For those of you old enough to have listened to the radio programme Beyond our Ken, you’ll probably remember a character called Arthur Fallowfield.
Played by Kenneth Williams, Arthur was the resident gardening expert whose stock reply to any question was ‘I think the answer lies in the soil’ and he wasn’t far wrong.
It is after all the most important single element of allotment growing and if you get your soil in good condition you’re well on the way to success.
To retain its full fertility and open structure soil needs to be dug and organic matter such as compost or manure worked in as part of your annual jobs list.
Alwoodley Allotments is blessed with a good depth of excellent topsoil overall but its precise makeup can vary from plot to plot and identifying its type and acidity is important.
Now is the best time to begin preparing your soil for next year as autumn approaches and crops are harvested and ground cleared and dug over before winter.
The National Allotment Society has produced an excellent article on soil management which is relevant to news and experienced plotholders alike.