1 February 2023 Newsletter

Dear Plotter

Well, the flooding at Calico Field has subsided, but the ground is still very sodden and there was plenty of ice around at the weekend. So I guess we’ll have to wait a bit longer before we start the great winter clear up and attempt to plant anything out!

The new date for the rearranged working party is now Saturday 11th February from 9.30am. This date will also be the time for disinfecting the polytunnel so please remove your plants temporarily- or better still, come along and help out on the day and then you can put your plants back in, once everything has dried off again. Thank you.

Here’s an advance heads up too: various members of the Committee, having done more than their turn, are thinking of coming off to give other members a chance. So please think about volunteering because we need to share out the responsibility of keeping the allotments alive and well and we need you to put yourselves forward for the committee come the AGM in August. Contact me if you want to find out more information about any of the roles. Thank you.

Although your plot may not be ready yet for sowing and planting outside, think about getting ahead with some sowings indoors, ready for planting out in the spring.

SOW INDOORS: broad beans in pots; early varieties of Brussels sprouts, kohl rabi and sprouting broccoli in deep modules; leeks, peas in drain pipes, radishes and spinach.  For pickings in May and June, sow lettuces in modules or biodegradable pots, thin out the seedlings and then plant out under cover next month, protecting them from the cold with cloches or fleece.

cloves of garlic, Jerusalem artichokes, turnips and peas if you have pre-warmed the soil. 

HARVEST: kale, swedes, leeks and sprouts. Parsnips don’t mind too much cold, but cover with straw or bracken for extra protection. Lift celeriac and winter cabbages when you need them. Lift the last of your Jerusalem artichokes.


  • Continue prepring your ground by digging and manuring when the weather allows.
  • Buy your seed potatoes and start chitting them in eggboxes in a cool room
  • Order new asparagus crowns
  • Finish winter pruning gooseberries, currants and blueberries. Feed and mulch them.
  • Cut autumn fruiting raspberries down to the ground and lightly trim summer fruiting ones.
  • Check all stakes, wires and netting.

Keep safe and well and let’s look forward to the new season!

Best wishes
Claire Hamilton
(SPAA Secretary)