The three Musketeers (Tam, Colin and Tony) dismantled the shed at the Community Centre and transported it with loving care to the Wilberfoss Allotments where with a lot off huffing and puffing it was erected onto pre laid paving slabs( thanks George for getting them for us) . Despite the fact the door was useless a new one was made and fitted within hours giving us a much needed storage space for the Association mower and other items.
A very warm welcome to the Spring Newsletter!
- New Plot Holders – If you see any of the following new members please do go over and introduce yourself:
Celine & John Durkin 2a
Roy & Linda Turner 12a
- Health & Safety/Plot Inspection – To maintain the Allotments as a safe environment we undertake an H&S review 2 or 3 times a year. This involves 2 people from the Committee inspecting the perimeter fence as well as gates to make certain they are as rabbit proof as possible. This also gives us an opportunity to see if there are any dangers lurking on the plots. The next review will take place end of April
- Allotment Track – As the track is in need of repair can we ask that you do not use vehicles on it until it is repaired and also refer you to the Dos and Don’ts which state that vehicles can only be used to drop off or collect items. Vehicles must then be taken home or parked on the hard standing (at the beginning of the Allotments) only. Thank you for your consideration
- BBQ – Last July saw us celebrate our 10th Anniversary by holding a BBQ at Grant Burton’s farm to the rear of the allotments. This was a huge success and we have been asked by Members if we could do a similar event this year. We therefore propose to do the same again in July and would ask that you contact Steve on 01759 380546 to register your interest
- Web Site – The Wilberfoss Allotments website goes from strength to strength with nearly half the members signed up to access the site – which will shortly restart providing regular gardening tips for the new season. The site is a steady source of enquiries about allotment availability from new residents and even some in the process of moving to Wilberfoss and has helped us ensure we have full occupancy on the site.
The Twitter account also continues to make progress with some 45 followers – if you aren’t amongst the followers of @wfossallotments on Twitter – why not get involved in the conversation!
- Gates – Please make certain that the 3 gates are closed as soon as you enter and exit the allotments. This will ensure that rabbits do not go in and destroy our crops
- Surplus Crop/Item Exchange – Please place exchange items by the shed for any allotmenteers to take, in addition to asking John to place on the Website
- Vacant Plots Do you know anyone who would like to grow their own fruits and vegetables and live in the Parish of Wilberfoss. If so get them to ring Gill on 01759 380725 as we have two plots available now
- D T Brown SeedsThis year again saw most people using the above and saving 50% of seeds and 25% on some non-seed items. This continues to be a helpful service offered to members of Wilberfoss Allotment Association.
Wilberfoss Allotment Committee
A common problem that has been affecting this year’s crop of tomatoes (for allotmenteers who have greenhouses – or those, like me, who are experimenting with outdoor varieties) is ‘blossom-end rot’.
What does this look like? – The condition can easily be recognised by the base of the fruit turning black as it matures and ripens.
What are the causes? It is important to realise this is not a bacterial disease nor is it caused by pests. It is actually a calcium deficiency in the plant. (Calcium is necessary for forming the skin of the fruit, and the blemishes occur when the plant is starved of calcium as the fruit is developing).
Why does it occur? Whilst it is possible that the lack of calcium could be a problem with your compost or insufficient feed applied to the plants at the right time, it is not difficult to work out why this condition is more prevalent this year. By far the most likely cause is erratic watering as the fruit develops – often unavoidable in the kind of drought conditions we have been experiencing. If the plant is allowed to dry out, it cannot absorb the calcium it needs. Be careful, though – over zealous watering can also have the same effect.
What can you do? Not much, I’m afraid – other than adjusting the watering. The good news is that the condition doesn’t affect the taste of the rest of the fruit – just cut off the affected parts and enjoy the remainder of your labours. The other upside is that it doesn’t necessarily mean that later fruit on the plant will be affected. If the plant gets the right amount of water, fruit now forming could well be fine.
How to avoid the problem in the future? Good quality compost will help but, as I’ve already indicated, not allowing the plant to dry out is the surest way to avoid the problem. Other things that might assist:
- Choose a variety that is resistant to the condition
- Plant the tomatoes out at the right time – planting too early when the soil is still cold can affect root growth which will exacerbate the problem
- Mulch the soil at the base of the plants to help retain moisture as the plants grow
- Feed the growing plants with a product designed for tomatoes – and resist the temptation to overfeed (this can be as bad as under-feeding!)
- Add crushed eggshells (high in calcium content) to your compost – most soil will not be short of calcium – but this won’t do any harm and could help if the condition persists
Hopefully, though, next year will not see such prolonged spells of high temperatures – with apologies to those who like it that hot!