August 2019 Allotment News

Summer rain and sunshine

Good weather for growing, and for potato blight. We have had ideal growing weather, with plenty of rain and some heat. This is great fro most crops and weeds, so allotment gardeners are busy people at this time of year. Please watch out for potato blight, which also attacks and ruins tomatoes. This terrible disease can destroy a crop in days.

If your potato leaves get blight, cut all of the leaves off and remove (bag up and compost leaves). Then leave the potatoes in the ground for at least 2 weeks and wait until dry weather to harvest them. If you harvest the potatoes too quickly after removing leaves, then the spores will infect the tubers. Likewise if you leave the foliage on, then the spores will wash into the soil and destroy the tubers.

With tomatoes, remove as many of the leaves as possible starting from now. Blight starts on. the leaf and spreads to the rest of the plant, destroying the fruit.

Please close the gates

We have had a few reports of gates being left open late in the evening, Stewards and members from Scott Road, Northfield Avenue and Margaret Roads have all reported this occurring from time to time. Please remember that leaving gates open compromises our security – all of us are at risk. Always lock gates when you leave.

Waiting lists growing

Our waiting lists are a lot longer than in recent years. Scott Road has its longest waiting list this century. Northfield Avenue list is also getting longer. Margaret Road stewards are working hard to reduce their waiting list by re-letting neglected plots. Evicting tenants who have neglected their plots is the main way that we can reduce our waiting lists. It is not fair on people who are waiting to see plots full of weeds and no crops or other cultivation. 

If your plot is too big for your needs and not well cultivated, please consider relinquishing some of it. You will make someone on the waiting list very happy and save money on rent next year.

Cup Judging

At this time of year, the judges for our annual award, the Bridgstock Cup are inspecting plots and making their decision. The judges will be touring our fields and will announce the result to the committee at its August meeting.

Field Steward vacancy

We still have a vacancy for a field steward at Northfield Avenue. If you know of anyone who would make a good steward on this field, please ask them to apply. If there is no steward, the field will deteriorate and everyone will suffer. Please contact us for further information.

No carpets or underlay- Please remove any on your plot

Please note that carpets and underlay are not allowed on our allotments. They contain many toxins and plastics that harm the soil. Recently we have seen a few pieces of carpet being brought to plots. This is not allowed and you must remove it as soon as possible.

Many years ago, before we knew about their toxic residues and other harmful effects, we allowed carpets to be used on allotments. They seemed a useful way of smothering weeds. Since we banned carpets from allotments our field stewards and members have been working hard to remove any. This takes time and there are still a few plots with carpet. If your plot is one of these, please remove it in the coming months. Carpet is non-recyclable waste so must be put in the black bin or taken to the Council Tip.

Please take some rubbish home

On a similar theme to the carpet story above, please take any non-recyclable or plastic rubbish home at regular intervals. Allotmenters are keen recyclers and re-users, but eventually things reach the point when they become waste. If we leave these on our plots they become untidy and a problem for future tenants. It is not fair on them or the society to have to pay for skips. Therefore, please take a bit home each time and place it in your black wheelie bin, or take it to the tip.

Interesting Article – Talking Point

Some people think that they can have an allotment without visiting their plot regularly. We all know that allotments are hard work (although really rewarding). Read this article and let us know what you think….

https://www.theguardian.com/money/2019/jul/13/how-can-i-tend-my-allotment-without-visiting-every-day

Another article – how an allotment can be better than therapy

https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2019/jul/27/room-to-grow-how-allotment-life-can-be-the-best-therapy?CMP=Share_iOSApp_Other

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