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Newsletter - February 2021

1 February 2021

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‘SEED POTATOES’ Premier & Maris Bard 1st early,

Kestrel 2nd early, Cara & Maris Piper main crop at £1.50 for 1kg


One enormous advantage of growing your own fruit & veg is that you harvest & eat it when it is in season, the time when it is at its very best. Cold frames & greenhouses help to stretch that season a little & protect some crops from freak weather conditions. We enjoy many different flowers in our gardens as the seasons change, snowdrops, crocus & daffodils as spring unfolds, bold splashes of colour in the summer months as annuals come into flower, followed by the autumnal reds & gold’s.

Our monthly column aims to help you enjoy your gardening while keeping costs down to a minimum.

Eighty per cent of our members do not have an allotment but still enjoy the benefits of our SEED SCHEMES and our bulk buy prices in “THE HUT”.

THE VEG PLOT: - If it is too cold or wet to dig or Rotovate spend a little time clearing your plot of spent crops, runner bean canes, perennial weeds so that the site is ready for you to cultivate as soon as the weather is favourable. If the sun is shining and the weeds are dry spray with Glyphosate (100ml £1) to start the weed killing process and reduce the chance of there being a fresh lush jungle to clear the next time you visit the plot. Continue winter digging incorporating recycled garden waste or Mushroom Compost at £30 a ‘Bucket’ load, 01473310380 to order. Sow peas & broad beans, apply bone-meal at 4oz sq. yd. (5kg £4.50). Plant rhubarb, cover this & established beds with strawy manure. Feed with sulphate of ammonia (5kg £3.50) or Blended Stable Manure (50ltr £4.50) & cover crowns with boxes, pots or tubs to encourage early growth. Sprout potato tubers in a frost-free room or shed. If soil dries risk a sowing of carrots, spring onion, lettuce, beetroot, peas, turnips & parsnip, or sow in cold frame or under cloches. Seed available @ £1 & £1.40 Plant onion sets & shallots Scatter slug pellets (800g £2.50). Harvest broccoli, sprouts, cabbage, carrots, leeks, kale, cauliflowers, swedes & parsnips.

LAWNS: - Aerate badly drained areas & apply sharp sand (£2.50 a bag) Lay turves in favourable weather. Clean & overhaul equipment. Contact Steve Blake for repairs & service on 07813814623. or TGC Garden Machinery Services Tattingstone for repairs & service & new equipment at very competitive prices on01473 327737. CARE. STALE FUEL OVER 4 WEEKS OLD can damage carburettors and cause poor starting & engines to run rough. Use fuel additives to keep fuel fresh.

Apply Lawn Sand or Sulphate of Iron (1kg £1.50) towards the end of the month to control moss. Apply a low nitrogen Autumn / Winter feed (£6.50 for 5kg treats 75 m sq.) to strengthen the grass roots through to the end of March then use a Spring / Summer feed

FRUIT: - Apply grease bands (1.75m £5) or fruit tree grease @ £4.50 a 200g tub now. Order & plant trees & bushes with a dusting of bone meal.  Apply a Winter Tree Wash (500ml £9.50) to fruit trees and bushes to control over-wintering insect pests. Cover Strawberries with fleece from 30p mtr. Prune apples & pears. Cut autumn raspberries down to ground level. Spray peaches, nectarines & apricots against leaf curl.

GREENHOUSE: - Empty greenhouse & wash down with Jeyes (300ml £4.50). Line with 1.5m wide bubble plastic @ £2 a meter. Check for & spray white fly (from £2). Sow main crop onions, leeks & sweet peas in pots. Check cuttings for mildew, remove affected leaves & spray. Begin sowing annuals & tomatoes. Water plants sparingly. Sow peas in a length of old guttering filled with compost and slide into shallow trench when plants are 1 ½” high. Sow broad beans in plugs and stand outside when 1½” high for a week or so and then plant out. Peas & Broad Beans just £1.50 a packet.Sow a few seeds in 10 plug strips of Spring Onions and Beetroot, do not thin out. Plant first sowings outside in March 10cm apart.  Sow a few seeds in 10 plug strips of Lettuce, thin to one plant. Plant outside in March 20cm apart or plant in a grow bag (38ltr bag £3) under glass.

FLOWERS: - Tidy boarders, feed with Growmore (5kg £4.50) or 6x cock’a’doodledo poo (20kg £12) & mulch with chipped bark (75ltr £7) or peat (100ltr £9). Ventilate chrysanthemum stools in cold frames. Start sowing annuals.


‘THE HUT’ - We re-open on Saturday 6th February 2021 10.00 to 12 noon.  We will continue to set up the tables outside and hope for good weather, PLEASE WEAR A MASK AT ALL TIMES. Members are welcome to follow the on-line sales format for all their requirements AT ANY TIME and we will deliver to the local area free of charge or you can pre-order by mid-day Friday to collect from The Hut as before.

A limited number of FREE Copies of the ‘Allotment’ magazine are available 4 times a year at ‘The Hut’ starting in February plus a limited number of super discounts on end of line and special purchases.

Please note that you must be an Allotment Association member to make purchases from “The Hut”.

Broad Bean plants, 10 for £1 will be available from late feb / early march.

HAND WASHING - There are 3 hand washing stations. The toilet will almost certainly be up and running. If the water is turned off to the rest of the site please make use of the anti-bacterial gel near THE HUT and the BBQ area.

SITE VISITS - If any groups would like to visit the site and the wildlife area free of charge, please contact Philippa Brandon to discuss what is available to you.

WILD LIFE AREA - At the time of writing the pond has a thin layer of ice covering it and the snowdrops are in flower.

FEED THE BIRDS - In addition to garden sundries we also supply a choice of feeds to encourage wild birds into your garden. We have 3 kilo bags of Wild Bird Seed at £1.50, Black Sunflower Seeds £3.00 and 2 kilo bags of Pea Nuts at £4. And NEW this season Sunflower Hearts 2kg £3.50 and Dried Meal Worms 250g £2.50, 1kg £8.50.  Also 12.5 kilo bags of Wild Bird Seed at £5, 12.75kg Black Sunflower Seeds £12 & Fat Balls 20 for £1.50.

VEHICLES ON SITE - Plot holders please remember that at times during the winter months it is advisable not to take your vehicle on to the allotment site. Considerable damage can be caused to the tractor paths and grassed areas after long bouts of rain. The committee reserve the right to close the site to all vehicles in extreme conditions.

WATER - The water will be turned off if it gets really cold and will go on again when the weather improves. As a consequence the toilet may be out of action.

JOIN’N’SAVE - Membership is just £5 a year and is open to both plot holders and non-plot holders alike, where ever you live. A single visit to ‘THE HUT’ or purchases from our seed scheme should easily recoup this investment when you take advantage of our special bulk buy prices. Join on-line, go to our web site, scroll down, and click on the ‘Join Us ‘box or at ‘The Hut’.

SPRING WORK IN - Date t.b.a.

CULTIVATOR HIRE - A new cultivator is available for hire for on-site use only. The fee is £10 for the first two hours. To hire this equipment please give advanced notice to Dennis or for any matters relating to the site please also contact Dennis.