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Welcome to another year down
on the plot. Each year is different and I am sure this one will be no
There maybe one or two crops I
will not grow this year owing to the fact my soil has now been well cultivated
for 28 years, some of the
taller brassicas such
as sprouts need a firm soil to prevent their roots from rocking and mine is now
very fine, but we shall see.
The New Year has started very damp and
mild giving me more time to finish any repairs and attend to any weeding. Bulbs
are already starting to come through.
Continue to plant any bare rooted
fruit trees and bushes and remove any dead and dying leaves on established
Seed potatoes will be in your stores
and garden centres this month. Lay them out in trays or egg boxes to chit in a
light frost free place. If in the greenhouse keep some fleece or newspaper
handy to cover them should there be a threat of frost.
Now is the time to renew your
membership to the G.A.H. & G A; this can be done at any of the site stores.
New members are always welcome to take advantage of the various benefits.
The month has ended with freezing
temperatures, little can be done now till the weather warms up other than
harvesting any vegetables left in the ground. I still have leeks, parsnips and
some celeriac which I have dug and left in my shed
rather than risk getting it frosted. Do not plant any
bare rooted fruit canes/trees while the ground is frosted.
A date for your Diary:
The G.A.H. & G. A. are pleased to invite Mr Nick Gilbert to give a gardening
talk on Dahlias, Tuesday 26th February at 7.30 pm at HEDCA. Coombe
Road, Gosport. The usual light refreshments will be served and a raffle
will be held. Free to members and £1 to non members.
All are very welcome.
Back on the plot it is still bitterly
cold with heavy frosts little can be done except maybe any necessary repairs.
In the greenhouse keep any potatoes chitting well
covered with fleece or newspaper.
Pots and trays can be prepared ready
for the first sowings in March and check there are no snails hiding in the
spouts of watering cans or under the rims of larger pots.
19th and we are experiencing
some very unusually warm mild days, I have planted out some shallots which have
been growing well in the greenhouse and also some of the first early potatoes,
5 tubers of Pentlan Javlin
which I have covered with Enviromesh and 10 Rocket,
Both set a spade depth down covered well and then earthed up another spade
depth; should the weather turn frosty they will be well protected; I am also
starting to put up frames in readiness for such crops as the tomatoes, peas
etc., which will save time later.
First our apologies if you turned up last Tuesday hoping
to see the talk on Dahlias, unfortunately Mr Gilbert had to cancel due to the
On the plot this last week like most
of the country has been glorious. Spring has arrived with daffodils in full
flower now and the plum and cherry all coming into blossom. 28th and now it is all down-hill
again with cold rain and winds. If like me you did make a start on planting
early potatoes hopefully they are planted deep enough not to be harmed by any
This is the month when we all are
itching to get really started on the seed sowing but now it has turned much
colder again outside sowing is best left to April.
Continue to plant potatoes if
conditions are right but I shall now be making a start in my unheated
greenhouse with onion sets, Rumba, Fen Early and Red Fen in cell trays. Peas,
Hurst Green Shaft 5 to a 3” pot. Cabbage Attraction, turnips, beetroot Pablo F1, leeks Giant Winter,
celeriac Asterix, lettuce Little Gem. Spring onions and Raddish. French Marigolds Boy-o-Boy
Continuing throughout the month with the more tender seeds, such as
tomatoes, courgettes, squash and French beans. Broad beans can be sown now in
pots but French and Runner beans tend to rot if sown too early.
Keep some fleece handy should there be
the threat of night frost to cover potatoes and tender plants in the
Finish planting any bare rooted fruit
this month and clean up strawberry beds of dead and dying leaves. Continue to
check any potatoes and onions still in store.
17th and at last the
dreadful weather of strong winds and rain are starting to die down although
much colder now so I am being wary of sowing and planting out yet. My chrysanths which I over wintered in the greenhouse have
grown well because of the mild temperatures but I now need the space so I am
under enviromesh to protect from any frosts. Seeds sown earlier in the
greenhouse are ready to be pricked out into cell trays, or those larger ones
like the tomatoes into 3” pots. I am still covering all my trays at night with
fleece as temperatures drop.
