Keep Bees

You need to consult with the council allotment officer (See external Links) and you will have to obtain permission from fellow plot holders.

Two documents need to be consulted:

Medway Bee keping Rules - <CLICK HERE>

General bee Keeping Guidance <CLICK HERE>

BUILDING FRUIT CAGES TO SURVIVE

Are you building a fruit cage to protect your berries, currants etc from the marauding birds? Well don’t forget that heavy snow will damage it if allowed to build up on top. If you design the roof to be easily removed and replaced you can open up the cage in late Autumn and close up again once the buds require protection in late Winter / early Spring.

Allotment Gardening Calander

January

  • Prepare beds for planting
  • Remove any weeds
  • Check seeds are strored well and make a list of what to plant each month take your location and environment into account sometimes you can take a risk and plant earlier than stated (if you have the greenhouse room)
  • Remove any snow from greenhouse rooofs and clear drains
  • Clean waterbutts out to remove any residue. Check drains are working

February

  • Sow early brassicas under glass - a windowsill will do. They don’t need much heat and you can get an early crop of cabbages, cauliflowers and calabrese if you use the correct varieties.
  • Similarly, some flowering perennials will give you bloom in their first year if sown now. An electric propagator can be helpful in getting quicker and better germination of these and half-hardy annuals.
  • If you want to grow more fruit …. plant trees and bushes as soon as the soil is dry enough.

March

  • Cut the grass (paths)for the first time and then when it needs it throughout the year. This wards off Slugs and Snails.
  • Put out Slug Pellets Organic preferably) on your paths (never on the plot).
  • Clean greenhouse glass and fumigate if required
  • Clean pots ready for the next planting rush
  • Train any vines and check previous ties
  • Remove last years Raspberries that have not started to come into leaf
  • Water where required but not too much to Onion sets or shallots until all leaves are out
  • Trim any fences or hedges - paint any fences before crops take over
  • Put out irrigation systems as crops develop dont over water small plants
  • Plant beetroot and swede in 3 inch pots

April

  • Plant Beans and Peas and most early crops
  • Watchout for late frosts and light parafin heaters in your greenhouse, put fleece covers on non hardy crops, close clotches completely, earth up and pototoes that are sprouting or cover with newspaper. Don't forget to remove the protection before it afects growth or the sun comes out again.
  • Cut the grass on your paths
  • Keep annual weeds under check - use a daisy dribber on long rooted weeds
  • Finish and winter building projects and conentrate on planting
  • Water where required
  • Dead head daffodils by removing flower stems at the base 
  • When a frosty us expected earth up and potatoes to hide any foliage
  • If frost damage does occur in potatoes trim off dead leaves back to the first good leaf but with a clean cut with a clean knife or secateurs.
May
  • Prepare brassica beds. Rake, walk then prepare anti butterfly netting.
  • Pot up tomato seedlings into 3" long body pots 
  • Plant out sweet peas with plenty of organic matter
  • Keep the grass cut and feed and weed can be applied a few days after the cutting.
  • Plant more peas and beans in ground or pots
  • Plant greenhouse grown tomatoes when they have 6 or more leaved and check for the first side shots which can be cut off in most varieties
  • Plant Gourds and cubits two in a 5 inch pots and keep the stronger ones

June

  • Sow Biennials such as Foxgloves, Wallflowers and Sweet Williams.
  • Prune flowering shrubs as the blossom fades.
  • Deadhead annuals as they come into flower, to encourage new buds.
  • Remove side shoots from cordon tomatoes and keep the leader well supported.
  • Hoe the vegetable plot regularly as weeds are now in full growth. Don’t let any weed set seed.
  • Sow vegetables for continuity. For example runner beans sown now should continue cropping into September. Lettuce, beetroot, pak choi, chard. Its not too late for Witloof (forcing) chicory.
  • If necessary, thin out apples and plums after the “June drop” to give fewer but better quality fruit. This also reduces biennial cropping.
  • Although the peak period for sowing seeds is early spring there are plenty that you can sow now.
  • In the vegetable garden you should be making successional sowings of quick growing varieties of lettuce, beetroot, radish and spring onions. A late sowing of courgettes, peas, or French or runner beans, will extend the cropping period into autumn. The pea Kelvedon Wonder, or any other quick-maturing variety with mildew resistance, normally does well. For autumn/winter brassicas such as kale, cabbage, cauliflower and sprouting broccoli check the packet as the optimum sowing time varies between different cultivars. Swede and Witloof (forcing) chicory should also do well sown now.
  • In the flower garden an in-situ sowing of nasturtiums or zinnias should flower into the autumn. Perennials and biennials can be sown in a nursery bed and transplanted later to their final positions. Examples are scabious, delphinium, aquilegia, foxglove, Iceland poppies, forget-me-nots and wallflowers.
  • If you have got a cold greenhouse, or even a windowsill in an unheated room, it’s well worth taking cuttings of tender and half-hardy perennials in the summer. The cutting material can be “softwood” or “semi-ripe” although most of the plants mentioned here will succeed from either. By next spring you can have sturdy plants that would cost a lot at the garden centre. If the winter is harsh wait until you know how many you need to replace your own losses outside but any excess can be given to your friends or sold at the RAGA shop.
  • Try your favourite cultivars of pelargoniums, penstemons, fuschias, salvias, argyranthemum (marguerites), gazanias, verbenas and many others.
  • Take cuttings early in the day from well-watered plants so that the shoots are turgid (stiff with sap). Using rooting powder containing fungicide and plant hormones often helps and seldom hinders. Use an open compost incorporating perlite, vermiculite or sand. Keep warm and humid.
  • Although many hardy perennials are best increased by division you can increase your stock of your favourite pinks by rooting pipings (short shoots pulled from the plant). Once rooted these can be over-wintered in a cold frame or even planted out in autumn if they are well enough developed.Pot up the rooted cuttings and keep them in a light but not full sun position. During the winter keep them cool but frost-free, and on the dry side. Watch for fungal diseases if ventilation is poor.

July

August

  • Remove any dead or decaying vegitation
  • Plant late peas and beans (last crops)