Preparing Allotments


Growing season is fast approaching and now is the time to get allotments ready for the new year’s growth.

Aim to clear grounds by early spring, in time for early planting and sowing. Plots may have accumulated debris over winter, so clear the patch before cultivating to avoid damage to machines.

To make fast work of tilling the soil, invest in the Cobra T40B Petrol Powered Cultivator. Featuring a Briggs & Stratton 500 series engine, the cultivator has a tilling width of 16” and four high quality steel tines to make light work of compacted soil.

Easy to manoeuvre, the tiller features a front transport wheel, making it a breeze to get to site and with ergonomically positioned controls, the T40B is comfortable and safe to use.

After being broken up, poor soil can be enriched with compost or well-rotted manure. Before planting, it’s a good idea to test the PH of the soil to determine which plants will flourish in your soil type. If the soil is lacking in any nutrients, fertilisers can be applied to improve growing conditions. As ever, remember to read the label and follow instructions carefully.

PH testing kits are readily available but there are easy means of testing with store cupboard essentials and carrying out some tests in a home-made garden laboratory! A common method of testing if a soil is acidic or not is with vinegar and baking soda! Take two samples of soil from your plot and place in two separate containers. If, after adding vinegar, the soil fizzes, the soil is alkaline. No reaction means it’s time to test the second sample with baking soda. Mix the soil with water until muddy and then pour in a small amount of baking soda. If the muddy mixture reacts by fizzing, it means the soil is acidic.

On occasion, the soil may not react at all. In this case the soil has a natural pH level and most things will thrive!

Once you know your soil type and it’s PH levels you can tailor your plant choices, creating the best plants possible!