Learning Day for Leeds Allotment Plotholders
RSPB’s annual bird count. Everyone can take part.
Cover leeks, onions, garlic through November.
Between Nov. and early March in UK.
Winter pruning of apples and pears is best done while the trees are dormant, usually between November and early March in the UK. Here are three useful articles from the RHS that explain what to do for different types of pruning:
- For young standard or bush-trained trees
- Regulated pruning to keep trees from getting too big
- For renovating old or neglected trees
A good use for a giant cucumber
A good way to use up that cucumber that hid away behind the leaves and grew into a giant. Sally adapted the original recipe from our ancient “Menus & Recipes for Vegetarian Cooking” from Sunset Magazine.
- 3 tbs butter
- A cucumber, peeled, seeded (if necessary) and sliced.
- 3 medium potatoes, peeled and cut into 2 or 3 cm chunks
- 2 cups lettuce leaves, coarsely sliced
- 4 spring onions, including tops, thinly sliced
- 3 cups vegetable stock
- 1 tsp dill weed
- 1.5 cups milk
- 1 cup natural yogurt
- Salt + pepper
- Fresh dill sprigs or parsley
Melt the butter in a large pan and sauté the cucumber and potatoes for 4 or 5 minutes, then add the lettuce, spring onions, dill and stock and simmer until the potatoes are done. Purée the soup, and stir in the milk and yogurt. Heat it to the serving temperature, season, and garnish with dill or parsley.
It affects allotments, too.
Several people have pointed out that the itv article was incorrect (thanks!), and we are allowed to water our food crops with a hosepipe:
A hosepipe can be used for watering food crops but not for general flowers and plants. Where you can, we’d encourage you to use a watering can to save on the volume of water which is used through traditional hosepipes. It’s best to water in the morning or evening, as that means the water won’t evaporate quickly in the sunshine.Yorkshire Water web site.
Watering dry, bare soil requires patience. It can take a long time for the water to soak in, as shown in this clever little video.
A layer of mulch helps prevent evaporation from the soil, and it also helps the soil soak up water more quickly. I’ve seen a great little video showing this, but I can’t find it just now…
Have a go!
When and how to do it.
Tips for showing veg and fruit.
Our member Peter Blakey has put together some useful tips for showing your produce in our annual allotment show.
Peter has picked out the advice given by the RHS for some of the most popular vegetables in our previous shows, and included some photos of his exhibits in a recent show organised by the RHS.
|French Beans||Straight, fresh pods with stalks, even length, good colour, no outward sign of seeds.|
|Runner Beans||Long, uniform, straight, good colour, with Stalks, no outward sign of seeds.|
|Globe Beetroot||60-75 mm in diameter, taproot in place, foliage trimmed to about 75mm.|
|Cabbage||Fresh solid heads, 50mm of stalk.|
|Carrots||Fresh, no sign of side roots, foliage trimmed to about 75mm.|
|Cauliflower||Heads fresh and solid 50mm of stalk.|
|Courgettes||About 150mm long 35mm diameter.
|Leeks||Clean, firm, long barrel.|
|Marrows||Fresh, less than 350mm long, tender.|
|Onions - over 250 grams||Large, well ripened, thin necks, intact root plates.|
|Onions - under 250 grams||Firm, thin necked, blemish free bulbs.|
|Parsnips||Long, free from side shoots, taproot intact.|
|Peas||Large, long, with stalks, well filled with tender peas.|
|Potatoes||About 175-225g, few eyes, clear-skinned.|
|Squash||Young, tender, well matched.|
|Sweet Corn||Fresh, well set including the tips, straight rows|
|Tomatoes (medium)||About 60mm diameter, ripe but firm, calyces attached.|
|Tomatoes (small)||Less than 35mm diameter, calyces attached.|
Here are some photos of Peter’s exhibits.
Many onion crops ruined.
Many of our onion crops have been ruined this year by allium leaf miner. We started to notice them on our alliums (onions, leeks, garlic, etc.) in 2020, but this year the damage is the worst so far. More information here.