August Newsletter

Notices, and information about forthcoming events.

If you have a plot in Grow-Our-Own (GO2) Bluebell and would like to know what seeds and plants are available, please read the message from the GO2 Bluebell Seed and Plant team below. As this Newsletter comes only once a month, you will also find the latest information and updates on the noticeboard on site.

If you are a Grow-at-Home member or have a plot in Marlpit Community Garden (MCG), please come and see us on Tuesdays from 10 am until 3pm.  Marlpit Community Garden also has a regular volunteering session on every Tuesday from 10 am to 1 pm, followed by home-cooked lunch. All welcome!

Forthcoming events

Saturday 19th August, 10 am 1 pm.  Indian cooking with Viji, at Marlpit Community Centre.
This session is free to all SLI members but booking is essential; there will be charge for non-members. Please e-mail sustainable@grow-our-own.co.uk or call 01603920570 and leave a message to book.

Tuesday 22nd August, 10 am to 3 pm.
Norwich Union (Aviva) team coming to Marlpit to help with the conservation work.  Any help from our members will be appreciated. Members will get free lunch.

Sunday 3rd September, 10 am to 1 pm.  General maintenance tasks  and food-sharing lunch, at GO2  Bluebell South Allotments.
Just a reminder about our regular volunteering day, we would like more helping hands to carry out a number of essential maintenance tasks. At the last volunteering day on 6th August, hardly anyone came but there were over 20 people at food-sharing lunch!

Amy from the Food Team says, it would make everything easier if you could bring your own utensils and take them home with you. If you use the utensils from the shed, please wash up using the facility available on site.  Help with clearing up after lunch is always welcome.

Sunday 10th September, 12-30 to 3:30 pm, Vintage cycle rally at Marlpit Pub, Hellesdon Road.
SLI will have a stall at the event and will be selling  vegetarian food, cakes, jams and honey.  If you could help in cooking or running  stall, please let Mahesh know: sustainable@grow-our-own.co.uk

Tuesday 12th September,  10 am to 3 pm.
Norwich Union (Aviva) team coming to Marlpit to help with the conservation work.  Any help from our members will be appreciated. Members will get free lunch.

Sunday 1st October, 11am to 3pm: GO2 Open Day, Bluebell South allotments

Time to renew your annual membership, apple pressing, stalls, refreshments, bring friends and family! There will be plots available. Please contact Christine if you can help: admin@grow-our-own-co.uk

Sunday 15th October, 10 am – 1pm: Basic gardening techniques and strimmer demo at GO2
This session is a must for new growers!
Basic gardening techniques and important things to know how to get the best out of your plots. Also for those interested: how to use the power tools such as petrol strimmer. Please book your place by emailing to: sustainable@grow-our-own.co.uk

Saturday 21st October, 10am to 1pm: Cooking and preserving, Marlpit Community Centre
Cooking using seasonal produce. Please inform Mahesh in advance if you want to go: sustainable@grow-our-own.co.uk

Sunday 5th November, 12 to 3pm: SLI AGM at Marlpit Community Centre
What next for SLI? It’s your say about SLI. Refreshments available.  Details later.
NB – no food-sharing at Bluebell this day

 Notices

Late summer seeds and plants at Bluebell
There’s still time to sow a few seeds.  If sown now, Swiss chard and red
mustard frills will both grow during the autumn and winter months and
provide you with cut-and-come-again leaves to add to soup or a stir fry.

It’s also time to get the soil ready for autumn sowings of broad beans,
garlic and overwintering onions.  Once the summer crops have been gathered, think about sowing a green manure.  If sown now the plants will germinate quickly and grow fast to protect the bare soil.  When dug in they add organic matter to the soil.  Digging in can be in a couple of months, ready for autumn sowing, or in early spring as the soil warms up.  There are packets of buckwheat and phacelia seeds on the table at the back of the shed.

