Nothing tastes better than a plateful of organic, home-grown vegetables which you have taken the time and effort to grow and nurture yourself. This is why having an allotment is so great; you have the luxury of eating fresh, organic food rather than having to trek down to the store and rummage through a pile of battered and bruised vegetables.
If you love gardening and you much prefer to be outside nurturing your plants and looking at the wildlife on a warm summer’s day, rather than watching the TV indoors or playing some Cheekybingo, then you might be thinking about creating your own vegetable patch in your garden. However, there are a few things you should know about maintaining a healthy allotment and below are just a few tips to help you out.
When owning an allotment, you are bound to get pests like slugs and insects coming to feast on your vegetables. But rather than using slug pellets, why not try a few natural methods?
1. Slugs are attracted to cool, damp places and love materials such as wood, stones, buckets, pots and plastic bags, so make sure your patch is clear of these.
2. If you learn how to recognise slug eggs then you can deal with the problem before it’s even started.
3. You can use beer traps or leave half grapefruits near your allotment patch. Alternatively you could create a barrier around your patch using crushed eggshells.
4. Another way to deter pests is to plant a border of French Marigolds (Tagetes) round your plot. However, there are some insects which you want to attract and these are pollinating insects such as bees, as well as predator insects like hoverflies and ladybirds. Never try and shoo them away or set traps for these insects because bees helps to pollinate the plants while the ladybirds eat those pesky greenflies.
5. It’s best not to leave any bare patches of soil because it can become infertile. Instead,mix some manure into the ground as this is a very easy way of maintaining soil fertility and a healthy soil structure.