December 2019 Allotment News

Rent due soon

Our annual rents are due on 1st January 2020. The rents are the same as last year, no increase. Full details of how to pay are on the page in the menu above 

https://russellattwood.wordpress.com/allotment-rents/

If you are giving up and  no longer keeping your allotment, please let us know so we can stop nagging you for rent. We can re-let your plot to someone on the waiting list

Big Compost Experiment

Citizen science project from UCL and BBC radio 4’s Inside Science

The above BBC Radio 4 programme has teamed up with one of the UK’s top universities to conduct a citizen science experiment on composting. Details are in the links below

https://www.bigcompostexperiment.org.uk

https://www.plasticwastehub.org.uk/news/announcing-the-launch-of-the-big-compost-experiment

https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/m0009yxv

https://www.ucl.ac.uk/news/headlines/2019/nov/big-compost-experiment-launched

Seed catalogues

Now is the perfect time to order your seeds. The widest selections are available online. Here are some suggestions:

The Garden Shop in London Road Kettering

Kings Seeds https://www.kingsseeds.com

Real Seeds  https://www.realseeds.co.uk

Seeds of Italy https://seedsofitaly.com

Marshalls https://www.marshalls-seeds.co.uk

 

Article Published

The latest edition of the Allotment and Leisure `Gardener magazine from theNational Allotment Society features an article on

Coping with Droughts and Deluges by Russell Attwood (see page 30 of the magazine)

November 2019 allotment news

Floods on Margaret Road

Following the sustained heavy rain over the week ending 26 October the river Ise overflowed and flooded the Margaret Road allotments. This regularly occurs in wet winter periods. See the photo below showing the allotments. many thanks to Sydney for the photo

image0

Clocks change and a new gardening season

We are now in GMT and have the long, dark nights of winter ahead. Gardens have moved from the early autumn of bountiful harvests to late autumn cool. Harvesting is still going on, with Brussels, parsnips and kale entering into their season. Other crops have been stored for use throughout the winter (carrots, potatoes, squash, onions). It is still a busy time on the allotment (if not flooded), and with fewer hours of daylight we have to work hard to get our jobs done before sunset.

Jobs for November (if not flooded!)

  • Plant garlic of not already done in October
  • Set rat traps in sheds. Peanut-butter is a good bait. Rats will look for warmth and food in our compost bins and sheds as the nights get colder. This is the time to be really vigilant and trap them before they breed and do more damage. Don’t put anything in compost bins that might encourage rats, eg remains of pumpkins after halloween.
  • Mulch your plot. Find whatever mulch is available and cover the soil. Ideally put cardboard on first, then mulch. This will decompose nicely over the winter, protect the soil from heavy rain which leaches valuable minerals and turn your topsoil into beautiful compost that you can rake over without digging in the spring next year. See this clip on YouTube

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3alQs6WK6Ng&feature=youtu.be

  • Collect fallen tree leaves for mulch, compost of leaf mould.
  • Remove diseased potatoes and take them to your green waste bin at home. This will prevent blight and other pests next year. Damaged potatoes still grow back next year and harbour pests and diseases.
  • Harvest leeks, kale, parsnips and sprouts. Also Jerusalem artichokes if you have them.
  • Remove the top netting from fruit cages as heavy snow in winter will make it sag.
  • Plant soft fruit and miniature fruit trees
  • Check stored potatoes, beetroot, carrots, onions, pumpkins for signs of rot
  • Check out seed catalogues for next year’s plans

Rent 2020

No rent increase for 2020!

The rents for 2020 will be the same as this year. Another year of prudent financial management has meant our plots remain excellent value.

Details of how and when to pay rent are on this link below

https://russellattwood.wordpress.com/allotment-rents/

Marrow Competition Results

Margaret Road members held their annual fun competition recently (on a rainy Sunday)

Here are the results – well done to everyone and thanks for taking part

Pumpkin Competition

Winner = Mary 124 lbs 12 oz (that’s the pumpkin, not Mary)

