Newsletter March 2017

Whetstone Stray Allotments Newsletter March 2017

March Newsletter

Cartoon by John Ferdinand

Shop re-opens on Sunday March 5th
The Shop will be open from 10:00-12:00 midday. We will make our first order of the year next week, so please pop in to chat, buy, or to place an order. You will soon receive an updated price list.

Many thanks to Angela, Marion, Ian, and Maggie, who have all volunteered to help in the shop this year.

Committee meeting Sunday March 5th
As discussed at AGM, all plot holders are welcome to attend all Committee meetings. Topics for discussion at our first meeting this year, will include scheduling the events diary for the year, Shop rota and financial planning. The full agenda will be in the Members Area of the Website by Saturday.

Winter pruning demonstration
February flew by so quickly, Les didn’t get a chance to do his planned demonstration. But not to worry, there is still time this month, he will be demonstrating pruning an old apple tree on Sean and Allison’s plot on Saturday 11th March at 2pm.

Rules to remember
It is ok to leave the gate open when you can see the next car behind you, in any other circumstances, it is not ok. Always lock the gate, don’t just close it.

Never dump rubbish anywhere on site – if you can’t take it home, keep it on your plot until the next rubbish collection (after Easter weekend).

Allotment Star
Many thanks to John Mant for kindly repairing damage to the door of the toilet.

Tips for March
Now is the time to get your beds ready for sowing.

By the end of March, there will be potatoes to plant, and all manner of seeds to sow, so now you should make sure that your beds are ready, and mulched with compost and/or manure. Many plot holders still don’t have compost bins, now is the time to get them made, ready for all of the weeding, trimming, mowing and peeling to come.

When digging out your compost heap to use as mulch, or for digging into your beds, please look out for slow worms! They are a gardeners’ friend and they may be sleeping in your nice warm compost.

This is also the time to cut back hedges and vegetation from the paths, before nesting begins.

Community Plot update
Many thanks to Vanya, for the fantastic job she made of clearing the area between the fruit trees and the site of the poly tunnel.

Thank you to Aidan, Crispin, Les Coupland, Rik and Siobhan who all turned out to help erect the new poly tunnel on the Community Plot. Unfortunately, some of the pieces were missing, but Les is in the process of resolving this, and we hope to have another day soon to get the job done.

Les gave a presentation about the Community Plot on Wednesday 1st March at a volunteer event at the Arts Centre, introduced by Lord Levy. Volunteers can apply via Ground Force or Barnet Volunteering Matters.

News from BAF (Barnet Allotment Federation)
BAF need help with their website, so if anyone would be interested in volunteering for this, please contact

The BAF AGM took place on Tuesday, and started with a very interesting talk by the President of Garden Organic about the importance of feeding and maintaining a healthy soil. She advocated using straw as a mulch, and a BAF member told us about a cheap supplier of straw, if anyone is interested, please discuss with Les.

Cat Hill
The Cat Hill allotment site is in the Tesco Bags of Help fundraising scheme, so please vote for them if you are using a Tesco in the area during February/ March.

Forthcoming visits
To BAF Members:
Your members may be interested in the following two events:

Visit: RHS Hyde Hall and the Beth Chatto garden
Saturday 24th June, Finchley Horticultural Society is organising a visit to RHS Hyde Hall and the Beth Chatto garden. The cost to include entry fees, travel in an executive coach (with toilet), and a driver gratuity is £33.00. The coach will leave from Regents Park Road, opposite College Farm at 9.00am (just up from Henley’s Corner). Plenty of parking in nearby roads. For more information and to secure a place please email Phone: 07800 528 337

Visit: MHGAS day outing to Kew
Friday 5th May, Witness the beauty of spring 2017 at Kew.
See layers of colour spread across the Gardens as trees and flowers come alive. Take in the glorious sights set amidst some of London’s most iconic attractions. It’s an enchanting time to visit Kew. There are over 100 world-class attractions to enjoy at Kew Gardens, from iconic buildings and glasshouses to inspirational gardens and landscapes. Discover 250 years of history at the world’s most famous Gardens.

Attractions include the Treetop walkway, The Sackler Crossing Bridge made of granite and bronze, the Aquatic Garden, The Arboretum, The Herbaceous Grounds, The Orchid Collection, The Rose Garden, Alpine House, Orangery, Palm House (closed), Waterlily House, Pagoda, etc.
Departure: front of Hartley Hall, Flower Lane, NW7 – 10am Return – ~5.00pm
Cost, to include coach hire and new group concession entry – £28.00p

Please send your name and contact details, together with payment made payable to MHGAS by Tuesday 28TH March 2017 to MHGAS Thursday Café Morning OR K Ganeshaguru (Guru/Indra), 9 Blackwell Gardens, Edgware HA8 8QA (077 7842 6977) OR Selwyn/Moira, 47 Flower Lane, Mill Hill, NW7 2JN (020 8959 1230)