1 February 2022 Newsletter

Winter jobs are happening down on Calico Field! The wheel barrows are due for a service before the Spring and the polytunnel will be disinfected on February 4th. After this date, you are welcome to start to use it again. You will also have seen that John, (Committee member on Plot 16) has done a great job taking the wood and discarded pallets to the tip and levelling off the bonfire area. He is going to create a separate composting hopper so that we can phase out the bonfire because of environmental concerns. So please do not use the bonfire area at present, instead, composting or removing your own green waste.  We have had donations of 3 compost bins so if you would like one, please let a Committee member know. Thank you.

This year, the Committee has decided that, due to the fact we now have a waiting list for plots, (something which has not generally happened before in the history of the Association), SPAA can no longer afford to be as flexible as we have in the past in the interpretation of the Licence Agreement and the obligations of  members to keep their plots under cultivation and properly maintained. Therefore, we shall be asking you to refamiliarise yourselves with the terms of your Licence Agreement and to follow its terms more closely.  This means that your plot must be properly cultivated and in good condition. Currently, there are several plots which do not meet these requirements. As the season gets under way, if any member would like assistance in ensuring that their plot meets the requirements as set out in the Licence Agreement, please contact a Committee member. 

The Licence Agreement also states that non- parishioners should be given a 3 year licence, which may be renewed only if there is no parishioner on the waiting list. From now on, this rule will be more strictly applied to new members. Current members who live outside the parish will continue to be able to cultivate their plot, providing they maintain their plot in accordance with the terms of their Licence Agreement.

I hope you agree that this is a fairer way to proceed in the future for everyone and the Committee thanks you for your understanding.

February can be colder and wetter than December or January, so you have to hedge your bets as to what you can sow or plant at this time of year.

The best thing is to continue to prepare the ground by mulching or manuring your beds. (£1.00 per wheel barrow load if you use the manure provided by SPAA.)

If the soil is not too wet or frozen, you could sow broad beans, peas and garlic, shallot and rhubarb sets, bare rooted fruit bushes, grape vines and Jerusalem artichokes. But there is no rush; all of these could wait until early next month.

Broad beans and peas can be sown in pots or in modules. For an early crop of spinach, sow a fast growing crop indoors and plant out in March. Winter salad leaves, such as rocket or chicory, kale and chard, can be sown in a greenhouse or under a cold frame.


  • Buy your seed potatoes and then begin to chit them in egg boxes indoors in a cool, light room.
  • Force rhubarb and chicory by covering the crowns with a pot.
  • Protect cauliflowers from frost by tying their leaves over the developing heads.
  • Order new asparagus crowns and prepare the bed very thoroughly, ready for planting out in March or April.
  • Cut down autumn fruiting raspberries to the ground.
  • Feed and mulch fruit bushes.
  • Repair fences and supports.
  • Spread compost or manure onto your beds.

Let’s hope the weather warms up a little, heralding the Spring in all its glory and a new cycle of sowing and growing!

Best wishes

Claire Hamilton
(SPAA Secretary)