1 July 2021 Newsletter

Dear Plotters,

Welcome to the summer season at Calico Field! We are in full growing spate with produce now being harvested in spite of the waterlogged conditions. It’s also a busy month for SPAA events: don’t forget that our AGM will be taking place on Thursday 8th July at 8pm. The minutes of last year’s meeting are to be found on the website, (swallowfieldallotment.org) as well as the agenda (published in last month’s Newsflash) and there are details of job descriptions for the officers and committee members. You will find the relevant sections by following the links from the Home Page. We are looking for replacement members for the Committee, as several people are standing down this year. Please consider whether you could help run our organisation; no special skillset needed! The meeting will be a virtual one again this year and details of how to join in will be sent to you.

Please could you settle your bills for manure and plant sale items before the AGM as this is required to be able to present the accounts accurately. Thank you. 
Payment details are as follows:
HSBC Sort code: 404709
Acct No: 91768190
Acct Name: Swallowfield Parish Allotments Association
Reference your payment as Manure or Plants accordingly.

If you have questions that you’d like to raise at the meeting, please could you submit these 48 hours in advance via committee@swallowfieldpaa.org.
Thank you.

10 Year Summer Celebration BBQ Saturday 24th July 5pm
Don’t forget to book your tickets online in advance via our website swallowfieldallotment.org. Details can be found by following the links from the Home Page. Tickets cost £5 per adult and £3 per child. (You can pay by BACS, marked PARTY, or leave a cheque, payable to SPAA, in the cardboard box in the open shed.) There will be a varied, eat all you like, menu – including a glass of bubbly and birthday cake. This is a family occasion not to be missed and we going to celebrate the hard work of the founder members and all they achieved. Please book in advance by 20th July, using the form on the website. We hope to see you there!

The Working Party last weekend saw a small but dedicated turnout; many thanks go to Caroline and Nick, Amy, Duncan and Nick K. The public footpath was tackled by Peter (plot 11) for which we are very grateful. I hope you will notice the difference after the removal of brambles and the front verge was tidied up. There are still some unfinished jobs to do, however. May I remind you that you must mow the paths surrounding your plot as the mower cannot get down the smaller alleys. 
Depositing of weeds is not permitted on the bonfire
as this causes accumulation of soil. You will notice that the bonfire has been burnt but this is fast becoming a depository for all kinds of debris. Please compost your own green waste on site or take it home with you. Thank you.

Some members have asked that the left hand bolt on the main gates should not be dropped, as it makes it difficult to open from the outside. Please only secure the right hand bolt as you leave. Thanks.

We have experienced strange weather conditions this year, so sowing and harvesting may not follow the usual patterns! 
VEGETABLES TO SOW OUTSIDE could still include beetroot, spring cabbages, calabrese, carrots, French beans and peas, kale, Kohl rabi, winter radishes, Swiss chard and turnips.
It’s a great time to sow a variety of salads, including chicory, endive, lettuces, rocket and spring onions.
If you have harvested your broadbeans, garlic, onions and shallots, you may want to use the space for transplanting any Brussels sprouts, winter cabbages and autumn cauliflowers that you have grown from seed.
PLANT OUT: French beans, kale, leeks and sprouting broccoli.
HARVEST: young runner beans, broadbeans and French beans whilst the flavour is best and they are tender.
Keep an eye on your courgettes and marrows to prevent them from growing exponentially! Harvest second earlies and lift beetroot before they become too woody, likewise, kohl rabi. Harvest the last of your rhubarb and then let it recover.


  • Lift onions, garlic and shallots when the leaves have started to die back. Ease the soil from around the roots and choose a dry spell of weather to lift the bulbs and lay them on the ground in the sun to dry before storing them.
  • Pinch out the tops of climbing beans when they reach the tops of the canes.
  • Pinch out side shoots from tomatoes and the growing tips of the plants once 4 or 5 trusses have formed.
  • Regularly feed tomatoes and peppers as soon as the first fruits have formed.
  • Cover heads of cauliflowers by pulling the outside leaves over them and tying them in place to keep the heads white.
  • Earth up brassicas to keep them stable.
  • Earth up celery and endives to keep the stems out of the light.
  • Take cuttings of herbs for propagation.
  • Tidy up summer strawberries by clearing away old foliage and cutting off the runners.
  • Summer prune gooseberries and currants after fruiting.
  • Water regularly and keep on top of the weeds!

Enjoy your gardening and harvesting –  and see you at the BBQ!
Best wishes
Claire Hamilton