Topical and Useful Tips from Wellesbourne Allotmenteers
This page is for advice, tips and passing on "good practice" to your fellow allotmenteers. So please contribute ideas and thoughts to add to our shared pool of knowledge! N.B. WAA do not endorse any website linked or referenced or will be held responsible for any outcome if you try some of them. It is just here for information only.
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These are fantastic additions to the soil structure, type-dependent can add depleted nutrients back in, block weed growth, can be used to rest an area used in rotational planting and finally, can be superb for beneficial insects. I use buckwheat and Phacelia, both of which are fast growing and insects (bees, hoverflies etc) flock to it. There are several which can be used so try a few over time to source your favourite in your own location. (But do try Phacelia!).
Pests and How to Avoid Them
Found this very useful webpage of a fellow allotment group. A comprehensive round up of allotment pests and what to do about them.
Potato Crops and Contaminuated Manures
Whilst most people are aware of this now, possibly some have not heard? About 4-5 years ago, it became apparent that a new DOW Agrosciences weedkiller used in agriculture was very persistent and passing through the guts of cows/horses and continuing to be potent in their mature/composted manure. Aminopyralid is the name, and it severely affected many gardeners using manures, with obvious impact on spuds as we manure them up well. A temporary UK ban was placed on it, but the farming community have successfully lobbied for its return to use. A statement on the reintroduction from DOW can be read here. It is now back in use under strict usage guidelines and hopefully it's a problem of the past.
If you are buying/acquiring manures from local stables or farmers, always ask if they use aminopyralid or not. And politely refuse to accept their kind offer of manure if they do. Your crops will suffer if you accept aminopyalid-contaminated products.
Always handy to have a plan for when you should be planting indoors/outdoors, potting on and hardening off. This is a Microsoft Excel document which may be of use.
We all know about nasturtium and courgette flowers being eaten, but daisy and dandelion? Actually, yes. And more too...
Storage of Your Beetroot
All well and good growing stacks of vegetables, but what do you do with the excess so it doesn't spoil?