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Showing posts from May, 2014

Dual Cabbage Ways

Having decided to take a weeks holiday break, I spuddled off to North Wales and spent last week in a holiday cottage near Dolgellau, Gwenedd, in the Snowdonia National Park. Last Thursday I drove to Anglesey, visiting the Plascadnant hidden gardens before travelling on to Beaumaris. I was well impressed by the various gardens within Plascadnant, from the Chelsea flower show winning vegetable garden to the forest and victorian walled garden. Wildlife was in abundance including Red squirrels and Yellow wagtails. After a week of sightseeing I drove back to Somerset on Saturday via Shrewsbury in torrential rain, passing close by to Percy Throwers garden centre, (remember Percy, of Gardeners World fame, 1950's to 1980's and his catchphrase "the answer lies in the soil"). Joining the M5 motorway near Worcester the rain was still heavy and I was wondering what condition my plots would be in, on my return. I'd left Dolgellau at 7 a.m. expecting to get home early enough …

What Bank Holiday Was That Then

Ever had a couple of months or so, when you can't catch up with anything but everything seems to be catching up with you. The recent erratic weather has at last settled down here and the past few days have been gloriously warm and sunny, allowing me to catch up with sowing and planting directly into the ground, rather than relying on cold frames and my poly tunnel. Up until a few days ago the poly tunnel was brimming with plant pots and seed trays, containing a variety of seedlings in various stages of development. Overall germination of most seeds has been good despite the fluctuating temperatures over the past few months. Most plot holders on our allotments have been delayed this year with ground preparation and in particular rotavating, due to the sticky ground conditions after the wet Winter, remember that!!

 On N1 Plot (roots bed) several rows of Carrots (Flyaway), Beetroot (Boltardy) and Turnips (Purple top milan) were sown in April, germinating quickly and are off to a goo…

Recent E-Petition Follow Up (Save Our Plots)

I recently received the following email with reference to the e-petition taking place to save our plots.

Dear Rooko,
The e-petition 'Tell Eric Pickles that allotments must not be sold off!' signed by you recently reached 18,821 signatures and a response has been made to it.
As this e-petition has received more than 10 000 signatures, the relevant Government department have provided the following response: An e-petition has been suggesting that the Department for Communities and Local Government is examining plans to remove council duties to provide allotments. This is completely untrue and has no basis in fact. In 2011, the Government compiled a list of statutory duties that councils must follow, but Ministers made very clear to Parliament there were no plans to change any of the duties on allotments ( This remains the case. Local authorities continue…

Rooko's May Top 10 Tips & Tryouts

1. Mint plants will deter slugs. Why not grow mint in pots/containers which can be easily moved around your garden/plot to areas where slugs are prevalent. Keeping mint in containers will also stop it spreading far and wide, as it surely will if planted directly into the ground.

2. Seed sowing in May can consist of the following vegetables: (outdoors under covers) Cucumber, French beans, Runner beans, Sweetcorn. (outdoors) but be aware of late frosts: Brussels sprouts, Cabbage (Summer, Autumn, Winter, Red), Carrots, Cauliflower, Kale, Kohl-rabi, Lettuce, Peas Radishes, Rocket, Spring onions, Swede, Turnips. (indoors) Cabbage, Cauliflower, Chillies, French beans, Marrows, Peppers, Pumpkins, Runner beans, Squashes.

3.Many flower and vegetable gardeners grow Lavender. May is the time to trim these plants back. Cut off any old flower growth and trim back about 1 inch (2.5cm) of new growth too.

4. If you have rodents or rabbits causing problems in your garden try growing some Peppermint w…