With everyone staying inside, we’ve been able to witness the huge impact on the environment that humans make. It’s had us really thinking about what changes to our lives we can make long term to help the planet. Since it’s National Gardening Week, we want to share our top tips for creating an allotment in your outdoor space, no matter what size.
WHAT TO PLANT OUTSIDE
Cabbages, cauliflowers, brussel sprouts, carrots and broccoli are great to plant now to reap the benefits come winter.
Fennel and kohl rabi – great for one of our favourite peanut stir frys.
Continue to plant leaf vegetables like kale, spinach and Swiss chard but be prepared to cover these on cold nights, these also grow well in partial shade.
WHAT TO PLANT INSIDE
Chillies, peppers, and cucumbers are grow well in freestanding kitchen pots or in window allotment boxes.
Courgettes, pumpkins, and other squashes can be grow indoors very well but if you have outdoor planting space you might want to wait until next month and plant seedlings for the most outstanding crop,
OUR TOP ALLOTMENT TIPS
Layout is key
Think about how you’ll use your produce throughout the year, as well as placement of your vegetables. Also think about crop rotation, making sure after your first yield you switch up what you plants to ensure good soil nutrition maintenance.
Sun or shade
Whilst layout is key, your allotment’s weather conditions are just as important. Learn how your space is lit throughout the day, is it in the bright light most of the time? Aim for high heat tolerant vegetables like bell peppers for a successful crop. If you have a shady garden, go for leafy greens that would likely burn if left direct sun.
Pull weeds effectively
Making sure you use a small utensil like a fork to loosen the soil when weeding, this way you’re able to pull out the entire weed. Doing this by hand means you can avoid using any unnecessary chemicals.
Limit your harvest
It’s easy to get carried away when you start your first allotment. Think about not only the types of fruit and vegetables you like, but how many you can handle at once. As much as we’d love to have a plentiful rainbow harvest, maintaining it would be incredibly difficult and time consuming.
Daily check ins
Once your fruits and vegetables are nearly ready for harvest, it’s important to check on them daily. Daily checks are not only a nice ritual to maintain good crop health, but ready-to-harvest produce tends to have a limited picking time. If you don’t have an easy to access allotment area, make sure you choose to grow fruits and vegetables that have an extended pick time.
FOR WINDOWSILL AND MICRO ALLOTMENTS
Not only are tomatoes simple to grow, the bright greens and ruby reds brighten up any windowsill.
These easy leaves just need a good watering and watch them grow. A good plant with children to teach them all about produce and gardening.
The only downside to growing garlic on a windowsill, a slightly pungent smell.