20121011

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