May/ June 2013

Hello Fellow Allotmenteers, Gardening Friends & News-letter Subscribers - wherever you are!

imageIF YOU RECEIVE TWO COPIES OF OUR NEWS-LETTER - that'll be because your e-mail address is registered with both our Aeron Vale Allotment Society & Gardeners Chat-Shed web-sites. Consequently  it will have been automatically sent out from both data-bases. No harm done - just delete the second one to arrive! Simples!

Whilst you, our Gardeners Chat-Shed friends, may be members of your own gardening clubs and allotment groups, you can still share in what we have to offer here by way of gardening tips, news, information and gossip from our "grow your own" community.

There's something for everyone in our News-letter!





It'll be passed the summer solstice by the time you receive this latest news-letter. That means we're heading back to shorter daylight hours

How depressing a thought is that? But don't panic too much, think of it this way. Each day after the solstice (June 21st) is equivalent to a day before the solstice. So the days will shorten very gradually at the rate of just under 2 minutes per day on average, until we get to the winter solstice in December. Yuk - let's move on!

The word 'Solstice' derives from the Latin term meaning 'sun stood still', as in the winter and summer solstice the sun appears to rise and set in practically the same place.  When the 'sun stood still', in summer this year I was lifting my first 'new' potatoes - so I can't forget that this year (more on that subject below). For us gardeners when  the sun stood still'  and afterwards, has other major implications!

Effect of Daylight Length on Plant Growth

Day length is critical to the growth and lifecycle of a lot of plants. Many plants use the length of the day to judge when to flower or set seed. Different varieties of plants will react to day length in different ways. That is why our onions are geared towards a 14 hour period, whereas varieties more suitable for the tropics use 10 hours as a trigger. At the equator day length is uniform around 12 hours. Circadian cycles/ rhythms play a part in this, but I won't go down that road just now!

Basic to a plant’s growth is daylight. Like a solar power processor, a plant uses the energy from sunlight to power its growth. Contrary to popular terminology that's based on old beliefs, plants don't get food via their roots - just nutrients and water, in fact all their food energy is produced by photosynthesis, i.e. light - ALL natural light on Earth comes from the Sun. that's why plants will die if you cover them with a black plastic sheet - regardless of whether their roots are well established, healthy and in good soil! Blocking out light starves them of food & they eventually die. Mind you, if you want to eradicate some stubborn weeds (like docks) that way you might find you have to keep them covered for over two years!

Temperature, nutrient levels in the soil and water are all important - but without sunlight plants will not grow. The more sunlight, the more energy is available for the plant to power that growth.

Day length is particularly important to show growers who artificially push vegetables to maturity for a show rather than when they would naturally be ready.

There are also lurking problems - very often after the solstice, (for obvious reasons).

Bolting is triggered either by cold/ dry spells or by the changes in day length through the seasons. Although bolting is only seen on crops approaching maturity, it is initiated much earlier. Annual crops will flower naturally in the first year, whereas biennials do not usually flower until the second. In annual crops, bolting occurs before they are ready to gather and, in biennials, when an over-wintering organ (carrot roots and onions for example) flowers before the winter.

  • Annual crops: Annual crops sensitive to photoperiod (how many hours of daylight received) include lettuce, some radish cultivars and spinach. They are long-day plants, which initiate flowers when day length increases. It is a natural progression for spring-sown annuals to run to seed as summer progresses, but this can happen prematurely under the influence of stress or day-length  

  • Biennial crops: Some biennial crops (which grow in the first year, flower in the second) such as onions, leeks, carrot and beetroot can initiate flowers in the first year. This is due to unsettled weather conditions early in the season and usually occurs after a prolonged cold spell, often during the propagation phase. Cold nights, hot days and late frosts may also contribute to premature initiation of flowering.

Sowing times

  • With cold-sensitive plants, sowings can be delayed until temperatures are more stable. E.g. strategy is advisable for endive and Swiss chard.

  • Alternatively, for early crops of vegetables such as onions, beetroot and kohl rabi, plants can be raised in modules in a greenhouse and planted out when temperatures are warmer, or they can be directly sown under cloches or horticultural fleece to provide additional warmth.

  • Spring cabbages, which are always quick to bolt in spring, should be sown around 20 July (one week earlier in the north and one week later in the south - remember the general rule that in the UK 100 miles north is usually equivalent to one week later). Although such crops will still run to seed in spring, they will bolt later than crops sown earlier, while later-sown crops may be too small to survive winter.  

