Allotment and Edible Gardening
This allotment and edible gardening group is to talk to like minded individuals about their experiences and plans, to exchange ideas, get advice, sharing of seeds, plugs, etc. - essentially, anything to do with allotment or edible gardening. I am also hoping we can meet up, perhaps in turns, at each other's plots. This group is open to anyone anywhere with an allotment or a keen interest in learning about allotment culture and edible gardening. As it is a relatively new group, we will also need to see how it evolves organically - very much my style of gardening, as chemical free and organic as possible :-) So far, so good ...do sign up, you'll be most welcome.
Open Loop 73
Hope this Instagram link works. This charity does fantastic work saving food from being wasted. Wonderful to see growers donating fresh produce and enthusiastic volunteers picking and transporting it.
Just wanted to share our progress on one of our allotments. SO proud of all the women who worked really hard to get it how it is today. It felt so good to be able to plant a few things this year. Still a way to go - but isn't that always the case on allotments lol. And once we've got the top soil in the raised beds we'll be able to do more.
Anyone had great success with their fruit and veg? Or sadly any failures?
So far had a good crop of autumn sown onions and garlic, in fact the onions grew a bit too big and some bolted but generally a success. Broad beans were not bad though did suffer a bit with blackfly and something else eating them. Potatoes seem to have done well. Courgettes are good and squashes pumpkins and cucumbers coming along.
Failures: climbing French beans decimated by something eating them. Have sown more straight into the ground. Lettuce and rocket has been good. I don't know what went wrong with my sweetcorn, it's only grown a metre and looking very puny and sick though my plot neighbour's is lush and tall!! Peas didn't really germinate.
Tomato and potato blight have started on site so don't hold out much hope for the toms as there are early signs but hope my spuds have escaped ( have never had potato blight before)
My apple trees are laden and just picked a load of cherry plums from two very old trees in my garden.
My strawberries started off well ( new raised bed started last year) but I think they were too close together and I think the rain caused many to go mouldy plus the leaves started to curl and change colour.
How are your crops?
I hope you are all enjoying your allotment and edible gardening activities.
Keep posting and sharing.
I am super behind but I'm thinking positively and thinking I'm super ahead.
As Monty also said, when our plans do not materialise in line with our hopes, the seasoned gardener knows there is always next year!
Take care, keep safe.
How are you fruit and veg plots doing? Anyone wish to share their food growing experiences/photos? I must admit I got impatient back in those dark February days and sowed seeds too soon so had to hold many plants back which I fear has set some back. Potatoes, onions, garlic looking healthy , tomato plants and sweetcorn looking scrappy, some beans and cabbages looking decimated😥
Will post some photos later.ooking forward to anyone sharing theirs.
I appreciate this is a local issue but there's nothing to stop people signing it on principle as it could happen anywhere and could set a precedent. Cadent want to take it over as a car park for their vehicles and equipment however what is the likelihood of it being reinstated after that period? And any of you allotmenteers will know that it can take years to get a plot to a manageable state, not to mention the cost in time and money. Please consider signing and sharing. Many thanks
An allotment neighbour told me about this technique and is experimenting with it. I'd never heard of it. Our site is on heavy clay and prone to flooding as it's close to a river. Soil levels drop and one needs loads of compost and manure to try to build it up especially if making raised beds and trying the no dig method. There is never enough manure or home made compost and it would be costly to buy enough.
The advantage with this technique is that there are lots trees on the periphery of our site so plenty of dead branches and logs and a local tree surgeon also delivers this as well as wood chippings. You can even use scrap wood. I found it interesting. She started by experimenting just with a big plastic bin with a wood layer at the bottom and is now making a full bed in the ground
We were lucky enough to have been given some willow, had just enough to build the frame, not perfect but what is! Now waiting for the dwarf/french + borlotti beans to be strong enough to plant up. Very excited and glad we started them off inside from seed, as weather that's due could well have killed them off - Phew
Sowed some Swift and Red Duke of York on my plot today. It might be a wee bit early but figured the Irish traditionally sowed them on St Patrick's day and here Good Friday though the latter is a moveable feast. Hopefully they'll be ok. I've had the leaves hit by frost in the past but the tubers have survived. I have some Pink Fir Apple and Charlotte salad potatoes to go in but will probably wait a week or so.
