Allotment Magazine

The first issue of the Allotment Magazine for 2019 has just been published.  Please click on this link to read the online ‘turning pages’ version.

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Creigiau Spring Clean 2019

A small group of residents has been formed to begin the process of Litter Picking events and improving some of the green areas around the village. The first Litter Picking day has been arranged for Saturday 16 February, with the full support of Keep Wales Tidy who will be in attendance to help and advice and provide all necessary equipment.

If you are interested in joining in, please come along to the Recreation Ground at 9.45am for a 10.00am start.  Everyone welcome, please make the effort to help keep our village tidy.

Top Tasks for February

Snowdrops

Its snowdrop season – one of the first signs that winter is drawing to a close.  If you are lucky enough to have clump in the garden, then divide them after flowering and replant to increase your stock.  It is always best to do this when snowdrops are ‘in the green’.

I’ve already noticed that the days are getting longer, and I’m impatient to get on with things in the garden and on the plot; however it is easy to get carried away so keep an eye on the weather and plant accordingly.

Whatever the weather there is plenty to sow indoors, such as tomatoes, broccoli and Brussels sprouts, leeks and onions; all of these seeds will benefit from a propagator but a warm window sill will also do the trick – make sure they get plenty of light to avoid your seedlings getting ‘leggy’.

In the meantime, spend some time preparing the plot – dig over the soil, incorporating homemade compost or manure, or give your beds a dressing of general fertiliser, then cover the beds to warm the soil and keep weed free, ready for all your seedlings.

If there is any room left in the propagator (or windowsill) then you can also start sowing hardy annuals for the flower borders – and also a few for the allotment to attract bees and other pollinators.

I hope that you were able to take part in the RSPB Birdwatch in January; the birds were certainly busy in my garden.  Keep looking after our feathered friend, keeping feeders topped up, de-frosting bird baths on frosty mornings, and give any nesting boxes a good clean. 

Finally a reminder that it is the allotment AGM on Thursday 21 February at Creigiau Church Hall, 7.30pm start.  All papers will be sent out ahead of the meeting.

 

 

RSPB Birdwatch

The RSPB Birdwatch weekend takes place over the weekend of 26-28 January.  For more information and to sign up visit the RSPB website

Top Tasks for January

Cloche coverA Happy New Year to all allotmenteers – now that the festivities are over it’s time to plan for the coming season

  • Although the soil is still too cold for direct sowing, you can sow seeds in a greenhouse ready for planting out in a month or so when things start to warm up (I hope)
  • If you are impatient to start on the plot, warm up the soil with either cloches or polythene sheets – after a few weeks, rake the soil and sow hardy veg such as peas, broad beans and summer cabbage and then cover the cloches
  • Sort out your seeds, throwing away empty or out-of-date packets
  • Plan this year’s crop rotation
  • Tidy up the greenhouse and clear out all the rubbish, get rid of any broken pots, old compost or debris that could hide pests; also ventilate the greenhouse on sunny days to prevent humidity
  • Keep bird feeders topped up
  • It’s a good time to put up new next boxes ready for the nesting season – try to position them facing north-east to avoid direct sunlight

 

Top Tasks for December

Christmas vegThere are plenty of demands and shopping to do this month, and consequently not much time to spend on the plot; also daylight hours are short but the shortest day is 21 December so longer days on the horizon.

If you find yourself with some spare time there are a few jobs for you –

  • Priority is Christmas veg, hopefully you all have plenty of tasty crops for your Christmas dinner – parsnips, sprouts, leeks and winter cabbage.
  • Keep all your brassicas covered with netting to deter the hungry pigeons of Creigiau; also remove yellow leaves so that mould and mildew don’t take hold.
  • Most of us have rhubarb crowns at the allotments, and now is a good time to divide them and maybe share them with someone who doesn’t have any, or maybe a different variety – it won’t be long until rhubarb crumble time, especially if you force a crown in early Spring.
  • It’s a good time to hard prune shrubs and hedges whilst they are dormant, and then mulch after pruning.
  • An indoor job – tidy the shed and clear out any rubbish, check over your tools and carry out any maintenance, oiling etc.
  • Finally, don’t forget the wildlife; top up bird baths, keep topping up feeders and keep a couple of ‘untidy’ areas to enable hedgehogs to hibernate.