Hedge planting and seed bombing: Saturday 23rd February 2019

Since the committee was elected in November we have been asking members what they would like to see at Dorset Road Allotments.  A common request was for more working parties and community activities.   As a result we have created the Dorset Road Allotment’s Community Spruce programme for 2019.  This will give members an opportunity to come together to volunteer to help improve the site, to learn and to celebrate.

The first event is on Saturday 23rd February between 11am and 1pm.   We will be planting new wildlife and forager-friendly hedging along the perimeter of the site continuing work that has been underway for some time now.  Not only does native hedging provide a habitat for wildlife, it makes the site look better and importantly improves security.

As well as planting hedging there will be an opportunity to make wildflower seed bombs to try and bring diversity to the wildlife garden.  The 19th Bromley Scout Group have already made seed bombs for us and some of the Beavers, Cubs and Scouts will be on site to launch them into the wildlife garden.

We hope  you can join us to help improve the site and meet some of your fellow allotmenteers.

Refreshments will be provided.

 

What to plant in February

The days are getting (slightly) longer and it’s time to start sowing seeds for this years harvest.

Good to grow now are:

Chitting early varieties of seed potatoes can start towards the end of the month. Place seed potatoes in a light, cool but frost-free place at about 10C. It helps to produce earlier and slightly larger crops of the earlier spring varieties of potato.

In the greenhouse/indoors you can start sowing

Peas in upcycled guttering with drainage holes drilled in the bottom.

Cucumber, tomato, chilli and sweet peppers as well as aubergine seeds for indoor crops in the summer.

Summer cabbage and cauliflowers, spinach, leeks, hardy peas, salad onions, celeriac, celery, carrots and turnips can be sown indoors for early crops.

Basil can also be grown on a windowsill.

In coldframes/cloches you can sow:

Sow beetroot under cover.

Sow early carrot varieties, such as ‘Nantes 2’, under cloches or in greenhouse borders.

Grow chicory under cloches, for early summer harvesting.

Sow radish seeds now under cloches or in greenhouse borders.

Grow some salad leaves, lettuce or spinach indoors or under cloches for a tasty and nutritious start to the growing season.

Sow seeds of spring onions under cloches, in greenhouse borders or in cold frames. ‘Ishikura’ and ‘Summer Isle’ are good early varieties.

Broad beans can be planted in pots in mild areas, placing them in a cold frame or unheated greenhouse.

Direct sow outdoors

Jerusalem artichoke tubers.

You can still plant bare-root fruit trees and fruit bushes, as long as the soil isn’t frozen.

Plant bare-root strawberry plants outside now. Replace plants that are 3 years old or more, as they will have lost much of their vigour.

 Plant stone fruit trees such as apricots, peaches and nectarines.

Plant rhubarb crowns in a sunny position in well drained soil.

February is also a good time to prune apples, pears, quinces, medlars, currants and gooseberries as well as autumn raspberries.