March Allotment Tips
March 3, 2014
The allotment stakes are raised a little higher this month. The calendar tells us this is the beginning of a busy period of the allotment year. Yet after the almost incessant spells of wet weather and high winds many of us have had other things on our mind.
Experience teaches us to be patient. This is no rush, nature is a great leveller. We know it will all come good in the end!
It is worth checking the condition of your shed, outbuildings and greenhouse or polytunnel for any storm damage and making the necessary repairs after the recent weather. I’ve had some felt ripped off my shed roof-something that needs dealing with before it gets worse.
GROWING FOR SHOWING – potatoes, onions and garlic
February 18, 2014
I was doing so well. Most of the seeds and plants are ordered and now I’m awaiting delivery. Great. My potatoes are chitting beautifully and have recently made the short move from garage ( bright windowsill) to inside the house and the spare bedroom.
A Suttons Letter from the Past
February 14, 2014
Suttons was formed back in 1806 and has held the Royal Warrant since 1858. So we’re pretty old and over the years must have issued thousands of different catalogues, letters, etc. Our wonderful customers often kindly send in contributions for our archives and many of these are really interesting.
One such letter was received this week. A customer found a letter from Suttons, known then as The Royal Seed Establishment, in her grandfather’s wallet and thoughtfully sent a copy to us. Thank you Mrs Patten! The letter is dated 19th December 1911 and unfortunately the copy is not very clear so I have transcribed it below:
How to choose a raised bed
February 6, 2014
There are lots of benefits to raised bed gardening. If you don’t have space for a traditional vegetable plot, raised beds allow you to grow more in a confined space. Raised beds are easy to cultivate without having to tread on the soil, so the ground won’t become compacted, and if you buy three or four they make organising crop rotation a doddle. But perhaps their greatest asset is that they allow you to grow plants in otherwise unfavourable growing conditions. So if your soil is naturally shallow, poorly drained or just poor quality, raised beds could be the answer. However, do remember that you’ll have to fill up the beds with good-quality soil, or a mix of soil and garden compost.
Of course, you can make your own raised beds from just about anything, but, for those short of time or not gifted with DIY skills, there are a number of ready-made kits in the shops. Along with traditional wooden raised beds, plastic, metal or willow versions are also available.
February Allotment Tips
February 5, 2014
Allotment sites across the country are slowly waking from their winter slumber. My biggest challenge at this time of year is to contain my enthusiasm! Something for us all to remember is winter could yet have a sting in its tail. There is little to be gained by getting too far ahead of ourselves. Yet, still, I can’t wait to get stuck in, with all the exciting jobs ahead.
Already, Rhubarb is breaking into leaf. Winter garlic, onions and broad beans are growing strongly. Snowdrops and Crocus are out.
January 27, 2014
What a strange winter we’re having. Down here in Devon we’ve had even more rain than usual and winds strong enough to make Dorothy and Toto run for cover. But no snow. Up here on Dartmoor we always have snow in December or early January but nothing’s happened yet. The toboggans sit dejected.
A bouncy castle or ingenious water storing device?
January 21, 2014
Watering your garden can sometimes be a bit of a challenge so imagine trying to water a field full of thirsty veg and flowers. A couple of water butts just won’t do it, and the cost of water (even with all the rain) can be extortionate. This is why we have added a water pillow to our trial grounds here in Devon.