I love a bit of allotment geek. Last weekend, I borrowed a surveyor’s wheel, and took precise measurements of my plot, ready to start this year’s plan. Then I found something tremendous – online allotment planners.
For 2011 at least, pen and paper are out, point and click are in. I found three neat planners, each with their own elements of electronic charm, and enough variety to get us all dragging and dropping.
If you happen to be a square-foot gardener, then the free Kitchen Garden Planner could be for you. The Planner kindly tells you how many of the 54 veg available will fit tidily in each square foot block, and provides you with sowing instructions to boot.
Pick your vegetable, move it to where you fancy planting, and that’s all there is to it. In fact, a whole plot plan could be done and dusted in 10 minutes.
There’s no metric option for us pesky kids, but you can edit the veg names to remember seed types.
And best of all, it won’t cost you a – er – bean.
For £15, you get all manner of items to add to your lovely plan, including animals, furniture, ponds and shed welcome mats. There are a few vegetables to sow in amongst the beautifulness, but you don’t get any growing instructions.
It does look nice though. I’d frame the plan of my shed area (above) and stick it on my wall.
For full-on geekiness, it’s got to be the growveg.com Garden Planner (below). You have to draw the chickens yourself, but the stack of features makes up for this.
The planner will also estimate how many plants you can cram into a row, before creating you a planting plan adapted to your own regional climate and setting up an email reminder in case you’re the forgetful type.
There is an annual subscription of £15, but if you’re a beginner or looking maximise your harvest, then this planner is perfect.
However, be warned, these tools come with consequences. They’re highly addictive. I’ve spent a week messing about already. My lovely girlfriend is proposing No Computer Nights. You may lose your partner and your social life.
On the bright side, you won’t go hungry.