HAND MADE PRODUCTS FOR YOUR HOME
Carruthers was a founder member of the Allotment Society and, living somewhere east of Moorfield Rd, is known as our Far-Eastern Correspondent.
January and February are quiet times, but there are still a few things to be done, even on the plot, weather permitting.
Now is the time to finish the winter tidy-up on the plot. Cut down primocane (autumn-fruiting) raspberries to ground level and mulch them well to keep down the weeds.
Get round to digging a bean trench. Although it's months until it's time to plant out tender beans, a trench prepared now will get them off to a great start. Dig a trench a foot (30cm) deep and line it with layers of newspaper or old cardboard. Then fill it with vegetable peelings, old pet bedding etc. and cover with soil. The vegetable matter will compost down, generating warmth for the soil and a great moisture-retaining base for your bean seedlings in June.
On wet days take a look at your seed trays and pots; give them a good clean if you didn't do it in the autumn. Ditto garden tools, which can also be sharpened/mended/oiled as necessary.
Finally, don't forget to buy and chit seed potatoes. These need to be put in the light as soon as they arrive (old egg boxes are good for this). They should sprout sturdy greenish shoots about 1cm long before planting out at the end of March.
Now retired from active plotting, Carruthers is also a star cook, inspiring (or testing) seasonal recipes from the veg garden.
Give them a try...
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We still have a few 1.6 m round fence posts in stock in the members' store shed. The price is £5 for three,
please email if interested; DAS members only.
Soil improver and potting compost
We have a stock of Dalefoot wool and bracken-based composts. Not the cheapest, but very special. The double-strength soil improver is brilliant for moisture retention in our sandy soil - great for boosting a raised bed. The potting compost is fantastic stuff; makes a real difference to young plants. £7 a 30 litre bag (normally retails over £10).
We have our usual supply of Groworganic fertiliser. This is the equivalent of 6X in the garden centres and is available for £7 a bag (enough for a half plot) to DAS members.