door lock is working and the window latches are secure.

6. Keep off the grass

Walking on frozen grass may provide a satisfying crunch but it could end up severely damaging the brittle strands. You could also face being left with the permanent outline of any footprint until regrowth starts in the warmer spring conditions.

7. Dress for the weather

Be sure to dress appropriately - this includes wearing thick socks, jumpers and appropriate gardening gloves. It's also worth keeping a spare woolly hat around, for those especially nippy days.

8. Prepare for spring

Down-time spent on the allotment during those bleak winter days provide the ideal chance to plan for when weather improves. Flick through seed catalogues and get one step ahead.

9. Remember to water

Just because it's cold doesn't mean you can forget about the watering needs of your plants. In fact, several dry days in a row in the winter can be just as devastating as it would be during the summer.