There will be a few spring cabbage plants outside the greenhouse at the end of August and overwintering lettuce plants in early September.  Both will need protection, the first with netting to stop the pigeons, the second with fleece during the cold winter months.
Bridget, for Seed and Plant Team at GO2 Bluebell

May Newsletter

with notices, and information about forthcoming events. For information about what to grow, when and how, please visit members’ page or contact us at sustainable@grow-our-own.co.uk.

If you have a plot in Grow-Our-Own (GO2) Bluebell and would like to know what seeds and plants are available, please read the message from the GO2 Bluebell Seed and Plant team below. As this Newsletter comes only once a month, you will find the latest information and updates on the noticeboard on site.

If you are a Grow-at-Home member or have a plot in Marlpit Community Garden (MCC), please come and see us on Tuesdays from 10 am until 3 pm.  Marlpit Community Garden also has a regular volunteering session on every Tuesday from 10 am to 1 pm, followed by home-cooked lunch. All welcome!

Forthcoming events
Sunday 04 June,  10 am to 1 pm:  Central path improvement and food-sharing lunch, at GO2  Bluebell South Allotments.
Thanks to all those who helped with weeding and clearing various strips by the greenhouse on  first  Sunday in May. It was a very good turnout!

This time, we are hoping to improve the central path.  Also the grass is growing fast now and about to sends its seeds everywhere, so we all need to clear our paths.

Saturday 17th June, 10 am to 1 pm, Cooking using seasonal produce, at Marlpit Community Centre.
Please let Mahesh know (sustainable@grow-our-own.co.uk)   if you would like to cook or learn how to cook.

Saturday 24th June, 12 to 4 pm, Marlpit Community Garden Open Day, at Marlpit Community Garden.
Please let Mahesh know (sustainable@grow-our-own.co.uk) if you are able to make cakes, organise activities and help with general tasks on the day.

Notices
Admin Team at GO2 Bluebell
Rita will be arranging the next rota. If you’d like to help by spending a Wednesday or Sunday morning, please let us know: admin@grow-our-own.co.uk.   It is a nice thing to do as you get to meet people and find out what’s going on.

Water, water everywhere?? Not always. It’s very important for everyone that the hose is connected to the tap by the carpark and that the tap is on. Sunday the week before, some tanks were nearly empty and not filling. This was because the big tank behind the shed was not sufficiently full and so it wasn’t feeding through to the smaller tanks. If the dry weather continues we will all be using more water. When you arrive/leave, please check that the hose is attached and the tap is on, provided that another plot holder isn’t using it of course! Valves in the large tank will stop the flow when it’s full. There are instructions for the watering system on the small tanks and in the shed.
Christine, Admin team Leader

Seeds and plants Team at GO2 Bluebell
The very end of May and beginning of June bring the promise of frost free nights and so the time to plant the tender crops that have been sheltering in the GO2greenhouse.  If it stays mild, the first few courgettes and beans will go out onto the tables beside the greenhouse over the bank holiday weekend.  There will be many more to come during June, so there’s no hurry.  We’ll add butternut squash, sweetcorn, climbing French and Borlotti beans, leek and salad plants as they become ready.

Courgette and squash plants grow large so give them plenty of room to grow.  They are also hungry plants so add a good spadeful of muck or compost to the planting hole, and water in well.

Runner beans, Borlotti and climbing French beans are grown vertically, so take up less space.  A mixture of plants grown on a wigwam of poles will give colourful display, and a variety of tasty beans, over a long period.

If you’re not sure how far apart or how deep to plant, look at the grower guides displayed in the big shed.
Bridget for Seeds and Plants team

Finally, do you want to be able to use a petrol strimmer? If so, training will be available on Sunday 4thof June between 11:30 and 1 pm at GO2 Bluebell South Allotments (subject to enough people signing up). Please let Mahesh know (sustainable@grow-our-own.co.uk)  if you are interested.

