Civilisation has operated in two ways - To make one part of society more affluent and the other more wretched than would have been the lot of either in a natural state
There are Natural Rights and Civil Rights. Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness
Where Our Power to Execute Our Natural Rights is Perfect, Government has No Legitimate Jurisdiction
When the Forces for War are Greater than the Forces for Peace   Then the World is in Danger
Politics is not a Dirty Word. It is a Way of Life. How is Your Way of Life Today ?


Allotment Garden Newsletter

From John Harrison

Allotment Garden Extra March 2021

Dear Friend

It’s been a year since this pandemic hit us in the UK. I remember talking about it and saying how things might get a bit tricky. Val went out and topped up our store cupboards just in case and we prepared for a siege.

A week later, March 23rd, the UK went into lockdown and our world changed. At first there were lot of comparisons with the war. How difficult could it be to stay at home compared to what people put up with for five long, dark years? There certainly are some parallels to draw with the war but at least people shared that experience together.

After a year we know it’s a lot more difficult to stay at home and socially distant than we thought it would be. People are social creatures, we live in groups and isolation isn’t good for us. There are few things sadder than a single chicken or a lonely sheep.

Mental health does suffer in isolation – I know mine has. I don’t mean I’ve started talking to myself or anything but there are days when I feel very down and negative. Getting outside or even just in the greenhouse helps improve the mood no end.

Our fantastic vaccine rollout is getting us out of this. You can see in the statistics how quickly infections, hospitalisations and deaths are plummeting. I don’t think this is going to be over quite as quickly as we would wish though. I also think we may be facing some problems with our food supplies. I popped my thoughts on this in a post on my diary here.

Weed Control

Some crops like carrots are easily swamped by weeds. I’ve had this happen myself. Prepare the bed, sow the carrot seeds and before the carrots have got going a flush of weeds have taken over.

There is a way around this. Prepare the bed as normal for sowing and then just leave it for a week. The weed seeds brought to the surface will germinate and start to show. Go over the bed with a flame weeder and kill them off without further disturbing the soil and bringing another flush out. It only takes a couple of minutes.

Draw your drill, sow your seeds and with a little luck you won’t lose your seedlings to competition. Harrod Horticultural have an excellent flame wand weeder and the gas cannisters available here.

Our Books – Payment Information

Thanks to Suttons, the free seed offer across the range continues and we’re still offering free delivery.

On the website you can pay by PayPal or with a card using the PayPal system – no account needed. If you have any difficulty with it, let me know and we will help as best we can. We can accept cheques payments but there is a transaction fee of £2.00. Just email if you would like to pay by cheque and we’ll let you know what to do.

Our Books – Click Me!

Book offer – Save an extra £1.00

We know a lot of people are interested in both my Dig for Victory book and my Vegetable Growing Month by Month.

You can buy them as a package with the free wartime replica leaflets and 8 packets of seeds for just £20.89 saving £1.00 on buying them individually.

Special Offer – Click Me!

Greenhouse Tip

Space is always at a premium in greenhouses, especially at this time of year. One way to maximise this is to be flexible over staging and shelving. Once the rush of seed germination is over and I need the space for the tomatoes, I just take the staging outside for the summer.

Seed Tray Rack

One bit of kit that really makes use of space is this seed tray rack I noticed in the TwoWests catalogue. They do have a superb range of staging and accessories for the greenhouse.

It comes in a range of options with up to 5 shelves.

Seed Tray Rack

Attaching Strings

It’s always ‘fun’ sorting out stringing for crops like tomatoes in a greenhouse. Where to attach them at the top?

I love this cheap and easy solution from TwoWests. They fix in the glazing channel with a crop-head bolt and nut in seconds. Saves a lot of fiddling about for a little cost – £6.90 for 10

Greenhouse Fixing Rings


Not everybody has the space or the money for a greenhouse but a coldframe takes little space or expense and can do a lot that a greenhouse will do to help you gain on the season. Once again, TwoWests have a good selection ranging from £70.00 upwards.

TwoWests Coldframes

Free Coldframe

One tip I came across in one of my war-time gardening books was a free coldframe using either a sheet of glass or old window taken from a bombed out building.

Dig a pit sized to fit your glass. Fill this with fresh manure etc. and cover with soil. Build walls up using old turf to support the glass over the top and it’s job done. The manure rotting down will even heat it.

You don’t have to spend lots of money to grow successfully – just some ingenuity will do it.

Wot no seed potatoes?

I’ve had a few emails from people unable to get hold of seed potatoes for various reasons. It is possible to grow a crop of potatoes from shop bought eating potatoes. Normally I wouldn’t really recommend it but needs must.

You can read the pros and cons of this in this article Can you chit supermarket potatoes?

Seed Potato Offer

Here we can get seed potatoes by post still – and I believe Potato House still have some of the Sarpo blight resistant varieties pack. 5 bags of 6 tuber nets for £17.95 with an extra £3.00 off using the code SARPOAG at the checkout. See the offer at Potato House here

Fruit & Vegetable Growing Guide for March

Hints & Tips in the jobs guide for growing in March

Fruit & Vegetable Growing Guide for March

Any Questions?

I’m always happy to hear back from you but I get a lot of emails and regret I just can’t answer everyone.

If you’ve a growing question feel free to ask but please give me as much information as possible. Where you are, what your soil is like and what your climate is like all effect things. Photographs are particularly helpful.

If it’s something I think will be generally useful, then I may write an article on the subject and possibly use the photographs supplied.

Don’t forget there are a lot of good growers on our forums who are happy to help with your questions. It’s often useful to get more than one person’s input to a problem.

Suggestions for the newsletter and website are especially welcome.

I hope you’ve found this newsletter extra useful. The next newsletter will be April. Until then –

Good Growing and above all, Keep Safe


Allotment Garden

Fron Dirion, Clogwyn Melyn,
LL54 6PT


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