13 Tips to help allotment newbies… by an allotment newbie! Jack Wallington how to get rid of small ants in your house Garden Design, Clapham in London

Taking on an allotment for the first time is exciting how to get rid of small ants in your house and scary. I know because I’ve just done it – I’ve had my first allotment for a year and guess how to get rid of small ants in your house what, it was fine 🙂 yours will be too. Below are some of my tips for allotment newbies to how to get rid of small ants in your house help speed you on your way to fruit and veg how to get rid of small ants in your house success! 1) spend ages planning the layout

I excitedly drew my allotment on paper but on reflection how to get rid of small ants in your house and discussing it with more experienced allotmenteers, I changed it to the one above. Thankful I hadn’t planted anything already. It pays to spend as long as possible planning the how to get rid of small ants in your house layout, thinking about how you’ll use it practically across the year. E.G. My first plan had 7 small beds for good crop how to get rid of small ants in your house rotation. But this wasted some space and created more paths than how to get rid of small ants in your house necessary which would be a pain weaving in and out how to get rid of small ants in your house with a wheelbarrow. Instead I created three long beds and paths right the how to get rid of small ants in your house way across. 2) wonders of weeding

In my first winter I got down on my knees how to get rid of small ants in your house and hand weeded the entire plot. It’s more enjoyable than it sounds and it’s paid off big time for two reasons. 1) using a fork to loosen soil and then a handfork how to get rid of small ants in your house to get the weeds out meant their roots were out how to get rid of small ants in your house properly so I barely had any weeds there for the how to get rid of small ants in your house rest of the year 2) I learnt to love the wonderful plants that weeds are, and I recognise them all – knowing the plants you don’t want on the allotment as much as the ones how to get rid of small ants in your house you do is important. In future you’ll know what’s a weed seedling and what’s not, you’ll also know which to worry about and which to how to get rid of small ants in your house go “meh whatever” to. 3) perennial produce

Busy busy. Our lives are busy. I don’t live near my allotment so can only visit once how to get rid of small ants in your house a week really, twice if I’m lucky. From the outset I was looking at ways to minimise how to get rid of small ants in your house workload and maximise food output. Perennial plants that don’t need to be grown from seed every year really how to get rid of small ants in your house help. E.G. Super dwarf apple trees on M27 rootstock (they have to be small to not anger neighbour allotment how to get rid of small ants in your house holders), asparagus (they take up quite a bit of space but are how to get rid of small ants in your house expensive in shops and last for decades), artichokes, raspberries, rhubarb, herbs like rosemary etc. They still need maintenance, but you’re not repotting and digging. 4) organic aims but you don’t have to be strict

While I’m not an organic gardening preacher, I do advocate striving for organic practices and using chemicals how to get rid of small ants in your house only as a very last resort. This is really just common sense because 1) chemicals are generally unnecessary and expensive – you don’t need them 2) I really want my veg and fruit to be as how to get rid of small ants in your house pure and natural as they can be when grown in how to get rid of small ants in your house a polluted mega city like london 3) I respect nature too much and don’t want to cause an imbalance in the ecosystem within how to get rid of small ants in your house my allotment (which in the long run balances out the problems itself). Personally, I barely ever use chemicals when gardening at all (once a year or every two years) so I’m confident my produce is organically grown. That said, I will carefully use glyphosate weed killer on very tough how to get rid of small ants in your house weeds like bindweed making sure it only goes on that how to get rid of small ants in your house one plant I remove when dead. I never, ever use pesticide. 5) get rid of old equipment and plants what I was how to get rid of small ants in your house met with on my first day at the allotment

When I arrived on my plot (above) there was loads of equipment which was cool… not. At first I thought this would all prove useful and how to get rid of small ants in your house how handy to have all of this stuff. So wrong. For one, most of it was broken, it’s also largely unnecessary (see the next point!) if your plot is full of equipment, give it a once over to check for any golden how to get rid of small ants in your house nuggets but otherwise, take it to the tip immediately. Get it out of there and release your land for how to get rid of small ants in your house a clean start! I’ve been unlucky and have 3×3 m of metal junk that couldn’t be burnt on site. I still don’t know how to get rid of it (without a car of my own). Oh yeah, get rid of the plants too. It’s better to know exactly what plants you have. So although I had rhubarb and raspberries on my plot, I’d rather know what variety they are. My advice? Get rid, start again. 6) you don’t need that much equipment now my allotment is largely how to get rid of small ants in your house made up of plain beds to grow plants in

I thought I would need loads of tools and a how to get rid of small ants in your house greenhouse to grow all of my plants. In reality my allotment is now bare of all equipment how to get rid of small ants in your house except a tiny shed and I only ever really use how to get rid of small ants in your house a fork, spade, hoe, secateurs, hand trowel and hand fork. And a good pair of thin gardening gloves. You don’t need to grow your plants from seed either, plugs from a nursery make things so much easier. That said, I do grow everything from seed or cutting because I how to get rid of small ants in your house am interested in how plants grow – and I was amazed to fill an entire 125m squared how to get rid of small ants in your house allotment with the seedlings grown only in our little flat’s front window. It still amazes me now thinking about it! Gardening can be very space efficient. 7) be selective about the plants you grow

