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hi all

I am very excited at being given a 1/4 plot after waiting 3 years for an allotment. There are some raised beds already in place and I wondered if its too late to be getting manure and putting on the beds, i don't really know what the soil is like and it has been snowing so cant really get started yet! I tried to grow potatoes last year at another allotment i was sharing and they were very dissapointing, just not very many. I didn't prepare the ground very well. What do potatoes need to do well? Any advice very welcomed.




  • Hi Tabbycats

    I like yourself have a new allotment and am rearing to go! image

    A good double dig and lot's of well rotted manure will do the trick!! 

    Happy Digging!!! image

  • Hooray for new allotments image

    But don't some things not like growing in recently manured ground? Can spuds and opions go in?

  • Hi Tabbycats,

    Onions and potatoes will be fine. Try to make sure your manure is well rotted (should be mostly black and veering towards crumbly) as the growing season is almost upon us. If you have fresher manure (with a lot of straw) just pile this up in a corner and use it in the autumn. I have found that if you put it in strong fertiliser type bags it will rot down to a lovely crumbly texture and is also easy to move. Fertliliser bags are difficult to get sometimes though.

    Regarding potatoes I have always planted these as I was shown by my father in Ireland - straight onto 3 to 4 inches of trodden well rotted manure covered with half an inch of soil. Always seems to work fine and it breaks the soil up beautifully for the next crop.

    In the autumn just cover your beds with 3 inches of manure and let the worms do the work!

    Enjoy your allotment!

  • Yeah!! Roots, like carrot n parsnips don't agree!!  But Potatoes love it!!! Not a computer kind of a guy, or I'd download the link for ya!!  but I get by, so now ya on the site, gunna advise you type in crop rotation in the search bar top n centre of ya screen, and watch Monty Don's video on the subject!! All will become a little more knowlegible!!! Oh!! I got a spare spade want's manning if ya in the neighbourhood!!!

  • Tabby,

    Really pleased to hear you have. at last, got an allotment and good advice given by the other respondants. This isn't a direct answwer to your question but I have been an allotment holder for over 30 years and (at the risk of sounding patronising) I have seen many people come and go and really hope you succeed. Yes definately grow potatoes, onions (from sets) and, I would suggest any other non-root crops i.e. courgettes, tomatos, lettuce during the first season. However my main advice is to prepare the soil slowly and thoroughly, plant in the part you have well prepared so that you get a reward from your efforts, then continue to work your way across the rest of the plot. There is nothing more demoralising than quickly digging the whole plot, it looks great at first, but then finding a green carpet of weeds after a couple of weeks. Good luck.

    PS Does anyone know a remedy for Leek Moth?

  • glenn,

    I cover my leeks with fine mesh, the sort used to protect against carrot fly, it worked

    for me last year.

  • Glenn,

    No, but if you find one can you let me know as it's rampant near Bristol.

    I'm glad to hear that mesh works so I'll give it a try this year.


  • cassiecassie Posts: 17
    Did my carrots and parsnips 'fork' last year because I put them in a raised bed with manure in it. I think this might be the case after reading the above comments.
  • So pleased you have at last an allotment, last year was my first year at being an allotment owner, I dug organic manure in all my raised beds and what a bumper crop of veg had to purchase another freezer waste not want not, Good luck

  • I am not the best allotment keeper in the world - last year was very disappointing , but I am learning from my mistakes . I've just started up a blog on which I will give weekly updates about my progress and hopefully receive some good advice from other allotment holders

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