Real Men Sow

9 Allotment Jobs to Do When the Weather is Rubbish


Still chucking it down out there and blowing a Wes Hoolahan (excuse the boyish favourite footballer reference)?

Same here. Pfft.

Oh well, here are 9 allotment jobs to do when the weather is rubbish.

Browse catalogues and buy seeds
Possibly the most fun gardening thing to do when the weather is rubbish. A cup of tea, slice of cake and thousands of seeds at your fingertips. What else could induce as many dreamy thoughts of warmer times?

Clear out the greenhouse
One of my favourite things about having a greenhouse is being able to tinker away outside whilst listening to all the drops of rain hammering down around me.

My greenhouse is still untidy from summer. I’ve been meaning to get on top of things, and this could be the perfect weekend.

Collect up money saving household items
There are loads of household items that can be used to save some money on the veg patch this coming season, from cutting up margarine pots for plant labels to plastic bottles for makeshift cloches.

Check out this RMS post from January last year for more ideas of items to get collecting right away!

Draw up a 2014 plot plan
Jot down all the vegetables you want to grow this year like to grow, and then plotting them on a plan is literally hours of fun. In the past I’ve drawn a scale work of art, but this year I’ve signed up to the excellent planner.

With hundreds of items available to add to a plan you can get really carried away. You can even include a spot for your bike.

Sow seeds!
Yes, it might be January, but if you’ve got a sunny windowsill there are a few seeds that can be sown! Onions , chillis, lettuce and some varieties of greenhouse tomatoes can all be tried this time of year.

Sort through seeds
If you’re anything like me, you’ll have a big box of seeds and they’ll be a mixture of unused, out of date and half used. Now’s a good time to have a clearout.

How about swapping the seeds you don’t want? Twitter or the Grow Your Own web forum are perfect places for this.

Clean Tools
Give any tools a decent scrub down with a wet rag and leave to dry in a warm place, like a utility room. This will prevent rust and prolong the life of the tool.

Jog your memory
Check any notes you made from last year (or if you’re useless like me, just try and remember). What did well where? Did you find a variety that you were pleased with and want to grow again? Incorporate all this info in to your plot plan for 2014.

Check stored crops.
Poor weather presents an opportunity to spend time in the shed checking stored crops, like squashes, apples and potatoes.

Remove anything that is beginning to deteriorate or go soft. This will help stop the decay from spreading.

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  1. DanJanuary 4, 2014 at 4:10 pmReply

    Browsing the seed catalogues on a cold winter’s night is one of my very favourite activities. Great blog!

  2. ScottJanuary 5, 2014 at 8:24 pmReply

    Definitely more positive outlook than me shouting at the weather and sulking! Thanks for the list, looks like I’ll be getting the catalogues out tonight

  3. Alan @ It's Not Work, It's Gardening!January 6, 2014 at 3:14 pmReply

    Take cleaning the tools one step further: Use a wire brush to remove any rust and give a little coat of oil, especially to your favorite shovel or spade. Also, take a file to them and sharpen the cutting edge. If your spade is like mine it’s gotten quite dull from hitting roots and rocks. A sharp edge makes it so much nicer! (Same for hand trowels, at least IMO.)

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About Real Men Sow

meIn 2007, I took on a redundant allotment plot with my gardening-mad mum Jan. As all good mums do, she went along with it, but I don’t think she held out much hope. However, over a decade later, and she now lets me do stuff without watching over my shoulder, so I must be doing something right. [ read more ]

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