Prudhoe Town Show Schedule 2015

Prudhoe Gardeners' Association LogoWe now have the Prudhoe Town Show Schedule 2015 available for you to download, read and decide which classes you are going to enter.

You will need Adobe Reader to view these as ever. We look forward to seeing you and your entries on Saturday 5th September and to everyone as visitors on Sunday 6th September to see who has won which prize.

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Prudhoe Community Allotment Open Day

Prudhoe Community AllotmentPrudhoe Community Allotment Open Day

At the community allotment, Redwell Court, At the top of South Road/Redwell Road, Prudhoe

WEDNESDAY 5HAUGUST 2015, 10AM   –   3PM

Refreshments, ADMISSION FREE

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70:30

An Allotment70:30 – that’s the basic rule expected of our Prudhoe town allotment holders.

70% cultivated for crops and 30% for utilities.

Let’s cover that area of 30% for utilities then. That would be your shed, your water butts, your compost daleks, your wheelbarrow and hosepipe parking space, your chicken runs and your pigeon crees. And yes the rule is 10 chickens only, no cockerels and no appeal.

What’s included in the 70%? Growing spaces include greenhouses and poly tunnels. Of course if you are not using either of them to produce crops of one sort or another then you can be falling below the magic 70%. If you are using them as storage space for all sorts of things that shouldn’t be found on an allotment then you will be in breach of the health and safety rules. And you will be required to cease and desist in short order please.

Of course there is some give and take for those who have just moved onto an allotment. If there’s a lot of clearing work to be done then of course allowance will be made. So long as the inspection teams from the committee can see that you are working hard to bring your plot under cultivation and growing as you go then there will be no problem. Should there be no signs of effort then questions will be asked.

If you are a long term plot holder and things are going downhill with less and less being cultivated then certainly questions will be asked.

Crops? Well if you grow show dahlias or sweet peas or other flowers those are crops. Fruit bushes are crops. All those things that you can grow in greenhouses and poly tunnels such as peppers, chillis, tomatoes, aubergines, cucumbers, even melons and sweet potatoes are crops.

If you grow a border of flowers to encourage pollinators that’s fine. If you are pleading docks, dandelions, nettles and other weeds as a wild area that will not be accepted. There are plenty of these elsewhere locally. Neither will allowing your hedges to develop into something that requires forestry skills to manage be accepted as a wild life area.We have wooded areas around the town to cover that.

An allotment is a garden and you sign up to rules which say that you must cultivate it as such when you take on your tenancy. 70:30 seems a very reasonable requirement and gives you the chance to cover the cost of your rent and membership subs in produce to eat and enjoy.

Edit: it’s only 10 chickens, no cockerels and no appeal.

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Give it some thought then!

Town Show 2014Now that the growing season is actually underway and produce is coming off the allotments, give the town show in the first weekend of September a thought.

It’s not all the heaviest onion and the biggest leek or the poshest flowers in the way of classes. There are all sorts of classes – marrows, courgettes, peas, runner beans, tomatoes, flower arrangements, cabbages ….

It’s a friendly show and not just for the serious growers who want to win everything. It’s a friendly show to celebrate the achievements of the town gardeners. There’s a class in the schedule somewhere to let your produce look good. It’s a show where everyone can join in, make friends, admire other people’s produce and learn a little about showing. And it will allow you to get to know other gardeners in the area.

And at the end, if you are generous enough to let us auction off your entries you will have helped us to cover the costs of the show.

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Stinging Nettles And Docks

Stinging NettlesNettles form a mass of yellowish roots, from which they happily re-grow. Now nettles tend to be full of goodness (yes you can eat young ones) both for us and the allotment. Taking frequent cuts will, eventually, kill the plant off.

If you have a patch of nettles in a corner of your plot, use them as a compost mine. Take cuts before they go to seed.

Otherwise, dig out the roots and watch out for re-growth from the small pieces you are bound to miss.

Nettles prefer an acid soil and liming to a PH above 5.5 or 6.0 seems to really slow them down. Glyphosate herbicide is medium effective – may need 4 applications to kill off an established patch.

dock weedWhere there are nettles, you will find docks. They have a long tap root from which they will re-grow. You have to dig out the root and then kill it. You can either leave the root to dry out or drown them in a barrel of water to do this.

Be careful about rotovating where there are docks – the root cuttings will all leap up multiplying the problem.

Glyphosate herbicide is effective, allow time for the roots to die before cultivating.

Quoted from allotment-garden.org

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