Open Day 2019

Our Annual Open Day is our favourite event of the year.  It’s when we throw open our doors and welcome the community in for the day.

The Clubhouse Cafe will be open as usual serving home made cakes and refreshments.  There will also be a barbecue.  The shop will be open selling gardening equipment and there will be plenty of plants for sale.  Local children enjoy the various activities and entertainments including a bouncy castle, hook-a-duck and a magic show.

It is also a chance to tour the allotments gaining inspiration and marveling at the variety of ways to grow fruit, flowers and vegetables.   You can also see how the Secret Garden is maturing and go pond dipping in the Wildlife Garden.

This year the Beckenham Choir will be performing and we will have various stalls and demonstrations, including soap making.

Please come along and share our Green Flag Community Garden for the day!

Spring Clean – Sunday 14 April

As part of the Community Spruce programme we are hosting a Great British Spring Clean to help tidy up our allotments, and the areas near our entrances.

As well as a general tidy up and litter pick, we will be giving the clubhouse, toilets and office a good clean and a lick of paint.  We will be pricking-out and potting-on of plants for the Open Day on 19th May.  Our resident horticultural expert will be giving demonstrations for those new to growing from seed.

Children can help too – many of the seedlings ready to be pricked-out were sown by children at our March Community Spruce event.

Members will be able to dispose of non-recyclable waste in a skip that will be available on the day.

We look forward to seeing you on Sunday!


What to grow in March

In the greenhouse / indoors

Begin chitting (sprouting) seed potatoes for planting out in April when the risk of frost has reduced.

Sow aubergine seeds in the propagator – they have a long growing season.

Sow chilli peppers, sweet peppers, cucumbers, gherkins and tomato seeds indoors for greenhouse growing. your tomato seeds will usually germinate within 5 to 10 days. Best to keep temperature range 21ºC to 27ºC or 70F to 80F

Start basil seeds to grow on your kitchen windowsill, or for planting out after the risk of frost.

Sow perennial herbs such as lemon balm, rosemary, sage, oregano and thyme under cover. Sow salad leaves in pots and place on the windowsill or in the greenhouse.

Sow Brussels sprouts, cauliflowers, celeriac and purple flowering broccoli under cover – they have a long growing season.

Start sowing winter brassicas such as cabbage in seed trays in a cold greenhouse.

Sow celery indoors from the middle of the month onwards.

Sow early broad bean and early peas, in seed trays of compost. Just push the seeds into the compost and keep watered; you can transplant them later once they’ve germinated.

In the cold frame/ under cloches

Sow lettuce in module trays under glass for transplanting into the garden later. Alternatively sow lettuce outside under cloches.

Direct sow carrots, parsnips, chicory and radishes under cloches.

Direct sow outdoors beetroot, broad beans for summer crop. If mice are a problem, sow into modules for transplanting later on.

Sow herbs, such as chives, coriander, dill and parsley, directly into the ground or in containers.

Direct sow summer and autumn cabbages, calabrese, kale, kohlrabi, turnip and leeks into well-prepared beds outdoors.

Start sowing spinach outdoors in soil enriched with plenty of organic matter.

Sow spring-onion seeds in drills outdoors for a quick crop to add to salads and stir fries.

Swiss chard can be sown outdoors for a colourful crop – they even look great in flower beds!

Plant outdoors

Plant Jerusalem artichoke tubers as soon as the soil is workable, at a depth of 10-15cm.

As long as the soil isn’t frozen or waterlogged, you can plant onion sets, garlic sets and shallots now for a crop this summer.

Towards the end of the month you can start planting out chitted early potatoes in the ground later in the month. If you don’t have enough space for growing potatoes on your plot, try a potato-growing kit for your patio.

Asparagus crowns can be planted into permanent beds. Dig a trench about 20-25cm deep and 30cm wide. Carefully place the crowns 45cm apart and ensure the emerging buds are just below soil level.

Rhubarb crowns can be planted into rich fertile soil – there is probably somebody on site who has a rhubarb plant they want to divide, it’s worth asking around.

Strawberry plants can be planted in the ground, or in hanging baskets.

It’s still not to late to plant fruit trees such as apple, pear, cherry and plum trees.