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Newsletter - April 2024

1 April 2024

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Rotovate cleared areas. Hoe beds and borders then mulch with peat or chipped bark. Control weeds on paths, patios and drives. Scatter slug pellets making sure to use them selectively so they are out of reach from wildlife. Protect your hands with a range of gloves. Water plants thoroughly with an open ended watering can; do not waste time and water by indiscriminate spraying by using a rose once seedlings have emerged. Seed potatoes will not need watering until June at the earliest.

THE VEG PLOT: - Rake 4 oz. sq. yd. Growmore, Blood, Fish & Bone or Chicken/Poultry Pellets prior to sowing or planting. Plant seed potatoes, cover emerging shoots with soil if frost is forecast. Plant onion sets. Use fleece as frost protection or to warm the soil. Sow salad crops, leeks, peas, winter cabbage, late summer cauliflower, purple-sprouting and spring headed broccoli and broad beans. Plant late summer cabbage. Remove rhubarb flowers and start picking asparagus towards the end of the month. Sow fennel, parsley, dill, marjoram and thyme. We carry a range of vegetable seeds to supplement our autumn seed scheme. Thin seeds sown in March. Lift and divide chives, take mint cuttings and dig up old woody clumps.

FRUIT: - Plant strawberries. Spray fruit trees with a Winter Tree Wash (before bud break) and an insecticide if infected with mildew, apple scab, aphids or codling moth. Check for caterpillars, black fly and red spider mites and spray with a suitable insecticide or dust with PY powder. Protect buds with fleece. Feed Blueberries with an ericaceous feed or Iron Sulphate.

GREENHOUSE: - Minimise heating costs by lining with bubble plastic. Sow french and runner beans, tomatoes, melons, cucumber and sweet corn. Multi-purpose compost, potting grit, vermiculite, John Innes and rigid trays are available from The Hut. Protect seedlings from damping off and foot rot by treating with Copper Mixture. Prick out half-hardy annuals into module tray liners when large enough to handle. Feed geraniums, fuchsias and established plants every ten days with Maxicrop liquid feed. Support younger plants with split green canes. Control insect pests with a ready to use Insecticide Gun, Sprayday or Smart whitefly killer. Plant tomatoes in greenhouse border or grow bags. Sow peas in a length of old guttering filled with compost and slide into shallow trench when plants are 1½” high. Sow broad beans in plugs and stand outside when 1½” high for a week or so and then plant out. Sow a few seeds in 10 or 12 plug strips of Spring Onions and Beetroot, do not thin out. Sow a few seeds in 10 plug strips of Lettuce, thin to one plant. Repeat fortnightly for the rest of the season. Plant outside when large enough. Sow Dwarf French beans direct into a grow bag – punch 20 holes in the top of the bag using a cane, drop in the seed and water. Also plant 12 Climbing French bean Hunter - pick beans a whole month ahead of outside plants then discard when the plants get mildew or covered in white fly.

FLOWERS: - Remove dead flower heads of daffodils and feed with Growmore. Lift and divide overgrown clumps of perennials. Prune and feed established rose bushes with rose food. Sow hardy annuals. Plant sweet peas to grow up a frame of 6' canes. Plant heathers and cut back all heathers that have finished flowering and mulch with peat.

LAWNS: - Re-seed worn areas. For ease, and to fill in larger holes, pre-mix grass seed with John Innes seed or number 1 compost and then spread and water. Aerate and clear dead thatch with a wire rake. On a fine, dry, day cut grass with the blades set high. Apply a lawn feed, a selective weed killer and lawn sand to control moss or spray with an Iron Sulphate solution of 30g per litre of water per 5sqm of lawn. We also supply Weed, Feed and Moss Killer for a single application solution in the Spring. Contact Steve Blake for repairs and service of machinery on 07813 814623 or TGCGarden Machinery Services Tattingstone for repairs,  service and new equipment at very competitive prices on01473 327737.

All horticultural products are available to our members along with a range of quality commodities provided to meet basic gardening needs. Please note; you need to be a member to purchase items from The Hut.


TWO DAY OPENING  - The Hut will be open 10-12 noon Saturdays and Sundays (starting 6th April) throughout April, May and June. It's not too late to sow a selection of easy-to-grow delicious vegetables in a small patch of your garden or patio - we stock a range of vegetable seeds for you to try.

JOIN’N’SAVE - Membership is just £5 a year and is open to both plot holders and non plot holders alike, wherever you live. A single visit to The Hut should easily recoup this investment when you take advantage of our special bulk buy prices.

PLOT HOLDER’S MEETING and AGM - APRIL 21st - A short meeting and discussion with the traditional refreshments is planned from 12 noon. If the weather is scheduled to be fine we will set up benches and tables outside the poly tunnel as before.  

THE FLOWER and VEGETABLE SHOW – 7th and 8th SEPTEMBER - Please do aim to support the Capel Village Show - look out for further details on our website for the various classes. The full Show Schedule will be available on our website in due course - please do take the opportunity to take a look. More than 130 classes will feature and there are even specific classes for Capel residents only.

Please note the Show is for Amateurs only.

Two classes where you will benefit from advance notice of what is required include:


Subjects for 2024:- 1.A Royal Mail Post-box, 2. Architecture, 3. Still Life, 4. A Fishing Boat(s), 5. A Picture of Your Choice.

All photographs to be colour, minimum size 150 x 100mm/6" x 4" and maximum size 190 x 130mm/7.5" x 5" and mounted and taken within the last twelve months.


Subjects for 2024:- 1.Hand Knitted Item of Clothing (free choice), 2. Knitted Item Containing An Intarsia Picture, 3. Crocheted Waistcoat, 4. A Christmas Tree Decoration Using Any Medium 5. Cross Stitch Card for a Birthday (maximum size 250mm x 150mm), 6. Cross Stitch or Tapestry Item (Kit or Freestyle), 7. Any Other Craft Item (hard material) and 8. Any other Craft Item - soft material.