Pentyrch Show – Schedule

Just a reminder that the Pentyrch Horticultural, Cookery and Craft Show takes place on Saturday 3rd September at Pentyrch Village Hall. Exhibits need to be taken to the Hall between 9.30-11.00am for judging, and the Show is open to the public from 2.30pm.

Click here to view details of all the classes, rules, prizes etc.

Hope to see you all at the Show – let’s give them our full support … and maybe win a prize or two?

August on the Plot

Well July was as hot as the forecasters predicted, and jobs on the allotment seemed to be equally split between watering and harvesting. All the fruit ripened at once so a huge harvest and then home to make jam … If you went away during the month, I am sure you returned to bumper harvests – especially peas, beans, courgettes, carrots and early potatoes. I have also harvested my garlic and the first of my shallots – onions looking ready too.

As soon as you harvest and clear some ground, take advantage and sow some quick growing crops such as salad leaves, rocket, spring onions, chard etc.

As it has been so hot and dry, it is timely to remind you all about collecting/harvesting water on the plot so that we can limit the amount of mains water that we use. If you have a shed (or any structure) on the plot, add some guttering to collect water – either into a water butt, or an open drum/container which you can use as a dipping tank. Ideally every plot should have some form of water collection, however modest.

And a reminder that we have our Allotment Open Day in early September (Sunday 11th) so plan ahead and get your plot looking tidy, clear any potential hazards, and nurture your veg for the competition (see below) and encourage any children in the family to have a go at the veg sculpture competition.

Also a mention for the Pentyrch Show which takes place the previous weekend – as soon as the schedule is available it will be circulated to all plot holders so that we can support this event.

On the Plot in July

So the longest day is behind us – where does the time go? Not to worry, there is still plenty of Summer left to enjoy, and fruit and veg to harvest.

But first how about some time off to visit local gardens – Pentyrch Open Gardens are open on Saturday 2nd (10am-5pm) and Sunday 3rd July (11am-5pm) tickets and garden info from the Village Hall. The following weekend sees NGS Creigiau Village Gardens open on Sunday 10th (11am-5pm) four gardens which includes two newcomers, so two lovely gardens events to tempt you away from the allotments.

The plot is quite productive at the moment – lots of fruit (have just made a batch of redcurrant jelly) and we have picked our first peas, broad beans and greyhound cabbage – so it is worth all that hard work. Other crops looking good, with the exception of my sweetcorn which was doing so well until the local squirrel population discovered it, and gnawed through the stems and then feasted on the plants – ah the joy of wildlife on the plot!

In this time of busy harvesting it is important to plan ahead as well, and sow some crops for the winter months, such as spinach, kale, winter cabbage, carrots and maybe some potatoes for Christmas …

So enjoy your plot, keep weeding and watering, harvest your crops regularly and fill any gaps with easy salad crops which will grow quickly at this time of year, and then go home and do the same for all your flower beds.

Finally a reminder to you all that Pentyrch Horticultural Show returns Saturday 3rd September, so start to think about entering something and supporting the Show. For our more recent plot-holders, have a chat to the longer term veg growers for some hints and tips on prize winning veg and have a go.

Top Tasks for June

June –we have seen the last of the frosts, and the days are long so no excuses for not having time to visit the plot, and of course there’s lots to do – planting, harvesting and watering.

Had a walk round the plot this week and lots of us have planted out our runner and climbing French beans, so if you haven’t planted yours out yet, now is a good time to play catch up. You can also plant out courgettes, sweetcorn, outdoor tomatoes and cabbage/cauli plants.

I have already planted out many of my brassicas and was disappointed to see that the local pigeons have been having a field day, so if you are planting out sprouts, cabbages or cauli, make sure that you protect them at the same time and let the pigeons go hungry!

There are also lots of veg that you can sow every few weeks for succession crops – such as lettuce, salad leaves, beetroot, radishes and carrots – always a good idea for filling the odd gaps on your plot.

And the good news is that there are a few things ready to harvest; the asparagus has been very successful this year but it is now time to stop harvesting and leave the plants to grow to seed.  Early sowings of broad beans and peas should be ready this month, and of course there is plenty of salad crops, radishes, spring onions and herbs to harvest.

And don’t neglect the flower beds at home – again a busy time planting out and seed sowing, and if time permits the NGS garden openings start in earnest this month – I can recommend a visit to 17 Maes y Draenog, Tongwynlais on Saturday 4th/Sunday 5th lovely gardens, plant sales and tea and cake, what more could you want; details at Find a Garden | National Garden Scheme (ngs.org.uk)

Allotment Annual Dinner

We held the Golf Club Dinner in May this year due to the Covid restrictions over the winter and luckily for us it was one of the last functions to be hosted by the current chef.

On a glorious evening the greens looked magnificent and we all enjoyed a delicious two course meal with plenty of seconds for those who could manage them! During the interval between courses we held a heads and tails game when all those taking part paid in £1 (or more in some cases) and a coin was tossed with members choosing heads or tails . If you chose incorrectly you had to sit down. We whittled down the players to a remaining pair. On the toss of a coin it was between Pete and Glynis – heads or tails and Pete won taking away a bottle of fizz.

As usual it was a convivial occasion with 35 members and we raised a further £44.50 for the two charities that we supported in the recent coffee morning.

Our next event will be the Open Day on September 11th – make a note in your Diary.

Nia

Top Tasks for May

Plenty of Spring colour in the garden, and the grass is growing (which means mowing every week) as we are well into the busy season. The greenhouse is bursting at the seams with flower plants, rooted cuttings, overwintered tender plants and of course all the veg ready for planting out on the plot.

One of the best crops is ready now – asparagus – which means a daily visit to the plot to harvest the new spears and rush home to cook and eat them as soon as possible. I keep it simple and cook them on a griddle with butter and for a treat grate a bit of parmesan over the cooked spears – yummy.

Of course when I visit the plot for my asparagus, there are plenty of other jobs to get on with. All my onions, shallots and leeks have now been planted out (all grown from seed this year, rather than onion and shallot sets). I have also planted out quite a few brassicas – Brussels sprouts, purple sprouting, greyhound cabbage, cauli and dwarf kale; the plot is starting to fill up. I have also sown carrots, and planted out parsnips grown in tubes in the greenhouse – I use an old fork handle (OK that is not a cue for the Two Ronnies sketch!) and dib out a deepish planting hole which I fill with fine compost and plant the parsnip seedling in the compost and the theory is that I will have a crop of long straight roots.

Back home in the greenhouse the sweetcorn is starting to germinate, and the runner and French beans are all potted up, large enough to plant out but just waiting for the weather to warm up a bit. Also have two lengths of gutter planted with peas which are almost ready for planting out. Good job that the days are getting longer with all this planting to do …

And of course, we have our annual dinner at the Creigiau Golf Club next week and I look forward to seeing you all there.