Broad bean seeds

Click here for our fact-sheet

Autumn-sown broad beans can do very well.  The seeds might get eaten by mice, the young plants can rock in the wind or suffer frost damage.  But, if they come through whatever winter throws at them, there’s nothing like the sight of the tiny pods developing on the plants in spring and then the taste of the first beans in May.

We have two varieties available in the big shed.  Superaquadulce is very hardy and has medium size pods; Supersimonia is an Italian variety, also hardy, producing longer pods.


Over-wintering lettuces

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There will be lettuce plants available from outside the polytunnel to put in your plot now.  They won’t grow much during the winter but in early spring, once the weather starts to improve and the days lengthen, they’ll start to grow and provide young, tender lettuces in March and April.

Avoid ghastly monocultures, like the one on the left – plant yours amongst other young or small vegetables.


Sunday 4th November, food-sharing lunch

Come along on Sunday, bring a dish made from allotment or other seasonal produce to share and enjoy good food and company.

If you’re of a literary mind, bring along a favourite poem or piece of prose to share after the meal.


Bridget

Can you help put the allotment site to bed?

It’s that time again: the first frosts have flattened the courgette and pumpkin plants and sweetened the parsnips; the last runner beans hang from nearly bare poles; spinach, kale and Swiss chard stand ready for winter stir-fries. There are garlic and onions to plant now and next month there will be broad beans to sow but, apart from clearing and covering your plot, what else is there to do? The answer is that if you have an hour or more this Sunday, between 10 am and 2pm, come and help get the allotment site ready for winter.


Jobs for this Sunday include:

Clearing the area alongside the Red Shed
Dismantling old compost bins and constructing new ones
Weeding and planting in polytunnel

Coiling hoses, sweeping paths and cutting grass

There will be a break for hot drinks and cake at some point during the morning.

Come and do your bit. GO2 relies entirely on volunteer help and so the more growers take on necessary tasks, the more the project will thrive.

 


New GO2 Centre opening hours


From Sunday November 4th, the Centre will open an hour later at 11am, and close at 2pm. Wednesday opening will stay the same, from 10am until 1pm.
Garlic and onions are still available from the big shed

 

 

 


Lastly a link to a very inspiring project incredible-edible-todmorden.co.uk


Bridget

Garlic and Onions

Garlic is now available, and ready for planting.  The variety is Vallelado, which has large bulbs and has been selected for northern European conditions.

It will be ready for harvesting when the leaves begin to turn yellow, in July/August.

We also have a supply of over-wintering onions.


Fruit bushes and fruit trees

Once the weather turns colder, it is a good idea to pull back any mulch, and weed around fruit bushes and fruit trees.  This allows the autumn and winter rain (assuming we have some!) to moisten the soil, and prevents some pests from overwintering near the plants.  Mulch can be reapplied in late winter/early spring.

Plots available

We still have a few free plots, so if you know anyone who would like to be part of our project, please ask them to contact us as soon as possible.


Coffee grounds

Thanks to Sophie for bringing coffee grounds to the allotment.  They are an excellent addition to a composting system, being high in nitrogen. 

Spread over the soil, they are reputed to deter slugs and snails (not sure I believe this!).

Maybe you could find out if your favourite cafe will allow you to take away coffee grounds.


Finally…Money

The deadline for paying for your plot(s) was 30th September. We can’t guarantee to keep your plot(s) if you haven’t paid.  Please contact us straightaway if you have missed the deadline.


Clive

Cardboard

Please bring any unwanted cardboard to the allotment.

It can be used to cover the soil over winter, stopping weeds from growing and keeping the ground warmer.  It also stops nutrients from leaching through the soil where manure has been applied.

Cardboard is a good insulator in compost heaps too, breaking down to provide a carbon rich balance to nitrogen rich grass.

Manure

We will be buying more supplies of manure over the next few months.

Well rotted manure should be applied sparingly in most situations, around the base (but not touching) of growing plants such as cabbages and other brassicas, or left on the surface and covered with wet cardboard.

Gloves should be worn when handling manure, and there is a supply of anti-bacterial gel in the toilet that can be used to wash your hands afterwards.

You might prefer to use green manures instead, plants that are sown to enrich the soil.  We have tares seeds that will germinate to produce plants to add nitrogen to the soil, and suppress weed growth.

Harvesting

Winter squashes (e.g. butternut) will need to be harvested before the first severe frost, and should store for months if they have ripened, and the skins have hardened.

My courgette plants have already succumbed to the cooler weather, but not before I picked my 129th courgette!

Parsnips can be left in the soil until needed, and will benefit from any frost, which turns starches into sugar, improving the flavour.  Meanwhile, kale and chard may be harvested throughout the winter.

New Allotment Officer

We have met with Norwich City Council’s new Allotment Officer, Matt Hewes, who is very supportive of our project.  In particular that we encourage and support a wide section of the community to be involved in allotments, and that we ensure that our plots are used productively and not allowed to be uncultivated.

Finally……….Keys

Thank you to everyone who turned out their pockets, looked behind sofas etc in search of the missing keys.

The good news is that they have been found!

 

Clive

Over wintering onions


Onion sets are tiny, immature onions that have been grown from seed.  There are two chances for planting them, in autumn and in spring.  Onion sets planted now to over winter will be ready in June or July next year; spring-sown sets mature later, in July or August.  The over wintering onions have a crisper flesh than spring-sown sets so can be eaten straight away.  They won’t store well but this is rarely a problem as they’re very tasty raw or cooked, great for summer dishes.
The sets are available now and can be collected from the shed on Wednesday or Sunday mornings.  There are planting instructions on the GO2 website and also will be posted on the window of the big shed.  Tip: Don’t plant in freshly manured soil as this encourages the sets to rot.


 Sunday food-and-poetry-sharing lunch

Come along on Sunday, bring a dish to share and, if the forecast is to be believed, sit outside in the sun enjoying good food and company.  And, in honour of last Thursday’s National Poetry Day, bring along a favourite poem to share after the meal.


Are you tidying your garden ready for winter?


If you have unwanted spring bulbs or, when splitting herbaceous plants, have a root or two to spare, Juyna would be very pleased to receive them for the flower borders around the big shed.


Open Day

Very many thanks to everyone who helped to make last Saturday’s Open Day a great success.  The efforts of those who organised, looked after and contributed to the tombola, plant, cake and preserve stalls means that a total of £142.10 has been added GO2 funds.


Bridget