HAPPY New Year! 2017 is here, we have all eaten too much and more than likely had a couple of tipples over the past few weeks and completely forgotten about our little allotments.

What better way to start the year, than getting down on the plot and taking some fresh air and a big flask of strong tea?

January can be a tricky month. It can be either very wet or far too cold and frosty.

If you get down to your plot and it’s either of those things don’t be tempted to get digging.

If it’s wet, you will destroy the structure of your soil making it compacted and causing water to pool. If it’s frozen, digging and disturbing the soil surface will make it slower to warm up in spring.

So put the spade away and pick up a pencil instead.

Ease your way back into the allotment by working out your crop rotations, making a list of what you’d like to grow this spring.

And if you really must get active, then consider building another compost heap.

Old pallets make excellent compost bins, as do old scaffold boards screwed together so see what you can get hold of and get busy with the structures of your plot and leave to soil alone for now.

If you really must burn off a few calories, you could always start making a manure stack somewhere and leave that ready to spread around in the next month or so.

But for now sit with a brew in the peace and dream about how your plot will be overflowing with wonderful fruit and veg in no time at all.

My allotment to-do list:

If you’re lucky enough to have a heated propagator - maybe you got one for Christmas - then what are you waiting for? Get it going by sowing some onion seeds.

Have a bash at sowing some early crops like salad onions, lettuce or turnips

You can still prune apples, quinces and pears.

Do that crop rotation, draw out a sketch of your plot. photocopy it and get jotting. Then when spring finally arrives things will be a million times easier.

If you have an allotment query, you can email: vixlot@outlook.com