Winter seems to be dragging on now and my green fingers are aching to get into the soil. What with the dip in temperature and all the rain we’ve been having, the poor allotment looks a bit sorry for itself. Not only does it look sad and empty but the ground is cold and soggy making it impossible to do all those much needed jobs. Not that I’m complaining at all, my feet are nice and toasty in my new Marlowe GTX® boots which make popping up the allotment in the Winter a lot more bearable! They are a GORE-TEX® product which offers a complete weatherproof experience, making them perfect for wearing up the allotment come sunshine or rain. The height also makes them ideal for not only walking in but digging too as they protect my trousers from splashes of mud and there is no chance of any soil getting inside the boot too.
I‘m always a bit worried when ordering boots but as soon as I slipped them on it felt like heaven. I knew in that very instance that I wouldn’t be taking them off this Winter and they’ll be coming in handy up the allotment as well as country walks with the dog.
Whilst the ground is resting there are still plenty of jobs to be getting on with and pruning is one of the most important ones. My perennial flowers need cutting down to ground level and the roses and fruit bushes need a good prune too ready for the year ahead. I was also busy pruning my Autumn fruiting raspberries, these need cutting down to ground level ready as the berries form on new growth. Whereas Summer fruiting raspberries fruit on last year’s growth and need pruning in Autumn.
Winter also brings with it dark evenings and the perfect time to do one of my favourite allotment jobs… planning! It’s the most important job of the entire year and one I take very seriously, out comes the graph paper, seed catalogues and colouring pens until I’m happy with the final result. You can’t beat a good plan and one to stick to throughout the year, it will give you a guideline on what seeds need to be purchased and what’s going where so there’s no confusion later on in the year.
I also decided to dig up the last of the carrots so I could start digging over that bed for Spring. The variety was ‘Romance F1’ and I’ve been so pleased with the results, they’ve served me well throughout the year but it’s time for them to move on. There’s a huge pile of rubbish and weeds that needs removing very soon too so when the sunshine does come out I can dig the entire vegetable beds and get everything ready for the next lot of sowings.
Whilst the allotment is looking a little depleted there’s still signs of hope popping up as all those Spring bulbs I planted out back in November are starting to poke through the soil. Spring is just around the corner and both me and my Allotment plan on being ready for it when it arrives!
Katie Lane is a regular feature writer for the wonderful Lavender & Leeks blog which is an easy-to-follow online guide to gardening. Katie’s love of gardening grew from helping her Father on his allotment and has since moved on to owning her very own patch of land. Discover more about Katie and her dad’s gardening life on her blog here.