If you’re not already sick of rhubarb, now is the time to stop pulling stalks. Stopping now gives the plant time to build up good stores for next year. It’s worth putting a little pelleted fertiliser around the plant and then just clear the leaves as they die back.
We’re forecast to have some really hot weather, so while you’re watering the crops, check the compost heap, if it’s too dry it won’t compost as well.
Don’t try growing dwarf lupins in them
I think the July issues of Kitchen Garden and Grow your Own are worth buying, not only do they have 6 packets of seeds each, they have Edinburgh focused articles. Kitchen Garden has Watercress, Kale, Chard, Carrots, Spring Onion and Beetroot and an article about the Contini (Valvona and Crolla) families Scottish Kitchen Garden. Grow Your Own has Broccoli, Turnip, Cabbage, Spinach Beet, Cauliflower and Sorrel and an article about the ‘grow your own project’ at the Edinburgh Botanic gardens. It will cost you £10 to buy both, but that’s less than a £1 a packet for the seeds ! well that’s how I justified buying both and now I’m just waiting for a rainstorm so I can settle down and read them.
John McKinlay has been killing off weeds on the community plot and has reported that Roundup was killing the horsetail (see pic).
He said “I tried it twice in case it was an accident. I applied the spray from directly above the weed. That way it hits more of the cone of the weed but I am thinking there might be pores in the plant that allows the weed killer to penetrate the horsetail. Roundup will be cheaper that that other, horsetail specific weed killer. Thought this might be of interest to those plot holders whose plots are affected by this weed.
John McKinlay can certainly sniff out a bargain, and those lovely lavender plants at £1.50, from Morrison were definitely sniffing good. They have very good sized herbs at £1.50 and others e.g. corgettes at 79p. Worth taking a look
At the meeting: Rod, John, Tom, Ian, Katy, Joan A, Mike, Elspeth.
a) Toilet – noted that that the matter had been referred to Ian Woolard (see minutes of April meeting) and that George had followed up by email. Since it was currently a very busy time of year for plot-holders, it was agreed that, if there was a negative response, the matter of how to take it forward would be reconsidered in the light of plot-holder demand. Plot-holders are asked to email an indication of whether they wish to see this progressed quickly, or not; and, if so, whether they are prepared to assist with maintenance and cleaning. Item to remain on the agenda for the next meeting.
b) Railways sleepers – Item to be carried forward to the next meeting.
c) Rubbish in the car-park – John has spoken with IW who advises that it is likely to be a matter for the City of Edinburgh Council; IW following up with CEC for clear-up.
d) Lamp post in the car-park – progress reported (in the shape of the observation by a sharp-eyed plot-holder of some measurement activity).
John undertook to check up on the current regulations regarding bee-hives on local authority sites: eg the need for someone to have the appropriate bee-keeping qualification, and the need to seek the appropriate level of agreement from plot-holders on site. Tom has held the necessary qualification and is prepared both to up-date that (if necessary) and also to host the hives on his own plot. Discussions to continue in the light of a further report from John.
- Replacement Bin
Joan A has emailed IW re the replacement bin key.
- AOB A) Communal plot – Joan and Ernie have carried out both a grass-cutting and a strimming exercise. Joan appealed for others to continue to cut the short grass areas when they need it; regular cutting by many will reduce the load on everyone and also make the cutting process easier. Discussion of weed eradication in the flower-bed. John has agreed to spray it, after removing some plants for safe-keeping. Rod will have a look at the generator to diagnose its ailment and Ian volunteered to bring in a spark-plug to see if it fits.
B) Compost bags – several of these remain. John recommended their use as carrot-planters or composters, and Tom had used one with great success for courgettes! Bags remain in the hut for another week; plot-holders please use or lose. C) Seed potatoes and onions – some spares have been donated by John. Anyone interested should help themselves (also from the hut).
- Date of next meeting – Saturday 14 June 2014.
Thanks to Elspeth for taking the minutes
I must admit to never having seen the great British bake off, but I might get hooked on the big allotment challenge. The contestants seem like a thoroughly nice bunch, but I’d be surprised if there’s not a battle of the beans as we get more into it. The challengers had only had their allotments for 13 weeks and they were allowed to bring their own soil improvers. The large range of crops they grew was impressive.
The contestants had three challenges:-
1. Grow three uniform radishes – Well I’m glad I’m not the only person who’s ever had problems growing a radish. I won’t spoil the surprise for those who want to catch it later, but there were tears !
2. The next challenge was to provide 7 perfect long stemmed sweet peas and to make a hand tied bouquet using even more sweet peas. I’ve never been a huge flower fan, but I’m keen to set aside a little patch for cut flowers.
3. The final challenge was to make a jam and a curd, using their home grown produce. There were some surprising combinations. Someone tried to make tomato jam, which wasn’t a great success and the use of cornflower to thicken the curd was a definite no no. The rhubarb and custard curd looked yummy and apparently a few crushed coriander seeds will really bring out the taste of blueberries.
As with all these shows someone had to go, and I was a little sad, as I rather liked them. They were obviously gutted to be leaving, and there were more tears on the way !
1. Matters Arising
A) Toilet – update.
B) Community Plot – maintenance – Joan A.
C) Bee hives – progress?
E) Plot Website
2. Damaged fence at the bottom plot – Keith
4) Date of next meeting Saturday 10 May 2014.
Saturday 11 May 2013
Tom (Chair), Alex, John Mc., Susan, Norma, Katie, Keith, Neil, Joan P., Ian, Katy, George (Minutes)
1. Matters arising from the last minutes.
A) Water Supply. This had now been fixed.
B) Bin Uplift. Bins now being uplifted every week. Agreed to remind plotholders not to overfill the bin as it will then not be uplifted. George will put up notice.
2. Woodchip complaint. A neighbour had complained about the woodchip pile in the car park. The Council had been informed and had inspected. Agreed we would encourage plotholders to take as much as quickly as possible.
3. Date for the BBQ. Agreed to hold the next BBQ on Saturday 10 August
4. Removal of Trees. John reported that this had been raised at a FEDEGA meeting at which Ian Woolard had been present. Ian said that trees would be removed by the end of the month. The trees would be chipped on the spot. Agreed that we would like some logs for the Communal Plot to provide wildlife habitat and maybe a site for mushroom spores.
5. Thefts. A hose had been stolen from one of the plots. Agreed it was important to report all thefts to this committee.
6. Compost deliveries. John Mc offered to store empty bags in his small shed. We can use them to get money off our next delivery.
7. Maintenance of the Communal Plot. Agreed on a “High Five” approach. Plotholders asked to give five minutes of their time to help with jobs needing done.
Grass cutting – strimmer available in toilet block
Painting toilet block
Tidying, weeding beds
Putting woodchip on path
Agreed George would put up notice
8. Date of next meeting. Saturday June 8, 2013 at 11.00
NOTICE TO ALL PLOT-HOLDERS If you haven’t been sent a copy of these minutes & would like a regular copy in future, then please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org