Dear chlorophriends, 

Here is a little email of what we’ve been up to this week….

But first, let’s start off with some interesting gardening tips regarding the month of May.

  1. Watch out for late frost! This affected our youthful squash plants at the start of the week.. and some potato plants too 😥 Though hopefully they will pull through and be okay! It might be worth protecting your young plants if they are outside!
  2. Keep a look out for weeds. They love this type of weather. Time to start hoeing!
  3. Don’t forget to aerate the green house on hot days!
  4. I know this doesnt directly affect us but it’s worth mentioning for your home horticultural practices: MAKE SURE YOU CHECK HEDGES FOR BIRD NESTS BEFORE YOU TRIM THEM!!!! I can’t stress this enough!
  5. This is also the time for you to unearth and divide overcrowded clumps of spring- flowering bulbs. –> Healthier, happier daffodils! bit like this guy:

Keeping all of this in mind, let’s look at this week in photos.

1) We now have a functional (and frankly quite beautiful) stairway to the stream! The stream is a marvelous resource for us (though it is obviously much more than a resource and exists on its own terms). It is where we get most of our water. Tricky thing is that the path to it becomes a bit of a slipperly mud slide once you’ve taken a few trips down with a leaky watering can…Sean did a marvelous job. He’d been there for a couple of hours before the session, crafting these beautiful little steps! Come take a look for yourself. For now, here’s a picture.

2) We planted some brassicae beauties outside! All sorts, even the crazy fractal kind (Romanesco Cabbage).

3) We found a vole! I didnt know what a vole was until now. Apparently it’s a stocky mouse…. bit of a cross between a rat and a hamster. I can’t be bothered to find a picture but look it up if you wish.

4) The reason we found a vole was because we were looking for netting. The vole was hanging out in our net box. We put nets up to protect our brassicaes and our frosty squash babies from pigeons. In the brassicae bed, we also tried a new technique which consists of covering the earth with cut grass (a process called mulching). This will hopefully nourish them as the grass decomposes, but will also keep a layer of moisture in the soil. The reason we were skeptical about using this technique in the past was because there was a possibility that it would invite unwanted sluggish visitors. Luckily, this is one of the beds in which we introduced the nematodes, so no slugs there. **note** We don’t look very happy in this picture but I promise we are a happy bunch.

5) We had TWO bonfires since the last email! That’s right two. We’re a busy, smokey bunch… I’ve been noticing firewood smells around uni from allotmenteers who havent washed their jackets. There’s truly nothing better!

6) We built another pretty reed scultpture/ installation. Inspired by Carla’s first one, we decided to make another one. Only to find that the reeds we had were very short. So we built a tunnel for shorter people (sorry Ondrej…) Here’s a picture of David passing on his positive energies into the installation. 🙂

7) Last but not least, let’s take a look at the watering rota!
It would be really really nice to have two people doing the job together if possible, as it is quite a heavy duty job! Don’t forget to water the outside garden too, if it hasn’t rained! And not just the beds… Don’t forget the borders!

That’s all folks!
Well actually no, here’s a picture of some of us working hard at brassica planting…. who’s that in the background you ask? That’s just our creepy scarecrow!

All the pictures were taken by our own lovely Chris M. (apart from the crazy daffodil guy, who came from the internet). As always feel free to join us! We meet on Wednesdays from 2 to 4PM (though these days we tend to stay till 5 because the weather is just too good not to!)

Here’s a map to our allotment:

Mulch love,

Allotment exec xxx