Allotment / Gardening Chat and Advice



It’s a fairly small one - not a posh job with trays and all.
Really similar to this

Good for small stuff like chillies and toms. We should be more creative with it really…

Actually the straw would be useful. I can come pick it up anytime if you PM me your address or whatever you prefer… Cheers!


I’ve been trying to save some seed as I guess some of the season will come to an end before I know it. Does anyone else do this?

I recently stayed with a relative abroad who is a farmer now, and he, for tomatoes, simply opens them up, washes the seeds in water in a colander, then leaves them to dry for a day in the sun. I was advised by someone else to freeze the seed for 24 hours, before storing as this would kill any bacteria etc.

Elsewhere I finally worked out what these were:

They are in fact Cucumbers - my youngest loves them, though the first few were not ideal as I’d left them there so long waiting for them to grow into pumpkins…:roll_eyes:


Anyone else tried to get manure delivered in bulk? I’ve had emails with Biffa, who have a contract with the Met for getting rid of their stable clearings - so unrotted - but previously there’s always been a problem with finding a place to dump 10 cubic meters plus of the stuff. Some was delivered to Mayow Park a couple of years ago, but not repeated, I assume because it stayed around, and people complained. I think I ended up barrowing most of it away. I’ve also suggested a place closer to me where a load could have been dumped, but a lorry driver thought they’d damage the pavement backing in

It seems ridiculous that there’s no solution to this, hence asking if anyone one else has found one


On our old plot in Tottenham we used to get deliveries by the lorry from the Zoo but I haven’t tried to source any major amounts for a long while. There are a couple of stables that have mountains of the stuff but you’d need to hire a grab truck to get it on board and delivered…


Wasn’t sure whether to start a new thread. Our compost bin has masses of worms at the top around the rim and under the lid.

I’ve been taking handfuls and distributing around the beds, but maybe they aren’t earthworms?


Probably Tiger Worms - they are still earthworms but thrive in compost heaps…


So I got an early birthday present and its a VegTrug. I wanted one for summer herbs and soft other soft veg which could use special attention.

I want to trial some winter crops in it though. What veg should/can I grow over the winter?


The obvious things are garlic and onions which should go in about now or in the next week or two.
Broad beans are the other thing I would plant now but they take up a lot of space.
There are a lot of things to try but the issue is that it is a little late to get things to germinate. You may be able to buy plant plugs online or pick something up at Shannons. You can still sow seeds indoors of course but watch out for them getting a bit leggy. Failing that cover your trug or use a cold frame.
So a lot of oriental brassicas are fine over winter - things like mizuna, pak choi, mustard greens and Tatsoi. There are several lettuce varieties that will stand over winter - Arctic King, Winter Gem and Winter Density come to mind as well as lams lettuce.
Spinach might be worth a go especially for baby leaves in salad. Coriander can do well into winter too. Radish might just be worth it - Mooli specifically but it may be a little late…
Spring cabbage if you can get plugs will over winter.
There are of course lots of thing that you can over winter but they should have been done a while back! Carrots, leeks, parsnips, caulis, broccoli, brussles, swede, turnips are all happy with the cold to various extents…



Thanks so much. So if I can get plugs very soon and a cover and plant this weekend then maybe?


Planted my Elephant Garlic yesterday. It’s a first for me so hoping for good things.


Did you just plant cloves or had they germinated? I bought some Autumn Garlic at the RHS Autumn show last week with the intention of planting out.


Cloves. Giant things. Look forward to using them. Was given them by a neighbour in our garden share. Quite expensive apparently.


Cool. I’ll plant out some of the cloves I got then too. We can compare notes.


Any recommendations for a compost for a raised veg planter?


Absolutely. Try some lettuce from seed too - nothing much to lose!

How much do you need? Personally I’d go for a mix of top soil and some bog standard multi-purpose stuff.
However if you fancy a drive out to Bexley then you can bag up a load of quality manure


330l. Bagged and delivered is my preference


Shannons will deliver and they will offer good advise too.
Wicks do 70l bags for £4 and 35l top soil for £2 and they deliver…


So the season is coming to an end for me. I have no winter crops bar the weeds that In have partly lost the battle too.