It really has been a difficult month
with the ups and downs of the weather, one minute cold then towards the end of
the month a very a warm and balmy week, only to start April very cold again.
If you are tempted to start sowing or
planting I would cover well against the night temperatures which can fall
dramatically at this time of the year. I have now planted out peas ‘Hurst Green
Shaft’ which I have been growing on in the greenhouse. Provided plenty of
twiggy branches for support; covered with netting to protect from the birds and
a temporary cover of Enviromesh to protect from frost
and cold nights. Sowing can now continue in the greenhouse with most of the
hardier seeds; most of the brassicas, kohl Rabi, turnips, leeks, celeriac, all the salads and later in the month squash and
courgettes. I would leave French beans and runner beans till mid month as they will only rot if sown too early. Tomatoes sown earlier will need potting on to
3 “ pots this month, set deeply up to their seed leaves this will encourage a
strong root system to develop from the stem.
. . .
The plum blossom is
exceptional this year, with the wallflowers out attracting the bees I am
hopeful of a good crop.
Easter week-end and our topsy-turvy
weather continues; It is now very warm and the soil is becoming dry, when
sowing seeds direct it is necessary to water the drill well, cover seeds with
dry soil to retain as much moisture as possible till germinated. Ventilate
greenhouse well as the temperature can reach over 40 degrees during the day but
close early in the evening to keep it warm during the night.
Our resident fox has had her babies and
they are causing havoc on the plot, digging large holes and turning over my
onions. I have reset them twice and now covered with netting to deter any
27th and I am now cutting
the first asparagus spears, 2 weeks earlier than usual and with plenty of
purple sprouting I am spoilt for choice.
The month has started chilly but with
a promise of warmer days to come the soil is now warm enough to sow direct but
some tender plants are best left for another couple of weeks. Tomatoes,
courgettes, butternut squash and French beans will need some protection against
cold nights. Runner beans can now be sown direct allowing 2 beans per station.
Continue to pot on brassicas and leeks to provide good size plants to plant in
to hang up the Pheromone traps in apple and plum trees to prevent the codling
moth and ensure any grease bands that have been applied are free from any debri. Next years’ canes are starting to grow on the soft
fruit so make sure there is room to tie them to one side out of the way of
strong winds to avoid them snapping off.
the greenery from the spring bulbs will have died down enough now to be
consigned to the compost bin to make way for summer bedding. I shall be
planting French marigolds, geraniums and antirrhinums.
The continuing strong winds have brought down my purple raspberries. The
supporting posts have broken and I now need to renew them and re wire if I am
to avoid losing this
years’ fruit crop. All soft fruit with the exception of strawberries can be
given a dressing of potash now.
Very pleased I have been
able to get the raspberries up again without losing too many.
Don’t forget it's our Plant Sale 19 May 2019 at
Brockhurst Allotment Store, Military Road.
All plant donations be they vegetable, flower or fruit are welcome.
Buyers from 10am, please come and support us and grab yourself some home grown plants
23rd I am
delighted to be harvesting my first crops of the year, always an exciting time.
Pentlan Javlyn lst early potatoes, Pak Choi, Lettuce, Raddish,
Rhubarb, Strawberries and of course Asparagus which is slowing down a little
now through lack of rain. The plot is now very dry.
I have planted out the
Butternut Squash, watering well to give it a good start and made a second
sowing of carrots ‘Nominator’.
Badgers have totally
destroyed one bed of shallots. These I have cleared away, renewed the bed and
hopefully next month will be able to plant out the first of the leeks.
Last week-end of the
month and with only one day of rain watering is still the main problem. It has
now turned very warm and humid again. Early strawberries are ripening and need
a good soak every few days to fill them out. Everything has to take its turn
and a good soaking once a week is better than a daily dribble. Give priority to
those crops that are cropping now.
I have had another
load of manure to add to my compost bins to rot down ready for autumn
In the greenhouse I
have made further sowings of lettuce, spring onions, and pak
I am now digging first early potatoes, when space allows the leeks are
taking their place. ‘Winner’ is a new variety for me to try this year.
