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Ministry of Agriculture Allotment & Garden Guide

Allotment and Garden Guide March 1945 page 6

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facsimile of page 6

March 1945

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Ministry of Agriculture
Allotment & Garden Guides Index

January 1945

February 1945

March 1945

April 1945

May 1945

June 1945

July 1945

August 1945

September 1945

October 1945

November 1945

December 1945

The Allotment DVD
The delights of having an allotment. 15 programmes as seen on ITV. Suit new and established growers. Seasonal guide, top gardening tips, fascinating food facts and insights into what's really in those sheds! 

THE ALLOTMENT SERIES was first shown on ITV 1 West

Allotments UK and other related allotment links


This POTATO business*

         Throughout the war the Ministry has been consistent in its advice that the household grower should not overdo potatoes (as many are apt to do), that he should not aim at self-sufficiency in this crop unless he has enough ground to allow him first to grow green crops––salads summer vegetables and, above all, enough winter greens and root crops for his family. "Follow the official cropping plant" has all along been the advice given. And that plan provides for three 30 ft. rows of "earlies" and six 30 ft. rows of main crops for a 300 square yard plot. On plots half that size or less the Ministry considers it would be unwise to use any of the space for main crop potatoes, though two rows of "earlies" might be grown. The limited room in small gardens would be better used for growing green winter vegetables.

PLANTING EARLY POTATOES If possible, all potato planters––great and small––should "sprout" their seed potatoes before planting, as advised in the previous issues of this "Guide". In any year it is a useful thing to do before planting, because it makes for a larger yield and brings the crop to maturity some weeks earlier.

     If you have sprouted your seed potatoes, there is no need to be in a hurry about planting them out. Wait for favourable conditions. With unsprouted seed, however, it is important that the first sprouts, which are the most vigorous, should be formed in the soil rather than in the bag, for this will reduce the risk of damage in handling.

  This means early planting. A simple way of planting is to take out shallow trenches 2 ft. apart and 4-5 in. deep on heavy soil, and about 6 in. on light land. The distance between the tubers in the row ought to be not less than 12 in. (15 in. for maincrops).

     Heavier crops will be secured by using fertilisers. For gardens and allotments "National Growmore" fertiliser is most convenient. It contains nitrogen, phosphorus and potash––the three important plant foods. The method is to give a dressing of 1 lb. per 10 sq. yards, forked in before planting. Also sow in the drills before planting a light dressing at the rate of 1 lb. per 60 ft. Tubers should not be dusted with artificials, as the eye or sprout may be damaged.

Don't apply lime to cultivated soil in the same season in which it is proposed to crop it with potatoes.

drawing of man planting potatoes



    * [ed. note] see Mulch, Intensive and Lazy Gardening Books for alternative methods of preparing the soil and planting.

"Carrots Love Tomatoes" is a good reference for companion planting - which plants like to be planted closer to each other and which ones do not like each other.