  • Successional sowings will also help to achieve a constant harvestable supply if the season is changeable.

  • To prevent bolting in Chinese cabbage and other oriental brassicas, these crops should be sown from July onwards.  

  • Vegetables such as radicchio, Florence fennel, and oriental greens bolt when the nights become warm  on average above 10-13°C (50-55°F).

Out of interest, dedicated prize onion growers will tell you that the size of your bulbs in autumn is directly proportional to the number and size of their leaves before the solstice. After the longest day, they start to take down their energy to store in the bulbs for next year. So the more leaves, and the bigger they are, the bigger the bulbs will be later. That's why it's important to get them sown early in spring (weather pending).

Do You Really Trust Weathermen & Apocalypse Prophets? I Don't!

Britain should brace itself for a continuing trend of soggy summers, according to Met Office scientists, who have predicted that the natural warming of the Atlantic jet stream coupled with higher levels of greenhouse gases means that summers will be wet for a decade. "This sounds interesting" I hear some of you fellow gardeners muttering to yourselves! Remember the predictions on T.V. & in the papers in the spring of last year (2012)? We were to brace ourselves for a summer long drought with water levels at record lows, what did we get? The wettest summer in living memory. Hmm OK experts - we believe you (NOT)! Flash-backs to twenty five years ago when Michael Fish's words of reassurance on the 15th of October 1987 forecast passed into the national consciousness. Nonchalantly he began by saying:

 "Earlier on today a woman rang the BBC to say she'd heard there was a hurricane on the way, well, if you're watching, don't worry there isn't."

GASP! What followed was the worst storm to hit south-east England since 1703. The error made the weather forecaster infamous as the man who failed to spot what became known as the Great Storm. Want a laugh? Click HERE to see it again.

Moving on to the present. We've recently had leading scientists and meteorologists gathering at the Met Office to discuss the UK's unusual weather patterns in recent years (the wise and wonderful often do that - it enhances their reputations - or the opposite - apparently it settles their nerves and stops them getting bored ). They looked at what might have caused the cold winter of 2010/11, the wet summer of 2012, and this year's cold spring. (Attaboys - let's hear it then).

Professor Stephen Belcher, Head of the Met Office Hadley Centre and chair of the meeting, said that the the delegates had heard about "exciting" research from the University of Reading into circulation of currents in the Atlantic. "These areas of warm and cold water can affect the atmosphere, and load the dice as to where the jet stream is," he said. "If the jet stream ends in a southerly position, it can bring wet summers". (Oh really? Tell us more, tell us more).

Professor Rowan Sutton, of the University of Reading, pointed out that there will always be a lot of variability in British weather (no sh _ t Sherlock - but we're still all ears), but he said recent persistent patterns - such as the series of wet summers since 2007 - are unusual (you're pulling my leg - 2012 was the 40th wettest for Northern Ireland. Records date back to 1910. With 39 wetter years since 1910 how was this 'unusual'?). Prof. Sutton went on to say "this spring was the coldest for over 50 years, 2012 was the wettest in a century and December 2010 was the coldest on record, with national records dating back to 1910. (Wow! THAT far back! That REALLY is far back when you consider that humans have only been on this earth for 200,000 years, and they've only been officially recording data about the weather for about 200 years! Gives you a lot of confidence doesn't it? Cod's wallop - tell what you said at your conference to the fairies or if you can't find any of them try the good folk of Northern Ireland).

Research at the University of Reading suggests that recent wet summers could be caused by a major warming of the North Atlantic Ocean that occurred back in the 1990s. The North Atlantic ocean has alternated slowly between warmer and cooler conditions over the last 100 years. We saw a rapid switch to a warmer North Atlantic in the 1990s and the meteorologists think this is increasing the chances of wet summers over the UK and hot, dry summers around the Mediterranean - a situation that is likely to persist for as long as the North Atlantic remains in a warm phase.

A transition back to a cooler North Atlantic, favouring drier summers in the UK and northern Europe, is likely and could occur rapidly. Exactly when this will happen is difficult to predict, but we're working on it (that sounds like a statement of REAL confidence - be sure to let us know when you ARE sure of these predictions) .

Other research at Reading suggests recent cold winters may be linked to a dip in the energy coming from the Sun (sounds like a hedge bet coming up) and more frequent blocking events in the Eastern Atlantic. Blocking occurs when the warm jet stream from the west on its way to Northern Europe is blocked allowing north-easterly winds to arrive from the Arctic. Blocking episodes can persist for several weeks, leading to extended cold periods in winter.

