Rosendale Allotments’ Stores are open for the 2019 season, they’ll be fully stocked with everything you may need for your plot. Located on the forecourt of the Rosendale Road main entrance the Stores open between 10.30am and 12.30pm Saturdays and Sundays in the growth and harvesting periods each year, open for Sundays only during August.
Our Stores are run by RAA members for RAA members with any profits helping to fund Association activities and keep rents down. If you would like to volunteer some of your time to help in the Stores, please call in during opening hours or cheap clomid and nolvadex.
Would you like to improve your knowledge and skills or to try something new for 2019? buy clomid cheap is London’s leading specialist land-based college, with buy clomid online cheap. Near us, at their buy clomid online, they offer a range of full and part-time courses in animal care, arboriculture, floristry, garden design, and horticulture.
Why should I adopt wildlife-friendly gardening practices?
Because wildlife is in trouble. Some recent UK examples:
– Butterflies 70% of species are declining Butterfly conservation, 2015.
– Hedgehogs declined by 66% in the last thirteen years PTES, 2018.
– Frogs a 17% reduction in garden sightings 2014-2018 RSPB, 2018.
– Toads declined by 68% in last 30 years Froglife, 2016.
– Bumblebees one third of species have declined by 70% BCT).
– Farmland birds declined by over 50% 1970-2017 Defra, 2018.
– Brown long-eared bat declined by 31% since 1999 Bat conservation, 2018.
– Insects 40%+ of species declining Biological conservation journal, 2019.
– UK species declined by 56% 1970-2013 The state of nature report, 2016.
What’s causing wildlife declines?
The reasons are complex and interlinked, but there are several main factors:
Herbicide and pesticide use. Intensive agriculture and horticultural practice using pepticides has reduced the abundance of wild plants and insects. This means less food for other animals, and fewer beneficial insects like pollinators.
Habitat loss and fragmentation. Hedgerow removals, loss of wildflower meadows, urbanisation of formerly rural areas, street trees cut down – all mean there is less wildlife and fewer places for it to live.
Pollution of air, water and soil. Pollution has serious effects – herbicides, pesticides and chemical fertilizer components persist in the environment with consequent impacts especially on microorganisms.
Try these tips – save money – re-use, recycle, re-purpose!
Rather than buying new gardening supplies which uses up more resources, look after your existing stuff and try your hand at making a few things from salvaged materials.
Flowerpots. Wash and dry your plastic flowerpots and store them away from sunlight ready for use next season. This will stop them becoming brittle and prolong their useful life. If they crack, don’t throw them away – put one inside another and use as normal.
Pots. Care for your terracotta pots too, protecting them from frost. If they do crack, use them as crocks to improve drainage in large pots and tubs. Buy as few plastic pots as possible; many are now sold which are made from recycled plastic bags. Consider biodegradable alternatives.
DIY seed pots and trays. Toilet roll centres can be used to sow seeds in. Or use a jam jar / small bottle as a mould and make your own seed pots from newspaper. These will all biodegrade completely. Rather than buying new, margarine and ice-cream tubs work as seed trays for small sowings, just make drainage holes.
Be a scavenger!. Keep your eyes peeled for things to use on your plot or in your garden. Home-owners are usually happy for you to take unwanted pallets and bits of wood from skips – but ask first! Supermarkets and garden centres will often have surplus cardboard and wooden boxes too.
Plant labels Clean these off and re-use them. Consider switching to biodegradable wooden ones, or make your own from used lolly sticks or spare bits of wood.
Grow from seed. It’s cheaper and you can swap surplus seedlings and unused seed with neighbours. Clear plastic bottles. These can be used as cloches to propagate individual plants.
Share advice and supplies. We can help each other out by sharing tools, supplies and expertise. A great way to get to know our fellow gardeners too.
