Our New Shed

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.
SO PROUD!!
Steve

Autumn Newsletter 2019

  1. Summer BBQ – Our 2nd barbecue took place at Grant Burtons farm this summer and was a huge success with over 40 people enjoying the summer weather and the barbequed morsels. A big thanks to Grant and to everyone that made it a successful event
  2. Surplus Produce, Tools or Plants – If you have any of the above and you want to share them with your fellow allotmenteers, please leave them with a small notice under the notice board by plot 1 Alternatively go on line and register your offering on the website
  3. Gardening club Discounts – Thanks to Gill we should all now have our Association Membership Card. Just a reminder this also acts as a discount for Deans and Vertigro where you can save money on a wide range of gardening items
  4. New Track between snicket and Allotment Path – I am delighted to be able to tell you that sometime in September our contractor will be removing the grass in the centre of the track and laying and compressing planings The cost of this is just short of £1000 of which half comes from fund raising we did two years ago and the other half will be matched by the Parish Council. This should make access on the track more navigable
  5. Autumn Clean Up – At the end of a very busy growing season it will be time to clear and prepare the allotment for next Spring. Old vegetation should be dug up and composted where possible or incinerated if you have the appropriate container. Please do not dump allotment waste in the hedge bottom or in the Farmers field. As a good neighbour please make certain that weeds are not allowed to seed and spread to other allotments
  6. Manure – Please be aware that we are unable to confirm if we are likely to receive any free manure this year. But in case we do here are a few tips: Autumn is a good time to dig over the soil and SPARINGLY spread manure over the surface. Heavy mulching with manure will do more harm than good and potentially alter the PH level (acid/alkaline levels) making it impossible for some crops to grow. The onion and legume family do not like to be planted in freshly spread manure
  7. Rats – Rats and rabbits remain a potential problem and we ask all plot holders to remain vigilant and take appropriate action – that means making sure ALL GATES ARE CLOSED to keep rabbits out and taking care not to damage the perimeter fence
    Good housekeeping measures can deter rats, notably putting chicken wire under compost bins, removing piles of rubbish where rats can nest and avoiding areas of standing water where they can drink.
    As harvest time comes to an end the supply of food in the fields dwindles dramatically. Rats therefore look for an alternative source of food. Please ensure that all crops likely to attract rats e.g beans, sweetcorn, courgettes, marrows, pumpkins are harvested and taken off the plot asap. Please do not leave produce lying around.
    If you spot signs of rat infestation please notify Colin on 07922662824 who has a supply of rat bait.
  8. Trees – Should you have fruit trees on your allotment please can you check that these do not need pruning/lopping as they should not over shadow your neighbours’ plot. Recommended height should be 6-8 feet.
    Should you be thinking of growing fruit trees on your plot why not consider growing dwarf fruit trees
  9. Website – Report from the Editor, Wilberfoss Allotments web-site http://www.wilberfossallotments.uk/
    Wilberfoss Allotments Association Website and Twitter Account
    Although there has been relatively little activity in recent months with no new gardening articles added to the web-site, there continues to be a steady stream of visits to the site.
    The Twitter account also has well over 70 followers. So, the basis for a much more active on-line presence is there. But it needs more contributors and more time (which the editor has lacked over the last 6 months).
    So the editor is looking for:
    Volunteers who are knowledgeable about Twitter would be invaluable – as they could provide support in generating regular posts or suggesting re-tweets useful articles on the site.
    …And importantly, volunteers for a new team to meet once a month to add a new article to the site to coincide with the gardening calendar.
    If you are interested and can spare some time – please contact the editor at
    editor@wilberfossallotments.com
  10. AGM – 7th NOVEMBER, COMMUNITY CENTRE, WILBERFOSS STARTING AT 7.30PM prompt. If you would like to become a Committee member please contact Gill on 380725 before the AGM. Gill will send out a reminder before the due date. Please do try to attend your Allotment AGM
  11. D T Brown Catalogue – The Allotment Association have special prices from the above company equating to 50% off packet seed prices and 20% off onion, garlic type products (these discounts available on minimum Association volume) Catalogues should be available at the AGM
  12. Autumn Planting – it is possible to sow broad beans, onions and garlic around the end of September/October. Subject to the severity of the weather over winter you should get early crops next year. Your local garden centre should be able to supply and help with these items
  13. Inspection of plots– This will be carried out by two Members of the Committee and will take place in October.

Wilberfoss Allotment Committee

Autumn 2019

Spring Newsletter 2019

A very warm welcome to the Spring Newsletter!

  1. 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
  2. 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
  3. 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
  4. 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
  5. 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!
  6. 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
  7. 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
  8. 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
  9. 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

Spring 2019

 

Growing Tomatoes – ‘Blossom End Rot’

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!

Editor