June 2020 Allotment News

Waiting lists longer than ever

The very unusual circumstances of 2020 mean our waiting lists are growing faster than our vegetables. Many people have contacted us to ask for plots during the lockdown. Existing members have tended their plots more regularly and a few have been shielding or isolating, so we have had far fewer members evicted or giving up.

If you are finding your plot too much to manage and want to reduce in size or consider sharing, then please contact us. You will make someone on the waiting list happy.

Restrictions still apply – no bonfires etc

Stay safe, maintain social distance and other precautions until advised otherwise by the authorities. Please check NSALG (National Allotments) website for latest guidance. News reports indicate that Kettering is a local hotspot for corona virus, being the 13th worst in England in the last 2 weeks of May, see link from the Evening Telegraph

Drought looming

It appears that May was one of the driest on record, after the very wet winter (remember February, with news stories of floods?) Please try to conserve water where possible, for example mulching to keep our water bills as low as possible this year. For ideas of how to use mulch and never water, see our pages above

See below for a photo of an IBC rainwater collection system on a plot at Scott Road, still nearly full on May 29th. This member had filled the IBC and many barrels with winter rain.

IBC

Beware!

Just a thought, but if or when we do get some rain, the slugs will be very hungry! So be vigilant with your anti-slug patrols.

Bulk compost deliveries 

We have been contacted by Michael Young who can deliver compost to your plot in bulk. This is composted municipal green waste, screened to 30mm. A fully loaded Transit tipper truck is £160 including delivery and a half-load is £100 .But 5 loads and get one free! Contact Michael on 07810 262 625 for more information. 

Birds of prey at risk – be vigilant

We are fortunate to have regular sightings of red kites and other birds of prey overhead. Tragically there are some people who do not admire these magnificent creatures and persecute them. The Police have launched a campaign called Operation Owl  to help protect birds of prey. Please be vigilant and report any incidents using their website

News story from BBC about illegal killing of birds of prey

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-52667502

Mulched garlic – never needs watering

DSC05567

May 2020 Allotment News

Covid 19 restrictions

see the full list from the National Allotments Society

 

NO BONFIRES!

ALLOWED UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES

CONSIDER OTHERS, PARTICULARLY THOSE WITH BREATHING PROBLEMS, eg virus patients

  • Corona virus (Covid 19) causes serious breathing problems
  • The effects of bonfires are serious for people with other breathing difficulties including asthma who will suffer badly
  • Fires that get out of control cause extra and unnecessary strain in the emergency services who are all working hard to keep YOU, YOUR FAMILY AND FRIENDS SAFE

COMPOSTING IS NOT ONLY BETTER FOR SOIL BUT ALSO FOR THE ENVIRONMENT

STAY SAFE AND CONSIDER OTHERS

  • Keep hand sanitiser in your shed and wash your hands regularly
  • Use hand sanitiser before opening and closing any gate or lock
  • Observe “Social Distancing” with each other 2-3 metres
  • Do not share tools
  • Minimise the contact with each other
  • Do not wash your hands in water troughs
  • Stay away from vulnerable individuals such as the elderly and those with underlying health conditions as much as possible
  • If you display any symptoms of coronavirus stay at home and self-isolate for at least 14 days or until symptoms have passed.

Fly Tipping

Please be vigilant on and around allotments in case of fly tipping. The Council’s amenity tips/recycling depots are closed because of the current restrictions and there has been more fly tipping nationally during the lockdown. If you see any fly tipping please take a photo and report it to us.

What to do with your waste…

  1. Compost all garden waste (see common gardening myths article below). You can compost all garden waste one way or another. Worried about weeds etc, try bag composting – see low maintenance gardening
  2. Take waste home to your wheelie bin – recycle any metal and bottles etc in your recycling (blue) bin and put non-recyclable waste in your black bin.
  3. See your field steward for advice on bulky items. Eg At Scott Road we have a scrap metal area and a carpet collection area ready for when a skip can be ordered. Margaret Road recently had a skip.

