Our Prudhoe Allotment Association Annual General Meeting is to be held on Wednesday 5th April 2017.
It’s in the back room of the Prudhoe United Services Club otherwise known as the Legion and starts at 7 pm. All allotment holders are welcome to come along. We would like to see some volunteers willing to help on the committee this year please.
You think that because the Christmas holiday season has taken over the past few weeks that the allotment can be ignored for now. At your peril do you let jobs get out of hand.
For instance to quote from the National Allotment Society
“Dig up rhubarb roots and divide them leaving the sections on the surface of the soil for a few days to let them be frosted prior to forcing. Cover any crowns in the soil that have been set aside for forcing with an upturned bucket or flower pot and cover the drainage holes to shut out the light. With luck you will be harvesting pale pink sticks by late February.
Check on any fruit and vegetables in store and remove any that are diseased or soft.
Towards the end of the month when the weather and soil conditions allow plant out soft fruit bushes. Spray all fruit trees and bushes with a garlic winter wash on a fine day; do not spray in frosty conditions. It won’t hurt to hold the job over to next month.”
See all their advice here on this link.
There is a different set of observations here at the Allotment.org website – such things as checking on the glass in greenhouses. Winter winds do damage.
Some people are starting their onions from seed, tomatoes plants from seed and also aubergine plants in January. Many a gardening house with no heated greenhouse will have window ledges full of tomato and aubergine seedlings very soon. Light is the trick here.
But with most things – patience is a great virtue. Mind you, getting in early with the seed potatoes so that you get the variety you want is good advice.
Of course all your vegetable peelings will be going on the compost heap – or if the weather allows a fork in the soil, a bean trench can be started.
Take stock of your season – count your successes and think about your failures. Now there is time to read, ask, search the internet and see if you can do better next season. Check tools, check sheds and greenhouses for necessary repairs and do them.
Pick crops that you have still in the ground – sprouts and brassicas for instance. Check your stores of things like potatoes to ensure that you aren’t providing a home for slugs. Take hardwood cuttings of soft fruit such as gooseberries and currants. Spend time with seed catalogues and decide what you want to order for the next growing season.
It’s also wise do regular walk rounds of your allotment to see that nothing has been damaged and that you haven’t had unwanted visitors (rats, mice, vandals) and that the weather hasn’t damaged anything.
Dig, dig and dig this is the priority job of the month the more that you can get done before the end of the year the better. This allows pests to be cleared by either the weather or the birds. Clear out remains of summer crops, pick winter crops such as brussels sprouts.
Now of course is the time to turn out your compost bins and add the best rotted “stuff” to the soil as you dig so that you can make room for more items to compost in the future for this time next year.
The National Allotment Society has plenty of jobs that need doing on its list for November as this link shows.
There are things that can still be planted in November ready for next year – as advised here. You can also look at the pruning of established fruit trees if you have them later in the month or planting of new fruit bushes to allow them to get their roots down over the winter.