Members Newsletter

  JUNE 2021

BRRR! PHEW! BRRR! PHEW!

So – April’s very hot and dry days gave way to the coldest and driest April nights on record: 22 overnight frosts compared to the usual 10-12. Then came the coldest and wettest May since Google alone knows when …. and here we all are looking at our flowers and vegetables running weeks behind normal. Even bluebells slammed on the brakes to make sure they weren’t caught out and damaged by late frosts ….

We’re confused by it all, but just imagine what our plants are making of it …… and, much, much more importantly, how insects and birds and all wildlife is coping …. if the natural world continues to get out of sync then the stark and catastrophic reality of climate change will rapidly become something we can no longer push to the back of our minds. 

But maybe, read on, we’ll soon spot some governmental action, (late, but better late than never, I hear some say ..)

SOCIETY NEWS:

A MESSAGE FROM MAL REYNOLDS: 

As your Chairman I was particularly disappointed with the decision to delay the lifting of lockdown restrictions and the continued effect on being able to hold the Society’s AGM.  We have missed two AGMs and it is my intention to hold one as soon as guidelines permit, which hopefully will be mid August.  It remains the Committee’s intention to hold a Flower and Produce Show hopefully on the 18th September so please keep that important date in your diary – and eyes peeled for a change of venue.

In addition, a social evening and hopefully an apple /pear juicing day are being planned.  

I hope that you are all keeping well and benefitting from the produce from your garden and/or allotment.  The Store continues to be open on Saturdays between 0900 and 1130 hrs and should you wish to discuss any matters I am there most of the time.

VISIT TO GEOFF HAMILTON’S BARNSDALE GARDENS: https://www.barnsdalegardens.co.uk 

These famous gardens are now open to group visits …. at the time of writing dates in August are available

If we can muster 20 visitors the entry fee will be £9.00 per head as opposed to £11.00.

The gardens are about an hour down the A1 from Lincoln – and we’d have to travel under our own steam …..

Available dates are limited so please, as a matter of some urgency, send expressions of interest to Dave Cordingley, with your anticipated numbers and contact details.

01522 523640 

07 456 607 112 (text only please) 

bobandcogs@ntlworld.com

ACTION ON CLIMATE CHANGE…

FROM 2024 THE SALE OF COMPOSTS CONTAINING PEAT IS DUE TO BE BANNED.

We’re told ……

Why?The world’s peatlands are a front line protector of the climate, holding, and keeping safe, more CO2 than the world’s forests – far too great a store of that damaging gas to release into the atmosphere just for the the convenience of home gardeners. 

This ban follows a 2011 government ‘voluntary target’ to eradicate peat from the amateur gardening world by 2020 – a target which the government / industry / we gardeners missed by a mile: this new commitment, however, might stick, so what’s one to do?

The advice this gardener has to offer is don’t wait until you’re forced into it, accept the challenge, buy some peat-free composts and learn how they’re different … but do your research and spend wisely: 

THIS IS DEFINITELY A CASE OF YOU’LL GET WHAT YOU PAY FOR.

A quantity of bottom of the market peat-free compost, (made from municipal garden waste) came our way recently. Most of the bags had to be thoroughly riddled to clear out massive amounts of plastics, glass, stone and lots and lots of assorted bamboo and other chipped but uncomposted woody materials  ….. and then, when used, the compost set like concrete, restrained germination, locked out air, locked in nitrogen and thereby pretty-well ensured failure.

A recommeneded peat-free compost bought at RHS Harlow Carr was perfect – but costlier, and there’s the rub; at the moment the best peat-free composts are dearer.

So if/when, willingly or unwillingly, you move to peat-free composts,  be aware that at the moment it’s a bit of a minefield and, if you buy cheap, be prepared for some disappointment. Spend a bit more and you can anticipate excellent results.

Most importantly, you’ll be  minimising destruction of peatlands across the globe and you’ll be helping mitigate against the climate disaster we see getting closer and closer.

In the meantime the committee take a balanced and pragmatic view and will continue to supply peat based compost for those members who wish to continue using it.  

WATER: While we’re on the subject of climate / weather / heat – if you’re an allotment tenant who uses a hosepipe then please remember that once you’re running the water, the supply down the line reduces ….

 Others need access to water too, so be fair to them and please don’t hog the supply. 

And remember sprinklers are not permitted.

SOCIETY CONSTITUTION 

The constitution can be seen on the society website:

HAPPY GARDENING …

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