I read that water from boiling potatoes was good for spraying whitefly. I then read it was also good for watering your plants as the starch spurs the release of plant nutrients in the soil. In fact most veggy cooking water is good for your plants including pasta water and water from boiling eggs which contains calcium. However added salt is not good for them but I don't add salt to potatoes anyway. I do save some veggy water for stock and gravy but will definitely use any surplus for my plants.
Has anyone had success with these? I've always grown them from sets but the varieties are quite limited. Was tempted to grow some more unusual ones from seed like the lovely Italian Tropea ones.
Soil Association meeting on-line, Thursday 21st January 2021, 5.30 - 6.45pm. Here is the link if anybody is interested. You do have to register to be forwarded the link to join.
Has anyone braved the weather and worked on their allotments? We've been busy converting an old shed into fence panels, the hardest bit has been banging to posts in BUT has meant we've kept warm, it's been weird with the social distancing but we've done it - albeit very Heath Robinson style - which has meant we are holding onto some sort of sanity THANK GOODNESS FOR ALLOTMENTS EH!
1)Is the new green growth in the photo to be welcomed or snipped off? I know-I`m a bit late pruning this year!
2)Why have I developed `autumn-fruiting` canes-I didn`t plant any?
3) Why are some canes giving me yellow berries?! There were a few last year and more this year! (They taste the same.)
I have a greenhouse for the first time and started all my seeds in it this spring. It's not a large one and doesn't have beds inside, just shelves and it's on paving slabs. Any ideas on what a greenhouse novice could grow in it over winter in pots or troughs?
I wrote this on an old thread thinking it would be bumped to the top but it didn't so starting a new thread .My Marshmello bare rooted strawberry plants grew well but produced very little fruit. I'd read there wouldn't be much fruit first season, plus I didn't put a net over so I think birds got at what little fruit there was. I now have healthy looking plants and loads of runners both in the raised bed and trailing outside it. Should I try to root all the runners to increase my stock? Is there anything else I should do now to prepare for next year? I'm a strawberry novice!
Autumn veg planting (Edited)
I usually sow garlic and onions in Autumn to over winter. I have also shown broad beans at that time in the past. Has anyone grown anything else successfully around this time ? Anyone grow veg in a greenhouse over winter? I'm going to try winter spring onions and perhaps some potatoes for Christmas but any other ideas gratefully received.
Hello everyone. It's been quiet on here , must be that we are all so busy growing veg! Hope everyone is keeping safe and well and in good spirits.
I was given this plant and it has produced quite prolifically but I don't know what it is. I assume it's in the squash family. As you can see it's a dark yellow, skin slightly rough the size of a large grapefruit only pear shaped . I don't know if it's edible or one of those ornamental types. If it's edible how to cook it? Any ideas?
Welcome to All the New Members to the Group - I hope you find it enjoyable, inspiring and informative.
I have not logged in for ages but a personal welcome extended to anyone else I have likely missed.
Be back more actively very shortly...work life has taken over...but I hope all our members are keeping safe and well and enjoying their gardening whatever the results!
Has anyone found his videos on YouTube? His knowledge on veg growing is amazing and his videos are so clear and easy to follow. I can thoroughly recommend them. I think he has written books too.
Hope all your plots are flourishing. Mine is getting there . Will post some pics soon. Would love to see some of yours.
PS I'm so glad to have this group as a safe haven (like my garden and my allotment) away from some of the "controversial" groups on Scooploop
Does anyone have any advice how to prevent foxes from digging up my potatoes??
It happened last year that they continually dug around in one of my potato beds on my allotment in SE London so that I lost half of my main crop. It has just started again and I am totally fed up with them... I've got so much else to do and now I need to spend ages trying to repair the damage and somehow do something to deter them....😠😠😠
Hi guys & thanks for adding me
Had to share as these potatoes in my town are the best I've tasted
we have 40 plants in the garden using seaweed as fertilizer
last years were unbelievable & were hoping a similar result this year after doubling our crops from 20 to 40
A late frost killed my climbing French and butter beans over the weekend on my plot. I'm gutted😢 as I'd nurtured them from seed. Undeterred I've sown more indoors though I did contemplate sowing direct in the ground.
