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Newsletter - March 2021

26 February 2021

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Premiere & Maris Bard 1st early & Kestrel 2nd early & Cara & Maris Piper seed potatoes available at £1.50 a kilo

Broad Beans @ £1 a tray (minimum count of 10) while stocks last from end of March

Rhubarb £1 a bundle at the Hut most weekends from mid-March

Plants in the garden are beginning to grow with renewed vigour. Our monthly column aims to help you enjoy your gardening while keeping costs down to a minimum & provide you with a reminder as to what is seasonally available. Complete all digging incorporating farmyard manure or compost. Clear plots and weeds from gardens by applying Weedol (£5 for 3 tube box) or Glyphosate (100ml £1). Kill weeds on paths and drives with Pathclear, Scatter slug killer pellets @ £2.50 & £4.

THE VEG PLOT: - If it is still too wet to dig or rotovate get out right now and spend just an hour cleaning up your plot, clear away bean poles, weeds and brassicas so that you can make a start as soon as the weather conditions are right. Continue winter digging incorporating Mushroom Compost at £30 a ‘Bucket’ load delivered to Allotments Site, 01473 310380 to order a load. Once cultivated rake 4oz sq. yd. Growmore (5kg £4.50), Blood, Fish & Bone (5kg £3.50), Rooster Pellets (20kg £12) or blended organic stable manure @ £4.50 a bag into soil prior to sowing or planting. Plant early seed potatoes. Plant spring onion sets, asparagus & Jerusalem artichokes. Use fleece, 1.6m wide (from 30p) as frost protection or to warm the soil. Sow carrots, beetroot, Brussels sprouts, calabrese, parsnips, cauliflower, leek, salad onion, radish, peas, and spinach. Sow the herb's fennel, dill, parsley, marjoram, rosemary, sage & thyme. We carry a limited range of vegetable seed @ £1 & £1.50 a packet to supplement our autumn seed scheme. Harvest broccoli, parsnips, radish & spinach.

FRUIT: - Plant grape vines, blackberries, black, red & white currents, gooseberries, raspberries & rhubarb. Feed established plants with potash (5kg £8) and mulch with peat, compost, or manure. Winter Wash fruit trees & bushes, 500ml £9.50. Spray fruit trees which are affected by mildew, apple scab, aphids or codling moth & feed with a general fertiliser. Pick rhubarb.

FLOWERS: - Remove dead flower heads of daffodils and apply 2oz of general feed to each clump. Lift and divide overgrown clumps of perennials. Plant rose bushes incorporating a large handful of bonemeal (5kg £3.50), prune and feed all established plants with rose food (2kg £2). Prune hardy fuchsias. Sow hardy annuals. Plant autumn-sown sweet peas to grow up a frame of 6' canes (40p each) or 1.5m high bean net (30p per meter). Plant heather's and mulch with peat (100ltr £9) or chipped bark (75ltr. £7.50). Take cuttings of winter flowering begonias, dahlia & heliotrope.

LAWNS: - Re-seed worn areas (grass seed £4.60 per Kg.) For ease and to fill in larger holes premix grass seed with John Innis seed or no.1 then spread. Aerate with a wire rake. On a fine, dry, day cut grass with the blades set high. Until the end of March apply a low nitrogen Autumn / Winter lawn feed, 5kg treats 140sq mtrs (£6.50), a selective weed killer (500ml £9) and control moss with an Iron Sulphate solution of 30g per litre of water per 5sqm of lawn (1kg £1.50) or add as powder to your feed at a rate of 1 to 3. Care it will stain hard surfaces and clothing.

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.

GREENHOUSE: - Minimise heating costs by lining with bubble plastic (1.5m wide per meter £2.50) Sow French beans, peppers, tomatoes, sweet peas and half-hardy annuals (Multi-purpose compost £5 for 75ltr, 25 kg Potting Grit £5.50, 6ltr Vermiculite £2, 25kg. John Innes Seed compost £4). Full size rigid trays @ £1.70 & half size flexi's @ 10p are available. Prick out into 15 or 40 plug tray inners (30p), 12 plug liners 20p or pots (from 5p) when large enough to handle. Protect seedlings from damping off & foot rot by treating with a Copper Fungicide. Feed geraniums, fuchsias and pot plants every ten days with liquid feed (£2.50 per ltr) or Miracle Grow (1kg £4.80). Support plants with 2' canes (70p per 15). Control insects with a rtu insect gun (£4.50). 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 1 ½” 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 or in a 3 or 4 ltr pot including carrots, 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 or Climbing French Bean Hunter direct into a grow bag – punch 20 holes in the top of the bag using a cane, drop in the seed and water. Pick beans a whole month ahead of outside plants.

All horticultural items are available to our MEMBERS ONLY from a range of quality products provided to meet basic gardening needs. Membership is £5 p.a. download a form from our website to apply.


 ‘THE HUT’ - We are open on Saturdays 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 on Saturday as before.

We have already seen a few Covid related price rises coming through the system due to lack of packaging & product availability. in particular Bird Food. Assuming we do not see demand for composts, canes and feeds exceed a 10% rise on last years sales we do not foresee any problems with supply or a change in the current price.

A limited number of FREE Copies of the ‘Allotment’ magazine are available 4 times a year at ‘The Hut’ plus a limited number of super discounts on end of line and special purchases. At the moment Phostrogen plant feed @ £3, Kibosh Bug Killer Spray £2, Mouse Killer 200g £1.50 and Strawberry Mats.

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 most days from end of 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.

WILDLIFE 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 £2, Black Sunflower Seeds £3.50 and 2 kilo bags of Pea Nuts at £4. And NEW this season Sunflower Hearts 2kg £4 and Dried Meal Worms 250g £2.50, 1kg £8.50.  Also 12.5 kilo bags of Wild Bird Seed at £6.50, Black Sunflower Seeds £12.50, Nuts £21.50 & Sunflower Hearts £21.50 & 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 Allotment plot holders and non-plot holders alike, wherever you live.  80% of our membership are Garden members. 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’.

CULTIVATOR HIRE - A 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.

SPRING WORK IN t.b.c. - Hopefully the first work-in of the year will be in late May from 8.30am to mid-day (Autumn work-in mid-October). If you cannot make either of the Sunday work-ins, but can spare some time to help to keep the site tidy, then please contact Dennis.

PLOT HOLDER’S MEETING & AGM t.b.c. - Again, hopefully late May at 12 noon at the Allotments Site. The meeting will be as informal as possible presided over by our President Steve Baker. Refreshments and a buffet will be provided if allowed. Plot holders and Garden members will be invited to discuss any matters they wish to bring up with the committee.

PLOTS - The Allotments Site is currently full and we have a waiting list of 11 people. If you would like to add your name to this list please download an application form from our web site, complete the form and return it to us. The site manager will contact you if a plot becomes available.