Common Gardening Mistakes

see the link below on common mistakes made by gardeners….

https://www.sheffieldtelegraph.co.uk/read-this/these-are-common-gardening-mistakes-beginners-make-according-charles-dowding-and-how-avoid-them-2549319

Then and Now – compare 1941 Dig for Victory with 2020 allotment methods

1941 then…

https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=358&v=35NpLveVZDg&feature=emb_logo

2020 now…

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0LH6-w57Slw 

Avoid Bonfires to save lives

Latest insight in light of corona virus:

avoid bonfires for the sake of those with breathing difficulties…

Please see the insight below from another part of England:

bonfire

Avoid large family groups

Keep checking the latest updates from NSALG and HM Government. We are lucky to be allowed to continue allotment gardening. You must follow the instructions, so no large groups, even from the same family. No barbecues. Do not allow your children to wander off your plot. Disinfect the gates and padlocks when entering and leaving the field. Full guidance from NSALG here

London Road Garden Shop delivering plants this week

Plants, eg cabbages, beetroot, sweetcorn etc all arriving this week for delivery.

Phone or text to arrange deliveries 07961 806 049

Latest allotment updates – 7 April 2020

Water is on

We have turned the tap and the mains water is now on. Please use responsibly to reduce our water bills. Please check the troughs for leaks or over-filling and report to us if there are any problems. We encourage all members to collect free rainwater to conserve valuable drinking water and reduce our bills.

Avoid large family groups

Keep checking the latest updates from NSALG and HM Government. We are lucky to be allowed to continue allotment gardening. You must follow the instructions, so no large groups, even from the same family. No barbecues. Do not allow your children to wander off your plot. Disinfect the gates and padlocks when entering and leaving the field. Full guidance from NSALG here

London Road Garden Shop delivering plants this week

Plants, eg cabbages, beetroot, sweetcorn etc all arriving this week for delivery.

Phone or text to arrange deliveries 07961 806 049

See their Facebook page for any updates and information, link below

https://www.facebook.com/pages/category/Garden-Center/The-Garden-shop-257346370953538/

April 2020 Allotment News

Emergency Procedures on allotments

For updated Cover 19 emergency procedures on allotments- check this link to NSALG regularly

https://www.nsalg.org.uk/news/covid19-information/

Unprecedented Times

The Covid19 pandemic is affecting us all.

Many members are self-isolating if they have pre-existing medical conditions or are unwell.

We are all required to comply with the restrictions imposed by HM Government and are following advice published by the National Allotments Society (NSALG) on its website.

Many thanks to Monica and field stewards who printed and laminated the information and tied it to our gates.

Disinfect the gates, padlocks etc

At the time of writing, allotment members are still allowed to cultivate their plots as their daily permitted exercise. Keep your distance at all times and no social mixing or sharing of tools. Check NSALG website for updates or new restrictions.

if we keep distance from others, our main vulnerability on an allotment is touching the gate and padlock. Therefore, please disinfect/sanitise these before and after handling them and wear gloves. Wash hands regularly with soap (but don’t use water buts to wash).

Information from KBC – Kettering Borough Council

These guidance notes in summary suggest allotment holders:

• Keep hand sanitiser in their shed and wash their hands regularly

• Use hand sanitiser before opening and closing any gate locked

• Observe “Social Distancing” with each other 2-3 metres

• Do not share tools

• Minimise the contact with each other for example no handshakes

• Do not wash their hands in water troughs

• Recommend that all communal facilities are closed

• If allotment holders have livestock on the site and must visit twice a day, then they should take a photograph on their phone of their livestock, based on what is happening in other countries they may eventually have to print off a government form to leave the house but if challenged it would be good to be able to show a photograph of where they are going.

• Plan ahead to ensure that you have food and medication delivered to you during this time

• Stay away from vulnerable individuals such as the elderly and those with underlying health conditions as much as possible

• If you display any symptoms of coronavirus stay at home and self-isolate for at least 14 days or until symptoms have passed.