I’ve also planted Kale for the winter, 2 green and one
red. I made the planting hole very deep
and first watered well with 2 cans of water as the ground is so dry Firm
the plants well in and watered again then mulching with well
rotted compost. Covered with netting because the
pigeons will soon devour the young growth.
June is the month when most tender
vegetables can be planted out now the fear of any frost is over. Beans, squash,
tomatoes, peppers to name but a few. And
the first of the early crops will be ready to harvest now, pick them while
young and tender. Continue to sow small
amounts of salad leaves, lettuce, spring onions and radish for a continuous
supply. Runner and French beans can be
sown direct in the ground now, they will soon germinate.
On the fruit plot Strawberries are
ripening and may need some straw beneath them to keep the fruit clean. Pinch
the tips out on plums and cherries to deter the aphids. Prune back the new growth on Gooseberries,
this will keep the bush in shape and also make picking easier later on. All
soft fruit with the exception of Strawberries can have a dressing of potash
I have decided not to grow Sprouts
this year but all the other brassicas can now be sown for winter cropping.
Savoy cabbage, the Kale
and Purple Sprouting to crop next March will give me a continuous
supply through to next April.
20th of the month and
harvesting of the early summer crops is now in full swing. Lift
only as many new potatoes as you can use in a couple of days to enjoy them at
their best. I am now picking peas and to keep them cropping and the pods
filling out will need regular watering. The soft fruits, such as strawberries,
raspberries, currants may need some protection from the birds but we also have
squirrels who enjoy them too.
Continue to sow quick maturing crops
for a good succession. I am sowing, carrots, beetroot, turnips, kohl rabi; salads lettuce, radish and
spring onions. Tomatoes are setting now
so continue to pinch out the side shoots and tie in standard varieties, bush
plants need no pinching out or tying in but may need some straw to keep the
I have now finished cutting asparagus
and will leave the spears to grow into fern. This will feed and encourage a
good strong crop for next year.
Hurst Green Shaft.
1st After a very hot week-end it is now a little
cooler but with a very warm wind which is so drying; any watering now needs to
be used effectively by giving a good soak around the roots and not trying to
water the whole ground. I have made the
last picking of the peas, it has been a good harvest and I have had
approximately 12lb of podded peas. I have cleared the ground and added a barrow
load of compost and now planted out the Purple Sprouting. This should give me
plenty of spears from March onwards next year.
Tomatoes are forming
now, remove a few of the lower leaves to give a good air flow and aid ripening.
Continue to keep tying in and water regularly.
I have cut the foliage down on my second early potatoes Foremost to stop
them growing a bigger. They can still be left in the ground and lifted as
finished my first Strawberries so they can now be given a good hair cut and the foliage removed to the compost bin. They
will soon make new growth for next year. Any runners required for new plants
should be pegged down to root then cut off and potted up ready to plant out in
the autumn. All the soft fruit is now in full swing for ripening and
harvesting. Pick over every couple of days to enjoy them and freeze surplus.
Aphids are rife on the fruit trees now so nip out the tips if you can to deter
I am really pleased
my Hollyhock has survived again this year to give another beautiful display.
This was a surprise plant I presume seeded by the birds.
A reminder that Show
schedules are now available at all the allotment stores for those wishing to
enter the Summer Show on August 17th at Alverstoke
Parish Centre. This is a fun day out for all the family; there are classes for
adults and children with light refreshments available. Why not have a go.
the long hot summer continues, endless rounds of watering is beginning to pay
off I now have cabbage, carrots, beetroot, lettuce, French beans and potatoes
to harvest. The badgers had tried to dig up my Desiree potatoes so I have
lifted all of those and bagged up in hessian sacks and stored in the garage.
The soft fruit has been good but a short season except for the Blackberries
which are big and juicy; now the Plum Beauty is ripening and I have a good crop
there. Still to come are the Autumn raspberries. Figs, apples
the lack of rain hasn’t stopped the Phlox giving a
glorious display. The summer raspberries are now finally over and I have cut
out all the old fruiting canes, selected the strongest ones for next year, tied
in and cut out any remaining weak ones.
