Posts Tagged ‘plants’

Poppies

Poppies are some of the most beautiful flowers, and are useful for filling empty beds on an allotment. However, be careful, as many varieties are poisonous. Check they are safe around any children or pets you may have, and ensure that you are safe while around them.

Poppies can be sown around April, although it varies depending on the variety. They usually need half to full sun, and well drained soil.

Poppies are often invasive, as they have many seeds which grow easily. In order to combat this, it is a good idea to pull up their seedlings when they start to grow, or to dead head them when the flowers start to fade.

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Snow

Trees in Snow

Some large trees in snowy weather.

How do you deal with snow on the allotment? Snow is normally in winter, so your winter plants like onions and garlic should survive, especially if you carefully clear the snow off the with a trowel. If you have other plants like fruit trees which have snow weighing down the branches, wipe it off (wear gloves).


If there is ice, do not worry about your allotment as it will probably survive. Remember to stay safe.

If a small, low branch is broken, cut it off taking care not to harm yourself or others, and checking there are no birds nests there or animals living on it.
For larger, higher and more dangerous branches, keep away from the area and hire a tree surgeon.

To help to stop this happening again, make sure trees have one cane or stick tied to the central stem. This will help to support them.

If you have herbs or other similar plants that are covered in snow, wipe it off and check for damage. Cut damaged stems off, but make sure that you leave enough foliage so that the plant stays alive.

If you want to protect smaller plants in winter, cover them with a cloche or tunnel. These are extremely useful as they protect from frost and snow, as well as keep the plant warmer. Clear cloches are best as they do not block light.
For best results, peg or tie them down to stop them from falling or blowing away. You should also clear snow gently off them to prevent breakages or light blocking issues.

Whatever you do when it snows, make sure you wrap up warm and wear gloves.

Tomatoes

Tomatoes can be planted indoors in February, or up to May, but it is dependant on variety – check the pack for information. In hot climates, you may be able to plant them outdoors. During early summer, you can often buy established plants from garden centres. However you choose to start growing them, you need to ensure that you care for the plant correctly.

Tomatoes should be grown in well drained, good quality soil, in a sunny position so that the fruits ripen by the time the weather is cold. Some people grow them in large pots so that they can be moved if there is a weather problem. However, I do not recommend this as the pots are often very heavy and difficult to lift.

If you do believe that bad weather may be a problem, get a cloche to put over them, but do not leave it there all year, or they will get too hot. Make sure that, during hot weather, you water the tomatoes regularly so that the soil does not become too dry. You will need to water more often if the plants are in pots. If the soil becomes too damp, wait for it to dry before watering.

Mint

Mint is one of the most flavourful and most invasive herbs, but it is very popular, and very useful. Mint is also easy to grow due to it’s tendency to invade an entire allotment – it needs little care and attention to stay alive.

It is easiest to buy live mint, and plant it in a pot of good quality soil which is kept well watered. As it grows, pick regularly, and cut off diseased leaves. If the disease takes over the entire plant, you may need to replace it, or the amount of leaves fit for eating may be reduced.