January 2017 Allotment News

Happy New Year

January is a relatively quiet time in the growing season and gives us allotment gardeners an opportunity to plan for the year ahead and catch up on some jobs. Do you have any New Year allotment resolutions? Some things on my own “to-do” list are below (not sure if they qualify as resolutions…). Please give us feedback and comments on your 2017 gardening resolutions.

  1. Carpet removal – in years gone by some allotment members used carpet to smother weeds and clear overgrown patches. This practice is now discouraged as we now know that carpet has many chemicals in the dyes and adhesives. It is also really horrible to remove when carpet has been on the ground for a number of years and weed roots have grown through it. It is a gradual process to remove carpet and take it to the tip for landfill. It often has to be cut up into manageable pieces as it is so heavy when wet.
  2. Mulching – in the absence of carpet, alternative mulches are needed to smother weeds and feed the worms (improve the soil). I use cardboard, straw, fallen leaves etc. If these are not available, then black fabric works well (search online for weed control fabric e.g. this link)
  3. Ordering seeds – the winter months are the ideal time to look through catalogues and order seeds for the coming year. My preferences are Kings Seeds and Real Seeds for online or mail-order. I have ordered my seed potatoes from The Garden Shop in London Road, Kettering,  see seed-potato-catalogue-2-2017
  4. Use thorny blackberry prunings to block up gaps in the boundary hedge. The thorns will help improve security on our fields.

Free leaves at Scott Road – help yourself

New Year is a great time to turn over a new leaf. At Scott Road you can turn over millions of old ones! We have been very lucky by receiving large quantities of fallen tree leaves from KBC. These will make very good leaf mould compost. They are in the main car park and difficult to miss. Please help yourself and don’t leave them there. Please relief us!

Time to pay your 2017 rent.

Thank you for all those members who have already paid their annual rents. If you have not paid yet, please do so now as it is due on 1st January. Full details and the renewal forms are available on our website – click here. Or contact us of you have any queries.

Our centenary – a hundred years old in 2017

Our Society was first registered in April 1917, so we turn 100 this year. We know that there were allotments in Kettering before then, but 1917 was when our Society was formally registered. We are asking for suggestions for a suitable way to celebrate this centenary.Please contact us if you have any ideas or would like to help organise something.

Advance notice – our 99th AGM on 9th March 2017

Very unusually and  a break with tradition, our Annual General Meeting (AGM) will be on a Thursday! The reason is that the Corn Market Hall was not available on our normal day. The date for your diaries is THURSDAY March 9th at 7:45pm, Corn Market Hall.

Happy Retirement Dai

One of our long-standing committee members and field steward for Margaret Road, Dai Johnson has now retired from these roles. He will be able to concentrate on his own plot. Dai has served as secretary and treasurer of our Society for many years and has given countless hours of support to all of us. During his stewardship the Margaret Road allotments were transformed and are in much better condition than before he took over. The committee is very very grateful to Dai for his years of devoted service and wish him an enjoyable retirement.

The committee will be considering the best way forward with stewarding on Margaret Road  early in the New Year. Meanwhile the first point of contact for Margaret Road is Mr Tony Munt on 01536 392742

2016 Cup Winner Presentation

Here are photos of the 2016 winner of the Bridgstock Cup being presented with the trophy by the judges…