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Gardening in January

The second month of Winter in recent years has been quite mild, weather wise. Maintenance tasks continue, tools are fixed, fences are repaired and winter projects are completed. Some crops can be sown now but if you haven’t got the luxury of a heated greenhouse, these can be kept until the warmer months. The sun remains lower in the sky and therefore some parts of the garden may not have enough sunlight to defrost areas, keep an eye on your pond to make sure it defrosts on a regular basis.

Average daylight in the UK during January is 8 hours with an average temperature of 5.9°c






    Diary: January 2018

    The weather might have been dull in January but allotment life was far from it. I started the month off with one allotment, then had two, then three, then two and a half. It’s certainly been a fluid month. If the aim of running an allotment is to be as self sufficient as possible, then enough space is going to be an issue. I applied for another allotment last year and at the start of January I was on my way to pay for the yearly tenancy. When I arrived the secretary informed me that the plot next door to mine had become available. It has a little shed and had been worked the previous year so visible beds and borders could be seen. I snapped it up. Now I was the owner of three allotments. Thinking long and hard about it, I took this opportunity to give serious consideration whether I wanted to keep my original plot. You see the new plot, I’ve renamed The Railway Garden, is two very large plots of land. Would it be physically possible to run three plots, one of which was a few miles from the other. I therefore decided to give up my original plot.

    Although I had owned my original plot for over 10 years, it had its problems. Every winter it would become flooded, the soil was heavy clay and despite many years of adding tons of new compost and sand, it never really got any better. The community on this site had also changed over the years. In the beginning it was a friendly bunch of folk. We’d get together in sheds and chat the hours away over a cuppa tea or something stronger. People came and went, over time new people entered the circle and caused chaos, people felt out with each other and the positive vibe was altered. Most people now only arrived, did their plot then left. So for the past year it hasn’t been a happy place.

    Rather than having a manic for months of moving my items to the new plot, I decided to keep my allotment for one last year, I could slowly move items and buildings at my own pace. Therefore I decided to ask the committee to split my plot into two half. I would keep one half in production and the other could be given to a new plot holder. When I then leave in twenty months the remaining half can be reconnected therefore making a full plot again for the new gardener. They agreed. The month ended with me leaving one half in a good state for a new gardener, while I continued with half-a-plot covered in raised beds.

    In the greenhouse Sweet Peas were sown but outside the month ended with more rain than sunshine, so work was pretty slow and tasks put on hold.

    Plan for the new allotment (The Railway Garden)

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