Friday, December 29

Prepare your trees for a fruitful new year!

Do you have a plum tree which looks like this in July but recovers slightly by September?

If you have it might be suffering from Brachycaudus Helichrysi or plum leaf curling aphid. Now is the time to take action to rid your plum tree of this pest. Don't wait for your tree to develop the symptoms shown in the picture - take preventative action now! Click here to read more.
Other fruit trees also benefit from preventative treatment taken at this time of year.

Thursday, December 21

Sunday, December 17

Why not make your garden birds a Christmas cake?

Birds in the garden and on the plot really struggle for food at this time of year. So why not help the children to make a Christmas treat for them. Click here for instructions for a variety of bird cakes for all types of birds as well as suggestions for some other treats and activities. Although children will enjoy this activity, adults enjoy watching birds feed on these treats too!

The RSPB carry out a Bird Watch each year to track how well our garden birds are fairing.
The records provide them with a vital snapshot of the UK's birds each winter. Over the years their scientists can record patterns in bird numbers and use this to help prioritise their bird conservation work. The survey has recorded huge declines in some of our most familiar birds. Since 1979, the number of house sparrows counted has fallen by 52% and the number of starlings by 72%. So by feeding birds through winter we may be able to halt and even reverse this decline.
You can help even further by taking part in this year's Bird Watch. You don't even have to leave the comfort of your home - you simply take an hour during the 27 or 28 January and record the highest number of birds of each species visiting your garden. Click here for details. You may manage to attract some unexpected visitors like the pied woodpecker that sometimes visits our garden.
Remember all through even the coldest parts of winter it is vital that birds have access to water for drinking and bathing. We have a timer or our outside tap that is set to fill our bird baths several times a day so that the birds are never without a supply. They in turn provide us with hours of amusement and also help rid our garden and allotment plots of pests throughout the year.


Friday, December 15

Make our web site your Internet home page

We now have a Google Search Box at the bottom of the home page of our website. This will allow you to search for items on our blog and website as well as the whole of the Internet. It has been set up as a Safe Search which means that adult content should be filtered out making it less of a hazard for children.
Click on the image below to try it out
You will need to scroll down to the bottom of the page that appears

Have you also noticed on the sidebar the site feed from the Telegraph. Use these links to access uptodate gardening articles from the Telegraph web site. After reading use the back button on your browser to return to the blog. If you are new to the Internet the buttons are shown below.

Internet Explorer 7 back and forward buttons
Internet Explorer back buttonFireFox back button

Tuesday, December 12

Take part in our survey!

Every year, just before Christmas, a certain radio programme indulges in a sprout bashing exercise. Apparently a large percentage of people detest sprouts and only eat them at Christmas because it is traditional. So here's your chance to register your vote by using the survey on the right. If you love them, add a comment to this post on how you cook them and maybe you can convert some of those millions of sprout haters who suffer each year at the Christmas dinner table, in time for the festive season! If you want a change of colour try purple sprouts next year. We've grown them for several years and they do stay purple after cooking.

Sunday, December 10

Indian Sharp Spice Paste

If you fancy making your own curry paste to spice up those inevitable Christmas leftovers then click here for another of Pat's recipes. Alternatively you could use it to make a curry from a variety of your home grown vegetables.
However, this recipe does come with safety warning as Pat says it is very hot, so add only a little at a time until you find the taste that just tingles the tastebuds rather than exploding them!

Winning Numbers in Raffle

1st Prize - blue 293 - £50 gift vouchers
2nd Prize - salmon 90 - selection of flower seeds
3rd Prize - blue 303 -
selection of flower seeds
4th prize - blue 243- selection of flower seeds

All winners have been identified and prizes will be passed on as soon as possible.

Congratulations to all the prize winners!

Friday, December 8

Demystifying the art of compost making

If you are in the habit of reading gardening magazines or watching certain TV programmes you may well think that to successfully compost your garden waste requires a degree in chemistry. What with layering, turning, choosing the correct container etc etc. It is, however, fairly easy acquire reasonable success without too much trouble, all that is needed is a bit of patience. Click here to read more.

We've been Migrated!

You may notice a couple of changes to the blog - or maybe you won't.
We have been migrated to an updated version of blogger. A few scary moments but we seem to have come out of the other side OK. Time will tell. Apparently some blogs go into migration never to be seen again so it's as dangerous as the migration of our feathered friends.

Saturday, December 2

Winter on the Plot - A Wordsearch

Another little puzzle for the days and nights when you can't get on the plot and there is nothing worth watching on the TV.
Click here to have a go. A printable version is also available.

Click here for a simpler version for the children - or do it yourself if you want an easier puzzle.

Friday, December 1

Leek Bake

Pat on plot 40 - our very own Nigella Lawson has supplied a delicious recipe for leeks.
We have cooked the lasagne version and it was really good. If you don't like pasta use the original recipe that has layers of potatoes instead.

