Posts Tagged ‘Dig for Victory’

Dig for Victory

February 3rd, 2010 | 1 Comment
by Jesse, IWM Web Team

During the Second World War, getting the most from your little plot of land was crucial. This film, produced by the Ministry of Agriculture in 1941, explains how to prepare an area of ground for growing your veg, and shows why not having space is simply no excuse.

Allotment and Garden Guide No.2

February 3rd, 2010 | 2 Comments
by Jesse, IWM Web Team

Click on the album below to see the full February 1945 Allotment and Garden Guide pamphlet, published by the Ministry of Agriculture.

In the Garden: February

February 3rd, 2010 | 10 Comments
by Diana, IWM Marketing Team

According to the February 1945 Ministry of Agriculture Allotment and Garden Guide, this is the month for planning. However, it’s not just a case of deciding whether one wishes to eat peas or beans come the summer. A large proportion of the guide is devoted to the system of crop rotation, for which it recommends a three-year cycle for a 300-square-yard (about 250m²) plot. The system is best explained in the following illustration:

Crop rotation chart

You can see the full guide here.

The Royal Horticultural Society’s website also contains advice on crop rotation. Does anyone use this method today? We’d be interested to hear whether this makes a difference to your yield.

During the war, getting the most from your little piece of England (or Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland!) was crucial. This fabulous film, produced by the Ministry of Agriculture in 1941, explains how to prepare an area of ground for growing your veg, and shows why not having space is simply no excuse!

Anyway, back to work. The vagaries of the English weather mean that February can be anything from mild and sunny to knee-deep in snow, and is usually a combination of everything in between. The guide provides sound advice: never work the soil when it is too wet and sticky and clings in lumps to your boots. If the weather allows, February is the time to get outside and get ahead. Broad beans, spinach and shallots can all be sown or planted, and crowns of rhubarb can be divided.

Essential February jobs:
Plan your planting for the year
Mulch your beds (sprinkle mulch around emerging plants to add nutrients and keep in moisture and warmth
Chit your potatoes – the BBC shows you how