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Planning an allotment plot

March 31st, 2007 by Karsten

Before putting any seeds or plants in the soil on your plot, you should make up a plan of what you’ll be growing, and where. This is particularly important if you want to grow your crop organically.

The main reason why you should plan ahead is that different plants require different treatment. Some plants will want certain kinds of plantfood that other plants dislike. Some plants binds nutrients to the soil that are beneficial to other plants - so growing those plants in their place the following year is a good idea. Finally, growing the same crop in the same place year after year will result in underperforming plants, due to soilborne diseases and unbalanced soil structure.

The word used to describe the above in one is: “Crop Rotation”. This is what farmers and gardeners used to do before the chemical fertilisers and pest controls became available - and this is what organic farmers and gardeners are re-discovering.

We’re going to look at crop rotation in more detail at a later date - but basically it’s about dividing the plants you want to grow into groups - based on what “family” they belong to. Traditionally a system of 3 plant types, hence a 3-year rotation, has been used - but within the last few years changes has been made to accommodate 1 or 2 new groups - depending on your plot size.

This means that you’d have to know what crops you wish to grow on your plot - based on your personal preferences - and divide them into the relevant groups.

Why not start making up that list today by looking through the online catalogues of Dobies or Suttons - and place an order for your seeds? Tomorrow I’ll be back with in-depth information on the plant groups - and how to prepare your soil for growing them.

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