Trading shed – new stock January 2019

The Trading Shed (Hertford Ave) will reopen again from Saturday, 12th January 2019.

Opening times: Sat and Sun between 11.00am and 12.00

It now has a good range of high quality gardening gloves available.

There will be onion sets (Red Baron, Stuttgard varieties) and shallots (Golden Gourmet, Red Sun varieties) available.

There will also be seed potatoes of the following varieties: Accord, Lady Christl, Red Duke of York, Charlotte, Wiljm, King Edward, Desiree, Maris Piper and Picasso.

Prices:
Potatoes are £1.20 per Kg
Onions are £1.50 per 500g
Shallots are £1.70 per 500g

At Plot… 62 with Paul Crompton

Each month we are getting to know our allotment neighbours a bit better. For December, we have been chatting to Paul Crompton who is at plot 62 at the Priory allotment site.

How long have you had an allotment in East Sheen?

About 7 years.

What jobs have you been doing on the allotment this month?

This month planting onions, garlic, one or two new shrubs, cutting back big blackberry bush, facing cutting back lots of raspberry canes which did not produce fruit last 12 months because drought and unusual weather.

What crop has done well this year?

Blackberries did well but raspberries a big zero.

What are you planning to grow next season?

Just planning to improve growing conditions at present and not sure about 2019 except hoping for better weather.

In addition to gardening of course, do you have any other hobbies or skills?

I am a famous tai chi teacher – look me up on internet, author and translator in field of martial arts.  Currently teach half a dozen elderly groups around southwest London.

Horseradish

We recently had an enquiry about horseradish from a plot holder and how to remove it from your allotment site permanently. We thought it would be useful to share our tips here in case anyone else is having the same problem with this vigorous and hardy perennial.

Process for removal:

1. Dig all the way around the horseradish plant you want to eliminate. Place the elongated, narrow blade of the transplanting spade (or any sharp garden shovel) at least six inches away from the crown of the plant to avoid cutting through any outlying roots.
2. Lift the entire plant from the ground with a garden fork and move it away from the hole.
3. Examine the inside of the hole for any pieces of white root, no matter how small, and remove them.
4. Check the area around the hole for green horseradish sprouts. Dig up and discard any you find.
5. Clean the tools to avoid spreading any small horseradish root particles to other parts of the garden.
6. Harvest as much of the root as you wish to use and dispose of the rest of the plant. The top can be cut off to go in the compost pile, but dispose of the roots in the trash or give them away so they can’t resprout in the compost.
7. Fill the hole back in with soil. Do not till this area of the garden or replant it immediately.
8. Replant the area with whatever you wish when no more horseradish sprouts appear.

Things You Will Need: 
– Needle-nose or transplanting spade
– Garden fork

Tips:
– Remove horseradish plants in the late fall or early spring if you want to get in one last harvest; otherwise dig at any time.

Curious about horseradish?

Alternatively, if you fancy giving this crop a try we recommend growing it in pots or raised beds to keep it under control as it can quickly become invasive. The RHS gardening website has some great growing tips for Horseradish and Riverford has a lovely recipe for a sweeter Apple and Horseradish sauce.

Image source: RHS

New wood and chippings bays

Over the past few weeks, you may have noticed the refurbishment work on the wood and chippings bays at the Hertford Avenue entrance has begun. After clearing the site of the original pallet boards which had started to rot and break down, wooden sleepers have been erected to form a new boundary. We still need to firm up the ground immediately next to the path, to stop the delivery lorries getting stuck in the mud.

Bay 1 (nearest the main gate) has been enlarged and will be re-designated for the logs. Bay 2 in the middle will remain the wood chip store and the 3rd bay will be for compost from Richmond Park when it’s available.
Thanks to John Hynd, Rashid, Desmond and John Padgett for all their hard work so far.

If you would like to lend a hand moving the logs from their existing bay,  please feel free to pick up one or two logs as you walk past and take them down to the newly created bay.

Hertford Avenue wins London in Bloom Allotment Award

At the beginning of November at the annual Allotment prize giving at the Town Hall, Derek Lawrence-Brown and John Padgett received the London in Bloom Allotment Award on behalf of the Hertford Avenue plot holders.

It came as a complete surprise, although we obviously knew that Derek had shown the London in Bloom judges around the allotments back in July.

We were judged to have the best kept and well-cultivated Allotments out of all the London Boroughs and the award was presented  by the Mayor of Richmond upon Thames.

The judges’ comments are below:

This large allotment site is clearly well used. Judges met the allotment site rep and heard about its activities that included three organised community events each year.

Engagement appeared to be thriving and a broad range of produce was in cultivation.

The site is well organised and maintained and green waste either removed or composted as appropriate. A regime of using wood chip in certain areas of the site as a mulch  is in place.

At Plot…30a with Dino & Sarah Franz

Each month we are getting to know our allotment neighbours a bit better. For November, we have been chatting to Dino and Sarah Franz who are at plot 30a at the Hertford Avenue allotment site.

How long have you had an allotment in East Sheen?

After almost five years on the waiting list, my husband was offered his first allotment late this past summer at Hertford Allotments.  The plot had been left untended for quite some time, but luckily some of the site reps and volunteers, had kindly cut down many of the taller weeds to prevent seeds from spreading; old plastic was also covering some of the existing raised bed.  After several weekends of digging and clearing, we put down new wood chip on the old existing paths and brought in two tons of compost to bring up the soil levels within the beds; within three weeks of getting the allotment keys, we planted our first two plants: green beans and swiss chard.  (And this was much to the delight of the young allotment foxes, who immediately dug everything in that one single bed every other night for a couple weeks!).

We found a shed and fence panels on offer on Freecycle and put those up.  As the beds were cleared one after the other , we planted some purple sprouting broccoli, perpetual spinach, and parsnips; we also just removed our (inherited) dahlias after the first frost.  We knew we had quite a few dahlias, but when clearing the beds, we ended up with 20 plants we hope will regrow next year!

What jobs have you been doing on the allotment this month?

This month has been clearing the remaining beds for the over winter plants; planted out all of our over wintering garlic and popped in some radicchio, we also finished putting up the last of the fence panels and hope to finish shelves in the shed in the next few weeks.

What crop has done well this year?

This year, the crop that did the best was our inherited dahlias followed closely by our green beans – next year will hopefully have a wider variety!

What are you planning to grow next season?

Along with the dahlias, we’re also hoping the existing gooseberry and raspberries plants will also come back next year along with a few asparagus plants we know are lurking in one bed!  We are looking to plant onions,  leeks and to get a few squash plants on the go, and maybe even some flint corn.

What’s your favourite recipe to make with your harvest?

Our overwinter cabbage is doing amazingly well, so we’ve been experimenting with different recipes.  Our all time favourite so far is cabbasta – cabbage with pasta – with a simple and easy recipe.  (https://www.abelandcole.co.uk/recipes/cabbasta-anyone)

In addition to gardening of course, do you have any other hobbies or skills?

Dino cycles and Sarah runs marathons and also loves website design (and redesigned the BHAS website earlier this summer).