News & events

Dealing with weeds

Follow plot holder Janet Bostock has shared her tips on dealing with weeds at the plot.

“The old adage, “a plant in the wrong place” is true. Whether native or a plant from another country, pretty and attractive to pollinators, if they spread too easily and are difficult to control then they become a problem.

You can save time by knowing them and removing them BEFORE they have settled in!

Why might that pretty plant become a problem?

Because it is difficult to control and difficult to remove once established.

Because the plant readily spreads across your plot, to neighbouring plots, gardens or over the fence into the wild.

Some examples:

Plants with deep roots (dandelions, blackberry, horse radish, green alkanet, ash, oak). Many arrive as seedlings which are easy to remove while small.

Plants with runners above or below ground (ground ivy, bindweed, nettles)

Plants seeding and spreading easily (dandelions, euphorbias, pendulous sedge)

Plants with bulbs, increasing both by seed and new bulbs (garlics, oxalis, Spanish bluebells)

Removing “weeds” when small, before they establish, is much easier than waiting till they become a problem.

Monty Don’s advice.

I haven’t mentioned horsetails. Just a nightmare of an invasive weed!

There are others that appear, foxgloves or forget me not for example, which are easy to pull up if in the way so can be enjoyed or moved to a convenient place.

Some can be eaten and enjoyed – Three cornered leek, all of the plant can be eaten, treated as a small leek.  Young nettle leaves make a delicious nettle soup.

Enjoy your gardening.

Janet Bostock”

Updated Trading Shed price list now available

An updated price list for the Trading Shed has been updated to the Trading Shed website along with sizes and general stock.

The Shed is currently open on Saturday and Sundays from 11am and noon.

The Trading Shed is located at the Hertford Avenue allotment site located at Hertford Avenue, SW14 8EQ and run by Mark and Sheena.

The Trading Shed is one of the benefits of Barnes Horticultural and Allotment Society (BHAS) membership; discounted seeds, fertilisers, and other gardening supplies are available for purchase during the growing season.

All stock is offered at a discount to garden centre prices to BHAS members.

Pick up your 2021 Sunflower Competition seeds at the Trading Shed

Following last year’s very competitive sunflower competition, BHAS is again offering its members free sunflower seeds at the trading shed for spring planting. Pick up a pack of seeds (one pack per BHAS plotholder) at the trading shed and start to prepare your garden for some bee-friendly competition!

The variety available this year is Giant Sunflower Titan.

The seeds will be at the trading shed starting Saturday, 20 March while supplies last.

How to enter

Sunflowers will form two new categories in the Annual Show in September and your sunflower can be entered into the show along with the other categories; if the show is not able to go forward, we will arrange an online entry form like we did last year – so the sunflower competition will go forward!

Pick up a packet of seeds or use your own; plant them when you’re ready.

Growing instructions

Giant Sunflower Titan.

One of the tallest-growing and easily the biggest-headed and seeded variety available to gardeners.   Perfect for impressing your neighbors and winning competitions.  The plants will need support reaching up to 12ft with large yellow flower heads plants can reaching 18-24″ across! The seeds are large and ideal for consumption or leaving for over-winter birds.  Annual.

Cultiviation Advice Giant Sunflower Titan

  • Days To Germination:  14-21 days Optimum Soil Temp. for Germination: 68F-86F Planting Depth: 1/4  inch  Spacing, Seed: 4-6 inch  Spacing, Plant: 24-36 inches Plant Height: 10-14 ft inches Light:  Full Sun
  • Seeds can be started indoors 3 to 4 weeks before last spring frost. Or direct-sow seeds outside after all danger of frost has passed to a depth of 1/4 inch. Can be sown as late as 100 days before last frost.
  • When seedlings are 2 to 3 inches high, thin to individual pots. Replant thinned plants.
  • Steadily harden off before planting out after all danger of frost has passed.
  • These will require staking / support in all but the most sheltered locations.

Source: Premier Seeds Direct

Competition rules

Categories & guidance on how to measure

1. Biggest sunflower head

Measure the diameter of the seed head. The flower petals should not be included. Heads should be cut from the stock (unless also entering the same plant into the tallest sunflower category).

2. Tallest sunflower plant

Measured from the base of the stem (not including the roots) to the top of the head. The head can be extended to measure the full height of the plant. We ask that gardeners cut off the roots to make it easier to measure the stem. Please also remove leaves from the stalk.

Photos of your sunflower journey

Please do send us any photos you have of your sunflowers (from seed to competition-winning size!) as we would like to share the journey on social media or on the website. Photos can be sent to bhas.social.news@gmail.com.

Thank you and good luck!

October Allotment Rent Invoices

We have today received the following notice from Richmond Council regarding the invoice you have been sent for your allotment rent. 

“Due to the implementation of a new process for generating annual invoices, a technical error resulted in the rents charged to concessionary plot holders and standard plot holders being reversed. To resolve, credit notes will be raised to cancel all invoices issued on 1st October 2020 and revised invoices with the correct charges will be issued during the w/c 12th October. Plot holders who are ‘Out of Borough’ are not affected.”

