December 2014

Monday 1st

Bottom Beds Dug A little colder this morning at the allotment. I spent my time completing the digging of the second bed in front of the shed, at the bottom of my latest plot, this completes the digging for this year.
On the next dry day I hope to level my paths and finish adding the carpet and membrane to complete my paths.
As soon as the wind is in the right direction I will burn all the remaining rubbish on the plot including raspberry canes and the asparagus foliage which I will also cut down as soon as possible.
The image on the right shows the newest beds that have been dug.

December

What needs doing this month

Fruit

  • Spray all fruit trees and bushes with tar-oil winter wash when dormant.
  • Continue planting in suitable conditions.
  • Continue pruning
  • Apply nitrogenous fertiliser to trees grown in grass
  • Cut back newly planted trees and bushes

Vegetables

  • Lift Celery as it is required.
  • Continue to check Cabbages and Sprouts for any loosening in winds.
  • Lift any root crops and store in boxes of moist sand. This is especially important if your ground is wet and heavy or you have serious problems with slugs.
  • Sit down and plan out next year's crop rotation and what seeds and plants you will need.
  • Check that cloches are firmly secured to prevent them blowing away in the wind.
  • Brussels Sprouts and winter Broccoli should now be ready for picking.
  • Consider where you are going to place your Runner beans next year and dig out a trench.
  • Ridge the soil up on either side and leave it open to the beneficial effects of the winter.
  • Leeks should now be ready to start lifting.

Herbs

  • Protect bay, rosemary and marjoram from severe winter weather

Greenhouse

  • Water and ventilate cautiously
  • Insulate the greenhouse
  • Light levels are critical, so consider using artificial light
  • Harvest plump white chicons from forced chicory
  • Continue to sow a succession of lettuce for continuity of supply
  • Carry out complete winter pruning of grape vines
  • Top dress peaches and nectarines
  • Ventilate freely

General

  • service mechanical machinery ready for spring
  • check the seed catalogues and order any seeds onion sets and plants required
  • check sundries like stakes, bean poles, canes, netting, fertilisers etc.
  • tidy up the shed while its still quite quiet.