December allotment tasks

If like us, you’re struggling with allotment motivation in this bad weather, it’s worth thinking about all the good things that next year will bring you if you put in the effort now. This is what our neighbours have on their allotment ‘to do’ lists:

Winter pruning apple and pear trees to remove diseased wood and improve the shape – especially to try and get trees down to a reasonable height, because one of the major problems with allotment trees is that if the previous plot holder didn’t stay on top of pruning, you inherit something you can only harvest with a thirty foot ladder! It really should be a sacred trust to keep trees in trim, because it’s so hard to get them back down to picking size once they get out of hand.

Digging in manure where the brassica bed will be next year, and turning the compost in bins or heaps, to let in a bit of air which will speed up the decomposition process through the winter months when the normally active bacteria become dormant in the cold.

General weeding – especially along paths and around fruit bushes and trees, and general maintenance like checking roofs for leaks, gutters for blockages and compost bins for seeping or rotten areas if they are wooden.

Lots of plot holders are using this damp and miserable weather to highlight the areas of their plot that are holding water, and as soon as the rain stops and the frosts begin they will dig in sand and compost to help with drainage – the frosts will help break up the soil and add air to it, which encourages water to drain and gives added fertility.

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Posted by The Allotment Blogger on Sunday, December 9, 2007

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