Prudhoe 50th Annual Town Show – 2014

Prudhoe Town Show Produce 2013Fancy a challenge and aiming to showcase your gardening, craft work and catering skills? Then place the dates of the annual Town Show in your calendar.

Planning for the 50th Annual Town Show on September 6th and 7th at Prudhoe and District United Services Club (The Legion), Front Street, Prudhoe is making good progress. This is mainly being undertaken by a small group of volunteers from the Prudhoe Gardeners’ Association.

Show schedules will be printed shortly and made available during the summer months. These will contain all the classes and information regarding how to submit entries. Additional classes are to be added to reflect the 50th Anniversary e.g. decorated cake.

A new Cup will be awarded in the Children’s section – donated by previous show secretary Joan Russell. Further ideas for the Show weekend will involve children’s activities and an exhibition regarding bee keeping. Competitions on the day will include a raffle and whiskey bottle tombola.

Look out for banners and posters advertising the show nearer to the event and further information will be given as planning progresses.

Grateful thanks to all those contacted so far who have volunteered support, sponsorship and prizes.

Posted in Awards and Prizes, Bee Keeping, Prudhoe Gardeners Association, Prudhoe Town, Prudhoe Town Show | Tagged , , , , , ,

Getting started on a new allotment

Prudhoe Community AllotmentCome the period of March and April, a new allotment may become available as old plot holders find that they no longer have the time or perhaps health to keep a plot in good condition.

The Royal Horticultural Society gives good basic advice for getting to know your new allotment and getting it into shape for the growing season.

There are things to consider when you plan your new allotment – good advice is given here.

There’s excellent advice here on choosing crops that are cheap and easy to grow but do make sure that you are growing things that you actually like to eat!

But remember – you need to actually have the time and energy to run an allotment – the idea may appeal but it does require a certain amount of physical work to produce anything other than a splendid crop of weeds (which will make you unpopular with your fellow plot holders and attract the attention of the inspection committee adversely).

Posted in Allotments, General Information, Seasonal Routine, Soil care | Tagged , , ,

Controlling slugs and snails

SnailProblem-solver -slugs-and-snails is a most useful information sheet from the Royal Horticultural Society. To read this document you may need to download a copy of Adobe Reader if you do not already have it installed on your computer.

The RHS says that we will never be able to eradicate slugs and snails completely from our gardens and allotments sadly. But there is a good selection of tried and tested, simple and practical methods to help the gardener – all legal and using accepted means to at least help to control the pests.

Posted in Garden Chemicals, Garden Sundries, General Information, Pest Control | Tagged , , ,

Spring weather and fleece on the allotment

Horticultural fleeceThe worst case for gardeners has to be where there a run of good spring weather and a real cold snap suddenly descends. It’s surprising how a few lengths of horticultural fleece can save the day if you have them available. But a major problem with fleece is the wind blowing it away.

Putting stakes through it to hold it down just doesn’t work, the wind rips it loose. Weighing it down with bricks isn’t much betteras the rough edges of the brick tear the fleece and once again you have a kite flying away.

However there is an answer. Fill some plastic 2 litre milk cartons with sand or soil and use them as bricks to hold it down.

It may not be that fleece is expensive, more a case of keeping some available. And even inexpensive fleece can be put through the washing machine on a cold wash (use something like a silk wash where there is no spin and then let it drip dry on the washing line) for reuse.

Posted in Garden Sundries, General Information | Tagged ,

Help and advice for flooded allotments

flooded allotmentsPrudhoe has been remarkably lucky this winter as we have not suffered the exceptional floods and rainfall seen in other parts of the country. However it is always worth knowing what to do in case your allotment or garden before these are flooded, what to do afterwards and what you can do to help your soil when there is heavy rainfall.

This document, issued by the Environment Agency, gives much detailed advice in dealing with floods in gardens and allotments.

There is advice on unplugging electrical items such as pond pumps and decorative features, removing ornaments and garden machinery to higher points where possible and draining mowers and similar to prevent fuel being contaminated by water when exceptional rain is forecast.

There is also advice on recreating your garden or allotment after the event. For instance, as a precaution throw away any vegetable crops that have been covered by floodwater as these may be contaminated by the water. Remove silt and other debris in case it is contaminated. These need to be removed from your plot.

There is an excellent section on improving drainage where you have slow draining soils. In Prudhoe this is relevant as we are on clay based soil which is known to be slow draining. Not only is there information on drainage but there is also the suggestion about raised beds to help plants and vegetables that cannot cope with water logging.

In the case of flooding, you will not be able to claim on your household insurance unless you have added specific details of your garden.

Posted in General Information, Seasonal Routine | Tagged ,