who we are .............

roundshaw allotments & leisure group (raleg) was formed in 2004 by a group of tenants who wanted to improve facilities on site.

since that time, with the help of lottery & sutton community funding, a well equipped social hut, equipment (together with storage shed) and communal facilities (including a BBQ) have been provided. thanks must go, not only to the many volunteers who worked on these projects, but especially to gwen gentry (the founding secretary) who obtained the funds to enable the work to proceed.

all tenants are welcome, and urged, to join the group. the membership fee for 2012/13 is £4.00. benefits include public liability insurance, discounts on equipment hire etc. however all tenants are welcome to use the facilities and attend functions/meetings, although they would not be eligable to vote.

calendar of events for 2013

the next event will be the 'BIG DIG', which is the annual tidying of the communal area of the allotments. this is on sunday 7 april from 10.00am - 1.00pm. if you have any ideas of jobs needing attention please let andrew stanley know as soon as possible.

for new tenants

we welcome new tenants to the site. we would urge you to become a member of the group as there are many benefits in so doing. if you have any problems we may be able to help; please contact us.

when starting work on your site please note that compostable material can be put on either of the 'tips' (near plot 27 or between plots 90 & 92). we would ask you NOT to dump rubbish anywhere on the site, please ask for advice. a great deal of time (and money) has previously been spent on improving the general environment; please don't spoil it!

application for membership

if you are not presently a group member and would like to join, please leave your name, plot number(s), address, contact number and email address and we will be in touch.

benefits of membership

a) as member of a society that is affiliated to the royal horticultural society you have:

1) public liability insurance up to £10,000,000. (non-members of the roundshaw allotment and leisure group are not covered in case of accidents to others on their plot unless they have made their own arrangements).

2) one free group entry to wisley per year – just pay transport costs when transport is arranged.

3) if arranged at least two weeks in advance of the visit, access to group rates for 10 or more people for wisley shows and all rhs flower shows (except chelsea).

b) low cost hire of equipment (e.g. mower, shredder, rotavator & tiller) owned by the group.

c) on-site services when available (various charges may apply): manure, scaffold boards, bulk compost etc.

d) entry to exhibit at shows organized by raleg.

social hut

the social hut is open regularly on sundays 10.00-13.00 hours from april to september. it may also be open when a keyholder is on site. please use this facility to make tea/coffee, take rest (or refuge) or just to chat.

equipment (rotavator,tiller, mowers & strimmer) is also available for hire at these times, group members receiving a discount. please see notice board in the hut for details. barrows are also available at any time; please return them after use and report any defects (punctures etc) so that they can be repaired.

first aid kit

following a couple of requests we have now provided an additional 'first aid kit' in the toilet so that it is accessible when the social hut is shut. if you are unfortunate enough to need it please ensure that you replace it after use.

useful websites?

try http://www.gardenorganic.org.uk/ for general information

if you are thinking about your seed requirements for 2012 try these websites:

garden organic - http://www.organiccatalogue.com/

edwin tucker - http://www.edwintucker.com/

thompson & morgan - http://www.thompson-morgan.com/

or (for larger quantities) moles seeds - http://www.molesseeds.co.uk/

a new website has been created by 'elocal' for gardening tips, seed & produce swaps and knowledge sharing - www.localfoodnetwork.org.uk

choose a blog category ........

Friday, 1 March 2013

what to do in march .............

in the vegetable garden

a) keep hoeing regularly, when weeds are small. do so on a dry day but collect up the weeds and compost if rain is likely, to prevent re-rooting.
b) sow green manures where soil is bare awaiting tender crops in may/june.
c) warm soil for future crops by placing black or clear plastic sheets, cloches or garden fleece on the soil.

sowing and planting

a) when soil and growing conditions are right sow early vegetables outdoors - broad beans, early carrots, parsnips, maincrop peas, radish, spinach beet, turnip.
b) and plant outdoors – asparagus, onion sets, potatoes, shallots, Jerusalem Artichokes.
this is a good time of year to prepare asparagus beds if you have not done it already.

sowing in trays and modules to transplant outside

a) raising plants to transplant outdoors (or under cloches or in a greenhouse/ tunnel) gives you a head start on the season. it is simple to provide extra warmth for a few pots and trays of seeds - in a warm room, or on a heated bench for example. but remember - the seedlings that appear will also need some warmth and good light levels.
b) sow in trays and modules - baby beetroot, brussels sprouts - for early crops, kohlrabi, early cabbage, summer cabbage, early cauliflower, bulb onions, spring onions, tomatoes - for growing in a cold greenhouse, lettuce.
c) raising seeds outdoors for transplanting - an outdoor seedbed can be used to germinate seeds in, before moving them to their permanent growing position and is a good idea for crops that don't mind root disturbance, especially winter brassicas and leeks. sow cabbage, brussels sprouts, kale, broccoli, cauliflower etc. & leeks.
d) direct sowing under cover - hardy crops that are usually grown outdoors can be sown under cloches or in the soil beds of a greenhouse. they will romp ahead and give welcome fresh produce at a lean time of year.
sow under cover lettuce - loose-leaf or seedling varieties are best, kohl rabi, radish, rocket, baby beetroot - use an early variety, resistant to bolting, spinach, salad onions, peas - mangetout or sugar snap are best, potatoes - compact early varieties & globe artichokes.
unless your greenhouse or polytunnel is frost free you will need to protect tender plants if a frost is forecast.

other jobs

a) “top dress" overwintered crops, such as autumn planted onions, broad beans and spring cabbage, to give spring growth a boost. use a good rich garden compost, well rotted manure or chicken manure pellets.
b) finish digging in overwintered green manures such as grazing rye and winter tares.
it’s not too late to start a compost trench for your runner beans.
c) what you feed your vegetable plots with will depend on what you are going to grow next, what was there last, and the basic fertility of your soil. root crops and legumes (peas and beans) should thrive without any additional feeding. other crops may benefit from a dressing of manure, well rotted compost or an organic fertiliser. use compost at a rate of up to 2 wheelbarrow loads per 10square metres, manure at half that rate.
d) don't forget to plan a crop rotation taking into account the fertility of your plot.

pest watch
a) check the leaves and stems of vegetables for pests and diseases, at least once a week.
dig up any 'volunteer' potato plants growing from tubers left in the ground from last year, they could be carrying the potato blight fungus.
b) bury stems and stumps of overwintered brassicas as soon as they have finished cropping in a compost heap, or in a trench in the ground. this will help reduce the population of mealy aphids and whitefly which otherwise would simply move on to your spring planted crops.
c) clear up any plant debris, and remove diseased leaves from overwintered crops; put them on the compost heap.
d) put out slug traps before making new sowings and plantings and maintain them whilst seedlings are vulnerable. check regularly and keep topped up with bait such as beer or formulated bait.
e) don't plant potatoes into cold, dry soil. the potato shoots are more prone to attack by the fungus, rhizoctonia solani causing stem canker, in these conditions. shoots may fail to emerge when attacks are severe.