Tuesday, October 28

October Diary Update

The above photos were taken on 27 October 2008. Snow and really cold weather was forecast for the 28th (it was really frosty this morning and it certainly is cold but as yet no snow), so I thought that I'd beat it by taking the photos the day before. It was a sunny day although at this time of year the sun doesn't give much warmth so it was a three layer day. The sun was really low and made photography rather difficult so some of the photos had to be discarded due to sunspots. At times I couldn't really see what I was aiming at! The leylandii hedge along our southern boundary is already beginning to be a problem casting heavy shade onto some of the plots - the photos don't adequately reflect this as I tweaked them a little to improve the quality. Unfortunately it was unavoidable to get my shadow in many. We were the only pair down on site when I took the photos - although one or two others came and went. It's a sign of the time of year. Some plots are almost clear, having only a few winter vegetables left in the ground or some planting to overwinter for harvest in early spring. Other plotters visit to feed their livestock which need attention whatever the weather.

To view the larger album and the October diary click here
Being gardeners we all look forward to next season and hope for better things to come! Time to dig out the catalogues - don't forget to use our links and shopping pages to gain us a bit of commission for our fence fund!

Monday, October 27

Lemon Snails.

Not a new recipe - just the title of some photos sent to us by a visitor who has grown a very strange fruit in their garden in Australia. To see more views of this strange fruit click here

Friday, October 24

Thinking of obtaining manure?

It was around this time last year that many of us at Green Lane inadvertently bought loads of contaminated manure which caused our crops to become distorted and often fail to produce anything worthwhile. We wre not alone as gardeners across the country contacted us to tell us that they also had problems after applying manure. Click here to read more

As a result many of us will be avoiding manure this year. If you are considering obtaining a supply you should be aware that although the herbicide that is suspected of causing the widespread problems last year has been temporarily withdrawn from sale, contaminated manure will still be in the system and could be for a while. Fields will already have been treated this year before the withdrawal and also the persistence of the chemical means that its affects can linger for a couple of years after use, especially in stacked manure piles.

If you want to obtain manure you should seek assurances from the suppliers that no herbicide containing aminopyralid has been used by them or by any of their suppliers of silage or bedding. If a contract sprayer has been used your supplier needs to know which herbicide was used to control any broad leaved weeds growing in fields that animals browsed or from which grass was harvested to make silage or hay for bedding. The most common herbicide that contains aminopyralid is 'Forefront" although there are other products too.

In order to give these assurances your supplier needs to know what chemicals have been used in the supply chain not just make assumptions. If your supplier tells you that the manure that is on offer has been stacked for a long enough period to ensure all chemicals have dissipated it is likely that they are unaware of the persistence of aminopyralid.
If after speaking to your supplier you are in any doubt them don't accept manure.

For more information click here

It's not too late to contact us if you think you have been affected by this problem. I am especially interested in any cases in the Yorkshire/Humberside region.

Monday, October 20

October Diary update

Another update to the October diary is available now although I have to admit to not having as much to report. Partly due to the time of year but also the onset of sniffles keeping us away from the plot. Click here to read. We did manage to get a bit of video of the birds enjoying themselves on our bird feeder.
Many of the videos uploaded onto the website have been converted from YouTube to Google videos so hopefully the quality is a bit better.
Click here for more information

Sunday, October 19

Meddling with medlars

A couple of years ago we bought a medlar tree which we planted in our garden - more for it's ornamental value than anything else. This year we have harvested a bumper crop - well OK - we have just picked five medlars but considering the tree only had five flowers and it is only a baby that wasn't bad. Now apparently we have to 'blet' them - which seems to mean let them start to rot - before they are edible. Has anyone any experience of growing or even eating medlars. Must admit having mixed feelings especially as apparently one of the nicknames that the French have for them is 'cul de chien' which politely translated means 'dog's bottom'. Click here to read more.

Wednesday, October 15

Google Videos

We have decided to move from housing the video content on our website using YouTube to Google Video. All new videos will be in this format and we are going to transfer some existing videos too. We have never been really happy with the quality of YouTube videos and are having particular difficulties in the way it handles widescreen video.

We think that the quality of the videos when uploaded into Google Video although not perfect is much better. Rather than viewing on the web page, for a better quality still, each video can be viewed directly in Google.
To do this:

  • Click on the arrow on the Google emblem at the bottom right of the video browser.
  • Choose Go to Google Video

Don't opt for Ful Screen as the quality just isn't good enough when displayed in that format.

