Prudhoe Allotment Association AGM 2015

Prudhoe Gardeners' Association LogoThe Prudhoe Gardeners’ Association annual general meeting is to be held on Wednesday 1st April 2015. We meet in the Prudhoe and District United Services Club, better know as The Legion, at 7pm.

Attached please 2014 Minutes and the Agenda 2015 – these are Adobe Acrobat files. If you need Adobe Reader to open these files, this can be downloaded from here.

We would like to see as many as possible of our allotment holders and general members come along to the meeting. The AGM is your chance to show your support and provide input to the organisation.

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Starting off the growing season

sowing seedsAllotment holders can get itchy fingers and be really keen to get planting as soon as the days begin to get longer. That would be March then.

Which is fine if you are going to bring on crops such as celeriac, onions from seed or chilli plants, all of which need a long season and you have a nice heated greenhouse.

But many other crops such as beans, marrows and courgettes will wait till April or early May even in the greenhouse.

When to sow seed indoors:

If you have a heated greenhouse or enough space and light in the house, you can sow some things indoors as early as January (e.g. radish, chicory and sweet peas).

Otherwise, most crops and flowers are started off indoors in February or March, for planting out in May or June when the risk of frost has passed.

When to sow seed outdoors:

As long as the soil is warm and moist, seed can be sown and it will germinate quickly. In practice, this usually means either mid-spring to early summer (April-June) for crops such as carrots, swedes, cabbages, leeks, salad crops.

If you can provide the crop with protection, such as cloches or fleece, sowing can begin in early spring. Likewise, regular watering will make it possible to raise rows of seedlings in the height of summer.

Always refer to the seed packet for the best time to sow, as it does vary with plant type.

Two useful reference pages are:

  1. Sowing seed indoors from the RHS
  2. Sowing seed outdoors from the RHS

Of course there are exceptions in over wintered crops such as elephant garlic, winter onions and winter garlic which will have been planted last autumn.

But the best advice of all is don’t be too keen and end up with a greenhouse or windowsill full of seedlings that you can’t harden off and plant out or a vegetable patch where seeds have not appeared because the weather has been unsuitable due to sowing too early.

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Spring Newsletter 2015

NewsletterAnother spring, another newsletter written. As usual, full of good gardening information as well as Prudhoe Gardeners’ Association news.

Dig This – Spring 2015; to read this you will need Adobe Acrobat. If you do not have it available on your computer, you can download it from this link.

We hope that you find this interesting. If there is any information you would like to read in future newsletters please do let us know.

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Wildlife on the allotment

butterflyWhen you take on the tenancy of an allotment you agree to abide by the rules that you are given. This means using your allotment as a space for growing crops of fruit, vegetables and flowers. To leave it uncultivated and claim you are growing for wildlife will ensure that you are asked to leave.

However this does not mean that you cannot have spaces for wildlife and wild flowers on your allotment within reason.

If your allotment has hedges you have the idea environment for allowing garden birds to nest and ones which may provide winter food if there is hawthorn or ivy. Ivy forms berries in a very blank period at the end of January and into February when there is little food for garden birds.

Remember that some of your crops will encourage wildlife in the garden. Before you all cry out that you don’t want rats on your plot, cabbage white butterflies and whitefly on you brassicas or slugs in your spuds, remember that there are other plants such as all the common beans and peas which will benefit from butterflies, bees and hoverflies.  And that you can grow herbs such as lavender, oregano and rosemary which are friendly to bees and butterflies. Also a few annual flowers will be good additions to your compost heap at the end of the season.

The internet is full of useful information on how to encourage wildlife on your allotment or in your garden whilst still growing the food that you want for your family.

A little light reading for you:

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Autumn Newsletter 2014

gardenerIt’s now time for the autumn newsletter from the Gardeners’ Association. We have all worked hard on this and hope that it makes interesting reading for you as it’s full of “interesting stuff” on all sorts of gardening both for the home and the allotment.

Prudhoe Gardeners’ Association Newsletter – Autumn 2014

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