How I’m Doing My Allotment Planting Plan in 2018

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In this video I take you through the approach that I’ve taken to planning the allotments this year. Last year I invested in a fancy online planning app, but it was too complex, inflexible and inconvenient to access on my phone.

This year I’m going back to basics. I’m keeping a log of all of my seed packets in a spreadsheet, along with planting information. Then I’m using google calendar to document my planting plan and to capture all the knowledge I have about when and how to plant/grow. Finally I’m using powerpoint to keep track of where I’m planting and the rotations through the seasons.

I’m making the google calendar public so that anyone can take a look at it, but it might not suit your needs. We have a lot of space to fill across three plots and our kitchen garden, we grow under lights early in the season and we plant into hotbeds, coldframes and mini-hoop-tunnels rather than open ground in winter and spring.

I hope this sparks a bit of interest though and feel free to comment and ask questions!

Here’s a link to the calendar.

If you are new to my allotment videos you might find a bit of context useful. We have three allotments in my family, mine (Steve), my wife’s (Debbie) and one of our daughter’s (Jennie). We also have a small kitchen garden at home. They are all managed in an integrated fashion, so don’t expect to see the usual mix of veg on each plot.

On Jennie’s plot for example we focus on potatoes, squash, alliums and brassicas. This video provides an overview https://youtu.be/q1k-2vIoSQ8. I do a monthly tour of each allotment, roughly one a week, you can find the tours here https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLFhKoRR-NiCJn5Y6rZf0RCCqycu3xvofX.

Our approach to allotment life is to: grow as much as we possibly can, to be self sufficient in veg all year round and in fruit in summer, to give away our huge surplus to friends and family, and to have as much fun as possible.

My wife and I spend about 4 hours a day, 4 days a week on the plots (on average) and we keep nudging that down as we eliminate non-productive work: like grass cutting, weeding and watering as much as practical. We are both newbie gardeners, only starting the allotments in 2016.

I’m a bit obsessive about the nutrient density of the veg that we grow and making the plots easy to work because it’s through this allotment lifestyle and food that I’ve overcome a debilitating auto-immune disease. I’m always aware though that it might not last so I make sure that I don’t work too hard, eat the most organic fruit and veg I can and design the plots so that I can still work them if I flare up again.

Steve Richards

I'm retired from work as a business and IT strategist. now I'm travelling, hiking, cycling, swimming, reading, gardening, learning, writing this blog and generally enjoying good times with friends and family

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