January 2019 Allotment News

Pay now for another year of gardening at very low cost

Pay this month to secure your plot. Many thanks to all those members who have already paid their 2019 rents.

Your 2019 allotment rent is due on 1st January. Pay now to enjoy another year of allotment gardening and renew your plot tenancy. Full details of how to pay from these

links.

If you have decided to give up your allotment or reduce the size, please contact us, so we can adjust your rent and stop nagging you. We shall also update our records and remove your data from our current membership lists.

AGM 2019 – advance notice

The AGM is on Wednesday 13 March at 7:45pm at the Corn Market Hall. Please make a note in your diaries. If you wish to add anything to the agenda, please contact us. More details will be published on our website nearer the time. Click here for what we have already

Vigilance and rigorous control measures keep rats away.

It is not uncommon for us to get an unwelcome rodent visitor at this time of year. Rats are all around us and will look for shelter in the colder months. An allotment shed or compost bin is often an ideal place for rats to live. It is important for use to control these pests now before they have another chance to breed and overwhelm our allotments. The keys to this pest control are
  • Vigilance – look for signs of rats in sheds and compost heaps. These signs include droppings, their smell or their nesting bedding
  • Remove any food sources – never leave anything that a rat can eat around or put such things in your compost. The list of possible rat food is very long
  • Place poison bait in suitable containers in sheds. The bait should be inaccessible to birds, children etc. Rentokil is a good brand. Some rats are resistant to this poisonous bait, but many will be controlled by it. Poison bait is also really useful to show when there are rats around. If there are no rats, the bait will not be eaten; if something is eating the bait, then you have rats or mice.
  • Set traps. Again Rentokil traps are good. Peanut butter is an ideal bait for the traps. We recommend that you have a range of different types of trap if possible. Rats are intelligent and can learn how to avoid traps, so a range of different designs helps, including “walk the plank” and bottle/barrel traps. See below for details

Grass Ridings may be closed to vehicles.

Many of our plots are accessed by grass ridings. These are unsuitable for vehicles in wet weather and this time of year. If vehicles use them, they may get stuck and create a very muddy mess with their wheel ruts. Ridings may be closed to vehicles by field stewards. Please respect any signs or cones so we can maintain the condition of the tracks.

Time to order seeds.

In the long dark nights of winter are an ideal time to order your seeds ready for the coming Spring. 
A local shop with great service is good for seed potatoes
For a wide range of seeds and good prices, nothing beats a catalogue. Our favourites are
Kings Seeds – Kings are in Essex and sell great seeds for allotments
Real seeds – for trying something different. Run by a couple in Wales from their smallholding.
Seeds of Italy – great for squash, parsley, tomatoes and much more.

Stone picking – a rewarding activity at this time of year?

Well at least it gets you out of the house and is cheaper than a gym?
Whilst there is less actual gardening to do in the winter, there are always useful jobs to do on the allotment. One particularly rewarding winter activity is stone gathering. The stones can then be used to improve the tracks and ridings by filling in any pot-holes and muddy patches. A bucket full of small stones will make a real and long-lasting difference to the track and if we all collected a bucket each, the whole track would soon be all-weather.

Happy New Year!

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