1 July 2020 Newsletter

Dear Plotters
To start with, a reminder about our virtual AGM which takes place on Thursday 9th July at 8pm. You can find details about it, including the agenda, the relevant papers, and how to join the meeting by following the link to our SPAA website.

If you have questions to submit, please email me them at least 48 hours in advance to

The link to join the meeting will be sent to you by email before the meeting.

If you would like to be part of the committee, please contact me to talk about it or find out more from the website page above.

We welcome Alison Shorto to Plot 21 and Louise and Gary Seymour to Plot 8. They have joined just in time to get planting and have already made a great start!

There are still a few plants for sale in the polytunnel if you need to top up your stocks.

Remember to clean up after your dog! Please keep pets securely on your own plot.

We have paid for a delivery of manure, courtesy of Chandlers Farm. You are welcome to use this but I recommend that it rots down a bit more until the autumn. If you would like some, please make a donation (minimum £5 please) to the SPAA account at HSBC, Sort code 404709, Account number 91768190, marked ‘Manure’. If you would like to bag some up to store for later use, you are welcome to do so. If you use several barrowloads, please donate accordingly, as we would like to recoup our costs. Thank you.

Thank you to Terry and Duncan for tidying up the front verge and hedge and to all the Committee members for a recent working party.

July is a very important month for watering regularly, especially young seedlings and newly established plants, fruit and fruiting vegetables (like strawberries, raspberries, tomatoes and cucumbers), podded vegetables (like peas and beans), leafy vegetables (like spinach, lettuces, celery and salad leaves), potatoes, (especially when they are flowering), and plants grown in containers. Please use the water from the waterbutts before using the troughs if possible. Don’t sprinkle but soak well.

There is still time to sow fast-growing varieties of peas, beetroot and carrots. Sow spring cabbages, calabrese, Florence fennel. French beans, kale, kohl rabi, sprouting broccoli, Swiss chard and turnips.

Brussel sprouts, winter cabbages, autumn cauliflowers, endive, French beans, kale, leeks and sprouting broccoli. This is your last chance to plant out peas and beans as the pods may be unlikely to develop before the frosts if you leave it any longer. Dib in the leeks into holes and then fill the holes with water and let the soil gradually trickle down on its own.

French and runner beans, courgettes, carrots, beetroot, onions (towards the end of the month on a dry day), shallots, new potatoes and summer salads. Pick peas every other day before they become over-large and lift beetroot before they become woody. Runner beans are also best picked young. Cut Florence fennel with a knife one inch above the level of the ground and leave the stump in the soil. Within a few weeks, new feathery leaves will have sprouted which could be eaten in a salad. Inspect courgettes regularly so they don’t grow too large and become marrows!. Lift garlic bulbs as the leaves turn yellow and wilt. Spread them out in the sun to dry off. Lift shallots when the foliage has died back and dry in the same way. Globe artichokes are ready when the scale like leaves are still closed and before the purple flower starts to show. Cut your last rhubarb stems and then leave the plant to recover. The first crop of self blanching celery should be ready this month too. Water before digging up and this should help to keep the plants crisp.

Harvest summer raspberries, blueberries, currants and strawberries. Gooseberries and blackberries will also be ready.

Weed regularly. Water to prevent bolting, eg lettuces and spinach. Net against birds. Dry out onions and garlic; pinch out the tops of climbing beans so they don’t become top-heavy; spray runner beans with water to help the flowers set in dry weather; pinch out tomato side shoots found in the ‘v’ between the main stem and the side shoots; feed tomatoes and peppers when the first fruits have formed; cover the heads of cauliflowers by pulling the top leaves over the crown to stop them turning yellow; earth up celery, brassicas and potatoes if necessary. Make new plants from the runners of your strawberries by cutting them off and planting them in pots.

Whatever the weather, enjoy your month!

Best wishes
Claire Hamilton (SPAA Secretary)