Winter is the best time to do essential maintenance work and all those jobs you’ve been putting off.
The most important job though, is getting your soil right for the Spring. I’ve cleared out all the dead plants from the Summer and Autumn, and I’ve turned the soil with a spade. Each week, I’ve been chopping the soil to a fine tilth with a hoe, then I’ve sprinkled pelleted chicken manure at a rate of a couple of handfuls per square metre. The manure has then been dug in and the process has been repeated. It’s hard work, so much so, that I’ve now bought a rotovator (a Mantis 2 stroke). It was either that or suffer a painful forearm and elbow. I’ll use the rotovator to plough the chicken pellets into the ground ready for Spring.
I’ve also bought a petrol strimmer which I’ll be using to get rid of all the weeds, mostly thorns and nettles that I haven’t had time to get to. After that, I have to clear the greenhouse of all the accumulated rubbish. I also need to fix the roof where water is leaking in. There are a surprising number of sunny days over winter and that’s when I’ll be painting the wooden structures on my allotment.
I’ve also been picking out new strawberry plants from the patch and potting them for overwintering in the greenhouse. Winter is a great time to get all the weeds out of the strawberry beds too.
This year, I want to plant an apple tree and a pear tree. I have a piece of land at the back of the allotment which is the ideal spot, but I’ll have to clear it first and that’s going to be hard work.
If you have chickens, you’ll need to make sure they have enough water, and, on days when the ground is frozen, you may need to go to allotment to break the ice on their water.
I keep the composting going over winter too. Spent grain and hops from my home brewing, wood ash from the woodburner, egg shells, teabags and vegetable peelings make a potent mix.
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