He concluded by saying "As well as such natural processes, we know that weather across the UK and Europe is being affected by higher levels of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere" (ah! I was wondering when that ol' chestnut was going to break the surface). "For example, rainfall events have become more intense and this is quite likely linked to a warmer climate. There is also some evidence linking the record low amounts of Arctic sea ice to UK weather, but this evidence is not yet conclusive either way."

The meeting was designed to assess the research done so far and discuss what needs to be studied in the future to get a better idea of what could be causing the weather extremes.

Earlier this month the Met Office said below average temperatures through March, April and May made it the fifth coldest spring in national records dating back to 1910 and the coldest spring since 1962. Provisional findings show the UK's mean temperature for the season was just 6C (42.8F), while March was "exceptionally" cold, averaging 2.2C (36F).

Fascinating! So are our summers getting dryer & warmer or colder & wetter?

I don't know about you, but I feel that anyone who believes this drivel is in the same category as one of Chicken Licken's friends!

Know Your Pests

Blackfly (or black bean aphid)

Look for

Colonies that can usually be found on the undersides of leaves as well as on soft new shoot tips or buds. Black bean aphids cluster together and are noticeable because of their dark colouring. As they feed, they secrete a sticky, honeydew substance which drips onto lower foliage and often becomes covered in a sticky black mould

Plants affected

Black bean aphids affect a wide range of garden plants, trees shrubs and certain vegetables (mainly beans and peas).

About Black bean aphid

  • The black bean aphid is more commonly known as 'Black fly'.

  • Adult aphids are up to 2mm long and elliptical in shape. They are black in colour, although they can also appear dark green or purple.

  • Black bean aphid infestations are commonly managed by black garden ants which 'farm' the aphids and 'milk' the sticky honeydew that they produce. Ants will often carry young aphids onto new plants to establish new colonies.

  • Large colonies can cover areas on the youngest sections of stems, and the undersides of leaves and sometimes on flowerbuds.

  • During the warmer months aphids give birth to as many as five live young a day, so large colonies can develop very quickly.

  • When the colonies become over-populated, they move to different locations by producing winged aphids.

  • During the cooler months, aphids mate and produce eggs which overwinter.

  • Aphids feed on plant sap and excrete plant sugars as honeydew.

  • Honeydew often covers the leaves of a plant and then becomes infested with black sooty moulds. However, this is less common with black bean aphids where ants are collecting the honeydew.



Products containing the following chemical ingredients are all effective on Black bean aphid

  • Pyrethrum

  • Surfactant based products

Note: If you do resort to using chemicals (organic methods are cleaner, healthier and just as effective against this pest) It is important to read manufacturer's instructions for use and the associated safety data information before applying chemical treatments.


  • Inspect plants regularly and deal with early symptoms immediately.

  • Remove as many aphids as you can by hand or, if possible, cut off infested shoots and stems on susceptible shrubs.

  • Spray the infested areas of a plant with a strong jet of water to keep aphid numbers down.

  • Use natural fatty acids - gently spray with a solution of soapy water.

  • Use nettings and fleeces to stop aphids spreading to susceptible plants.

  • Encourage natural aphid predators such as ladybirds, Aphidoletes, hoverfly and lacewing larvae. These can be obtained from commercial suppliers and released on to affected plants outdoors.

  • For greenhouse plants use parasitic wasps of aphids such as Aphidius matricariae and Aphidius ervi which can be purchased for release in a contained space.


  • Regularly check plants for signs of aphid infestation and deal with them as soon as they appear.

  • Encourage natural enemies.

  • Avoid using broad spectrum insecticides which will kill beneficial insects as well as aphids.

  • Encourage insectivorous birds by hanging feeders during the winter months and provide nesting boxes in the spring.


The cold spring has taken it's toll. Although summer is a bit more like what it should be, the effects of that long cold spring is still with us. Even though where I grow my crops we are blessed with a micro climate that makes it warmer & dryer than the surrounding areas of Cardigan Bay (Aberaeron is referred to by some old folk in the area as "the Cardigan Bay frying pan"), we can't escape. I calculate that my crops are at least four weeks behind. What I see at the end of June is what I would normally expect to see at the beginning of the month. The runner & French beans seem particularly stubborn to get going.