I spend months choosing the plants I will grow in how to get rid of small ants in your house gardens and that includes my allotment. Winter is exciting because it’s about dreaming, planning and yes, shopping! Get that credit card ready people cos it’s time for some retail therapy. But don’t just go to a nursery and buy whatever is how to get rid of small ants in your house there. Be selective. Have a plan in place for the exact plants you how to get rid of small ants in your house want and only buy those. For example, look for disease resistant seed varieties and F1 cultivars which how to get rid of small ants in your house are generally strong growers due to their hybrid vigour. It’s better to have a shopping list for most of how to get rid of small ants in your house the year to buy them all in one go than how to get rid of small ants in your house to waste time and money buying a bit of this how to get rid of small ants in your house and a bit of that. Personally, I only buy from the very best nurseries and suppliers how to get rid of small ants in your house where I can be sure I know exactly what I how to get rid of small ants in your house am buying. It pays off in the end. 8) let’s talk about quantities

Limit yourself to the number of veg and fruit types how to get rid of small ants in your house you grow. Learn from my mistake! I went crazy and bought tonnes of varieties and types how to get rid of small ants in your house of veg. This created loads of unnecessary work in caring for all how to get rid of small ants in your house the different types of plants and meant we had small how to get rid of small ants in your house quantities of each type. That was fine at the time because I was learning how to get rid of small ants in your house about lots of veg intentionally. Next year however I will limit myself to fewer types how to get rid of small ants in your house of veg and grow much higher quantities of the ones how to get rid of small ants in your house we like. We just didn’t have enough carrots for instance and I was lured how to get rid of small ants in your house into growing the trendy purple ones (which are gross). It sounds obvious now but you need far fewer plants how to get rid of small ants in your house and space for those that produce lots of veg on how to get rid of small ants in your house one plant (like french beans), and you need a great number of carrot plants and how to get rid of small ants in your house space when you only have one root per plant. 9) harvesting

Going into my allotment I was so focussed on the how to get rid of small ants in your house sowing and growing I didn’t give enough thought to the picking, storing and cooking. I hadn’t appreciated that many vegetables and fruit have a limited how to get rid of small ants in your house 1 – 2 day window when they are perfect for eating – very difficult when I was down there only once or how to get rid of small ants in your house twice a week. In particular raspberries, courgettes, broccoli and beans. On one saturday they wouldn’t be ready, then the following saturday they’d gone past their best. I’ll be hotter this year on predicting the picking days. 10) learn from the best

You can just get stuck into gardening without any experience how to get rid of small ants in your house (it’s the best way to learn) but reading about gardening is enjoyable and will speed you how to get rid of small ants in your house along to success much faster. We’ve only got so many seasons on this planet afterall, don’t waste one. I was studying RHS level 2 (the GCSE equivalent horticulture course) which teaches everything you need to know about plant growth how to get rid of small ants in your house and problems. However I learnt a great deal more practical and personal how to get rid of small ants in your house experience from the books gardening at longmeadow by monty don, the half-hour allotment by lia leendertz and the allotment book by how to get rid of small ants in your house andi clevely. I also watch gardeners world and beechgrove garden every week how to get rid of small ants in your house which are great for learning the ropes and weekly reminders. 11) think about the seasons

The first thing I was taught by my friend philippa how to get rid of small ants in your house gould at my local community garden, eden in clapham, is that you can be growing something every month of how to get rid of small ants in your house the year, even in winter. Winter broadbeans, peas and garlic. Most brassicas are planted in early summer but are harvested how to get rid of small ants in your house through winter (like brussels, kale and broccoli). If you are lucky to have a greenhouse you can how to get rid of small ants in your house even keep the salad leaves going into the depths of how to get rid of small ants in your house the dark winter days. 12) at one with the earth

Know and protect your soil. The soil of your allotment is the giant battery that how to get rid of small ants in your house powers all of your plant growth. Understand what it consists of (sand, clay, silt – a mix?), how fertile it is, how freely it drains water, does it have lots of lovely air pockets and a how to get rid of small ants in your house nice uncompacted structure. I don’t dig over my allotment because I feel the worms how to get rid of small ants in your house do a good enough job of that. But, to keep things simple for fellow newbies: 1) don’t tread on soil you’re growing on as it will squash the air pockets how to get rid of small ants in your house out and block root growth 2) replenish its nutrients annually with a thick layer of peat how to get rid of small ants in your house free compost or well rotted manure 3) watch it carefully through the year to understand how it how to get rid of small ants in your house holds water 4) rotate crops every year, never growing the same (except those perennials!) crops in the same place to prevent pest and disease how to get rid of small ants in your house build up. 13) talk to me

… and to others 🙂 allotmenteers are a friendly bunch and only too happy to how to get rid of small ants in your house help answer questions. I’m here if you ever need me, and there are lots of other grow your own newbies how to get rid of small ants in your house muddling through to make their allotments work. No one knows everything because it’s impossible to know everything about plants in one life how to get rid of small ants in your house time. That’s the joy. Have fun and good luck! This simple cane and coke bottle netting structure has protected how to get rid of small ants in your house my brassicas perfectly – allotmenting can be simple 🙂 have other tips or questions? Please share in the comments below 🙂

RELATED_POSTS