This week at our allotment in the northern Lake District, we have been begun sowing at last. We dusted off our garden plan that was made at the end of last year’s growing season (before we could forget where everything had been) and headed to the allotment.


This year we are trialling a ‘no-dig’ approach in one area of our allotment. We top dressed the area with Dalefoot Wool Compost in the autumn and have left it untouched over the winter. We’ve been considering a ‘no-dig’ approach for a while as we would like to try and improve our soil health as well as taking the more physical aspect of digging out of the loop.


First on the list, we planted onion sets bought from our local garden centre. We’ve never been overly successful with growing onions from seed which we’ve always put down to the short growing season we have up in the lakes. For us, growing onions is such a staple that we really want the crop to do well so we always stump up that extra cost to get the onion sets and plant directly into the ground.


As well as the onions, we planted broad beans direct into the ground. We would normally have also planted our main crop of potatoes this week, however due to a number of blight problems over the past few years, we have decided to give the potatoes a miss this year to give us time to research an organic anti-blight strategy.


Elsewhere in the garden, we’ve started our seeds in trays for the legumes, tomatoes and first sowing of sweet peas. Other jobs have included repairing the planks which line our beds and re-applying woodchip onto our garden paths.


We’ve already enjoyed our first picking of rhubarb and our purple sprouting broccoli, swedes and leeks are still keeping us going from last year.

Laura

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Barker and Bland is a limited company registered in England and Wales. Registered office: Dalefoot Farm, Heltondale, Nr Penrith, Cumbria, CA10 2QL. Registered number: 8312959

This project is supported by the Rural Development Programme for England (RDPE) for which Defra is the Managing Authority, part funded by the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development: Europe investing in rural areas.

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