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.
At the time of writing (mid-June) it's one of the hottest days of the year and watering properly is a priority on the veg plot. We are fotunate here in Duxford to have sandy soil which, although it dries out more rapidly, needs less water at a time.
Once plants are established and putting on growth they need less water than you might think. A good general guide is to water one can (10 litres) to a square metre every 10-14 days (if there is no rain) is a general guide. Aim to water to a depth of 30cm; avoid sprinkling the top 1cm every day as this encourages roots to the surface, where they will dry out more quickly. In other words, making a rod for your own back! Take a look at the RHS's guidance on watering for more tips.
One good thing about dry summer weather is that fewer weeds germinate! Keeping on top of hoeing now will save more onerous weeding when those tiny weed seedlings suddenly sprout into foot-high triffids afer rain. If you can, hoe in the morning on a dry day, chopping the weeds off just under the soil, and leave everything to dry out.
Sowing and planting
There's still time to sow plenty of vegetables, such as carrots, all salad leaves, beans and herbs such as basil. However take care with spinach and salad rocket from now until August; these crops tend to bolt when its hot and dry. Lettuce is best grown in situ now and thinned to final growing distances. It may well bolt if transplanted from a seed bed after June. Keep all new sowings and plantings well watered until established (see above).
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.