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Getting started on your plot

So you've secured your garden plot, that's the easy part out of the way. Now it's time for the hard work to begin.

Luckily as we head into mid-march there are many things you can be doing around the garden to prepare for next year and begin reaping the rewards of growing your own. We've put together a simple guide to getting up and running and ensuring your garden plot is as productive as possible.

Readying your garden plot for cultivation can be daunting

As all of the plots on the Wharfside Community Gardens site are uncultivated and clear of vegetation, there is no need to spend time clearing your plot. We recommend that by the end of March you;

  1. Formulate a garden plan, outlining what you want to grow and how much space you intend to dedicate to each fruit or vegetable.

  2. Mark out your internal footpaths, remembering that they should be comprised of bark or woodchip only.

  3. Install your raised growing beds or break up the soil in your intended growing areas.

  4. Integrate organic matter into your growing beds, such as manure or topsoil.

  5. Outfit your plot with a compost bin, water butt or other accoutrement necessary for the growing of fruit and veg.

  6. Spend some time to get to know your fellow Plotholders and join the Wharfside Forum.

  7. And of course, don't forget to set aside a small area to relax and enjoy the fruits of your labour...

What to plant in March

March is generally a busy month on community garden and allotment sites. In milder climates with light sandy soils such as ours, the following can be planted outdoor from seed;

  • Broad beans

  • Parsnips

  • Beetroot

  • Carrots

  • Onions

  • Lettuce

  • Radish

  • Peas

  • Spinach

  • Summer cabbage

  • Salad leaves

  • Leeks

  • Swiss chard

  • Turnip

  • Cauliflower

Sweet pepper, cucumber, tomatoes, aubergine and artichoke seeds can also be sown indoors.

Shady plots

Ideally your growing plot will be located in a south facing sunny position, however this is not always possible. Not to worry though, shadier spots can still be very productive where the correct shade tolerant fruits and vegetables are cultivated.

Kale, chard, beetroot and lettuce are all shade tolerant vegetables and will thrive in less sunny spots. Rhubarb, raspberries, blackcurrants and redcurrants will also produce a reasonable yield on