Monthly Jobs

This is a brief list of tasks to help organise your allotment year. Please get in touch in touch if you have anything to add.

Jobs during January include:

  • Buy and chit seed potatoes

  • Buy onion sets ready for planting next month

  • Sow broad beans in pots and under cover

  • Harvest winter varieties of cabbages, cauliflowers, leeks, celeriac, parsnips and Swedes

  • Spread well rotted manure or compost over empty vegetable beds

  • Draw up a sowing and planting plan for the year ahead

 

Jobs during February include:

  • Sow seeds indoor to raise seedlings for spring planting

  • Sow tomatoes, chilli peppers and aubergines in a warm place 18-21℃

  • Plant garlic and shallots if soil conditions allow

  • Chit seed potatoes

  • Force rhubarb

  • Continue to harvest cabbages, cauliflower, sprouts, kale, leeks, celeriac, parsnips and swede

  • Prepare your plot - dig over bare soil. Improve soil by incorporating compost or manure

 

Jobs during March include:

  • Harvest first rhubarb plus remaining sprouts, celeriac and swedes

  • Prepare vegetable seed beds

  • Continue chitting seed potatoes

  • Towards end of month begin planting early potatoes

  • Plant asparagus beds from crowns

  • Plant onion, shallot and garlic sets if soil not waterlogged or frozen

  • Plant fruit trees and raspberry canes

  • Cover strawberries with cloches to encourage earlier fruiting

 

Jobs during April include:

  • Harvest the first asparagus along with spring cabbages, cauliflowers, sprouting broccoli, remaining leeks and kale

  • Sow carrots, beetroot and other root vegetables

  • Sow indoors for successful germination, celery, chicory, endive chillies, peppers and cucumbers courgettes, pumpkins and other squashes

  • Plant second early and Maincrop potatoes

 

Jobs during May include:

  • Harvest asparagus, baby globe artichokes, fresh ‘green’ garlic and new season oriental leaves

  • If weather is mild sow outdoors, beetroot, French and runner beans, lettuces, radishes, rocket, spinach and sprouting broccoli

  • Harden off seedlings

  • Plant the last of your seed potatoes

  • Weed regularly and thoroughly. Hoe even if there are no weeds.

  • Keep young plants well watered

  • Net fruit bushes to protect against birds

 

Jobs during June include:

  • Earth up potatoes

  • Pinch outside shoots from tomato plants

  • Harvest early new potatoes

  • Onion and garlic leaves turning yellow – time to harvest

  • Plant out tender veg such as courgettes, squash, tomatoes, sweetcorn

 

Jobs during July include:

  • Feed crops with a general fertiliser

  • Apply high potash fertiliser to peppers, cucumber, tomatoes

  • Pick runner beans

  • Harvest beetroot, peas, carrots, chard. potatoes, salad leaves

  • Water fruit and vegetable crops during warm weather

 

Jobs during August include:

  • Pinch out tips of runner beans once reached top of supports to encourage side shoots and more beans

  • Harvest second early potatoes

  • Store potatoes in hessian sacks to exclude light and allow ventilation

  • Lift and dry onions, shallots and garlic

  • Harvest French and runner beans

 

Jobs during September include:

  • Collect and save seeds

  • Harvest final summer vegetables – beans, tomatoes, peppers and chilies, beetroot

  • Harvest first autumn crops – leeks, potatoes, squashes, carrots

  • Pick fruit – apples, pears, raspberries

  • Sow salad leaves

  • Plant spring cabbage, overwinter onion sets, strawberries

  • Prune blackberries

  • Turn your compost heap

  • Add disease free remains to your compost

 

Jobs during October include:

  • Harvest remaining summer vegetables before first frosts

  • Lift potatoes and beetroot

  • Cut pumpkins and winter squashes and cure the fruits

  • If a danger of frost cover autumn salads and Oriental leaves

  • Sow broad bean seeds for next year

  • Plant overwintering garlic and onion sets

  • Plant bare root fruit bushes such as currants and gooseberries

  • Take down supports used for climbing beans and tomatoes

  • Clear away and compost dead plant material

  • Begin winter digging and add plenty of well rotted organic material

  • Order seeds from the Kings seed catalogue

  • Renew your allotment lease

 

Jobs during November include:

  • Harvest root vegetables, autumn brassicas, Oriental leaves and late salad crops

  • Pick autumn raspberries and cranberries

  • Sow broad bean seeds outdoors

  • Plant over winter garlic and rhubarb

  • Continue digging, removing weeds and adding well rotted organic material

 

Jobs during December include:

  • Harvest leeks, root vegetables, autumn and winter brassicas and hardy salad crops

  • If ground not frozen or waterlogged:

  • Plant garlic, rhubarb, new bare root fruit trees and bushes

  • If it’s not too cold:

  • Prune apple and pear trees, soft fruit bushes and outdoor grape vines

  • Dig your plot, add well rotted organic material and cover beds to protect soil

  • Check nets over sprouts, cabbages and other brassicas

  • Check stored fruit for signs of rot and discard

  • Renew grease bands on fruit trees