A reminder it is the G.A.H. & G. A. Summer show on 17th
Aug. Show schedules and information are
available at all site stores or on line at http://www.gosportallotments.btck.co.uk/ Anyone can enter there are classes for adults
and children. This is designed to be fun day out for all the family. All are
Tomatoes are ripening
now, remove some of the lower leaves to allow the sun to do their job and allow
a good air flow, water regularly to avoid splitting the fruits. Beans too will
need a good regular water now to swell the beans. Remove the lower leaves on
celeriac this will help to swell the bulb. Keep on top of the weeding if you
can by hand to keep any moisture in during this long dry spell.
Onions too will be
ripening and falling over naturally, to aid ripening gently break the roots
with a fork and lay the bulbs in the sun to dry and fully ripen. When they are
brown and papery they can be stored in a frost free shed either plaited on to
strings or in airy boxes. Check over regularly and use any with thick necks
this last week has seen the plot battered with the strong winds and rain.
Fortunately I have suffered little damage but there is quite a bit of tidying
up to be done. Picking up the fallen apples and pears is one job needs doing,
these I have added to the pit to rot down, together with all the damaged
flowers which I am cutting back in the hope they will get a second wind and
flower again. My onions I had laid out to dry I had covered with a tarpaulin to
keep them from getting wet again but now I have gathered in and taken home to
finish drying in the greenhouse. Some of the cabbages have split due to the sudden
burst of rain, these will need to be cut and used.
a long very hot bank holiday week-end, the plot is suffering, watering is
almost impossible and it does little or no good. Tomatoes are doing well
ripening quickly so care is needed as they will split with uneven watering. Our
2 resident foxes are doing their best to cause mayhem by digging and churning
up the soil; I am constantly tidying up after them. Victoria plums are very
good this year and need regular picking; apples and pears are still very
crowded on the trees and need more thinning if they are to fill out and ripen
I am continuing to
cut back perennials such as the lavender when they go over; this will encourage
new growth before the winter sets it. Any other flowers such as the dahlias now
need to be dead headed regularly to keep them flowering till the autumn frosts.
Unfortunately some of
our sheds have been broken into again, little taken but locks have been
that seed potato and fruit order forms for 2020 are now available at all
stores; all at very good prices.
Not quite autumn yet
but it is nice to have lower temperatures to work in. Crops that have gone over
can now be cleared away, ground dug over and prepared for any autumn planting.
Onion and shallot sets can be planted out between now and early November to
over winter and give a good crop to harvest next May. Runner beans will carry
on cropping if you can keep them watered well; mine unfortunately are not doing
so good this year and I have decided to take them out now. I have cut them off
at soil level to die back before removing.
Continue to harvest
main crop potatoes now, allow skins to harden in the sun for a few hours if you
can then brush off any soil and store in hessian sacks or strong paper bags in
a frost free shed. Use any damaged ones first. Onions when completely dry can
either be plaited on to strings or stored in strong
boxes. Pick up and compost rotting brassica leaves and we aware of the
butterflies and watch out for patches of orange eggs on the underside of the
leaves, rub off before they get a chance to hatch into caterpillars. Remove
excess foliage on Squash to allow the sun to ripen the fruits.
Finish pruning any
stone fruit this month. Apples and pear trees are heavily laden this year and
although fruits are falling, some thinning may still be necessary. Pick up and
compost or use to make chutney.
I have decided to
empty and take down my old compost bin and use some of the good compost to make
a new bed. The wood was rotting and would have needed extensive repairs to make
it useable again. Emptying it and spreading the compost has been my first task,
then removing the old timber and the meter posts which held in the supporting
The top end is where I will hang and store my cloche hoops when not in
15th and Bed now finished. I have edged on the main path side with breeze
blocks to prevent the path falling in as so many people use this path.
Planted a new Rhubarb called Pink Blossom; so pretty with the
pink/red edged leaves and should be compact growing to about a mitre square. I
will add other plants over the coming months.
