The weather was kind to us for our Open Morning and we had a small but appreciative number of people who turned up to buy plants and enjoy the refreshments at the SPAA cafe. The raffle prizes were greatly sought after; many thanks to Sue for putting together such a tempting array of goodies and to Bill, Brian, Duncan, Helen, Caroline and Nick, Lucinda and Linda, as well as all the committee members, who put in a lot of hard work setting up and running stalls. We have made in the region of £400 for our funds so thank you to all of you who contributed cakes and tombola/raffle items.
There are still a few plants for sale in the polytunnel. You can leave money in the Honesty Box or pay by BACS. I shall be removing the remnants at the end of the first week of June.
You will have noticed that another pile of good quality wood has arrived for which we are asking you to contribute £1 for each plank, or £1 for 10 thin slats. The prices are clearly posted up.
May I ask you also to pay for any manure you have had; the pile has gone down considerably but our coffers do not appear to have swelled, so this is a reminder to you to settle up, please!
Our AGM is coming up soon and will be held in the Rose Room on Thursday 13th July at 8pm. Refreshments will be served. This is your chance to have your say and to help decide the future of the allotments. You will receive a letter before then because there are various important issues which need your input. Further details will be given.
Our next working party will be held on Saturday 17th June from 9.30am. There will be hedges to be trimmed and vegetation to be cut back, so please bring choppers, loppers and thick gloves.
WHAT TO DO IN JUNE:
This year, seeds have been difficult to germinate but, with warmer weather in sight, it’s still not too late to sow again. Now that the risk of frost has lessened, you can begin to harden off young plants and then get them in the ground.
SEEDS TO SOW OUTSIDE:
Continue sowing beetroot, a few at the beginning of the month and some at the end of the month, to give you a supply through to September or October. This is the last chance to sow carrots. Sow courgette, summer squashes and marrows directly into the ground, now that the soil has warmed up. Sow a second wave of French beans and try sowing cucumbers outside too. Sow broccoli (calabrese and sprouting), Florence fennel, kale, Kohl rabi, peas, pumpkins, swedes, Swiss chard and turnips. Don’t forget to do successive sowings of salad leaves, spring onions and radishes.
VEGETABLES TO PLANT OUT:
Harden off all seedlings before planting in the ground! Plant out aubergines at the end of the month, Brussels sprouts and cabbages, cape gooseberries, cauliflowers, celeriac and celery, chicory and courgettes, marrows, pumpkins and beans. Plant out new bare- rooted strawberry runners. Plant out tomatoes but protect with open ended plastic bottles, a windbreak or a cloche. Dib in your leeks using a dibber, place them into a deep hole and back- fill with water.
JOBS FOR JUNE:
- Weed and hoe regularly to keep young plants from being engulfed.
- Water regularly; a little and often is best.
- Mulch with compost, manure or bark chippings to suppress weeds.
- Check your nets are secure and won’t entrap birds.
- Feed tomatoes as soon as the first flowers appear.
- Earth up potatoes.
- Cut down broad bean and pea plants after harvesting but leave the roots in the ground to enrich the soil with nitrogen.
- Feed your asparagus now they have finished cropping but leave the fronds to flower and don’t cut down until the autumn.
- Summer prune gooseberries, red and white currants by cutting back to 5 leaves all this year’s lateral shoots.
- Remove raspberry suckers.
- Tie in blackberries.
- Prune side shoots of grape vines.
- Remove yellowing leaves from brassicas.
- Check strawberries for grey mould, especially in wet weather, and remove and destroy infected fruit.
- Enjoy picking your crops and eating them!!