Really rotten allotment jobs in February

There can’t be a nastier time of year than February, on the allotment. I know I should be trying to find the good things about this month, but I do really, really, really detest almost everything that has to be done this month.

The worst job is turning over last year's potato bed and looking for those titchy leftover potatoes that hid in the ground and – if you don’t remove them – can spread diseases or pass on blight to this season’s crop. They have a lovely name: volunteers, but it’s a perfectly rotten job, back-breaking, time-consuming and fiddly.

The seed flats and everything above three inch pots are going to be used from next month onwards, and although every November I say I’m going to wash and sterilise all the pots at the end of the growing season, so they are ready for spring, I never do, and so I end up ferrying bagloads of flats and pots backwards and forwards as this is a task much more easily done with hot water at home.

The final horrible task for February is spreading black polythene over the first beds we’ll be planting next month, so that the soil underneath gets a chance to warm up before we begin to plant out seedlings that will be protected by cloches.

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Posted by The Allotment Blogger on Saturday, February 23, 2008

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