NEWS FROM THE ALLOTMENT

October 20, 2017

The issue of slugs is ever present and I was at Blewfest enjoying the music (wasn’t George Long amazing – where did he get that voice from) when inevitably there was a mini cloudburst.

So I was sheltering in the beer tent, funnily enough, when a girl tapped me on the shoulder and said ‘slugs’ to me. I recognised her as the owner of an adjacent allotment which absolutely immaculate and very productive, in fact makes mine look like a scraggy mess. I have watched her allotment go from nothing to near perfection over the past two years. So she said that Slugo, the non-poisonous slug pellets, were good but she had a better solution, namely frogs. She has a small pond in her garden in Cossicle Mead and she collects frog spawn and grows frogs. She then put them on her allotment where they spend the summer eating all the slugs. Amazing and brilliant plan I thought. So I have decided to accumulate a few old sinks or washing up bowls, plant one in each of my eight raised beds and grow frogs to control the slug population. So if you have any spare washing bowls save them for me!!

There are still lots of veggies on people’s allotment and my leeks have been great this year so I carefully picked mine and took them home last week. My son who had come back home for the weekend saw them and said ‘great Dad — fresh veg from the allotment, perfect’, and nabbed the whole lot and disappeared back to Bristol to cook leek soup. So there go my leeks I thought, but how amazing that a veggie hating ex-teenager now has turned into an allotment veggie leek lover. What more could you want for from your kids.

Well it’s coming to the end of the summer so time to clear the allotment and hunker down for winter. Also, time to pick the fruit on your apple or pear trees. I have two small trees, each of which has two varieties which were grafted together. Unfortunately this year there was almost no fruit, which I can only account for a frost in late spring or a bit of overzealous pruning last year. Other apple trees on the allotments seem to have done well however, with five trees planted by Mike Edmunds producing amazing quantities of fruit. These were varieties of eating apples and cookers, available to anyone on the allotments to pick. Mike was one of the most generous of people and he had a Blewbury allotment for over forty years. He passed away in 2015 and is greatly missed.