Further advice from the Association can be found at the following link:

https://www.nsalg.org.uk/news/covid19-information/

Please all stay safe

Waiting Lists Growing

Many people have contacted us to apply for an allotment. The government restrictions mean that we cannot process these in our normal way. Please be patient.

News from Northampton

Meanwhile, nearby in Northampton there is a news story that might interest you

https://www.northamptonchron.co.uk/news/people/northampton-borough-council-makes-u-turn-over-allotment-user-ban-2518129?itm_source=parsely-api

Some ideas to cope with restrictions

If we cannot get to our plots as often due to lockdown restrictions there are some things we can do to minimise the catching up when we resume.

Cover the ground with black weed control fabric or cardboard and mulch.

This mulch will suppress weeds in the coming weeks. If you then have plants or seedlings to go out then cut a small hole through the mulch and pop them in. see more in our post on low maintenance gardening – link below.

 Very low maintenance gardening.

IMG_0325

Urgent update on Covid19 Pandemic

Please read this advice from the National Allotment Society on the virus pandemic

https://www.nsalg.org.uk/news/covid19-information/

Coronavirus Emergency Measures

Following the Government update on 16 March 2020 and the ongoing situation with COVID-19, all group NAS meetings have been cancelled with immediate effect and will be reviewed on the 30th June 2020. This is a worldwide unprecedented and challenging time for so many people and of course the health and safety of our members, volunteers, and staff remains our number one priority.

I know many Associations, have taken decisions to cancel plot inspections, seed swaps, association trips and annual judging; scheduled Committee meetings and AGM’s should also be postponed.  It is important that any plot-holders over 70 years and those with underlying health issues follow the guidance and informationissued by the government.  It would be a good idea for Associations to give a telephone or email address for anyone with problems to allow contact.

Any plot-holder who is self isolating because a household member is ill with corona-virus should not be visiting the site.

Associations should display an advice notice on their boards. It is important that anyone attending the allotment takes care to stay the appropriate distance from others, avoid body contact and wash hands at taps, do not wash hands or use detergents in the water tanks and please pay attention to notice boards.

It is essential that no un-authorised people are allowed onto the plots for the duration of this emergency, if you do wish to bring someone to assist with work on the plot, please ensure that that this is notified either to Secretary or Site Manager.  Careful consideration should be given to introducing anyone over 70, those with underlying illness or pregnant women.

We are living through a crisis, the likes of which none of us has experienced before, not since war time has the community spirit that exists on allotment sites been more important.  Please remember to look out for one another during these very difficult times.

Members should take the following precautionary measures :

  • Keep hand sanitiser in your shed and wash your hands regularly
  • Use hand sanitiser before opening and closing any gate locks
  • Observe “Social Distancing” with each other 2-3 metres
  • Do not share tools
  • Minimise the contact with each other for example no handshakes
  • Do not wash your hands in water troughs
  • If you have communal buildings on site such as toilets, communal huts or shops please consider the risk to yourselves and your volunteers if they stay open. If you do keep them open make sure that hand -sanitiser is available and clean on a regular basis; at least twice a day.
  • Click here for guidance if you do need to clean an area that has been visited by an infected person.
  • If you have livestock on the site and the restrictions become more severe, take a photograph on your phone of your livestock, based on what is happening in other countries you may have to print off a government form to leave the house but if challenged it would be good to be able to show a photograph of where you are going.
  • Plan ahead to ensure that you have food and medication delivered to you during this time
  • Stay away from vulnerable individuals such as the elderly and those with underlying health conditions as much as possible
  • If you display any symptoms of coronavirus stay at home and self-isolate for at least 14 days or until symptoms have passed.

Those Association who operate shops will have to consider what action to take, whether to close totally, allow only one person in at a time, currently accepting cash is not a good idea.  We must all consider vulnerable families, friends and fellow plot-holders and give assistance where needed.

Government advice about the Coronavirus is updated on a regular basis at this link.

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-information-for-the-public

For NHS information and advice CLICK HERE