If your allotment is new

try to prioritise this month

By Bridgette Saunders

Photo: Illustrative image for the 'If your allotment is new' page
  • Make your raised beds for the five crops listed
  • Sort out where you are going to site your compost heap
  • Begin to weed the area – take pictures of your weeds so that you can identify them, it is important to recognise them in the seedling stage as well as their adult form
  • Buy a few tools to start you off – a spade, fork, rake, hoe and hand trowel and fork
  • Invest in a couple of tub trugs to make weeding and adding compost easier.
  • Start off some vegetable seeds in modules at home on the windowsill or airing cupboard. Try broad beans, carrots, leeks, lettuce, peas, radishes, salad onions, spinach Swiss chard and spinach beet. If you have a greenhouse on the allotment start them off there – but remember half hardy annuals need heat to germinate.  Don’t go for anything too difficult – it is really demoralising if things don’t come up at the beginning.  I sow all my vegetables in modules, (cell trays) that way no thinning is required – just plant out the cell straight into the grown.  Some vegetables are half hardy and need to be sown later, for example if you sow your runner beans now they will be five feet tall in a couple of weeks and you won’t be able to plant them out as there is a still a risk of frost.  Check on the spacing before putting them out.
  • Try to make a cloche or cold frame to protect your vegetables
  • Sow hardy annual seeds for cut flowers, again in modules
  • Coming up in the next few weeks – focus on soils, weeds, sowing
This page was added by Bridgette Saunders on 13/05/2012.