Cases of manure contamination are still cropping up see here so it's still important to take care when acquiring supplies. This is especially important in areas where Forefront weedkiller is used.
If you grow aquilegias then you should read this article in the Telegraph about a 'new' disease,
Harrod Horticultural have a sale - up to 50% off over 80 lines click here
Sarah Raven also has a sale click here
Harrod Horticultural are offering 10% discount on their raised beds click here and quote RB10 at the checkout
Thursday, September 27
Wednesday, September 26
Just wonder if someone like this could be the culprit?
I haven't seen any squirrels on the site. Has anyone else? We certainly have some in the garden at home where they are busily stealing the peanuts put out for the birds and burying them. Click here to read about grey squirrels and view the video clip of a squirrel busy in our garden. Must admit we did encourage him or her. If squirrels are helping themselves to the hazel nuts then they are welcome to them. I took some home and they weren't paticularly nice.
Tuesday, September 25
Monday, September 24
Sunday, September 23
Or what about this?
This was our broccoli at the end of August - it had suffered a caterpillar attack whilst we were on holiday. We removed the caterpillars and now, just a few weeks later, it looks like this.
Moral: Don't be too quick to pull it up and throw it away!! The 'pests' don't always win.
Friday, September 21
So is it time the government stepped in and put some ring-fenced funding directly into allotment regeneration?
Click here to read why I think that they should. If you agree with me then do what I did and write to your MP!
The Government department responsible for allotments is The Department of Communities and Local Government - I wrote to them too but just got a stock reply saying that they couldn't dictate to local councils, which wasn't the point that I made in the letter. I sort of knew that already - I wanted some direct givernment support.
In the Planning Policy Guidance 17: Planning for open space, sport and recreation which was added to their website in August 2007. I could only spot word allotment mentioned once (correct me if I am wrong) and this mention was as seventh in a list of ten areas which come under the broad title of Green Space.
In an article on their web site dated 16 March 2005 (a very short article) it stated
"What is our policy for allotments
Allotments and community gardens are valuable green spaces that can help improve people's quality of life by promoting healthy food, exercise and community interaction.
Communities and Local Government (Communities and Local Government) is responsible for government policy on allotments. It is our aim that allotments should be properly preserved, promoted and cared for."
Strange it seems that this page on the web site has suddenly disappeared! I'll post a link if it reappears.
By the way Hazel Blears is the minister in overall chrage of this department so I am going to try her next! At least we can let them all know that we exist!
You may also be interested in the publication Allotments - A Plot holders guide. It was published in December 2001 and is freely downloadable. Page 5 - What can I expect to be provided? may be of interest.
What do you think? Do you live in an area where allotments fare well? Tell us about it! .
Monday, September 17
Anyone any ideas?
Sunday, September 16
During the autumn and winter period we are going to clear this area and create a storage area for manure, wood chippings etc and any dumping will just make our task all the more difficult. Also the allotments' officer covers the cost of the rental of this plot on behalf of the allotment association on the understanding that it is used for the stated purpose.
Saturday, September 15
This piccalilli goes really well with pork pie - especially eaten outdoors on a sunny day! Click here for the recipe
By the way what happened to all the courgette recipes that must be out there - it seems most of our readers are too shy to contribute!
Friday, September 14
Monday, September 10
Many plants benefit from regular dead heading and dahlias are one such plant. So which of the stems below would you cut out? Both of them - neither? Are you unsure then click here to read more.
Let's hope that we don't have an early frost or you could be dead heading for nothing!
Thursday, September 6
Some say that you can compost any sort of weed as long as you leave it on the heap for a few years before using the resulting compost. Some say that you should dry out the weeds and then compost them. Some say that as long as you don't compost strong roots and seeds then you can compost anything.
One thing that is for sure is that whether you compost your weeds or not you will always have plenty of them on your plot. For one thing weed seeds can lay dormant in the soil for very many years. Apparently bindweed seed remains viable for 30 years or so. So maybe you may just as well compost your weeds and have some benefit from them as removing them will have little effect.
Though you won’t eradicate weeds altogether unless you resort to some form of deadly chemical warfare, you will find that the type of weeds found on your plot will change over the years. Some species colonise uncultivated soil whereas others will move in after soil has been cultivated for a while. Like other plants different types of weeds prefer differing soil conditions too. You can guarantee that if weeds won’t grow on your plot you are unlikely to have much success with more choice crops.
They say that if you can’t stand the heat stay out of the kitchen but it could just as easily be if you can’t stand weeding then give up your plot. Maybe you can just learn to live with them – after all some people call them wild flowers!
So what do you think?