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Advice Plot #79

Aphid Update: Damson Saved, Plum Under Threat

At the end of May I reported on a nightmare aphid infestation. Drastic preventative measures seem to have worked, so far…

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Advice Plot #79 Recommendations

How To: (Hopefully) Prevent an Orchard Aphid Nightmare

I think 2019 is shaping up to be the Year of the Aphid. It seems like the sap-sucking pests are everywhere at the moment: all over the Aqualegias in the back garden, on the onion seedlings in the greenhouse and in a particular nasty manifestation, infesting one or two of the trees in the Plot #79 allotment orchard…

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Advice

A Simple (and Stink-Free) Recipe for Comfrey Tea

Comfrey tea, or comfrey fertiliser, is an all-organic, easy to make plant food that provides excellent nutrition, especially for flowering and fruiting plants.

When I make comfrey tea I use a method that was told to me by no-dig guru Charles Dowding and it goes something like this…

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Advice

Pruning: Crown-Lifting a Bramley’s Seedling

A couple of weeks ago I enjoyed the opportunity to work on a rather lovely Bramley’s Seedling tree that hadn’t been pruned for a while and was starting to get too big for its space. The owner of the tree – which was highly productive last year – was very keen that it shouldn’t just […]

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Advice

Checking and Re-Potting Over-Wintered Dahlias

A timely reminder from Monty on last week’s episode of Gardener’s World sent me down to the greenhouse yesterday afternoon to check on our stock of over-wintered Dahlia tubers. Dahlias are perennial plants that over-winter by storing sugars in large tubers below ground. But these tubers aren’t particularly frost-hardy or water-proof, so they do require […]

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Advice Assorted

The Science of Digging – How to Reduce Injury Risk

Here’s an item that allotmenteers might be interested in. Researchers at the University of Coventry, in partnership with the RHS, have published the results of a study into the damaging effects of bad digging practice, along with a few suggestions as to how to improve your posture and technique to help reduce the risk of […]

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Advice Plot #59

Ulluco Woes: DEFRA Biosecurity Alert Issued

This year we’re growing three Andean tuber crops down on Plot #59: Oca, Yacon and Ulluco. It could also be the last year that we grow the third of that trio. DEFRA – the government’s Department for Environment Food & Rural Affairs – have issued a biosecurity warning, because some Ulluco tubers imported into the […]

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Advice Plot #59

Thinning and Trimming Leek Seedlings

I’ve been growing leeks using the same method for the past three or four years now and it seems to be working quite nicely. Rather than tray-sowing and then pricking out individual leeks into modules, I use deep plastic troughs – the sort of thing you can find in most large supermarkets at this time […]

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Advice Plot #59

Over-wintered and Spring-Sown Broad Beans

Successional growing – staggering the sowing and planting of crops – is a great way of to extending the harvest over a longer period and avoiding those “help, I’ve run out of chutney recipes” gluts. It tends to work best either with fast-maturing crops like salad leaves or radishes which, with a bit of experience […]

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Advice

Meet our Three-Bin Home Composting System

Compost, rich in organic matter, is one of the essential building blocks of good soil. It helps retain moisture and adds nutrients as well as binding mineral particles into a lovely crumb structure. It’s great to add to sandy soils to help them clump together, and clay soils to help them break down. Or any […]