If you're disllusioned with the multimillion pound farce of the premier league, where semi-fit spoiled brats change teams for sums which would build a new school, fix the infrastructure problems of a small Third World country or solve the Ebola crisis, then rediscover football the way it used to be. Follow West Allotment Celtic's battle to stay in the FA cup. Latest result: West Alltment Celtic 1, Knaresborough nil.
Autumn Onion sets will be available at the Trading Store from the next opening on the 6th September. They will be sold by the 500g or multiples thereof, and when the stock is gone, it's gone. The planting time is fairly restricted for these autumn onion sets and Geoff is keen not to have left-over unsold stock.
Varieties are 'Shakespeare' (A British bred, brown skinned variety that produces good yields of medium - large onions) at £1.40 for 500gand 'Winter Red' (with red flesh, maturing early summer) at £1.70 per 500g, both superb varieties.
Click here to go to the Trading Store page
The annual jamboree has now started at Hamstreet Garden Centre with all remaining seeds at 50p a packet. There is a good selection across the lists with almost every stock item represented. Suttons and Thompson & Morgan (usually so expensive) have the full range of flowers and veg, while Franchi Seeds - well, if you've not yet tried them, then give them a chance. Big, bumper packs, good varieties and very high germination. I was initially sceptical as they are an Italian firm and I wasn't sure how well the varieties would perform here. After several years using them I'm now a fan and I'm not the only one.
You'll need to be a member of the garden centre's 'Gardener's Club' scheme to take advantage of this offer but it's well worth joining as there are special offers for members only all year round. Joining is free and the form to fill in a quick and easy one.
West Allotment Celtic 2 Hebburn 0
It's not often we have the chance to cheer on an allotment team in the early rounds of the FA cup, but West Allotment Celtic's defeat of Hebburn in the replay at home sees them drawn to play Knaresborough next weekend. You may have heard of Knaresborough; you may even have worked out, from the comedy series starring Gina McKee and Jim Moir that Hebburn is somewhere in the North East, but I can now reveal that West Allotment Celtic now play at Whitley Bay, Tyneside's seaside resort.
The match seems to have been dramatic, with what is described as a "bizarre goalkeeping erro" contributing to the result. I quote:
'The defence was less assured as half-time approached, playing their part in one of the most unusual goals in recent memory. Kallum McGlen looked lively with the ball to feet, but his cross from the right wing was hopelessly shanked into the stratosphere. A seemingly easy take remained for ‘keeper Gary Rogers, but an untimely collision with a teammate saw the ball escape his grasp, bobbling unexpectedly over the line and literally gifting Celtic a welcome buffer at the break.'
It sounds like a more exciting match than many in the Premier League, and a full report, only slightly biased I'm sure, can be read on their website.
For those who really care about these things, West Allotment Celtic really were an allotment team, formed in 1928 by the merger of West Allotment Primitive Methodists and West Allotment Juniors. Their history is a wonderful story and can be read on their website. Generations of football enthusiasts have kept the team going through thick and thin in this obscure corner of amateur league soccer. Do visit their website and learn more.
A lady was very interested in the 2 volumes of Amateur Gardening 1893 at our Summer Show today. Unfortunately we were unaware that the slip bearing the correct price had fallen out of the books. The price the lady saw was NOT the price asked, which was considerably less than the price pencilled on the end boards.
We are very very sorry for the error. The book has been put aside and if the lady concerned contacts me on email@example.com we will put things right! I think she will find the price actually being asked a good deal more affordable.
Any gardening books not sold on the day at our Summer Show on August 23rd will be available for you to buy at silly prices, at the Trading Store on our usual open days.
At the Pumpkin Show on 1st November there will be secondhand and vintage tools to buy, also at silly prices
As you'll have seen earlier this month, the produce stall at the Pilgrim's Hospice raised a good amount. We don't expect quite so many people at the Summer Show (we haven't got a minibus laid on or anything like that) but all money raised will be very useful, so please do take a few minutes to walk over your plot and scoop up your surplus of whatever you have a lot of. All contributions incredibly welcome!
Results of the 'Best Plot' competition, plus all the photos we could get, are now there for you to see. Certificates will be awarded, plus the vintage silver cup for Best Plot, at the Summer Show on Saturday.
Kent Police Male Voice Choir have set a standard for choirs for many decades now. Don't miss your chance to hear them yourself, and by buying a ticket, help raise money for Kent's own charity for the deaf and hard of hearing.
Many new plotholders have realised that the heavy rain we've had recently gives them a wonderful chance to steal a march on the seasons. Normally at this time of year the ground would be rock hard and there would be a two month wait before it was possible to achieve anything but a bit of weedkilling.
This year the ground is moist and in lovely condition. A very short spell of work with the fork will bring out most weeds by the root, and the warm weather means those weeds can quickly be on their way to becoming valuable compost.
Once a small area has been thoroughly cleared, crops of autumn carrots (Autumn King is the favourite), beetroot, spinach or its easier cousin chard, lettuce and herbs like parsley can all be sown and will germinate quickly. Cauliflowers and spring cabbage can be bought as plants to put in ready for crops early next year.
As all experienced gardeners know, weeds shouldn't be removed from the plot and every effort should be made to conserve topsoil. Some misguided new plotholders have even been seen to skim off their topsoil, complete with grass, and bag it up or dump it at the back of the plot! Weeds shouldn't be shaken free of soil and composted - don't believe what you may have read about seeds or roots not rotting down! Everything rots down, except perhaps the odd bits of polythene, baling twine and broken bucket which every new plotholder seems to inherit. See our tips for new plotholders for more useful labour-saving info by clicking here.
This website is happy to publicise all garden-related events.