Look out for more of Pat's recipes in the weeks to come.
Click here for the recipe and enjoy!

Tuesday, November 28

Spring Cabbage in December

Successional sowings can be worthwhile.

Click here for more

Sunday, November 26

New Search Facilty

If you wish to search for something particular on our blog - try out the new search facility on the sidebar.

Mantis Tiller for Sale

One of our plot holders has a small Mantis tiller for sale. He will take offers starting at £15. The money from the sale will go to our allotment fund. If you are interested then see the site secretary or email us
Anyone interested should make contact by 3 December 2006

Friday, November 24

Blue Tits on the Plot Part Two

You can view more blue tit video on the web site click here

Grass Head is back for now!

Grass Head is back but may suffer some interruptions! Technical difficulties with that page are being investigated by the software company who are being extremely helpful.
The PDF for printing out instructions is not available at the moment so please bear with us. Fingers crossed and click here to access.

Tuesday, November 21

It's not just for pickling

Braised red cabbage is an excellent accompaniment to your Christmas roast. Click here for recipe.

Over two dozen toads found in compost heap!

On Sunday we decided to move the pile of well rotted compost onto the beds. In doing so we uncovered over two dozen toads which were carried lovingly to a new winter bedroom in a pile of straw. They really earned this treatment as all summer they will have been munching their way through as many slugs and other pests as they could get their little webbed feet on.
Sweet dreams!
Click here to read more

Monday, November 20

Fence Application

The new fence application has now been sent to Steve Slade, for more information follow the link..

Sunday, November 19

Don't Forget to get your raffle tickets!

If you haven't already managed to buy some raffle tickets - don't leave it too late! See the site secretary who will be delighted to part you from your money. Remember all proceeds from the raffle are for your benefit!

Blue Tits on the Plot

Even if you haven't noticed blue tits on the plot you will almost certainly have heard them. The blue tit is very much an ally or the gardener. To read more click here For those of you on a broadband connection there is a video clip too!

Saturday, November 18

Children's area on the web site

Grow a Grass Head
Grow a Grass Head and send us a photograph of it and you may see it features in the children's area of the web site

Click here for instructions

Even if you don't qualify as a yound seedling you may want to have a go - there are no age limits!

Monday, November 13

Green Lane in the 1980's

Found some photographs of the Allotments from the 1980's and added them to the web site. Rather surprisingly they show that many of the plots were cultivated. It's the era of The Shay Man winning prizes. Has he told you about the olden days?

Want to see more click here

Sunday, November 12


I'd like to create an area on the website for livestock issues but have absolutely no knowledge of this area. If any one who keeps hens, pigeons, quails, ducks etc and would like to write an article for the web - preferably with photos. Could you use this link to email the article (please use MS Word or Notepad or Wordpad) and image files to me and I will transfer them to the website. If you wish to be acknowledged by name then please state this in the email.

Friday, November 10

New puzzles page on website

Click here for a variation of a popular puzzle - SUNFLOWER SUDOKU

Growing and Storing Carrots

We’ve just finished protecting our dahlia tubers for winter using straw and this year we’ve decided to try a couple of ways of using straw to protect our carrots for winter. Most of our carrots have been grown under fleece to protect them from carrot fly and its worked well.

Read More

Wednesday, November 8

Smoky Bacon and Lentil Soup

For recipe for soup served at the bonfire party

Click here

or scroll down to Alloment News posting

Click here
for a translation

Monday, November 6

Sponsorship page on web site

I've added a sponsorship page to the web site. In return for a donation to the fence fund - companies can have a free ad. If anyone knows of any company who may support us in this way please email me.

Today (7 Nov) Chilterns Seeds made a donation
Today (8 Nov) Mrs Fothergills Seeds have made a donation

Details will be posted on the notice board.

Sunday, November 5

Dahlias - To Lift or not to lift, that is the question

Every garden magazine that I pick up at the moment is debating whether or not dahlias can be left in the ground over winter. The consensus seems to be that you can but that it depends where you garden and the soil that you garden in?

As we grow quite a lot of dahlias, about 30 plants on the allotment, we decided a few years ago to leave them in the ground for winter. We just didn't have anywhere dry to store that number of tubers. This experiment was very successful and one that we have repeated over the years. We have lost one or two plants over this time but probably no more than we would have lost if we had lifted them. Indeed previously when we did lift them every year we actually lost more tubers.

Read More

Wednesday, November 1

New Sister Web Site

As you have probably noticed blogs can get very long and difficult to find your way around after a while so I have started a new web site to link to the blog.

Green Lane Allotments site

New articles etc will still be posted on the blog but sometimes there will be a link to the web site where more information or longer posts will be stored. The web site will also allow you to easily navigate around articles. Please continue to use the comments areas of posts to add comments.

