1 March 2022 Newsletter

It was nice to see the lovely weekend weather bringing out plotters onto Calico Field for some exercise and fresh air. Fortunately, not too much damage was caused by the storms of last week, although a black compost bin was found blowing around the central aisle which has been placed in the shed for safety. Please claim it if it is yours.

Now the spring weather is approaching, we shall be getting on with some jobs around the site. The next working party will be held on Saturday 19th March at 9.30am and will include repairs to the polytunnel, tackling the brambles at the back of the sheds and along the boundaries, and levelling off the bonfire area.

Please come with spades, secateurs and hedge choppers and a thick pair of gloves! All help is very welcome, even if you can only spare half an hour. As you know, site maintenance is our responsibility and everyone needs to lend a hand. Refreshments will be provided! Thank you.

We are delighted to tell you that Saturday 14th May will be our Open Morning. We have been unable to hold this event for the last 2 years so it would be wonderful if you could think about how you could help with our fundraising event, either as a stall holder or as a contributor of cakes and plants! Please think about growing extra seedlings to donate, especially sweet peas, tomatoes, chillies, peppers and beans. If you have strawberry runners, plant them up. If you are growing flower seedlings/cuttings, please could you spare a few? All funds raised subsidise new wheelbarrows, pay for the servicing of the mower and other equipment, repairs to the sheds and infrastructure, gravel for the carpark and so on. Your help is vital to keep our funds healthy.

More details will follow about the event but in the meantime, please save the date!

We welcome 2 new plot holders, Liz onto Plot 4A and Bryony onto 4B. Don’t forget to say hello to them when you see them and give them lots of encouragement!

If you have green waste or brushwood to dispose of, the new hoppers at the back of the manure are now ready for use, Please do not leave anything on the old bonfire area as this needs to be levelled. We would encourage you to continue to compost or remove your own green waste as necessary. Thanks to John, our committee Site Manager, for working so hard to clear and construct the new hoppers.

Please remember to pay for your manure. We ask for a donation of £1 per barrow. Thank you.

March is a major month for sowing seeds. Why not think about sowing flowers to encourage bees and pollinating insects?  If you have prepared your beds by covering them up to warm them, it is possible to sow peas and broad beans outdoors now and carrots and turnips can be sown outdoors but under cloches or cold frames. (Remember, no glass is allowed on site, please.)

VEGETABLE SEEDS TO SOW OUTDOORS: cabbages, (summer, autumn and red),
leeks, calabrese, parsnips, spinach, spring onions and sprouting broccoli.
VEGETABLE SEEDS TO SOW OUTDOORS UNDER COVER: beetroot, cucumbers, lettuces, summer radishes and rocket.
VEGETABLE SEEDS TO SOW INDOORS: aubergines, Brussels sprouts, cabbages, celeriac, celery, chillies and peppers, cucumbers, globe artichokes, kohl rabi, lettuces, sweet potatoes and tomatoes.
VEGETABLES TO PLANT OUTDOORS: asparagus, garlic sets, onion sets. first early potatoes (after chitting them first in an eggbox in a light room), rhubarb sets, shallot sets and spinach.
FRUIT TO PLANT OUTDOORS: blackberries, cranberries, gooseberries and currants, grape vines, raspberries and strawberries.
HARVEST: forced rhubarb, the last Brussels and the last winter cabbages; lift any remaining parsnips; pick the first of your new Swiss chard and sprouting broccoli and any spring onions sown last summer which have overwintered. Keep picking kale and add to soups or stews.


  • Rake seed beds ready for sowing and apply fertiliser.
  • Feed overwintering crops such as kale and spring cabbages.
  • Start weeding.
  • Make runner bean and celery trenches.
  • Remove rhubarb cloches
  • Cover strawberries with cloches to promote flowering for an early crop but remove, once flowers form, for pollination to occur.
  • Finish winter pruning of gooseberries, blackcurrants and blueberries and cut down all autumn raspberry canes to the ground.

If you need any help or advice, don’t hesitate to ask!

Enjoy your month!

Best wishes

Claire Hamilton