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All views expressed are the opinions of the author and are not necessarily those of the Society

  Updated:
  November 15th, 2018
Lichfield & District Allotments Society



High Peak

March

Lichfield Allotments Society
March weather is erratic, with fresh bright days followed by wintry showers and frosts at night. Many vegetables are sown this month to emerge when the frosts are over, careful timing and listening to local forecasts is critical.

MAINTENANCE

I'm rather pleased that I'm on top of the jobs, I've just a small area of manured ground to dig over and the compost bin to turn.

PLANTING

Weather permitting I hope to get my first early potatoes (Arrow) in during the first week followed by second earlies (Bonnie) around the middle of the month, both will need protection until the frosts are over. I've got some metre wide 30g fleece which will go nicely over some lengths of water pipe to form tunnels above each row. The strategy is to get all my potatoes in by the first week of April, in this way and provided I can keep the frost off then I should still get a good crop if we are unlucky enough to get the blight again.

The shallots that I potted up at home in February are slow to start, so they will be going out this month along with some onion sets.

SOWING AT HOME

I didn't get around to sowing last month, so it's all go now and the propagator is going to be working overtime. I'll start off with summer cabbage, cauliflower, sprouts, & broccoli. This year I must try to sow "little & often" to avoid the usual glut, however it's easier said than done! Later in the month once the seedling are out of the propagator they will be room for leeks, celery & lettuce.

I must also start off my peas in the greenhouse, I use those very small plastic or fibre cells which give me virtually 100% germination and then plant them out when they reach 5 inches, if I sow the peas direct into the ground then the mice always get them.

SOWING ON THE PLOT

Provided the soil condition is right I hope to be able to sow direct onto the plot during the second half of the month, obviously we are looking for the soil to be fairly warm, not too wet and fairly friable. This being so then carrots, parsnips, beetroot & spring onions can all go in. Clearly germination is sometimes erratic this early in the season but I find that if I draw out a drill and line it with old potting compost from last years flower tubs then it seems to create just the right conditions for those tiny seeds.

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