Volunteering Sunday 29th April 2012

There are plenty of jobs waiting to be done this coming Sunday.  If it’s fine, or in gaps between showers, there are:

  • rough areas at the end of allotments to be brought into use
  • guttering on sheds to be fixed
  • paths to be tidied

There are also inside tasks:

  • the beds in the poly tunnel need attention
  • the floor of the greenhouse needs gravel laid
  • a start can be made on painting wood for labels

So come for an hour or two, or longer, and help make GO2 run smoothly.  If you can’t come on Sunday but want to do your bit at a time that suits you then let us know.  There are jobs waiting for volunteers that only take ten minutes – watering in the greenhouse – and ones that take longer – mowing the grass under the apple tree.

 

Seeds and plants available

There are main-crop seed potatoes, Lady Balfour and Valor, and red onions ready to be planted.  Beetroot, carrots, spinach, red chard… the list of what can now be sown is long and, as usual, there will be seeds and advice available in the hut.  There are also salad plants, lettuce, mibuna and mizuna ready for planting.

Mahesh’s second workshop will take place on Sunday week. Details below:

Growing Soft Fruit, Vegetables and Herbs:

A  Practical Workshop for Beginners

Workshop 2: Weeds – Sunday 6th of May at 11 am

 

  1. What is a weed? Distinction between weed and crop?
  2. How to identify weeds? Good weed, bad weed, edible weed…; annual weed, perennial weed
  3. How to control weeds? How to protect our crop from weeds?

Note: Workshop to take place on Bluebell South allotments on first Sunday of each month at 11 am, and is open to all GO2 and Growing at Home members. Space is limited to 10 people.

To book a place, e-mail: sustainable@talktalk.net

Bluebell Road South Allotments – Sunday 22nd April

There are now main crop seed potatoes available, some Lady Balfour and lots of Valor.  Both varieties are relatively blight resistant and have a waxy texture.  Go to the big shed between 10 and 2, where Charles and Juyna will be happy to provide help, advice and encouragement!  TOP TIP – line your potato trench with grass clippings to provide nutrients and to help retain moisture

The weather is warm and we’ve had lots of rain, so now is a good time to sow seeds.  Peas, carrots, chard, beetroot and many more are also to be found in the big shed on Sunday and Wednesday mornings.

Salad crops are a great way to use space before later planting of more tender crops such as courgettes, squashes and runner beans.  We have lettuce and mizuna seedlings ready to go.

Fresh cabbage and purple sprouting broccoli is a real treat in the winter/early spring.  Seedlings are now ready for planting outside.  But remember that pigeons like these plants too!  So make sure that the plants are protected with netting.

Finally, the warmer and wetter weather will encourage the emergence of slugs and snails.  I’d like to hear your top tips for deterring them!

Clive

Allotment stuff – Sunday 15th April

The big shed will be open from 10 to 2, where you will be able to find:

  •  Seed potatoes
  • Red onion sets
  • Peas
  • Beetroot seeds
  • Chard seeds
  •  lots of other seeds

 + support and advice from Eddie and Jane

 There will also be some lettuce and other salad plants available for planting out

Mahesh, who set up the Sustainable Living Initiative, is offering a series of hands-on free training sessions for members, starting this Sunday.  Scroll down to see the details:

A  Practical Workshop for Beginners

Workshop 1: Growing from Seed

 

1.   Seed sowing technique – when and how to sow seed, how deep and how wide?

2.   Does spacing matter?

3.   How to protect seeds and young plants from pests, diseases and frost?

Note: The first workshop will take place at  GO2 Bluebell South allotments on 15th April 2012, at 11 am, for  1 hour. The workshop is open to all GO2 and Growing at Home members. Space is limited to 10 people. To book a place, e-mail: sustainable@talktalk.net

And don’t forget to visit our website at www.grow-our-own.org for lots of top tips for growing your own food!

Clive

Red onions and more

There will be red onion sets as well as carrot, spinach, broad beans, peas, mange tout and more seeds available on Sunday.   We also have a few early (Orla)and 2nd early (Cosima) potatoes left.  If you want to know what to grow in early April, the members’ area on the GO2 website (password ‘garlic’) has plenty of advice on how to get going.

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And to help with what and how to grow on a plot Mahesh will be running workshops this spring, starting on April 16th:

 

Growing Soft Fruit, Vegetables and Herbs:

A Practical Workshop for Beginners

Workshop 1: Growing from Seed

 

1.   Seed sowing technique – when and how to sow seed, how deep and how wide?

2.   Does spacing matter?

3.   How to protect seeds and young plants from pests, diseases and frost

 

Note: The first workshop will take place at GO2 Bluebell South allotments on Sunday 16th April and thereafter on the first Sunday of each month, at 11 am for an hour. The workshop is open to all GO2 and Growing at Home members. Space is limited to 10 people. To book a place, e-mail: sustainable@talktalk.net

 

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Water on the allotment

 

With the hosepipe ban, unless it rains regularly, water on the allotment this year is likely to be scarce.  So we will need to be creative in how we use the water that we have.   Over the next few weeks we’ll give hints on mulching to conserve moisture, on effective, targeted watering and on what are the best crops to grow in dry conditions.

 

This week we give some hints on mulching:

 

Mulch the soil surface

Mulching the soil around your plants with such material as bark chippings, grass cuttings, leaf-mould, well-soaked sheets of newspaper or shredded paper, straw etc, will help to prevent water loss and will also suppress weeds.  Before applying the mulch make sure that the area is free of weeds and the soil is well-watered and warm.

 

Remove weeds and use as mulch

Weeds compete with your plants for moisture in the soil so by removing them you are leaving more water resources for your plants.  However, weeds also make good mulch! So pull them up, shake the soil from the roots to help stop them re-rooting and chop up if large.  Water the soil and then lay the weeds between the rows of vegetable plants.

 

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Greenhouse watering rota

We need more people to join the rota for watering the seedlings in the greenhouse.  If you are able to water on a particular day (morning or evening), or would be willing sign up on a list put up each week on the Big Shed door, please let us know by emailing bluebell@grow-our-own.co.uk.

 

 

Happy Easter and good gardening

 

Bridget