Does anyone grow fenugreek?
I usually do but much later in the summer.
I tried earlier this year and I've been pleasantly surprised that it germinated within 3 to 4 days.
Here's a picture.
If anyone lives near or in the N13 area and would like some salad (various varieties) and herb (only sage at present) seedlings, please message me.
I have lots going spare and, if you are interested, I can sort out a little 'basket' of these for you to collect - at a social distance of course!
They are easy to grow on in containers, so ideal to house in small or limited space.
When I my harvest is ready, I shall advertise again, to give excess away, as deliberately growing more than I need, to help out the most needy and vulnerable, especially at these worrying and uncertain times.
Meantime, I want to encourage those who can, to grow their own as it is not only money saving but a rewarding and therapeutic activity, well worth the time and effort.
Welcome Lynne to the Allotment and Edible Gardening Group; it's lovely to have you join us.
I hope your gardening season is going well.
I look forward to sharing gardening techniques and experiences.
I am planning to grow some of my veggie seedlings in my garden this year as well as my allotment.
I'm looking for recommendations as to what I can grow on a north facing fence?
Any suggestions from personal experience would be especially welcome.
Just sharing a little bit of spring joy and hope.
I have sown them very late but my tomato seeds have germinated already within days....amazing.
I am looking forward to growing on these seedlings.
I've attached a picture to share, cheer and motivate.
Please do post photos and comments on how your season's activities are progressing.
I've recently been noticing that the snails are rummaging about in my mint plant container though admittedly it is housed under the water tap.
I am surprised as I did not think slugs/snails liked mint.
Though organic, I do not want to sprinkle pellets all over the container, so is there anything else I can do that will deter them?
Do they stay away from citrus smells?
Welcome to the Group Audrey :-)
I hope you enjoy it and do please join in by posting any questions as well as your gardening experiences as, no matter how experienced one is, there is always more to learn and I enjoy experimenting with different ideas.
On my allotment, I have seen how people from different cultures garden in their own ways and I have mixed and matched ideas that felt curious but I always seem to forget, so now trying to keep a written diary of my activities.
Anyway, enjoy the group and I look forward to reading your posts and comments.
I am a NAS member and I thought I'd share the updated guidelines I have just received. Do please be careful as they have already closed down allotments in Ireland and France because of people not obeying the rules.
Covid 19 Emergency Measures
March 31st, 2020
CORONAVIRUS: What the NAS is doing to help members
The National Allotment Society is working to provide clarity for our members on what the virus outbreak and ensuing impacts will mean for Allotment Holders. As more information become available, we will be updating our advice to our members, please read the Q & As below on how the outbreak is affecting Allotment Sites and their use.
NAS Q & A On Allotments and Social Distancing
Protect yourself and your family
We are all living through a crisis, the likes of which the country has not experienced since war time. The community spirit that exists on allotment sites is now vitally important. Please remember to look out for one another during these very difficult times and take all the steps you can to reduce the risk of contagion from the Covid- 19 virus when you visit the plot.
Covid -19 - The virus that causes COVID 19 is mainly transmitted through droplets generated when an infected person coughs, sneezes or speaks. The droplets are too heavy to hang in the air and they quickly fall and contaminate floors and surfaces.
Smaller airborne particles can remain in the air for some time. You can be infected by breathing in the virus if you are within close proximity of a person who has Convid-19- hence the 2m social distancing requirement, or by touching a contaminated surface and then touching your eyes, nose or mouth before washing your hands.
Can I still work my allotment during the Covid19 lockdown?
Yes, allotments are a great way of both getting exercise and obtaining food during this crisis.
Can I visit the allotment with my family?
Yes, government guidelines state that you can exercise with members of your household
Why then is the NAS suggesting that we consider going alone to the plot?