2020 Sunflower Competition Winners 🌻

The results are in!

Throughout the summer months, the sunflower population on BHAS plots has been impressive with some absolutely stunning displays. It’s the perfect time, given this week’s wet weather, to revisit some of the impressive yellow giants seen on the East Sheen allotments.

Amazing displays

First Competition

The 2020 Sunflower Competition was originally intended to be a new addition to the BHAS Annual Show traditionally held in September, adding two categories for height and biggest seed head; to mark the new categories, in March, Mongolian Giant sunflower seeds were donated to the Trading Shed by Dino Franz from Hertford 26 and offered for free until they were all claimed.

Members of BHAS could pick up a packet of donated seeds from the Trading Shed.

Due to COVID-19, the Annual Show in September did not go forward, but a virtual growing competition was organised for a bit of lockdown fun.

Entries were submitted through an online form from mid-August through the end of September. Without any further ado, the results are below.

The 2020 Sunflower Competition winners

Tallest Sunflower Plant

Measured from the base of the stem (not including the roots) to the top of the head. The head can be extended to measure the full height of the plant. 

🌻 Winner: Susan Borrett, Triangle 8A – 3960mm tall

🥈Runner up: John Padgett, Hertford 41a – 3720mm tall

Biggest Sunflower Head

Measure the diameter of the seed head. The flower petals should not be included.  

🌻 Winner: Juan Ramlill, Pavillion 6b – 400mm in diameter

🥈Runner up: John Padgett, Hertford 41a – 370mm in diameter

Thanks to everyone for the beautiful display of sunflowers on our plots and your entries; congratulations to the winners. I think we can agree it was a close competition and fun distraction during lockdown and attracted countless beneficial pollinators and bugs to our plots.

The BHAS Committee looks forward to seeing next years’ sunflowers!

-Sarah W, Hertford 26

July/August BHAS Allotment Photo Competition ‘Current Crops’ winner!

July/August BHAS Allotment Photo Competition ‘Current Crops’ winner!

Thank you to all the plot holders who entered our second photography competition. Congratulations to Rhonda Senior (3A Palewell Pavillion) who was chosen at the winner. We had nine entries to the competition and the anonymous judge chose this entry because they were impressed by the amount of crops for just one day’s pick!

Winner
Rhonda Senior – Palewell Pavillion
“This represents the items we (my husband, our 11 year old daughter, and I) harvested on the 6th July.  As the produce accumulated on the table, it happened to be in a pleasing arrangement of colours and textures.”
John Padgett – Plot 41A Hertford
This is the developing head of a giant Mongolian Sunflower. Once ripe it will provide hundreds of seeds for birds and other wildlife.”
Simon Silvester – Plot 6 Palewell Park
“Plenty of courgettes and tomatoes now so these will be turned into soup for the freezer. Something to cheer us on a cold winter’s day. Courgettes – Defender, Soleil, Romanesco. Tomatoes – Beefmaster, Coure Di Bue.”
 
Ronnie Bendall – Plot 51 Hertford
“Bean Feast from Four Lands. England (Handsome Johnny), France (Aurie de Bacau), Slovenia (Fižol Nizek) and Italy (S. Anna).”
 
Rashid – Plot 48 Hertford
A selection of my vegetables, it has been a difficult year this year but determination and hard work is paying off and making the produce even more enjoyable!”
 
Carina McLeod – Plot 17 Triangle
“Thought my veg looked very surreal or maybe slightly impressionistic submerged in water.”
Rachel Walker – Hertford
“A day harvesting in August from a 1m x 2m bed.”
 
Fiona McEllen – Plot 41 Priory
“Large onion.”
 
Pam Islip – Plot 36 Priory
“Tomatoes.”

Enter the 2020 Sunflower Competition

Unfortunately, this year the Annual Show in September will not go ahead due to Covid-19 restrictions but we are excited to share more details about a virtual Sunflower Competition. We’ve seen some amazing sunflowers growing on plots across the allotment sites and we can’t wait to see your entries!

Competition rules

Categories & guidance on how to measure

1. Biggest sunflower head

Measure the diameter of the seed head. The flower petals should not be included.

2. Tallest sunflower plant

Measured from the base of the stem (not including the roots) to the top of the head. The head can be extended to measure the full height of the plant.

How to Enter

Entries are open from now until the 30th September 2020.  Please enter your details using this online form.  Competition open to East Sheen allotment plot holders only.

Please submit one entry for each individual sunflower you wish to enter in the competition. For instance, if you have two sunflowers you wish to enter (one for height and another biggest sunflower head), please submit the form twice. It is possible to enter the same sunflower in both categories.

Please self-measure your sunflowers in millimetres (mm).

Once a submission is received, all measurements will be verified by a volunteer judge to confirm measurements.

ENTER HERE

(entry closed on 1 October 2020)

Photos of entries

Please do send us any photos you have of your sunflowers as we would like to share these in the next newsletter and on the website (not a requirement to enter the competition).

Photos can be sent to bhas.social.news@gmail.com.

Thank you and good luck!