If you wish to have an article/posting on the web then please email it to me as a Word doc and I will transfer it across. Please also attach any image files that you wish to have posted

Monday, October 30

New Fence Fund - Donations update

To read more about the Fence Fund
Click on the link on the sidebar or scroll down the screen.

Donations to date and thanks to:
Marshalls Seed Company

Thompson and Morgan seed Company
Suttons Seed Company
Dobies Seed Company

Sunday, October 29

Strawberries at Wimbledon? What about strawberries for bonfire night?

This year we planted some wild strawberry seeds, (fraises du bois), which germinated really well giving us about 40 plants. We planted these out in May. At first they produced very small strawberries - maybe due to the really dry weather or maybe due to the plants being quite small. However, now the fruit produced are a reasonable size, although not as big as the more commonly grown strawberries.

The plants fruit so freely that you can even allow the slugs to have a few. As the strawberries do not trail on the ground this is however less of a problem.

From August onwards we have been picking strawberries every week - sometimes every day. The ones in the photo above were picked this weekend. The berries have a more delicate flavour than other strawberries and are great for sprinkling on top of fruit salads.

Apparently you should treat the plants as annuals, however, we are going to leave the plants in and plant some more seeds for next year just in case.

As you can see from the photo above there are still many more berries to come, presumably until the first frosts put an end to the bounty! Maybe we will just manage a bowl on bonfire night.

Allotmenteers - Are we second class citizens?

Just a thought! The government want us to pursue a more active lifestyle, to eat our five fruit and vegetables a day, to buy produce locally, to look after our green spaces and to develop a sense of community! Does all this sound familiar to you?

As allotment holders don't we do all this? Allotment sites have very diverse communities. They cater for a very wide range of people of all ages, male and female, from a variety of walks of life and cultures. So why aren't we seen to be more important?

Allotments come under culture and leisure. It would be interesting to know how we fare in relation to other culture and leisure activities with regards to funding and facilities wouldn't it?

I am sure you must have a view on this so share it by using the comments button.

I know that we have visitors from other parts of the country and other parts of the world. It would be really interesting to hear whether other people feel that allotment holders get a poor deal in relation to other culture and leisure activities or if other areas fare better than us!

Raffle update

Some of you have been asking for raffle tickets. There has been a slight delay but the site secretary is hoping to buy the tickets on Monday. If you can manage to sell some tickets for us, please talk to Jan. He has leaflets like the one posted on the notice board that you can use. It is important that tickets are just sold to friends, neighbours, work colleagues and relations and not sold door to door as a licence would be needed for this.

We hope to apply for awards shortly but applications will be looked on more favourably if we are doing our bit and putting some funding towards the fence project so please do your best!

Wednesday, October 25

Our site about 4 years ago

This is an aerial photo of our site taken, I guess, about 3 or 4 years ago during late summer.

Photo from Google maps
click on the photo to see enlarged view

You can see at this time many of the allotments were derelict and overgrown. But some of us hardy souls were gardening amid docks, bramble and couch grass. It would be really interesting to have an up to date photo now that all the plots are taken to see the difference!

Sunday, October 22

Visitors to the blog

I know that we have had visitors to this blog from America, Italy and France. It would be really interesting if visitors would use the comments attached to this posting to tell us something about themselves. Such as where they are from, (you don't have to come from far afield), how long they have been gardening, what sort of things they grow, any wildlife seen in their gardens or on their allotment plot. Any really useful tips etc.

Don't be shy it would be really good to have some idea of who is out there reading our blog!

A Partridge in the Green Manure

We have sown two beds of green manure this year and today crouched in amongst the new growth was a common partridge. The photo here isn't very good as I has to zoom in quite a lot without a tripod and I was also in a hurry to get a photo before the bird shot off. As soon as I took the photo it was up and running making the sort of noise that suggested it wasn't impressed to have been disturbed! Click here to read more.

Also seen today were goldfinches browsing on the seed heads of some sweet corn plants that we hadn't yet pulled up.

Yesterday whilst I was cutting dahlias a tiny newt wriggled across the soil. We see lots of these, often seem to dig then up! We also built a log pile so hope to encourage even more wild life. Click here to read more about creating a log pile.

Sunday, October 15

Interesting Links

The links list on the sidebar is in danger of becoming unmanageable so I have added this posting which will hold links of interest.
Please note any sites that you think others would be interested in by using the comments facility. I will them add these links to this list.

