As an experienced allotment gardener, I know that keeping a detailed calendar is crucial for success in the garden. In this article, I’ll guide you through the essential tasks for each month of the year, so you can plan ahead and maximize your harvest.
January marks the start of the gardening year, and it’s a great time to get organized. Start by tidying up your plot, removing any debris or dead plants from the previous year. Then, turn over the soil and add a generous layer of organic matter to improve its quality. This is also an ideal month to plan and order your seeds for the upcoming season.
February, you can start sowing some seeds under cover. If you live in a colder region, it’s essential to start your plants indoors or in a greenhouse. Plant onions, leeks, and broad beans and place them in a warm, well-lit area. February is also an ideal month to prune fruit trees and bushes before they start to grow again.
March is when the gardening season starts to pick up pace. It’s time to plant your first early potatoes and sow spinach, peas, and lettuce directly into the ground. If you have a greenhouse, you can also start sowing tomato and pepper seeds. Clear any remaining debris from your plot, and prepare the soil for planting.
April is when the gardening season really starts to take off. You can plant second early potatoes, onions, shallots, and garlic. It’s also the ideal month to start planting your summer bedding plants, such as petunias and marigolds. Make sure to water and fertilize your plants regularly to encourage healthy growth.
May is when the weather starts to warm up, and the plants start to grow vigorously. You can plant your maincrop potatoes, sweetcorn, and runner beans. It’s also the ideal month to start sowing your courgettes and pumpkins. Keep an eye on pests and diseases, and take preventative measures if necessary.
June is the month when your plot will be a hive of activity. You can start harvesting your early potatoes, lettuce, and radishes. It’s also the perfect time to sow some quick-maturing crops like beetroot, carrots, and turnips. Water your plants regularly, and weed your plot regularly to prevent competition for nutrients.
July is the month to start enjoying the fruits of your labor. You can start harvesting your first courgettes, peas, and beans. It’s also the ideal month to start sowing your winter brassicas such as cabbage and broccoli. Keep your plot well-watered, especially during hot weather.
August is when the allotment is at its most abundant. You can harvest a range of vegetables, including sweetcorn, tomatoes, cucumbers, and peppers. It’s also the ideal time to start planning and preparing your autumn and winter crops. Begin sowing your overwintering crops, such as kale and Brussels sprouts.
September is when the gardening season starts to wind down. It’s the ideal time to plant your garlic and overwintering onions. You can also start harvesting your winter squash and pumpkins. Remove any diseased or damaged plants, and compost the debris.
October is when you start preparing your plot for the winter months ahead. Plant your overwintering broad beans and garlic, and start preparing the ground for next year’s crops. Cut back any perennial plants, and clear any remaining debris from your plot.
November is the month to finish off any final tasks, such as tidying up your plot and putting away your tools. You can also plant winter lettuce and other salad greens. Make sure to mulch your soil to protect it from winter frosts.
December is the time to relax and reflect on the year that has passed. It’s also the ideal month to start planning
|January||Tidy up plot, turn over soil, add organic matter, plan and order seeds|
|February||Sow seeds under cover, plant onions, leeks, and broad beans, prune fruit trees and bushes|
|March||Plant early potatoes, sow spinach, peas, and lettuce directly, start tomato and pepper seeds in greenhouse, prepare soil|
|April||Plant second early potatoes, onions, shallots, and garlic, plant summer bedding plants, water and fertilize regularly|
|May||Plant maincrop potatoes, sweetcorn, and runner beans, start sowing courgettes and pumpkins, watch for pests and diseases|
|June||Harvest early potatoes, lettuce, and radishes, sow quick-maturing crops, water and weed regularly|
|July||Harvest courgettes, peas, and beans, start sowing winter brassicas, keep plot well-watered|
|August||Harvest sweetcorn, tomatoes, cucumbers, and peppers, plan and prepare autumn and winter crops, start sowing overwintering crops|
|September||Plant garlic and overwintering onions, harvest winter squash and pumpkins, remove diseased or damaged plants|
|October||Plant overwintering broad beans and garlic, prepare ground for next year’s crops, cut back perennial plants, clear debris|
|November||Tidy up plot, plant winter lettuce and salad greens, mulch soil|
|December||Relax and reflect, start planning for the next gardening year|
Brian Sheridan has an allotment in Edgbaston and is a competitive grower. Brian is also a keen photographer and loves cooking. Brian and his wife Mary will also be running a stall at Edgebaston artisan market this year, selling products made from the allotment, including his award-winning relish!