Dates for your diary
8 March Winter Lecture with Professor Martin Charter of Farnham Repair Café
w/c 27 May Scarecrow competition (this year with a recycling twist!)
20 May BBQ and seed swap at West Street greenhouses
4 June Parham House and Gardens visit
w/c 26 June Allotment competition
3 to 14 July South and South East in Bloom judging fortnight
22 July Allotment Show at the Farnham Maltings
w/c 14 August Sunflower competition
w/c 2 October Pumpkin competition
A more detailed explanation of each of these competitions will follow.
Some unusual facts about one of the nations best loved vegetables—the carrot!
The world’s largest carrot on record measured a whopping 6.245m/20.5ft and was grown by a gentleman called Joe Atherton from seed of St Valery purchased from D T Brown.
That old wives’ tale about carrots helping you see in the dark isn’t entirely off-target; they’re very high in beta-carotene, which is an important nutrient in maintaining healthy eyes.
Mel Blanc, famous for being the voice of Warner Brother’s Bugs Bunny character, apparently did not like carrots!
Up to the Middle Ages, all carrots were purple – the orange variety was first developed in 16th century Holland by patriotic growers who bred it in tribute to the king, William I of Orange.
All allotment holders should now have received their allotment rent renewals in the post. If you have not yet received yours please do let us know by contacting Lara at firstname.lastname@example.org.
In 2016 the rents rose to £57.50, bringing the allotments to the desired breakeven point. The allotment rent for 2017 will remain unchanged, however you will have noticed from your renewal an additional £2.00 charge. We listened to representations you made after we advised about the difficulties in getting cost effective public liability insurance for your plot and have negotiated a group scheme on your behalf. The insurance, taken out with Shield Insurance will now cover you for any third party injury on your own allotment plot and insure you against potential negligence claims. Please do make sure you pay the correct amount as stated on your invoice as a number of payments made last year fell slightly short and it is expensive and time consuming to chase those who have not paid the correct amount.
If your circumstances have changed and you do not intend to renew your tenancy for 2017 please do let us know as soon as possible so that the next tenant has chance to prepare the plot for the Spring. You can notify us by emailing email@example.com or calling Lara or Kevin on 01252 712667.
Digging over the soil in winter and early spring time will bring slug’s eggs to the surface where they are more likely to be killed by frosts or eaten by birds. The slug eggs are pearly white and about 3 mm in diameter and are found in clusters.
In April, increasing temperatures and wet weather provided good conditions for slugs to grow and multiply. No single method of control will be completely effective so you should try several strategies. Here are a few ideas:
Hunt for slugs at dusk or dawn with a flashlight.
During the day slugs congregate in moist dark places. Create suitable hiding spots such as overturned grapefruit halves and then gather slugs from them.
Remove debris from your plot to remove slug hiding places.
Place beer traps around the edges of beds. Place sugary beer into a container so that the slug is able to crawl into the container easily.
Raise seedlings indoors and plant out when they are more able to sustain attack.
Farnham Repair Café
Date: 8 March 2017 Time: 7pm-9.30pm
Theme: Repair Café Venue: Council Offices, Council Chamber, South Street
This year the Winter Lecture will be led by Professor Martin Charter who runs the highly successful Farnham repair café. You will learn all about the ground breaking initiative, where people bring all sorts of items and are helped with their repair, and it’s role within the local community.
If you would like to come along to this evening please email Lara Prior at firstname.lastname@example.org to ensure we have enough chairs and refreshments for everyone.
General Tasks – top tips
Why not try growing some rhubarb on your plot? Place a bucket or similar to exclude the light over the crown. In a few weeks you will then have some lovely pink sticks of rhubarb to enjoy.
Now is the time, if you haven’t already, to get cracking with digging your allotment plot. It is better for yourself and your back to do a little at a time, rather than try and tackle it all in one go. If the ground is wet do not try and dig it as you will wreck the soil structure.
Whilst digging, add some of your own compost to the ground but avoid doing this where you are planning to plant root crops.
Don’t forget to order or buy your potatoes early as the variety you want may be sold out, they are available in garden centres now.
If you are planning to plant fruit trees and bushes (raspberries and other cane fruit), this needs to be done very soon. The trees and bushes should be planted no later than the end of March. Do not plant bare rooted trees in frosty weather or if the ground is frozen.
Pruning of apple and pear trees should be done this month and certainly no later than the end of February as the fruit buds will be starting to swell. Do not do this task in frosty weather.
Gooseberries should be pruned now.
Shorten the side shoots on red and white currants to just one bud and remove old stems crowding the centre of the bush. Do not prune blackcurrants this way as they fruit on new shoots made the previous year.
Autumn fruiting raspberry canes can now be cut down. Do not cut down summer fruiting raspberry canes as you will have no fruit in the summer. Summer fruiting raspberries fruit on the canes they made in the previous year. The new canes are light brown in colour, whilst the older canes still have remnants of the old fruit on them.
If in doubt talk to the site rep or give Kevin a call for advice.
The winter newsletter can now be downloaded here:
Name: Averil Gerhardt
Message: I have quite a lot of very healthy raspberry plants that need to be removed from my garden….some gooseberry too. They are free…you just need to come and dig them out…..if you are interested please email me. Avril.
Name: teela Spratt
Message: I have a yard in Farnham and have trailer loads of manure off the field which has no shavings or straw in. Some well rotted. I am happy for someone to come and pick it up, at a time to suit them. My phone number is 01252 795752.