1 February 2021 Newsletter

Dear Plotters

Thank you to those of you who have paid for your manure. I am expecting a delivery of wood chippings this week which will be free for you to use, thanks to Oliver of Heartwood Trees. Unfortunately, the recent rain and snow has not yet proved conducive for this delivery, so let’s hope for less inclement weather in the next few days.

The Polytunnel will be disinfected during the week beginning Monday 8th February. Please could you temporarily remove or cover all plants before this date.  Thank you.

The First Aid Kit has been renewed and replenished. It is located in the first open shed on the right hand side in a big green box on the table. There are now signs around the site to remind you of its location in an emergency. Please fill in the accident book if you need to use it and replace the lid tightly. Thank you.

The new Certificate of Insurance is also displayed in the shed; thanks to Robert, our Treasurer,  for renewing this for us. The updated Health and Safety matrix will shortly also find its way on to the notice board in the shed. Last month, I gave you a summary of the risks so please read them and continue to take care when moving round the site and using equipment.

February is an unpredictable month, veering between balmy, spring-like days and bitter wind and snow. It has also been extremely wet, so there is not much you can do on your plot until the waters subside! 
However, think about starting off some seedlings indoors to give them a head start.

SOW INDOORS: broad beans, Brussels sprouts, globe artichokes, kohl rabi, leeks, lettuces, peas, radishes, spinach, sprouting broccoli and even tomatoes.  Early varieties can be sown in modules or pots and then transplanted outside under cloches or when the ground has warmed up.
SOW OUTDOORS: broad beans, garlic, Jerusalem artichokes, peas, rhubarb sets, shallot sets and turnips, but only if the ground is not saturated or frozen.

HARVEST: cabbages, cauliflowers, Brussels sprouts and kale, leeks, celeriac, parsnips and swede.

If the weather allows, continue spring digging and spreading manure or compost. Continue chitting potatoes spread out in egg boxes in a cool, light room; if the chits look pale and spindly, then the room is probably too warm or too dark. Order new asparagus crowns and prepare the bed well with lots of well rotted compost. Finish pruning autumn raspberries by cutting the stems down to the ground. Mature blueberries may need a little trim too. Repair netting over winter cabbages and remove dead leaves from Brussels and other brassicas. Buy your onion sets and think about sowing/planting some flowers to attract bees!

Have a good month and hope to see you soon!