The August video diary has been transferred to Google Video

NB: The above image is just a screenshot of the video browser so it doesn't play the video!

Tuesday, October 14

Wanton damage!

Alastair took these photos on Monday evening around 8:30. Someone’s hard work gone to waste! Please report ANY damage to the police – no act of theft or vandalism is too small to report! Also report any loss or damage to Sue or Jan so that we can keep records. If you saw anything suspicious on Monday evening prior to this time please report it to a committee member. As you are aware the gates should be locked at all times - failure to do this could mean that someone else suffers! We have email addresses for many plot-holders, however if you do not have an email address or don't check email regularly, you may prefer to let us have a contact telephone number so we can keep you updated of any problems on your plot.

Contaminated Manure - Yorkshire? - Get in touch

If you live or garden in Yorkshire and have been affected by the contaminated manure problem either as an allotment holder or as a private gardener will you please get in touch. Click to email
If you prefer not to have your experiences posted on our website then any information that you give will be treated as confidential but it will give us some idea of the extent of the problem in our area.
So far we know about an allotment site in Chapel Allerton and a garden in Ossett but I am sure this can't be the full extent of the problem locally. Surely we haven't been so unlucky!

Monday, October 13

October Diary update

The October diary has been updated click here to read.
This weekend has been like a belated summer. The weather has been lovely but one difference is that the beds on the plot are becoming bare as the season draws to a close. We are also planting one or two things to over winter such as winter onions. There are still enough flowers to gather for vases for the house but no doubt shortly the first frosts will put paid to that. We are also still gathering berries. Last year we gathered the last of the alpine strawberries in November when we had our first keen frost. We'd like to sow more alpine strawberry seeds this year and would really like to try a different variety. The problem is that the only variety that we can find is Mignonette which is the one we already grow. Does anyone know where we can find anything different?
You can't really mistake the fact that autumn is now well and truly with us as the trees are very much now in their autumn phase. Lovely colours for some and bare branches for others!

Sunday, October 12

New Plotters

We have had a few new people join our community this year. Today I managed to catch up with some of them to grab a photo for our plotters album although some of the children were a bit shy. Our updated album can be viewed by clicking here.
If I have spelled your name wrongly or got the wrong plot number please let me know. If you are still not included in our album you needn't think you have escaped completely! There is always another day!

The new plot holders are really making in-roads into sorting out their plots so well done.

Looking through the album one thing that did strike me was how much some of the children have grown - I wonder if they can be persuaded to let me take a new photo?

Tuesday, October 7

October's Diary

It already October and autumn is setting in - pity that we missed summer altogether. The diary for October has been started over on the web site.
Click here to visit

October 1 collage

By the way the photo of an allotments site in the Daily Mail article wasn't Green Lane - they cheated!!

Friday, October 3

September's diary is now complete

September's diary and photoshoot are now complete click here to visit.
I cheated a little with these photos as they were actually taken on 2 October, I was away on holiday for the last two weeks in September so didn't manage the usual photoshoot. (For those of you who DON'T find other peoples' holiday snaps boring I have included a few of ours - for those of you who do then sorry! Just ignore them). September was yet another disappointing month (I am really fed-up of saying that). On TV last night was an article explaining how our native deciduous trees are suffering - partly due to lack of rain!!!! Another problem appears to be that pests that would usually be killed off by the cold winters are now surviving and building up their population. As gardeners, we have experience of this too with whitefly populations building up. Other pests that would usually not be found in our country are moving north and colonising. The forecast is for another mild winter so the problem is set to worsen, and yet in the first week of October they are forecasting potential ground frosts on a night. Is it just me who finds understanding the weather and all the predictions and assessments about where our climate is heading to be confusing?
All that aside it is very autumnal now - as the sunspots on the photos prove, when the sun actually does decide to show itself it is very low in the sky and has little strength as far as warmth goes. Plots are being cleared and it very much feels like this season is drawing to a close. Being gardeners we all look forward to next season and hope for better things to come! Time to dig out the catalogues - don't forget to use our links to gain us a bit of commission for our fence fund!

Thought for the day!

On GQT they stated that each year 90 million tons (or was it tonnes) of manure is produced. If gardeners stop using it, then where is it all going to go? Any thoughts?

Thursday, October 2

Gardeners' Question Time

The aminopyralid saga featured on this week's Gardeners' Question Time. If you missed it you can listen via their web site click here.

I would appreciate any comments with reference to the advice that it is OK to use up contaminated manure by spreading it as a mulch on ornamental borders or any other comments on the programme.