Having said that, the spuds are going great guns. As are the onions, shallots & cabbage.


It's always a special occasion when you lift your very first new potatoes of the season. That day arrived on the 21st of June this year. I could probably have lifted them a week or so earlier, as they've been in flower for a while, but on the 21st I couldn't resist it any longer.

So on the day of the summer solstice two haulms were lifted. VERY impressed! Not just with the size & quantity but the taste was first class.

They're Vales Emerald. I had hoped to plant them last year, but didn't manage to get the seed tubers in time. This year I managed it - thanks to my wife Josie who found them in Wrexham on one of her trips up north to visit her family in Birkenhead.

Vales Emerald are a cross between Charlotte (my all time favourite early) & Maris Peer. So logic would have it that a potato with those two for parents should turn out OK. I'm not disappointed. "Her Indoors" asked what they were - after boiling them - and then declared that she wanted ALL Vales Emerald next year! I'm not sure about that.

This is the row the Vale Emeralds were picked from: image

This year I've also got Salad Blue (first time trial for me - they actually have blue coloured tubers - quite a novelty in a salad!). 

As for the Charlotte; my guess is the "cook" might be in a quandary when she tastes those again this year - she's probably forgotten how good they are. I wonder if she'll still want ALL Vales Emerald next year when I start on the Charlottes in a few weeks' time? Or perhaps Ulster Classic will top the bill!

Then there's Pink Fir Apple - as usual - and the other two maincrop varieties this year are Pentland Hawk & Armour, which I did grow years ago but I've forgotten what they were like & then another new trial for me - Ulster Classic - another first early, like Vales Emerald, but the flowers haven't quite opened yet. Any time from here on they'll see the light of day.

If the Ulster Classic is as good as Ian Barbour of JBA Seed Potatoes reckons they are (he says it's the best flavoured spud he's ever tasted and he should know, he's eaten a few tons in his time I guess) then we're in for a treat.

image Here's the rest of my potato 'patch'
The rest of the plot is coming along slowly I say that because it IS slow this year in our part of the world. At a guess I would say we're between 4 & 6 weeks behind.

The lettuce did well up to a point, but for some reason they suddenly slowed down, why is a mystery.

The spring onions are coming on fine. It seems to be quite a good year for the onions & the rest of the allium family.


The shallots and onions on the left are thriving. The runner beans in the background are struggling a little. However, the dry weather we've had hasn't helped and before that it was cold. So with a bit more rain & warmth I guess they'll do OK - they usually do, even if it takes a bit longer.

The peas are now starting to get into their stride, but again very slow, considering we're into our last week of June. The cabbage (in  the background in the green mini net tunnel) are thriving. It's always the same, what some plants struggle with, others thrive on. The cooler weather this year seems to suit the cabbage, onions & spuds.


Courgettes, pumpkins & cucumbers are starting to move in the tyre towers, but BOY they've been a nightmare to get started this year, fluctuating heat & cold they hate, and guess what? Temperature fluctuations have been the order of the day this spring!

And finally in the polytunnel, the last dregs of the seedlings are queuing up to go outside. I'll have to make that a priority in the next week or so, in order to get the toms, cucs, melons, capsicums & aubergines into their permanent spots in the polytunnel borders that are still loaded up with plant trays & pots at the moment.


These are a tray of Sweet peas (not peas) that are waiting to go in a border along the perimeter fence of my lottie. Trouble is it needs digging & preparing. Because it's been so hectic on the veg. front the poor flowers have not been able to climb up the priority list, let alone climb up any fences!



So What Happens When We REALLY Trip Over Our Shoelaces In The West?!

Whilst I have little time for apocalyptical prophesies and unfounded predictions about neurotic global warming alerts based solely on man's modern carbon dioxide pollution (although it obviously is a contributing factor). Global warming has come and gone over the millennia - with or without our input. HOWEVER our ridiculous over dependency on fossil fuel - primarily oil - is a very REAL threat to our existence, because it compounds directly on our immediate food supply. It's time to get back to reality and to explore the correct way of doing things. 


Climate change (not particularly man-made, but mostly due to natural cyclical weather patterns over thousands of years),  drought, population growth, depletion of the oil supplies that we have become totally dependent on - they could all threaten future food supplies. But global agriculture, with its dependence on fuel and inorganic fertilisers (made from oil) is also highly vulnerable to an oil shortage, as Cuba found out 20 years ago.