Avoid commercially-made pesticides and herbicides
They are implicated in wildlife declines. If you really need to use these products, follow the manufacturer’s recommended application and quantity precisely; more isn’t better. Try alternative techniques for managing pests, diseases and weeds:
Crop rotation improves disease resistance by preventing the build-up of pathogens in the soil and thereby reduces the need for chemical sprays.
Grow perennial vegetables, eg. chard, cardoon, oca, sorrel, scorzonera or asparagus. They suffer fewer diseases as they adapt to their surroundings. They also help create good soil structure by being undisturbed. Plus they’re low-maintenance.
Select disease-resistant varieties. These require less disease management. Old-fashioned, ‘heritage’ or ‘heirloom’ varieties offer superior flavour, reliability and may prove more disease-resistant when grown at a small scale on allotments.
Companion planting can help control pests and diseases, eg. sow spring onions amongst carrots: the carrot root fly is deterred by the onion smell. Sow ‘sacrificial crops’ of nasturtiums amongst brassicas; caterpillars will prefer them to your crops.
Replace slug pellets with physical barriers and less toxic alternatives – see our separate slug management poster and leaflet.
Make a ‘bug hotel’ to support beneficial insects. This is fun to build with family and friends and provides habitat for beneficial insects like beetles and pollinating insects. You can use almost anything – pallets, bricks, sticks, old flowerpots etc. They can make lovely garden features – take a look at buy clomid and nolvadex online uk for ideas.
Mulch to prevent weed growth and evaporation and to save water in summer. Many things can be used as mulch. Try to avoid plastic-based materials (eg. synthetic or foam-backed carpet) the chemicals from which may break down and enter the soil. Cardboard is easy to obtain and works well, as does straw. Good quality mulching fabric eg. made from jute, can be re-used from year to year.
Leave an undisturbed corner for garden-friendly wildlife. This will encourage beetles, frogs, slow-worms and hedgehogs which feed on insects and naturally control their numbers.
Home-made sprays. Soapy water (made from plain hand soap, with water, in a spray bottle) sprayed on aphid-covered vegetables will knock aphids off and coat them with soap, killing many.
Plant spacing. Make sure you space plants at recommended distances. This avoids overcrowding and reduces the likelihood of poor air circulation and associated mildews and rots becoming established.
Establish crops indoors / in polytunnel or greenhouse, harden off, then plant out. Sturdier seedlings / small plants are less palatable to insects.
Don’t be too tidy and save yourself some work
Plot holders need to keep plots cultivated and reasonably clean, but this doesn’t mean we have to manicure them.
– Leave some ‘weeds’ – a few dandelions will help our bees.
– Leave some uncut grass for beneficial insects like beetles.
– Leave seed heads as food for birds, and hiding-places for ladybirds.
– Leave fallen fruit as food for butterflies and birds.
– Leave leaves – worms will tidy them away for you!
– Leave ivy – it offers late-season pollen, nectar and berries.
Nick Giannissis found order clomid online reviews. It set him off on an exploration of cyberspace, a journey he returned from last Spring to put some of the no-dig principles he found into practice on his own plot. In this feature Nick explains some of his newly-gained knowledge and shares some experiences from his first no-dig season:
In April last year, with time on my hands after a recent period of ill-health, I began thinking about how I would return my neglected plot to some kind of productive state. That was my thirteenth year as a member of RAA and a plot holder. As luck would have it, I saw the link to can i order clomid online on the RAA website and took a look out of curiosity.
Thanks to Mervyn for his article that sparked my interest at a time when I wasn’t even sure where to begin with the plot. Searching online for ‘no-dig’ returned heaps of results and, as I had the time, I ploughed through numerous articles, videos and blogs. I was keen to find out as much as I could as what I had stumbled across was something of a revelation.
Without a doubt, my no-dig guru is a guy called can you purchase clomid over the counter and I began to adopt his organic, no-dig approach wholeheartedly. I’ve included a couple of links within this piece for you to take a look. He is not the only person out there with knowledge and advice but CD definitely knows his onions.clomid for sale online cheapThe main principle behind an organic, no-dig approach is to maintain the structure, integrity, health and potential of the soil. By allowing nature to do the work we feed the soil and not the plants. We embrace and make the best use of natural processes and rhythms to achieve healthier plants growing in healthier soil.
