Plot Inspections – Background Info.

We have written in the May Newsletter some information about Plot Inspections and why they are carried out.

Back in December 2018 Woodley Town Council and the Allotment Association Committee jointly published a Special Bulletin – Plot Inspections – What are the Criteria? to help explain the reasons for regular Plot Inspections.

You can download a copy of that Special Bulletin here.

History of the Allotment Site

We are always looking for historical pictures of the Allotment Site and are very grateful to Ken Demman for sharing these images of his plots since he arrived on the site back in 1986.

We have used four of them in this post, but you can see more of them on our History of the Allotments page.

If you have some images to share, then please get in contact via our Contact Page.

National Allotments Week & NAS Plot-holders Survey

A date for your diaries – National Allotments Week 2021 9th August till 15th August. This years theme in 2021 is ‘Plotting for the Future’; celebrating the contribution that allotments make to a sustainable future.

Also for those who filled in the NAS 2020 Plot-holders Survey, they have started to publish initial results, so far…

  • At the end of 2020 there were several news reports that women were taking over the plots – your answers told us that the ratio of men to women is now 53/47% with some regional variations- this matched up with our Members Survey.
  • It was also heartening to see how many people – 52% were using gardening practices that reduced chemical use and supported bio-diversity.
  • 53% of respondents gardened with a family member or friend and for 11% of you good mental health was the most significant benefit that you got from your plot.
  • The answers to the questions about gardening know-how highlighted the importance of personalised info – friends and other plot-holders were the most popular source of knowledge and 32% of you would have appreciated a mentor or gardening buddy when you first started growing.

    More to follow as they publish more data.

Allotment Rents

Plot Rents are now well overdue from some 30 plus Tenants and with the pressure of a large waiting list currently standing at 69, you could end up losing your plot due to unpaid rent!

If you still haven’t made your payment, please do so as a matter of urgency.If you no longer require your plot, please can you let the council know as soon as possible.

Many thanks & Best regards
Scott Golding
Chair
Allotments Committee

New to the Allotment? – What next?

This post is a helpful repeat of the Newsletter Articles from the October 2020 and February 2021 editions in full. Let us know if you have any comments or feedback. We will be adding further similar articles as the 2021 growing season gets going.

A number of new tenants have taken up plots on the site over the last few months & perhaps are wondering what to do next. So here’s a sample list of resources that may be helpful for first time ‘allotmenteer’.

What to grow? – See the chart on this page to give you a good idea of what you can grow and when it requires sowing/harvesting. Of course, some of this depends on what the soil is like on your plot, making a soil test will help you understand that. You can also ask other tenants what grows best.

Crop Rotation – The RHS defines this as ‘The principle of crop rotation is to grow specific groups of vegetables on a different part of the vegetable plot each year. This helps to reduce a build-up of crop-specific pest and disease problems and it organises groups of crops according to their cultivation needs.’

There is an amazing amount of online information about this subject – the author works in a four year rotation – but you can also have a three plan. Here’s some more information about the subject.

You may have taken over a plot that has not been used for quite a while and needs some work done on it to get it back in shape and one of those things that will help is adding organic matter back in.

It will take a bit of time to build up your own compost heap, so what to use?

Again a wide variety of information is online, here’s a few (in no particular order) that may help…

There may seem to be a lot to do on your new allotment; don’t try to do everything in the first year, sow some easy to raise produce to have a small but productive harvest.

It will take time to really get your plot into full production and at the end of the day; you want to be able to enjoy your newly found hobby.

Seed sowing – Time for a swap?

Although it might still only be the third week in January, it’s time to start thinking about what seed you might what to be sowing the in the coming months.

If your interested in swapping seeds then the Reading Food Growing Network maybe a place for you to visit. It runs seed swaps at community events throughout the year.

Check out their Seed Swap page for an event that Covid allowing my take place near you. You can also swap seed via email, check their list of available seeds for swapping for more details.