Allotment Growing
An interesting browse - full of all sorts of information
Allotment and Kitchen Gardens
London Allotment with interesting links
Allotments UK
Site with forums and links to lots of allotment sites
BBC Gardening Basics
Growing fruit and vegetables
Garden Action
Contains guides to growing particular fruit, herbs, vegetables and flowers.
Gardeners' Club
On site club with section on growing vegetables etc.
Garden Organic
Site devoted to organic gardening
Growing Vegetables on an Allotment
A Leeds allotment
National Society of Allotments and Leisure Gardens
The Allotment Regenation Initiative
The Productive Garden
BBC series - How to be a gardener
Welcome to the Virtual Potting Shed
Dartford Allotment group

Monday, October 9

Squashes (Recipes and Storing)

I just harvested all my squashes. Does anyone have a tried and tested method of keeping them? Is a frost free garage okay or a greenhouse with some straw as protection against frost? Does anyone have some good recipes for using squashes?

Monday, October 2

New Fence Fund

Those of you who garden on the Green Lane site, and have recently had sheds broken into or produce stolen or damaged, will know that our priority is to obtain funding for new security fencing and gates. This will be an expensive project and cost in the region of £22,000. The council have made it clear that they have no funds available for this and so it is up to us to raise the necessary funding.

Anyone who has ideas of how we can raise funds or who to approach for a donation – please get in touch. Any company offering a donation will be acknowledged on this post.

If you have any ideas and are willing to get involved by letter writing etc. then please get in touch either by email using the Contact us link below or by contacting the Allotment Association Chairman.

Contact us

If tenants on other sites have undertaken similar projects and are willing to share their ideas please add your comments to this posting.

Donations to date and thanks to:

Marshalls Seed Company

Thompson and Morgan seed Company

Suttons Seed Company

Dobies Seed Company

Monday, September 25

To sprinkle or not to sprinkle

I've heard a rumour the Council is about to ban the use of sprinklers at allotment sites in Wakefield.

Possible reasons are that sprinklers reduce water pressure for other users. Not true in my experience. If someone else on the plot turns on a tap then my sprinklers stops. Some evenings last summer it was not possible to use a sprinkler as there was insufficient pressure as watering cans were being filled and hose pipes used to water withering veg.

At some sites sprinklers were left on all day I've heard. Why then punish all rather than targeting anyone abusing the system. Why not initially ask allotment holders not to do this otherwise the use of sprinklers will be banned? How will any of these policies be policed? What happens if allotment holders still leave sprinklers sprinkling all day?

Any comments.

Sunday, September 24

Encouraging wildlife onto your plot

With many natural wildlife habitats having been destroyed it is more and more important that we do what we can to provide wildlife with alternative homes. Many gardeners are also very enthusiastic about wildlife preservation. The following link will take you to "Wildlife on Allotments". This is a very interesting publication by English Nature containing lots of idea on how you can encourage wildlife onto your plot.

Wildlife on Allotments

This photo was taken after moving a pile of straw, needless to say the straw was put back and that part of the plot left undisturbed until we were sure the hedgehogs had gone. Always move piles of compost, allotment rubbish etc carefully many animals consider piles such as these to be ideal winter hideaways or nesting sites. Never set light to a bonfire that has been left in situ, move the materials to a new site and then burn.

The pile of straw covering dahlias over winter was taken over by nesting bumble bees. They were no problem and had left by the time the dahlias were ready to flower.

What wildlife have you found on your plot?

Other Links
Garden Ponds and Boggy Areas

Sunday, September 10

Allotment News

Do you want to share your thoughts?

Use the comments link from this post to share information, thoughts and ideas.

Friday, September 8

Do you want to be a member of our Blog team?

If you become a member of the blog team you will be able to make a posting (like this), blogs can be a mixture of text, web links and images. They also invite comments from other readers.

You may want to share your favourite recipe, your successes and failures, gardening tips, photos etc.

To be a member of this blog, you will need to rent an allotment plot on the Green Lane site, although in some circumstances members other than this may be approved.

If you wish to be considered for membership of the team then you should email by clicking here.

Please state your real name, your email address and your plot number. You will then be invited to be a member of the team by email with instructions on how to respond and how to make a posting.

Tuesday, September 5

Adding Comments

If you are not a member of this blog and do not have a blogger account you can still post comments. The name that you wish to use can be added within the comment.

  1. Enter your comment into the box provided.
  2. Click inside the radio button next to Other or Anonymous.
  3. You do not have to enter any information in the input boxes
  4. Copy the letters and numbers into the input box (this is to ensure that you are in fact a person and not a machine)!!
  5. Click on Submit
  6. You may have to refresh your browser for you comment to appear.
When making a comment you should observe web etiquette. Any comment that is considered to be offensive will be removed by the moderator.

Wednesday, August 30

Green Lane Allotments - August 2006

Green Lane Allotments

Click here for more information

Harvesting is now well underway and new plot holders are clearing their plots

All allotment plots are now taken but a waiting list is available for anyone interested in having a plot in the future.

If you wish to be added to the waiting then you can contact the site secretary by email to