2nd = Dai 86 lbs 11 oz

3rd = Rebecca 69 lbs 1oz

4th = Stuart and John – 47 lbs 8 oz

5th = Glenda – 16lbs 8oz

Longest Runner Bean Competition

1st Rebecca 46 cm

2nd Dai – 30 cm

3rd Glenda – 25cm

Heaviest Marrow Competition

1st Dai – 11lbs

Here are some recipe ideas for your pumpkins, marrows and squashes

Click on this link for recipes

5th November = Bonfire Night

You are allowed a bonfire on the 5th- but risk-assess and follow the rules

We discourage bonfires, but understand that tradition allows one on the 5th of November. Consider your neighbours and the air pollution. See our guidelines, by clicking on the link below:

http://www.ketteringallotments.co.uk/bonfires.html

Did you know that November 5th is when the air in England is most polluted? Studies have shown that the air pollution is huge because of fireworks and bonfires, so think about athsma patients before you burn.

https://www.kettering.gov.uk/info/20044/pollution/12180/bonfires_and_smoke_nuisance

No-dig gardening film

please watch it – (3 minutes long, so no time for popcorn)

http://www.global9services.com/Russell%20Attwood%20Allotment.mp4

link to potato catalogue

 

Alternative link for the above

October 2019 Allotment News

Come to the Pumpkin Show on October 25th

Learn about lasagne gardening.

How to grow fabulous vegetables on your allotment with

No digging

No watering and

No weeding (well almost no weeding!)

The pumpkin show is not just about pumpkins. Speaker Russell Attwood shares his many years of  successful experience of allotment gardening. The super technique of lasagne gardening means Russell can produce amazing crops from his 3 allotments with no digging, no watering and (almost) no weeding. Find out more at

Kettering Art Gallery

Friday 25th October

1 pm. (refreshments available from 12:30pm)

Admission £5 or £3.50 with a Kettering Leisure Pass

Details on this link

https://www.kettering.gov.uk/info/20025/museum_and_gallery/12248/talks_at_the_alfred_east_art_gallery

Waiting Lists update

Field stewards have been working hard to get plots for those on the waiting lists. More enquiries from people has meant that our lists are still growing. New members at Scott Road have been allocated small plots, to give new members a chance and reduce the waiting list.

If your plot is too much for you and you want to reduce its size, please let us know so we can make someone on the list happy and allocate them a small plot.

If you want to give up your plot please contact us or your field steward.

Taste of Autumn Show at RHS Wisley

click on the link below to find out more

https://www.rhs.org.uk/gardens/wisley/viewevent?EFID=421&ESRC=CMS

Another site about no-dig gardening!

click on the link below

https://deepgreenpermaculture.com/diy-instructions/no-dig-gardening/

Allotments in the News

https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/allotments

 

IMG_0243

September 2019 Allotment News

Fly tipping at Northfield Avenue

It appears that a third party has dumped a load of bricks and building waste on our Northfield Avenue site (photos below). Did you witness anything? Did you record a licence plate or registration number or film it? Please contact us if you have any information.

Please keep the gates closed to prevent fly-tippers entering allotment land. 

Northfield Avenue will soon have a new gate and be much more secure. The new gate is on order and will be installed in the near future.

Portion Control

I was told that the key to a healthier diet was portion control, so I decided to only have one potato for dinner…

SarpoMira

Sarpo Mira variety grown on Scott Road allotment 2019 from self-set tuber left over from 2018. 

A chance to see the Pumpkin Show

  • when– Friday 25th October 2019 at 1pm

  • where – Kettering Art Gallery, Sheep Street

  • see below from Kettering What’s On (Page 9)

https://issuu.com/ketteringboroughcouncil/docs/what_s_on_issue_8_print?fr=xKAE9_zU1NQ

https://www.kettering.gov.uk/info/20025/museum_and_gallery/12248/talks_at_the_alfred_east_art_gallery

Pallet Guide – what pallets are safe to use?

click on this link for a useful guide to pallets

https://www.universalpallets.com/2018/01/ultimate-guide-pallet-markings/

This page shows what pallets are safe for use on allotments

https://www.universalpallets.com/2019/07/discarded-wooden-pallets-safe/

 

Why were there so many flea beetles this year?

Perhaps they came from the oil-seed rape fields on farms? See this story 

https://www.fwi.co.uk/arable/harvest/harvest-2019-grower-sees-flea-beetles-climb-out-of-trailer

Share your stories on allotments 

https://www.housebeautiful.com/uk/garden/g28713736/allotments-baxterstorey/

https://www.theguardian.com/society/2019/aug/12/allotments-share-your-pictures-and-stories

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