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[email protected] Posted 2 years ago
Newbie with allotment

Hi all,

just got an allotment, yes I realise that winter is just around the corner, welcome suggestions on what to plant now, and useful tips for over these winter months.. looking forward to the challenge

4 likes & 22 replies
    • Deleted User 19th October 2020 at 9:09 pm


      generally, you will be very lucky to get a new plot that doesn’t have an issue because it was neglected. It’s a great time to get it dig over- clear perennial weeds and get good quantities of well rotted manure on to condition the soil. It’s useful to plan what you are growing next year and have a three year cycle for your brassicas, root veg and peas/beans. Where you are growing brassicas give that area a dressing of lime to help keep club root at bay. Winter is a good time to plant our garlic and winter sowing of broad beans if your soil isn’t together heavy. It’s also a good time to do the jobs you won’t have time for in the spring- such as building net frames for cafe ages and sprouts etc otherwise you will just be growing to give a free meal to pigeons! You will really enjoy and spend time over winter planning your sowing for the year ahead and make sure you sow small batches with gaps to get a good succession rather than trying to offload 300 lettuces at once! It’s a fantastic use of your time and my other advice would be go on often and for short spells – the last thing you want is it to become a chore.

      good luck



    • Jimper 19th October 2020 at 10:52 pm

      You are better to leave planting until early next year, begin deciding what to grow and design your plot, I assume you have plenty weeds on it so start getting rid of them and do a small region at a time, Jim

    • Amanda in Durham 19th October 2020 at 11:00 pm

      Following this thread because I have just moved into a rental property with some nice raised beds in the back garden. They are in a pretty shaded area so I was thinking that root veggies might be a good thing to try?

      Any comments welcome!


      PS I am in Durham, so it’s colder here

      • Deleted User 20th October 2020 at 9:30 pm

        Potatoes – pick a first early and then a main crop – really easy but great returns

        • Amanda in Durham 20th October 2020 at 9:35 pm

          Where is the best place to get potatoes for planting? Any garden centre?

        • Deleted User 20th October 2020 at 10:12 pm

          Buy seed potatoes from any inline supplier – do this in February. Early potatoes need to be chatted- that is put them in a cool room in light and let the eyes grow half an inch then plant them in March- main crop seed potatoes need not be chatted. Once planted and the plants grow scrap soil up in a mound to cover the leaves- it’s called earthing up. It is meant to I’ll up the crop. Early crops should be lifted when the plants flower and main crops when the leaves start to die off.

          hope this is clear enough- let me know if you need any other advice. PS another very easy root crop is beetroot- pick a variety called bolthardy. Sow them in March  but sow a few at two week intervals or you will be eating nothing but beetroot!

      • Jimper 4th December 2020 at 1:35 pm

        Carrots need depth so you could add them in the beds, I find Wilko’s have a wide choice of seed potatoes on sale around February to March

    • Deleted User 20th October 2020 at 11:27 am

      thanks great info, good luck everyone.
      I have a question for Larry and perhaps it may be of interest to others because we have roses growing among the allotments where we are so it may be helpful to you too  

      The plot we have been given is primarily for flowers. It has a big hazel at one end followed by 8 roses, hardy geraniums, dianthus, rosemary, a sink with mint with a huge gap on either side where we cleared all the over grown mint. What a job. Then oregano, a large bed of comfrey that has grown around Anjelica, and two Christmas roses. Then another big space all the way to the end where our compost bins are that has crocosmia, borage, cornflowers, lavender, helianthus, sunflowers and love in a mist. A real mess now we’ve untangled all the bindweed and other horrible weeds. It has taken us 2 1/2 months to get them cleared. And we’ve tried to replant the bulbs we’ve dug up accidentally. While we were happy, heads down digging and weeding, we now feel a bit stumped. We put in a small seed order as part of the big association order. Flowers (mostly hardy annuals of different heights and mixing in those that attract bees) as well as organic potatoes for a small patch near the end.  So I guess those are for next year. And will have more questions then. 🙄
      The roses haven’t been pruned for some time and have black spot. Although they have come back to life since we cleared the weeds. All have new growth and some are in bud!

