Weighing and measuring your harvest

vegetables in a basketDo local allotment holders in the Prudhoe area weigh up the produce from your allotment regularly? If so, this site may be of interest to you. MyHarvest – the idea is as follows and the site comes with help and instructions as to how to weigh:

MYHarvest (Measure Your Harvest) is your opportunity to participate in an exciting research project that will estimate the contribution people who grow their own fruit and vegetable crops are making to UK national food production.

At present, there is a recognition that own-growing in the UK makes a really important contribution to food security, healthy diets and general well-being, but we currently have a poor understanding of how much own-grown food people are able to produce.

This will be key to providing the vital evidence base to support the use of land for growing spaces within our cities and towns, at a time when people are becoming increasingly interested in growing their own fruit and vegetables.

If nothing else you will know if you plot is worth the money you spend on it.

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Information on hosepipe bans

HosepipeThe website http://www.hosepipeban.org.uk/ is a useful source of information on the use of hosepipes and whether there is a ban in your area.

There is also plenty of back history over recent years about hosepipe bans and a number of articles which make interesting reading.

It’s certainly a resource to keep available.

Meanwhile the Royal Horticultural Society has a lot of useful information on water saving in the garden.

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Winter 2016 Newsletter

NewsletterOur latest newsletter is now out and about for you all to read. We hope that you find it informative and interesting.

To download it please follow this link: Dig this winter 2016

You will need Adobe Acrobat PDF Reader to open it.

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What you can do on your allotment in January

cold weather on the allotmentYou 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.

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What you can do on your allotment in December

cold weather on the allotmentTake 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.

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