Preparing the Soil ~

If you managed to dig your allotment over before you covered your allotment up for the winter, well done, your prep time should be minimal as the soil will be mostly weed free, and relatively loose. Just a simple digging over with a fork or spade should be all you need to fluff up the soil, ready for the early varieties or young plants you’ve had waiting in the greenhouse, shed, or windowsill.

If your allotment has been open to the elements all winter, then you’ll have a slightly tougher workout. Heavy rain and melted snow will have compacted your soil over the winter season, so you’ll need to put in some effort to loosen things up. Don’t dig when the ground is soaked as you’ll soon end up with a boggy mess and big clumps of mud. It’s best to leave the digging until the frosts have gone and the ground has had time to dry out a bit. The most important thing to remember is to get rid of the weeds before digging as you’ll just end up cutting the roots into smaller pieces, which will then grow into more weeds later on. Spend a bit longer now, remove as many weeds as possible and you’ll benefit later on. Once you’ve done your digging, cover up the vegetable plots with a thick weed membrane until you sow your seeds. This will cut down on weed growth and you’ll have less to do later on. ab

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