Preparing for Winter 2014

This winter I am not doing much in the way of crops, I had a few issues this year and want to give the ground a rest and a good dose of manure.  I have a few leeks, some kale and I am planting my garlic but that is more for companion planting than anything.

With the fine weather I decided to take advantage do do as much as possible now.

Preparing The Beds

For winter the beds need to be made ready for next year.  With the exception of the runner bean and Cucamelon bed, I have dug them over and removed weeds (which are merrily growing again lol).  Then added manure to all the beds.  I have also added green manure to the beds that are going to be next years late/winter crops.  Whether it grows or not I will have to wait and see.  Judging by the amount of birds on my plot I have a sneaky suspicion that they may have eaten them.  Though some of the birds are not really seed eaters.  Never mind, had I paid £3.69 for the seed I might be a bit miffed, but I only paid 50p for them so am happy to share.  Besides I like to see and help the birds if I can.

Some people like to cover their beds to stop the weeds.  I like the weather to break down the soil although of course nutrients do leech out over winter so some beds will need extra help in the spring.

Tidying Up the Plot

My plot is quite tidy anyway (my whole family just fainted!), but I am checking the storage, removing anything that should not freeze or may go rusty.  Checking for rotten bamboo canes.  I have checked and redone some of the bed edgings. Weeding the fruit section and tidying it up. Removing any netting so it doesn’t get ripped or tangled and finding somewhere to put my cloche so it doesn’t end up in other peoples allotments this year.

The Herb Section

I weeded and tidied the herb bed and cut back the herbs.

Moving Fruit Bushes

With my new half a plot, I have decided to give more room to beds so some of the fruit bushes are being moved either up or to the new bed.  I have to be careful to water them in and keep watered due to the lack of rain.  I prefer to do this now rather than leave them as when I moved them later in the year they all died, so I like to give them time to settle in.

Moving the Fruit Trees

I am so itching to get these moved, but someone moved some recently and they all died.  You are not meant to move these until they are dormant so am not so patiently waiting for the leaves to drop off!

Planting New Things

Although not planting winter crops I am planting bulbs for early spring flowering (as well as the garlic).

I think that is about it.  For winter I reduce my time on the allotment.  Some prefer to work all winter but I like it sorted and ready for spring. I do pop up sometimes and just sit and enjoy the day with a hot soup or coffee/tea.

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