Water supply at GO2 Bluebell South

Some of the water tanks around the site (the ones which do not have a tap on them) are filled from the very large black drums behind the big green shed.
If the drums are not kept topped up, the smaller ones do not automatically refill.
tap_at_water_tankIt would help to maintain a constant supply of water in the tanks, if, when you pass the tap by the rockery on the right of the car park, you check our hosepipe is connected and switched on, as shown in the photo.
If someone else is using the tap, check later to make sure ours is connected and the tanks are being refilled. You can leave the tap switched on when you leave the site as it shuts off automatically when the tanks are full.

Thank you.

Water supply at GO2 Bluebell South

GO2_WATER_SYSTEMTo allotment holders at Bluebell.

 We ran out of water over the weekend as no one checked that the tanks were being refilled, and since last year you may have forgotten about filling of the tanks. Here’s a reminder – click the picture.

Tessa – Bluebell Seeds Team

It’s growing fast.

Tall weeds

Allotmenteers who haven’t attended their strips over the last fortnight will see the need to cut grass and invasive weeds now making seed heads. Please cut or pull the weeds before seed matures.

Mark –
Land and water team at Bluebell

Waterworks

image1Pictures of Nick Winn, water engineer, connecting the tanks to deliver rain water for delivery to dip tanks.

Click on the picture (and keep clicking) to see what happened…

 

 

 

Shedworks

Building the new tool-shed

Building the new tool-shed

The build continues despite weather conditions.

Mark

shedworks-peter-image2

GO2 Bluebell South – Watering System

Maintaining water to GO2 diptanks during growing-months.

Connect GO2 hose to mains tap as illustrated. Click to see illustration and text as supplied by Mark
GO2-WateringNote: supply is shared with Bluebell Allotment Association and may be in use.
Not in use? Connect GO2 hose. Turn on tap.
Water flows via buried piping connected to TANK1.

Tank1 needs to be 3/4 full in order to syphon into TANK2. It is this tank which supplies water to GO2 8 dip-tanks.
Tanks 3 & 4 feed rainwater to TANK2
If there isn’t water flow to diptanks, the likely cause is there isn’t sufficient water in Tank1. This must be at least kept at 3/4 full to syphon water from Tank2 to 8 dip-tanks. It is a good idea to check mains tap is connected to GO2 hose and is turned on.

Mark

This Sunday, 7th July… what to do!

Watering in this hot dry weather

  • Should be done early morning or in the evening.
  • A thorough and occasional soaking is better than little
  • Aim the water at the base of plants rather than on to the leaves

Courgettes – once they start to crop, pick regularly to stimulate the plants to produce more. And if you are going away for a few days, ask a neighbouring plot holder to pick them!

Mulch – around perennial plants, e.g. fruit trees and fruit bushes. Potatoes benefit too from having cut grass and nettles laid around the plants to conserve moisture


Communal stuff…

Weeding around the greenhouses is always useful, and on Sunday it would be great if someone could help me sort out compost.


Shock as hole discovered near greenhouse!

An especially annoying animal has dug a large hole near the greenhouse. Any guesses as to what it might be? Suggestions so far include badger (interesting), rabbit (hope not, see next suggestion) fox (can be useful for eating rabbits), and bandicoot (don’t want to even think about this)  

Click picture for some wildlife info


Gallant-soldier

Have you noticed this one, pictured above? It will thrive in the warmer weather.

The plant is a small Peruvian daisy, Galinsoga parviflora, named after the Spanish botanist Don Mariano Martinez de Galinsoga. The name became corrupted in Britain to gallant-soldier. If you want to find out more about the history and culture of weeds, Richard Mabey’s “Weeds” (Profile Books Ltd. 2010, ISBN 978-1846680816) is an excellent read.

Galinsoga parviflora

Click picture to see reviews


Food sharing

And finally, the first Sunday of the month is, as always, a food sharing day. We’ll assemble at 1.00 to share dishes and allotment gossip. You don’t have to be a Nigella or even a Delia. You do have to be willing to show others what you have grown, and how you use it.

Clive

Graphics and layout by

Jim