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
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
- 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
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
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
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
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:
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.
No-dig gardening film
please watch it – (3 minutes long, so no time for popcorn)