What are people’s plans over winter?

I’m aiming to try and dig the whole plot to clear it as much of possible of weeds so that unlike this year I am a bit ahead of myself to get ready. I will possibly put up a polytunnel and work out where to plant raspberries, mark out where to plant other crops and if I can add some manure (I may go down the suggested Shannon’s route above).

I have managed to save and store some seed which is strangely satisfying.

I’m unsure whether to cover the soil - will decide once I’ve finished digging and whether I can get some manure.

What about anyone else?


I still have a load of stuff in so a good 50% of our plots are still in use - leeks, lettuce, sweet potatoes, carrots, parsnips, caulis, broccoli, swede, cabbage, brussles, celery, celeriac, fennel and even tomatoes are still going. Then we have the over winter garlic, onions and broad beans which have just gone in. Plus the freezer and pantry are full of pickles, chutneys, sauces and veg - it has been a really productive year and I wont be buying any veg before the new year.
As to winter plans…
Some people like to dig the plot over prior to winter to expose the earth to frosts with the aim to break up the clods. Some like to cover their plots with green manures (a bit too late to start now) or rotted manure to let the worms drag it in. I just generally let it go - maybe a light fork over on the clay but I will probably cover a bed or two with the contents of the compost bins…
Planing fruit now is good - they wont do much but they will put down some roots so come spring they will race ahead but get them in quick before the cold comes. Also garlic, onions, shallots and broad beans can all go in now if you have space.
We will probably dig the last remaining bit of the plot that we haven’t properly weeded - it’s full of bind weed so it will be slow going. That and collecting leaves and manure and making big heaps to spread around next spring. Also a good time to tidy up, do building projects and sit with a cuppa! Time to get the seeds catlogs out and dream bug for next year

Getting a polytunnel up will revolutionise your growing habits. Not only does it give you a longer season it also gives you the ability to grow things like melons, peppers etc properly… Mine is tiny but I have just sown corriander and spinach and there are some nice red peppers and lettuce going strong… They come into their own in spring when you can use them as staging posts for all your seedlings…


So 2019 is upon us. I went back down today to the allotment to start my determined efforts to clear the plot fully of weeds before March. Have a new neighbour now opposite my pot who I met today, great guy, one of the best things about this site, how many nice people you meet.

Anyway, for anyone who wants to sign-up for a plot on an allotment, there are I believe, 3 primary ways - I think these were posted further back, but for convenience:

Apply via Lewisham Council - my experience is waiting lists tend to be long (many many years) but worth applying for anyway if there is a site close to you. You can apply for up to 3 sites, and will be contacted once a space becomes available.

Lewisham Allotment Applications

Apply to for plots in neighbouring boroughs. This is what I and several other members on here have done via Bromley. Allotments in Bromley work differently and you apply to each site (you can apply to as many as you like) -either by email, post or in person.

Bromley Allotment sites

I and several other members here are at Kent House Road allotments (not to be confused with Kent House Leisure Gardens Allotments - also nice) - this is a great site, over 100 plots and a decent turnover - I was on the waiting list less than a year, as was my new neighbour. Now is a great time to apply for the waiting list as people will have given up plots now and waiting lists reduced, which go up again more in summer after open days and good weather!

Private sites

There are also in Lewisham some privately run sites, such as Barriedale Allotments and others - you will have to google and ask around to find them.

There are also community gardens you can volunteer at etc.

Dependant on the size of plot you have, it’s hard work (at the start especially clearing the plot unless you get very lucky), but very rewarding and enjoyable at the same time.

I’ve decided to make a real go of carrots this year which I’ve never been able to grow, and sunflowers. Lots of other stuff, but those are my main goals for this year.

Going to try and get some garlic in tomorrow or next weekend also, but then nothing but clearing until the spuds go in around March.

Is anyone trying anything new this year? I may also have some spare seeds if anyone wants to swap seeds (and if you don’t have any, am happy to simply pass some on - if anyone is interested I can list what I have, once I’ve itemised them).