Thursday, 25 October 2007

Deep in the underground lair, a plan takes shape

As autumn cedes to winter, my thoughts are turning to next year. I'm tired of digging. I want to grow something, that's what I signed up for. It's time to plan, a much underrated part of allotment life.

Step 1: pick the team

My allotment advisors recommend I compile a wish list of my favourite fruit and veg. I'm a realist, I know aubergine is but a pipe dream. After this year's potato disaster my sights are set decidedly lower: I'm after whatever will survive.

So, I'm relying on potatoes and kale to provide a defensive backbone. I'll supplement them with some talent that's done well on neighbouring plots: raspberries and runner beans. Courgettes will make a return - they've proved their worth. Lastly, I feel compelled to add sweetcorn to the mix. Stroke of genius, or flight of fancy?

Step 2: choose the formation

Here's where things get decidedly tricky. I need to think about sunlight. I need to think about drainage. I need to think about crop rotation. I need to lie down.

Surprisingly, height is a big worry. Some crops, beans in particular, grow rather tall, overshadowing their lesser colleagues. That sort of behaviour puts noses out of joint.

Still, despite the complications, I've managed to assemble a notion of a plan. I'd paused to bask in the glory of a cunning kale/spinach combination, when Wife remarked that I hadn't consulted her.

Ah yes, it's our allotment. Silly me. Back to the drawing board then. What do you mean you don't like potatoes?

1 comment:

  1. It's not that bad. My advice is plant a lot of different stuff. Some will do brilliantly, some will fail. Then next year, plant lots of different stuff. A different set of stuff will do well, or fail. As long as you try a range of things, each year there will be something that likes the particular conditions you had that year. Don't sweat it. Have fun trying new things.

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