'Premiere' (1st early), 'Kestrel' (2nd early) and 'Cara' (main crop) seed potatoes available from the Hut
Trays of Broad Beans while stocks last from end of March/early April
Rhubarb bundles 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 and 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 selective weed killers. Similarly, eliminate weeds on paths and drives with appropriate products available from the Hut.
THE VEG PLOT: - If it is still too wet to dig or rotovate get out 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 the Allotments Site, (01473 310380) to order a load. Once cultivated rake Growmore, Blood, Fish & Bone, Rooster Pellets or blended organic Farmyard Manure into soil prior to sowing or planting. Plant early seed potatoes. Plant onion sets, asparagus and Jerusalem artichokes. Use fleece as frost protection or to warm the soil. Sow carrots, beetroot, brussel sprouts, calabrese, parsnips, cauliflower, leek, salad onion, radish, peas, and spinach. Sow the herbs fennel, dill, parsley, marjoram, rosemary, sage and thyme. We carry a range of vegetable seeds to supplement our autumn seed scheme. Harvest broccoli, parsnips, radish and spinach.
FRUIT: - Plant grape vines, blackberries, black, red and white currents, gooseberries, raspberries and rhubarb. Feed established plants with potash and mulch with peat, compost, or manure. Winter Wash fruit trees and bushes. Spray fruit trees which are affected by mildew, apple scab, aphids or codling moth and feed with a general fertiliser. Start to 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 bone meal; prune and feed all established plants with rose food. Prune hardy fuchsias. Sow hardy annuals. Plant autumn-sown sweet peas to grow up a frame of 6' canes or 1.5m high bean net. Plant heathers and mulch with peat or chipped bark. Take cuttings of winter flowering begonias, dahlia and heliotrope.
LAWNS: - Re-seed worn areas. For ease and to fill in larger holes pre-mix grass seed with John Innes seed or no.1 compost 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, a selective weed killer and control moss with an Iron Sulphate solution of 30g per litre of water per 5sqm of lawn 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 and service on 07813 814623 or TGCGarden Machinery Services Tattingstone for repairs, service and new equipment at very competitive prices on01473 327737.
GREENHOUSE: - Minimise heating costs by lining with bubble plastic. Sow French beans, peppers, tomatoes, sweet peas and half-hardy annuals (Multi-purpose compost, Potting grit, Vermiculite, John Innes Seed compost, full size rigid trays and half size flexi's are all available from the Hut). Prick out into 15 or 40 plug tray inners, 12 plug liners or pots when large enough to handle. Protect seedlings from damping off and foot rot by treating with a Copper Fungicide. Feed geraniums, fuchsias and pot plants every ten days with liquid feed or Miracle Grow. Support plants with 2' canes. Control insects with a ready-to-use insect gun. 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 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. 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 and product availability. Coupled with higher inflation and supply issues on certain product lines, we expect prices of many items to rise. Certain stocks were bought in on 2021 prices so in order to secure extremely competitive prices, please visit the Hut at the start of the growing season.
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.
Please note that you must be an Allotment Association member to make purchases from “The Hut”.
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 - Daffodils & 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, Black Sunflower Seeds and 2 kilo bags of Pea Nuts and Fat Balls supplied in 20's. We also now supply Sunflower Hearts and Dried Meal Worms.
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. To hire this equipment please give advanced notice to Dennis or for any matters relating to the site please also contact Dennis.
The first work-in of the year will be on 24th April from 8.30am to mid-day (The Autumn work-in is scheduled for 23rd 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.
The AGM will follow the Spring Work In at 12 noon on 24th April.
The Allotments Site is currently full, and we currently have a waiting list. 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 as and when a plot becomes available.