This is just a suggestion and plot-holders can decide for themselves but we are looking at the bigger picture and concerned about the risk of sites being shut – as they have been in Ireland and France. If some plot-holders are happy to visit alone or stay away for a few weeks that reduces this risk.
How long can I stay at the plot?
Government Ministers have suggested that an hour’s walk is reasonable and asked us all to limit time spent outside the home. The Society believes that if you are using your plot for daily exercise it would be reasonable to spend an hour or two doing the jobs that need doing for that day and then to return home.
How can I ensure my family’s and everyone else’s safety at the plot?
Do not attend the plot if you have coronavirus symptoms or a family member is self-isolating
Take a flask of hot water, soap and paper towels to the plot with you (cold water will work too).
Use hand sanitiser (should be 60% alcohol content) before entering the site and opening any gate locks
Wash hands for at least 20 seconds after closing the lock, dry with a paper towel
The most effective part of hand washing is the drying using preferably paper towel to remove the layer of dead skin scales - on which virus and bacteria sit. Paper towel to compost heap.
DO NOT touch your face after using anything that has been touched by other people- use an elbow to work the push taps.
Wash your hands again for 20 seconds, dry with a paper towel before opening and closing the lock to leave the site
Use hand sanitiser after closing the lock
Wash hands when you get home
DO NOT gather together for a chat even if you are 2 metres apart
Observe “Social Distancing” with each other 2-3 metres
If you take your children to the plot, ensure that they stay within its confines and do not run around on communal paths and spaces.
Do not share tools
Do not wash your hands in water troughs
Can I drive to my allotment?
We do not have an overall answer to this question. Police forces are clamping down on non-essential travel, some have said that a short drive to the plot is permitted if there is no other choice, others are still enforcing the prohibition on driving to exercise. Check with your local force. Walk to the plot if at all possible and do not take public transport.
What about if I have hens or other livestock to care for at the plot?
Animal welfare considerations mean that this would be seen as essential travel even if further movement restrictions are put in place.
What changes should Allotment Associations make to site management?
Pin up information about social distancing and hygiene on a notice board or the gate, there is a QR code at the bottom of this page that links to our updating page.
Undertake risk assessments and take appropriate action to reduce hazards around any areas of the site that could cause contagion e.g. communal water troughs, taps, and gate locks. The NAS does have further detailed information on risk assessments and the duty of care for Self-Managed Associations please email firstname.lastname@example.org if this is required.
All communal facilities including toilets should be closed
Has anyone tried to give salad and herb leaves a jump start by sowing indoors (or in a greenhouse) in trays before planting them out?
If so, I wonder what kind of success you enjoyed.
Last summer, I saw supermarkets selling lettuce, chives, etc. in small module trays and was surprised but thought I'd give it a go as an experiment.
I'm about to sow them and will let you know how I get on; in the meantime, if anyone has already been there and got the T-shirt, please share your experience.
Well last Sunday, I sowed lots of seeds and I was not expecting them to germinate for at least another week or 2 but I have been pleasantly surprised - they have germinated in less than 7 days!
Unfortunately, I deprived them of air (not noticing they had germinated) and some have become leggy (that's because they were growing towards the light in the window).
This means I have to pot them on but, as I have no room indoors, I will have to transfer them to outdoors.
Does anyone know if the weather forecast predicts snow or frost in the next few days? I was under the impression we were going to get snow or frost at the start of April but the weather is actually lovely - gardener's delight.
I've got a large strawberry bed on my plot and I've noticed there is some green leaves but most of them have dried into a brownie red colour.
I did not manage to take runners to make new babies in the autumn.
Should I just take out the lot and start again - it seems difficult to know how to remove just the dead parts which I assume are the red/brown dried leaves which do not look they are going to go anywhere.
...start sowing the seeds for summer's harvest to delight your palette :-)
I shall be at my allotment and garden (small) all weekend.
Enjoy folks and keep your spirits up :-)
I ask this because I've been discouraged by an Aunt to go to my allotment during this Coronavirus crisis.
I will go but I'm not feeling 100% relaxed about it because, I guess, it does not feel entirely normal and such a battle to get essentials.