September 2016 Allotment News

The Bridgstock Cup 2016

Every year the cup is awarded to the best allotment in our four fields. A small group of judges are appointed by the committee. The judges tour all 4 fields in July and have a checklist to help them decide the best allotment. The criteria that the judges use are listed on our website

And the winner is….

The 2016 winner is Mary Spence , plot 60 on Margaret Road. Congratulations and well done.


Two members have been awarded runner-up

  • Yasmin Barber – plot 0 Northfield Avenue (yes there is a plot zero – long story)
  • Idalina Gouveia – plot 42 Margaret Road

Please number your plot!

The committee has agreed to encourage all members to number their plots. This helps in many ways. Many members have now made numbered signs for their plots, with some really imaginative and creative signs installed.

The committee has also agreed that from 2017 one of the criteria used by the judges for the Bridgstock Cup will be having the plot numbered.

A date for your diary – Wed 26 October @ 7:00pm

Would you like an evening of entertainment, horticultural education and fun?

Our secretary, Russell Attwood, is giving his famous presentation on pumpkins at Kettering Library. Be prepared to be educated about growing pumpkins and get other gardening tips, plus other ideas on pumpkin lanterns and cooking squash. It will be great fun. Tickets are only £5 – contact for more details.

A great shop for gardening supplies

Thrapston Farm and Garden has a good stock of gardening supplies, including tools, seeds, fertiliser, wellingtons and poultry supplies.It’s well worth a visit.  Check out their website.

23-25 Midland Rd, Thrapston, Kettering NN14 4JS          01832 735111

The above shop can order you a scythe!

This shop can order a scythe if you wish to buy one. From as little as £40 for a basic model to £120 for a professional scythe.


We have received a complaint from KBC about a bonfire causing smoke nuisance. Please note that such complaints will lead to disciplinary action against you by the committee and/or prosecution by the Environmental Health team at Kettering Borough Council.  It is our policy to discourage bonfires as there are better and safer ways to recycle garden waste. Before you consider a bonfire, check out the guidelines on our website

Improving Security at Margaret Road

Keeping our allotments secure is a top priority of the committee and any incidents of theft or vandalism are considered at its meetings. We have worked hard with the Police and other bodies to improve security in the past and will continue to do so when any incidents occur. It is important therefore that all such crimes are reported both to the Police and your field stewards.

Meanwhile, the committee has agreed to spend approximately £1500 on new fencing materials to reinforce the boundary at weak points on Margaret Road allotments. We have learned from previous work done at Scott Road and found the most effective and economical methods to  make the fence more secure.

A useful way to kill difficult weeds – use Solar Power!

At this time of year we sometimes pull out weeds that are difficult to compost because they have many seeds, for example dock, nettles etc. Most compost heaps do not get hot enough to kill the seeds, so when we use the compost we will have thousands of weed seedlings. In the past gardeners may have  been tempted to burn these weeds, but we are discouraging fires, so what else can we do to kill and compost these weeds?

Solarisation! – using solar power to kill the weeds as they compost. Simply put the weeds under clear polythene (e.g. in a clear plastic bag) and leave in the sun. The heat of the sun will kill the weeds and they will also rot. See picture below


The plastic bag is tied with string and turned over every week or so whilst we have warm and sunny days. The top half gets really hot, but the lower half doesn’t; this is why it is turned. This bag contains nettles, grass, docks and some comfrey, so will produce rich compost. The intense heat will be as hot as a locked car on a sunny day. You could also use a clear plastic sheet on the ground.

Prevent plant disease – please remove spoiled potatoes

We all have a few potatoes that get attacked by slugs or get holed by the fork. Some gardeners leave these spoiled potatoes on their allotment and only take the healthy ones home. Leaving these spoiled potatoes may spread diseases such as blight. Our advice is to remove all potatoes from your plot and dispose of any spoiled tubers in the grey wheelie bin (garden waste). This will help KBC reach its recycling targets too. Potato foliage (leaves etc) can be composted in your own compost heap, even if affected by blight as the spores will not survive in compost.