When we stop digging and forking in manure, as counter-intuitive as it seems and feels we begin to make different and better use of our time. The time we save doing all that heavy and arduous working of the ground becomes time available to focus on organising, sowing, planting, protecting and cropping fruit and vegetables for great yields.
Additional time is also freed up because when we stop digging the soil we spend considerably less time weeding. Since I began my conversion and converting my plot to no-dig, I have been amazed at the minimal amount of time I need to spend weeding. Previously, I would spend a great deal of time struggling to keep ahead of perennial and annual weeds. Not any more.
My starting point, May 2018. The view of half of the plot after I had taken a strimmer to it and begun to remove very large weeds and couch grass in a couple of areas. At that time, despite what I had read about smothering weeds first, I was feeling very cautious based on my experience over the preceding thirteen years. Although I was adopting a no-dig approach I wanted to be double sure that the couch grass would not return by removing as much as I could by hand using a hand held fork. That would prove to be unneccesary later.
The other half of the plot is shown here. Incidentally, this area had been covered for about twelve months with one of those cheap, blue ‘tarpaulins’. I learned that those things can’t withstand exposure to the sun as it disintegrated as I tried to remove it – we learn as we go!
At the opposite end, towards the top of the picture, weeds included several stubborn docks which I tackled later using advice from CD.
As I have gradually converted growing areas to no-dig, I abandoned removing weeds by hand and stuck to the original advice about mulching and smothering weeds from CD. No need for the extra caution as I became more comfortable and confident that process would work.
No-dig beds: preparation, paths, planting and protection. It’s amazing how much free cardboard it is possible to source or find when you look. The local florist throws out long, narrow flower boxes at least twice a week. They were happy to hold these back for me to collect. New neighbours had an American style fridge delivered and they had no problem letting me take the huge box the fridge came in. I just needed to remove all packing tape and any staples or clips before laying the cardboard down.
Before adding the next layer of compost, I gave the card a thorough soaking. With the heat wave of 2018 I needed to get a move on because it soon began to dry out. Soaking the card first helps to begin the decomposition process once the compost is added. For these beds I bought organic, rotted manure from the RAA Stores. Forty litres is about a barrow full and cost £3.60 or thereabouts and I used four loads for the beds in this picture. I also learned that it is possible to order cubic metre or one tonne bulk bags from the Stores if you have the time, energy and money for that!
After spreading the manure/compost to create the two beds, I used wood chippings that are often delivered free up at the Peabody gate. Having pushed barrows of compost up from the stores, it was a little easier trundling barrows-full of chippings down from the top of the site.
Importantly, I decided from the outset to do away with wooden sides to all beds. The two main reasons are firstly, to reduce places for slugs and woodlice and secondly, because over time the beds would become self contained structures with the slow decomposition of the paths helping to support the soil structure.
After planting seedlings of beetroot, pak-choi, Japanese radish and Chinese cabbage with a mulch of ‘strulch’, the bed was covered with bird netting. Large stones placed into plastic pots helped to secure the netting.
Although I described how a no-dig approach means less time spent with the physical work of digging and forking, the initial setting up of new beds involves shifting a lot of rotted manure and compost. Trust me, it’s worth it as maintaining the allotment since then really is easier and more enjoyable due to the time that becomes available for other things on the plot:
At the time of writing and pulling this together, it’s January 2019 and I have continued to convert my plot to organic, no-dig. I’m about three quarters of the way there with other areas at different stages of preparation and forming into no-dig beds.
I’m learning all the time and I’ve rediscovered the pleasure and rewards of being a plot holder when I had given serious thought to giving up. My experience has moved away from being a continual challenge to keep on top of weeding, hours spent digging and forking the soil to more time available for planning, organising, composting, growing and enjoying the benefits of growing my own produce.
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