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Starting Year 11.

For some weeks now I have been working, on and off, towards the Plant Fundraiser Sales Day that is tentatively planned for our 10 year celebration in May. With this in mind I have been gradually gathering together suitable plants and potting them up. Last Spring, when I was growing a lot of Plants to be donated to the charity where I was working at the time, I started to run short of Plant Pots of all sizes but especially small ones and I had to make an appeal, by Email, to plot-holders, for any old pots they could donate. Many were keen to dispose of Pots as they are difficult to re-cycle because they canít go in with the normal Wheelie Bin Recycling. This time I made a point of collecting as many small ones as I could, in plenty of time, from various people and then thought I might run out of larger pots to put all of the Rhubarb and small fruit bushes in. A lady plot holder then came to my rescue when she had a clear out of her shed and brought me bag after bag of pots of all sizes.
Thinking I would have enough I didnít worry too much after that until another friend told me his Brother and Sister-In-Law were downsizing from their house to a bungalow and were clearing out their sheds and Green House. Now, I am reluctant to admit it, but think that I have far more pots than I will need for the spring! Not only do I have more than enough Pots, but they also gave me dozens of 6 and 10 packs as well that will come in very handy for things like Cabbages, Chard and Beetroot. As a result of their clear out, I also obtained a few more Tools, a Paraffin Green House Heater and a small pair of folding metal steps, as well as a few metal sweet and biscuit tins that are ideal for plot holders to store their seeds in. These are being added to the assortment of tools that I have already collected to go on the Tool Rummage Stall that has been proposed at the Fundraiser.
It is not my thing, although I do a bit of Cooking, but I am hoping somebody is going to provide some Jars of Homemade Jams and Chutneys from last Seasons Harvests, that can also have a little stall. I am keeping my fingers crossed that we can put together a little stall of second hand Gardening Books as well and all things being equal we may even be able to have a Barbeque. At the moment it is our intention to open up the day to the general villagers to show off the allotments a bit in the hopes that we can inspire a few more to become Plot Holders and join our ranks, or at least, go on the waiting list.

Back to my Allotment now - I donít actually harvest my Liquorice plant every year and didnít this, but instead let its root system build up ready to get a good crop of roots (If that is the right way to put it!) for next year. However, while doing a bit of weeding and tidying up around the main plant, I decided to dig out 2 large, offsets from it. In doing this, a decent length of fairly thick root came out as well, so I divided it up into half a dozen short lengths of root that I made into ďRoot Cuttings.Ē I have taken cuttings from the same plant before like this. They do take a time to throw up shoots, but are usually quite successful if they are placed flat in shallow compost in a seed tray and not allowed to get too wet. Young Liquorice plants do need a bit of protection in the Winter, so they went into my Greenhouse where the warmth will encourage them to root. Liquorice plants arenít the earliest of plants to leaf up in the Spring either, so a bit of added warmth will help to bring them into full growth a bit earlier in preparation for the Fundraiser, in May, that they are intended for. I know we are only just into Winter, but it wonít last long and it will soon be time for me to sow a few other things in preparation for May. A number of Jerusalem Artichokes have already been potted, although they could have been done at
any time going into and throughout February, and I will soon dig up and pot some Oca tubers. Like the Artichokes, they will stay in the ground all Winter if needs be, before, either being harvested, or left in the ground to grow on for a new crop in the new season. At the end of January, or start of February, I will be sowing some Parsley seed as they are slow to develop as are the Cape Gooseberries which, given the chance, will grow into a normal sized fruit bush before the end of the new Season. Also in February, I will be sowing some Parsnips, but these will go straight into the ground and be just for myself as it is not recommended to transplant them. Some of the hardier Brassicas can also go in about then, but for the Fundraiser I will sow them much later, or else they will get too big in the Trays. As we get much nearer to May I will start sowing all sorts of other things in my Green House that donít need so long to grow as well such as; Beetroot, Turnips and Tomatoes and even later on; Runner and French Beans, Courgettes, Cucumbers and Squash that need it a lot warmer.

 

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