My allotment plan for 2019

Hello vegetable fans! Recently I wrote about why I practice crop rotation on my allotment in my Telegraph column, explaining how that works because it’s the basis of everything I do. And I thought it might be helpful to share what this looks like in practice with my updated plan. Below you can see 2019’s plot and I’ve included 2018’s for reference too. You’ll see the plan isn’t totally finished (finish sminish! 😀 ) and I’ll be tweaking until I plant. I don’t spend much time doing this and I never put much detail on as I’ll work that out on the plot, the main things are the core crop rotation blocks.

Allotment plan for 2019

Allotment plan for 2018

About my allotment

I have a very busy full time job as a garden designer and writer, and my allotment is 45 minutes away by train (I don’t have a car) so I only have a couple of hours(ish) to spend on my allotment a week, usually at the weekend. This plan helps me keep things manageable with such a time poor lifestyle and although my allotment is never perfect, it is always very productive. If I can do this, anyone can! 🙂 I promise.

My allotment (and indeed all of my gardening practices since I was a boy) has always been no dig, organic and wildlife friendly. This year I am not using manure because I’m aware it often comes from animals kept in low welfare conditions, something I first discovered with chicken manure pellets. I stopped using blood, fish and bone on the allotment years ago, now mainly using seaweed fertiliser and compost with a bit of my own homemade nettle and comfrey fertiliser. Making it plant based and so far this is working. You don’t need to follow this though, do what works best for you and you feel happiest with. Not digging beds helps to save time.

I use design software for my drawings as I use it for work, but the above plans could easily be recreated using Google Slides or PowerPoint. Or indeed good old fashioned pencil and paper!

If you have any questions please give me a shout below in the comments 🙂

8 thoughts on “My allotment plan for 2019

  1. Thanks for your many tips and advice, I was interested to see you’re growing aubergine. I’ve had limited success but keen to keep trying. What varierty of aubergine would you recommend for an enthusiastic novice with a vegetable patch in their london garden?

    1. The variety I’m growing is F1 Pot Black which produces quite a few small aubergines on one plant outside in the UK climate. I found it to be very productive though you do need a few plants to make up the numbers 🙂 Good luck!

  2. I’m considering no dig – I work in a walled garden – includes quadrant veg area. Have always added manure and rotavated however trying to reduce workload (short staffed!) and figured no dig could help. I have access to locally sourced well rotted horse manure – would you literally add this to beds and plant straight into it?

    1. I would allow it to settle for a month or two first and then plant into it. I think usually compost is used really because manure is so rich, so you might want to mix the manure and some compost a little first, pile it on and then leave for a month or two. Basically it works like growing stuff in a pot of compost except with the ground beneath it too for roots to find water. The more you do it, the richer the soil becomes over time.

  3. Newbie allotmenteer and would really appreciate advice on whether the beds and planting should go a particular direction. I’m a little confused as I’ve read beds should ideally run east to west to get the sun but also best planting is north to south. Or does this not really matter? Big Thanks!

    1. Great question! It’s all to do with sun really. I run my rows north to south because I’m the summer the sun then goes over the sides of each row, giving all plants in it equal amount of light. Sometimes greenhouses are positioned east-west because they’re used in the spring and winter when the light is lower. So they get the most light with that orientation.

  4. Hello Jack,
    My granddaughter and I are newbies and have rented an allotment. I have planned out the beds and will get the wood planks for the edging. Please can you advise on the growing medium. Should it be compost plus topsoil for some structure? We really are newbies! Thanks, Tony Wood.

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