Around Cuba's capital Havana, it is quite remarkable how often you see a neatly tended plot of land right in the heart of the city.

Sometimes smack bang between tower block estates or next door to the crumbling colonial houses, fresh fruit and vegetables are growing in abundance.

Some of the plots are small - just a few rows of lettuces and radishes being grown in an old parking space.

Other plots are much larger - the size of several football pitches. Usually they have a stall next to them to sell the produce at relatively low prices to local people.

Twenty years ago, Cuban agriculture looked very different. Between 1960 and 1989, a national policy of intensive specialised agriculture radically transformed Cuban farming into high-input mono-culture in which tobacco, sugar, and other cash crops were grown on large state farms.

Cuba exchanged its abundant produce for cheap, imported subsidised oil from the old Eastern Bloc. In fact, oil was so cheap, Cuba pursued a highly industrialised fuel-thirsty form of agriculture - not so different from the kind of farming we see in much of the West today.

But after the collapse of the Soviet Union, the oil supply rapidly dried up, and, almost overnight, Cuba faced a major food crisis. Already affected by a US trade embargo, Cuba by necessity had to go back to basics to survive - rediscovering low-input self-reliant farming.

City allotments

With no petrol for tractors, oxen had to plough the land. With no oil-based fertilisers or pesticides, farmers had to turn to natural and organic replacements.


Oxen replaced tractors when Cuba became a low-fuel economy

Today, about 300,000 oxen work on farms across the country and there are now more than 200 biological control centres which produce a whole host of biological agents in fungi, bacteria and beneficial insects.

Havana has almost 200 urban allotments - known as organiponicos - providing four million tonnes of vegetables every year - helping the country to become 90% self-sufficient in fruit and vegetables.

Alamo Organiponico is one of the larger co-operatives, employing 170 people, built on a former rubbish tip that produces 240 tonnes of vegetables a year.

There is a wide range of crops planted side by side and brightly coloured marigolds at the edges.



Car parks and rubbish tips have become vegetable plots

"We produce all different kinds of vegetables," says farmer Emilio Andres, who is proud of the fact that his allotment feeds the local community.

"We sell to the people, the school, the hospital, also to the restaurant and the hotel.

"It's important because it's grown in the city, it's fresh food for the people, it's healthy food, and it provides jobs for the people here too.

"We don't spray any chemicals. We only spray biological means like bastilos - a bacteria and fungus to kill the pests. And we use repellent plants like marigolds to keep away the pests.

"When I see all of these healthy crops, without too many pests, grown without any chemicals, it's amazing for me - I am making a contribution for the people that get healthy crops, healthy products."

Healthy diet

The organiponico uses raised beds filled with about 50% high-quality organic material (such as manure), 25% composted waste such as rice husks and coffee bean shells, and 25% soil.



 "A Western diet includes about three times as much food energy from animal products like meat and dairy"

As well as marigolds, basil and neem trees are planted around the containers to keep the aphids and beetles at bay. Sunflowers and corn are also planted around the beds to attract beneficial insects such as ladybirds and lace wings. Sticky paper or plastic funnel-shaped bottles are positioned throughout the beds to trap harmful pests that do get into the garden.

And the methods work. Lettuce, tomatoes, peppers, squash, sweet potatoes, spinach, herbs and many other crops are grown in huge quantities and sold cheaply. Mangoes are 2 pence (3 US cents) a pound. Black beans 15p (25 cents) and plantain, just 12p (20 cents).

At the time of the oil shock, average calorie consumption in Cuba dropped by a third to dangerously low levels. Since then they have bounced back and Cubans eat just a little less than people in the UK.

The biggest difference is that a Western diet includes about three times as much food energy from animal products like meat and dairy.

The Cuban diet is much less fatty and requires less fuel to produce. A far less varied diet than in the West, it is also much healthier. The standard lunch for the farm workers is black beans, potatoes and rice.

Cuban agricultural researcher, Fernando Funes reckons the rest of the world has something to learn from the Cuban agricultural story.

"Well, do you have oil forever? And there also other considerations like global warming, nature conservation... the conventional way of farming generates a lot of damage to the environment and to human health.

"Developed countries as well as developing countries should pay a lot of attention to this kind of agriculture which takes care of land, people, environment and is also efficient and productive. You can combine both."