      So here is the question : when do we prune them .. and how ? I’ve read a few articles but a few words of wisdom would be very welcome. Thank you.

      • Deleted User 20th October 2020 at 9:28 pm

        Roses should be pruned in the late autumn just to reduce wind rock and damage. You take 1/2 to 2/3rds off and don’t worry about being clever it’s for no other reason than reducing their size. In March you do the formative pruning- era assume they are all hybrid tea roses

        1) cut dead, damaged and weak material completely out

        2) look for young (green and pencil thick shoots) find about four five of these that are evenly spread around the plant. Cut all other out completely

        3) cut the stems back to about 1 foot high at an outward facing bud and you will have a nice open plant – this is an annual process


        hope it helps



        • Deleted User 20th October 2020 at 11:02 pm

          That really does. Many thanks. That makes sense. Much appreciated. We got more done this evening, making the most of a good day.

        • Deleted User 21st October 2020 at 8:20 am

          Yes – I have had a good few days on my plot this week. Take care

        • Deleted User 22nd October 2020 at 11:07 pm

          I’ve read and been informed of a few different rules for roses. Mine’s a floribunda. It was beautiful over summer but leggy and leafless now with some unspent buds.

          Anyway, one says leave dead heads now, in Autumn, to become hips so the rose sleeps for winter. This therefore would suggest that you don’t prune until spring. This would also be safer to avoid damage from frost. I’m just wondering if it’s different rules for different varieties of roses?


        • Deleted User 22nd October 2020 at 11:29 pm

          I wouldn’t dare say I am definitive but I’m my experience rises don’t need frost protection as they are very hardy- wind rock can cause the neck of the plant to develop a hole which can fill with water and start rot. I would always autumn prune any hybrid tea or floribunda roses. Just my advice but certainly do what you feel is best

        • Deleted User 23rd October 2020 at 9:27 am

          Thanks Larry. Clearly I need to do a bit more research on types of roses. The roses are tall and definitely could do with cutting back. I think you said late autumn. Is that now? I’m so confused. I watched Monty Don saying in his experience – and possibly due to climate change – autumn is much later now.

        • Deleted User 23rd October 2020 at 10:50 am

          Yes – do it anytime now

          have a good day

        • Deleted User 27th October 2020 at 10:16 pm

          Well I don’t want rot and if they don’t suffer frost I think I’ll prune them about a third ?

        • Deleted User 23rd October 2020 at 9:23 am

          Thanks Jo

          Ive no idea what kind they are. They’re not climbing. Standard flowering rose bushes. Some have hips and some dont. 🤔

    • Petresy 20th October 2020 at 12:27 pm

      Very much agree with what Larry has said, particularly about preparation for next year and going little and often. We’ve just been planting onion and garlic and in the past have sown broad beans now too. Gives them a head’s start on the blackly come the Spring! Rhubarb and fruit bushes can also go in, if you plan to have them? Above all, enjoy!


    • [email protected] 20th October 2020 at 6:37 pm

      Thank you for all the information looking forward to getting started, will reach out again once am started.

    • Cathy10 20th October 2020 at 7:55 pm


    • JazzMin 22nd October 2020 at 8:31 pm

      You will not regret it, Britgirl (especially at the moment) ! I find it essential for my mental health, my love of just being outdoors in all weathers, my love of seeing things grow and flourish, my love of the smells and sounds of nature around me from cheeky robins to slow-worms to frogs (I buried a bath in the ground to make a pond and now have a thriving frog colony). Do take lots of photos, though – especially before you start work and at each stage and through the seasons and why not create an online blog or keep a diary ? I also get inspiration from wandering around and looking at other plots. Whilst many are inevitably better than mine, I look at some others and think “well, maybe mine isn’t so bad after all !”. Do let us all know how you get on & I wish you well.

      • [email protected] 22nd October 2020 at 10:36 pm

        Thank you, good tip about taking pics, invariably that is always something I forget to do, it’s small allotment size only 80 plots, those we have met are excited for us to get started as are we.