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Newsletter - March 2024

29 February 2024

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A wide selection of seed potatoes (1st and 2nd earlies + maincrop and salad) are 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 £35 a ‘Bucket’ load delivered to the Allotments Site, (01473 310380) to order a load. Once cultivated rake Growmore, Blood, Fish and 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.


‘THE HUT’ - We are open on Saturdays between 10.00 and 12 noon.

While prices are increasing because of higher inflation and supply issues on certain items, some stock was  bought in on 2023 prices in order to secure extremely competitive deals. As such please do visit The Hut at the start of the growing season. Please check out our prices via the Allotment website: www.capelallotments.co.uk

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

SITE VISITS AND VISITORS - If any groups would like to visit the site and the wildlife area free of charge, please contact info@capelallotments.co.uk in the first instance.

The site manager respectfully asks that visitors to the site ensure that gates are closed and secured after use. Too often, the bolt has been moved across but it was never latched, so the gate is still open.

WILDLIFE AREA - Daffodils and snowdrops are in flower.

ALLOTMENT PLOTS - There are currently no vacant vegetable plots available to rent and a waiting list of two, but there are plots available in the poly tunnels. Please contact the site manager, Martin Leech, if you are interested in renting one.

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 Peanuts and Fat Balls supplied in 20's. We also supply Sunflower Hearts and Dried Meal Worms. 

WATER - The water will be turned off again if it gets really cold and will be switched 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 (called Garden members) alike, wherever you live. 80% of our membership are Garden members. A single visit to ‘The Hut’ or a purchase from our seed and/or potato scheme should easily recoup this investment when you will 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 simply visit ‘The Hut’ when we are open on Saturday mornings.

SPRING WORK IN - The first work-in of the year will be on 21st April from 8.30am to mid-day (The Autumn work-in is scheduled for 20th 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 Martin.

PLOT HOLDER’S MEETING and AGM - The AGM will follow the Spring Work In at 12 noon on 21st April.