Top Tasks for December

frostSo December has started off with a cold spell and hard frosts – the upside is that the days are lovely, blue skies, bright sunshine – great time to dress up warm and go for a good walk and enjoy the season.

I guess we will all be harvesting lots of veg this month for our Christmas dinner – sprouts, winter cabbage, parsnips and leeks – can’t wait, nothing tastes as good as home grown.

There aren’t too many tasks on the plot; you can still prune your fruit trees and currant bushes and get them into good shape for next year; also you can divide (and share) rhubarb crowns, giving the crowns a good mulch with manure when re-planted.  Net any brassicas still standing on the plot to keep off pigeons.  Bare root fruit trees and bushes can still be planted before the ground gets too frozen and hard.

If you haven’t planned next year’s crops, sit down with a mince pie or two and think about what you are going to grow, where and how many rows etc.  Also think about any improvements to your plot, such as edging the beds, adding a shed, water butt etc.

Finally, think about our New Year Social on 11th January and let me know if you are joining us as numbers need to be confirmed before Christmas.

New Year Social

The Social Committee have organised our Christmas/New Year Social, and I am pleased to say that we will be returning to Creigiau Golf Club where we had such a good time earlier this year.

The date is Wednesday 11 January 2017, 7.00pm for 7.30pm – the format will be a two-course hot buffet, at a cost of £15.00 each. 

This is a great venue, and the food is good and of course the company will be excellent, mixing with all your fellow allotmenteers discussing the size of Jack’s onions, how well your crops produced and what’s new for 2017.  I hope you can come along – we need to know numbers so please advise and also let us have your payment ASAP.  You can drop this into either Nia or myself (Creigiau) Glynis or Chris (Pentyrch).

Allotment Magazine

Please click below for the online turning pages version of Issue 4 of the Allotment magazine – happy reading!

Click here

Top Tasks for November

The Autumn weather has been kind to us so far – some bright sunny days and only a few chilly nights, but with the clocks going back and darker evenings there is less opportunity to get out on the plot or into the garden.  So take advantage of these dry days and get on with some of the following jobs –

Keep raking those leaves – can’t believe that in October tasks I actually said that I enjoyed this; well maybe the first couple of times it was fun but it seems that every day produces another couple of bags to be raked and shredded!

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Lovely Autumn colour, but those leaves will need raking up soon …

It is a good opportunity to clear all the rubbish from your plot, dig over the ground and prepare for next Spring’s planting; incorporate some good farmyard or horse manure so that it can rot down over the winter.

I have been busy working on the flower beds at home – clearing all the old annuals, and cutting down/splitting/moving perennials, and of course lifting the dahlia tubers.  It is a good time to re-arrange planting schemes for a refresh next year.

The Kings Seeds order has now been finalised, but if you missed out there are plenty of other seed catalogues dropping through the postbox for you to browse and place an order.

 

Action Weekend

The weather was dry and warm this weekend, so a reasonable turnout for our Autumn action weekend and clear-up.  Thanks to everyone who came along and helped out; there was plenty of clearing, and a bonfire on both days (but sadly no sausages!).  action-w-e-oct16-3

There was also a lot of mowing and strimming – thanks to John for bringing along his new ‘toy’.

It wasn’t all work though, there was ‘time off’ for a cuppa and a catch up with some old friends and a few new faces.

The one important project for the weekend, was to install a new water tank at the top end of the allotment (alongside Jack’s polytunnel).  This was possible thanks to Welsh Water who used the allotment to film a commercial earlier in the year, and generously paid a fee for the privilege.  I am pleased to say that the work was completed and it is a huge improvement on the previous arrangement – again thanks are due to Andrew and Mike for all their hard work, and of course all the other helpers. 

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New water tank – almost completed

If you weren’t able to come along, then I hope we will see you at the next Action Day.

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Social Events this Saturday

It could be a very busy day on Saturday – as well as our own Action weekend, there are two events locally which may also be of interest.  The first wildlife event is publicised by David Jones, our own wildlife tour guide; and the second event has been arranged by former allotmenteer and friend Kate Saunders. 

Saturday 8th October, 10am until 3.30pm National Museum of Wales, Cathays Park, Cardiff

‘Unknown Wales’ Wildlife Conference 

The Trust will again be hosting a one day wildlife conference in conjunction with the National Museum of Wales.  Talks will cover the BTO Garden Birdwatch, fungi, marsh fritillary butterflies, pine martins, insects of coal tips, and the effects of the Sea Empress oil spill on limpets.  A keynote speaker is the eminent palaeontologist Prof. Mike Benton from Bristol University who will be talking about mass extinctions and the rise of the dinosaurs.

Admission is free, but you must telephone 01656 724100 or email: info@welshwildlife.org in advance to book a place.  A full programme is available by clicking here.

Click on this link for a location map: National Museum of Wales 

 

Dear Friends 

I am delighted that Cantorion Creigiau has agreed to sing again to support the Mayagnan Children’s Fund. The concert will take place on Saturday, October 8th at Creigiau Golf Club at 8pm.

There will be no entrance fee, donations will be very welcome. You have been so very generous at our fundraising events, I hope you will be willing to help us again. Copies of Maggie’s report of our January 2016 visit will be available. We distributed $6579 while we were there and are sending regular payments to cover some salaries in the projects we help. You can find details of the Fund’s work on our website, http://www.mc-fund.org/ which also gives information about regular and one-off donations for those interested.

It should be a very enjoyable and relaxing evening.

I would be grateful if you could let me know if you will be coming. (02920 890250 or c.saunders227@btinternet.com

With very best wishes

Kate Saunders