My emerging lottie goals this year.
I watched a couple of videos this week which got me thinking about my goals for the lottie this year. The first one was this one from Erica's little Welsh garden where she has collated allotment goals from some of her fellow gardening content creators on YouTube. Inspiring and in some cases quite surprising. Think there is something for everyone!
The one that resonated for me was Liz Zorab talking about better allotment journalling which I have been thinking about this week.
The second one was from Steve from Green Side up about sowing seeds early which I found really useful and particularly his top tip at the end about tomato seed sowing. He also talks about allotment journalling, I plan to start with something a bit simpler than he recommends but certainly something to work towards.
Do double click on the videos above if you like their content and would like to subscribe to their channels. Always packed with useful hints, tips and advice.
(There are also two bonus videos at the end for people who prefer processes rather than New Year's resolutions from Huw Richards and Charles Dowding.)
So my goals or outcomes for my organic plot in 2022 fall into 4 themes - minimisation, maximisation, experimentation and research.
Minimisation of work
- by planting more perennials the known ones like artichokes, herbs, lavander etc as well as fruit bushes and lesser known like Poirot Leeks, Good King Henry perpetual spinach, Welsh Onions and 9 star broccoli.
- keyhole garden planting and putting 4 jobs in one - sowing, harvesting, weeding and lottie hygiene as I work round the circles. (see previous video)
- and keeping the allotment No Dig - seriously less weeding because you are not disturbing the weed seeds, greatly reduced watering because you are mulching and keeping the moisture from evaporating and not the backbreaking work of double, single or even any digging.
Minimisation of costs
-by continuing to recycle, repurpose and reuse as well as discovering seed swaps, and learning about saving seed.
-sowing or pricking out into cell trays (or in my case tiny pots and loo rolls) and planting out, rather than using more compost potting them on into larger pots.
Maximisation of space
-through successional sowing in cellular trays (or small pots) so as one crop comes out of the ground another is ready to go in, rapid rotation of crops so the earth is not bare
- and I also plan to use vertical space more - growing squash upwards instead of on the ground, and hoping to build arches over paths rather than have wigwams for beans. Mine blew down last year and they got very tangly at the tops.
- as well as keyhole layouts which actually have less path area so you have more growing area.
Maximisation of growing the crops I love that I don't feel I grew enough of.
- These include salad, carrots, peas, broad beans, kale, potatoes, other squashes, courgettes, swede, basil, coriander, tomatoes, chillies, peppers, cucumber and cauliflower. Some of these were because of failures on my part last year and also not knowing that I could grow root crops like carrots and parsnips with No Dig - you can!
with pest management
-This year I'd really like to take a proactive slug management by offering sacrificial plants that they love on the outside of my borders - so they have food as they live here anyway, followed inwards by things they don't like, in the hope that they don't go after my tasty morsels more inwards on the plot. Plus mulching the borders with things they particularly don't like walking over (do slugs walk?) like wood chip and coffee grounds. Also more regular plot hygiene (picking up dead and nibbled / dying leaves). Making sure that I am not creating slug habitats by having places for them to hide, and if I have, then checking them regularly.
- Also experimenting more with pest attracting plants like nasturtiums (but in the right place this time!) and what 'My Family Gardener' calls "Smelly plants", or distractors - so onions, garlic, coriander etc and basil in pots with copper tape - just basil for copper tape as that is slug nectar and I'd rather like to keep that for me.
better lottie journalling.
- this will be the subject of a later blog on what I did last year and what I'm going to try differently this year.
different composting techniques
- I am having a go at Bokashi composting, but don't think my bin is air tight enough. Will keep trialing and will report back later in the year.
- This year (as well as learning more about seed saving) I'd like to research more about water management.
- and using compost to heat spaces like a polly tunnel in winter.
- I'd also like to research what Huw Richards has been experimenting with on plant feeds from Korean farming.
I think Huw has some great ideas for people who are wanting to create their own, simple and manageable habits for the year.
And I found this an interesting video about dates for sowing from Charles Dowding and must admit I've put his calendar on my Xmas list and am looking forward to it arriving soon. Thanks Santa.
Happy lottie plotting and planting people.
Previous blog: Plots and Plans - Down the Lottie- January 2022
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