The last week has
been exceptionally wet and windy almost impossible to do anything on the plot
but on the 30th the weather was kind to us and remained dry for the
Michaelmas Fayre; the G.A.H. & G A. held their stall selling produce
donated by generous plot holders to raise funds. Also at this
time to promote the innovative idea of ‘Growing in Gosport’ which is starting
in January to help and advice those new to growing vegetables. Details
can be found on their website http://www.gosportallotments.btck.co.uk/
Autumn is definitely
here now, leaves are falling and there is a chill in the air. Gather up as many
as you can and either compost or make a wire container to make leaf mould.
Continue to pick up any rotting brassica leaves and tidy up any vacant ground.
Autumn planting onion sets can be either set in trays to give them a head start
or direct in the ground now. So can Garlic and Broad beans to over winter also.
Harvest last of main crop potatoes, leaving them to dry and harden their skins
before storing for the winter. Remove the lower leaves on celeriac for the last
time to encourage a good size bulb. Earth up leeks to blanch the stems.
Pick apples when they
come away easily in your hand; pears are difficult to judge when ripe and best
picked when still hard and ripened off on the window sill. Autumn raspberries
will still be ripening now so enjoy while you can.
When the Asparagus fern
turns a bronze colour, cut to the ground, hand weed and apply a good mulch of
we have had some welcome sunshine from a very wet week. I’ve been able to
finish repairing my compost bin, emptied and spread on as many beds as I could;
now ready to be refilled again. Planted out onion sets and added a few polyanthus to my new bed.
A reminder that the G.A.H. & G.A. Pumpkin &
Produce Fayre is to be held next Saturday 26th October at St Mary’s
Parish Centre, Alverstoke.
Classes include home baking, preserves, wines and
spirits, vegetables and flowers, fancy dress, painting and photography for
adults and children. Show schedules can be obtained from any site stores on
line at http://www.gosportallotments.btck.co.uk
Back to the wet and windy weather; on
the drier days I am continuing to tidy up. Leeks need the old brown outer
leaves removed and one more earth up to blanch the stems; dead and dying leaves
on the parsnips removed and the lower leaves removed from the celeriac for one
last time. Make sure carrots are covered with soil to prevent any greening of
the tops. Any fallen apples can be consigned to the compost bin.
The fox is still very active and any
new onions etc. planted should be covered to deter them from being dug up.
I have turned my shed out, cleaned and
oiled any tools I won’t be using over the winter; Dunked my canes in a bucket
of bleach, left to dry before storing. Make sure there are no snails hiding in
the watering can spouts and around under the rims. Our water will be turned off
soon this month so make sure butts are full ready for use in the spring.
The G.A.H. & G. A. welcome Mr Alan Williams to give a
talk on ‘A Year on the Allotment’ on Tuesday 19th November at 7. 30
pm at HEDCA, Coombe Road, Gosport. All
are very welcome, the usual light refreshments and a raffle will be held. Free
to members and £1.00 to non-members.
13th I have taken delivery
of a good load of well rotted manure which has filled my large compost bin. To
give me something to use over the winter months for vegetable, kitchen waste
etc., I have knocked down the old bin I used to store netting in and rebuilt it
using as much of the old wood as I could to make a smaller compost bin; Only
having had to purchase 3 lengths for the front section.
How quickly the year has gone, here we
are December already but starting off on a bright but cold day it has been a
pleasure to be able to continue with the maintenance of my plot. Several
edgings need replacing and I have given the shed another coat of wood stain and added a simple wreath to give it some festive
Continue to carry out any winter
digging and clear away spent crops to the compost bin. Leave the ground roughly
dug to allow the winter weather to break down the soil, bringing to the surface
any slug and snail eggs, insects etc. for the birds to feed on. Winter pruning
can be carried out now on apples and pears but leave any stone fruit to next
summer now. When autumn raspberries are finished, cut canes to the ground; new
ones will soon start to grow in the spring.
With the run up to Christmas the
weather has changed to being very wet and windy. I have re-felted the shed roof
and when I can get on the plot I shall
continue to do more repairs but in the meantime I think once again it leaves me
to wish you all a very Happy and Peaceful Christmas. Look forward to being back
on the plot in the New Year.