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February 21st 2014

Spring?

You can feel Spring is in the air: the sound of the birds, the bulbs getting ready to burst forth, and tasks to be done around our community garden.

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This is the start of our busy season and we need participation from all our members. If each of us gives just a few hours every month, we can keep this little bit of paradise going.
Actually, the taking part in community tasks is one of the most enjoyable aspects of our scheme. We have a lot of fun. Read on…

The great big spring tool and shed maintenance event.

On Sunday 9th March from 10.00 to 12.30 come and join us for a community task. We’ll be repairing, sharpening and colour coding all the tools, and cleaning and tidying the sheds.
All members are welcome to help with the tasks, to meet the Maintenance Team and to enjoy free coffee, tea and cake.
Jane Graham, Team Leader, will be running the event. Meet at the big shed.

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Would you like some manure for your plot?

Yes? Well, we have unlimited supplies of horse manure, but we need to move it from the stables to our site. And for that, we need some help.
A team at the loading end, at Dereham Road, and another team at GO2 end for unloading.

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It’s happening this Sunday the 23rd, if anyone is available for a 9am start at the GO2 end, please call or text Phil, the Compost Team Leader, on 07884 391472.

Potatoes and shallots

We’ve got potatoes for chitting: Charlotte (salad – second earlies) and Lady Balfour (main crop).
There are also shallots, ready for you to plant out from now until mid-March. Shallots have a lovely sweet mild flavour, rather like a red onion. Plant them so their tips are just poking through, 5cm apart and 25cm between rows.

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Heritage seeds

We’ll be growing rare varieties of heritage vegetables for seed again this year: French beans Bird’s Egg, Cherokee Trail of Tears and Eastern Butterwax (love those names!); Pilot pea; tomato Maghreb (from Morocco) and a melon Green Nutmeg, which will be grown in the polytunnel.
We’ve built up a small collection of heritage seeds to share, if you would like to try something unusual this year. All we ask is for you to save some of the crop for seed, to return to our collection. We’ll be putting a list up on the Seeds and Plants noticeboard soon.

Dwarf and/or fast growing varieties

Peter A will be trialling a selection of vegetable varieties that are smaller than usual and/or faster to mature than usual.
This demonstration plot will be near the polytunnel, so you’ll be able to see how this selection progresses.
They’ll include broad beans, French beans, baby beetroot, carrot and turnip, mini calabrese, a blue sweetcorn called Baby Fingers Blue and a very fast maturing yellow outdoor cucumber.

Seeds and Plants Team
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Pests and Diseases

Two of us had a problem with our Autumn sown broad beans. They looked like this:
diseased-beans

So GO2 wrote to Garden Organic, of which we are members, and we received the following reply:
‘It looks as though your young broad bean plants are being ‘nipped’ off at the base – possibly by mice, or the culprits could be cutworm or leatherjacket larvae. (Cutworms are caterpillars of the turnip moth and leatherjackets are larvae of crane flies, often called ‘daddy long legs’). The larvae live in the soil and are green/grey-brown in colour. They are usually responsible for severing the stems of beans at soil level. Hoeing around the plants will help expose them to predators such as birds, or they can be physically removed by hand. The only other thing I think it could be is foot rot (Fusarium) but as there is no visible evidence of white fungal growth at the base of the stems where they have been severed, I think it far more likely to be mice or the larvae mentioned above.’
We will store this advice, and others like it, on the website, and in the shed with the plant by plant guide.

Bone Meal Offer

We are offering bone-meal to our growers for the first time. If you have fruit bushes or trees on your plot, remove weeds thoroughly at the base of the plant and apply a hand-full of bone-meal. Remember not to overuse it – you may kill the plant! It is good practice to apply bone-meal after pruning.
If you have fruit bushes on your plot and would like to get some bone-meal, please see our team members during the opening hours (Sunday and Wednesday from 10am until 1pm)

If you have anything you’d like to submit to GO2 News, please send it to newsletter@grow-our-own.co.uk.