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Decorative Allotments

When most people think of an allotment, decorative is not a word that they think of. However, allotments can be decorative and it only requires a few steps to make them so.

  • Use rows or shaped groups of plants,
  • Use interestingly shaped raised beds (make sure that they are safe),
  • Plant different coloured plants together.

New Weekly Project

This week (starting Feb 7th) the weekly project is about how to set up a compost bin. See the weekly project page for info, and feel free to have a look at last weeks’ project as well.


Carrots have lost to the superior parsnips, so I have created a new poll. Do you like potatoes?


As carrots have been losing on the poll, I have decided to write a post about them. Carrots are an easy to grow vegetable, which can be grown by most people without much experience. However, it is important that they are watered and in largely stone free soil, so that they do not become misshapen.

Carrots should be planted in February to March under protection, and later uncovered. The planting times can also be staggered to create an almost continuous harvest. Sow them in rows 1-3cm deep, and around 10 cm apart. Make sure you remove weeds from around them.

Sunny to medium positions are best but carrots may need to be companion planted with marigolds to prevent pests from attacking. Harvest from June onwards, when they seem fully grown. Make sure you do not damage the carrot or others around it when pulling it up, and that you do not leave it in the soil for too long, or it may become woody, removing some, if not all, of the culinary value.


February is when activity in the allotment begins to increase, with last minute planning and early and indoor seed planting. Many plants, like parsnips, carrots and tomatoes can be planted early now, which means that it is possible to get earlier, longer lasting and often larger crops.

Check that you have finished everything from January, and that you have planted crops that were meant to be planted in January – a few weeks rarely makes any difference, and it does stop seeds and plants from going to waste.

Also, February is a good time to start an indoor herb garden, and to plant necessary crops.


January, as one of the quieter times of the year on an allotment, is one of the best times of year for planning.
When planning an allotment, it is best to first create a list of what you want to do, then find planting times and write then on a calendar.
If you are buying from seeds, buy in January as they will keep until you need to plant them.
If you are buying live plants, carry out some research into when is best to buy them.
Also, in January, you can plant garlic, basil and if the ground is thawed, you can plant parsnips and some fruit trees.

What do you think?