You can see a short film presented by Monty Don when he visited the Organoponicos in Havana. It can be viewed in the GARDENERS CHAT-SHED. To see it please CLICK HERE.




imageThe world’s longest cucumber was grown in Essex, UK in 1986 and measured a whopping 1.1m (3ft 8in). That’s enough to make about 44 rounds of cucumber sandwiches!

Here are a few more facts about the humble cucumber - probably the most under rated fruit in your greenhouse or on your allotment! You know the one I'm talking about - it's that green sprawling thing you moan about because it produces so much fruit that it causes a glut and you can't give them away for the love of money. Well, they're not just for eating or giving away to your reluctant friends & family! Even though they are probably one of the healthiest things that you can shove past your lips. I bet you won't view the ol' cuc in the same light again after you've read down the list below!

  • Cucumbers contain most of the vitamins you need every day, just one cucumber contains Vitamin B1, Vitamin B2, Vitamin B3, Vitamin B5, Vitamin B6, Folic Acid, Vitamin C, Calcium, Iron, Magnesium, Phosphorus, Potassium and Zinc.

  • Feeling tired in the afternoon? Put down the caffeinated coffee or tea and pick up a cucumber. Cucumbers are a good source of B Vitamins and Carbohydrates that can provide that quick pick-me-up that can last for hours.

  • Tired of your bathroom mirror misting up after the shower you've had following a hard sweaty day on the lottie? Try rubbing a cucumber slice along the mirror, it will eliminate the mist & provide a soothing, spa-like fragrance.

  • Are bugs and slugs ruining your plants? Place a few slices in a small pie tin and your garden will be free of pests all season long. The chemicals in the cucumber react with the aluminium to give off a scent undetectable to humans but drive garden pests crazy and make them flee the area.

  • Looking for a fast and easy way to remove cellulite before going out in your beach ware? Try rubbing a slice or two of cucumbers along your problem area for a few minutes, the phytochemicals in the cucumber cause the Collagen in your skin to tighten, firming up the outer layer and reducing the visibility of cellulite. Works great on wrinkles too!

  • Want to avoid a hangover or terrible headache? Eat a few cucumber slices before going to bed and wake up refreshed and headache free. Cucumbers contain enough sugar, B vitamins and electrolytes to replenish essential nutrients your body has lost through your silly intake of alcohol, keeping everything in equilibrium, avoiding both a hangover and headache!

  • Looking to fight off that afternoon or evening snacking binge? Cucumbers have been used for centuries and often used by European trappers, traders and explores for quick meals to thwart off starvation.

  • Have an important meeting or job interview and you realize that you don't have enough time to polish your shoes? Rub a freshly cut cucumber over the shoe, its chemicals will provide a quick and durable shine that not only looks great but also repels water.

  • Out of WD 40 and need to fix a squeaky hinge on your garden shed door? Take a cucumber slice and rub it along the problematic hinge, and voila, the squeak is gone!

  • Stressed out and don't have time for a sauna or massage? Cut up an entire cucumber and place it in a boiling pot of water, the chemicals and nutrients from the cucumber will react with the boiling water and be released in the steam, creating a soothing, relaxing aroma that has been shown to reduce stress in new mothers and college students during final exams.

  • Just finished a pub lunch and realize you don't have chewing gum or mints to take away the smell on your breath? Or you're about to go on a date, but you're worried if your breath smells fresh enough for close encounters? Take a slice of cucumber and press it to the roof of your mouth with your tongue for 30 seconds to eliminate bad breath, the phytochemicals will kill the bacteria in your mouth that's responsible for causing bad breath.

  • Looking for a "green"; way to clean your toilet, sink, or stainless steel draining board? Take a slice of cucumber and rub it on the surface you want to clean, not only will it remove years of tarnish and bring back the shine, but it won't leave streaks and won't harm your fingers or fingernails while you clean!

  • Using a pen and made a mistake? Take the outside of the cucumber and slowly use it to erase the pen writing, also works great on crayons and markers that the kids have used to decorate the walls!

"Not a lot of people know that!"

That's it for another issue friends. If you would like to write something for our NEWS-LETTER then all contributions are gratefully accepted. You can contact me via either of our two web-sites: or

If you have any friends or gardening acquaintances who you think would like our news-letter and would benefit from it then by all means point them towards our news-letter archive on the web-site where they can also subscribe on-line to receive the publication by e-mail - it's FREE!




Until the next time - keep busy,  but above all have fun & ENJOY on your allotment plot or in your veg. garden!


All the best to you all,




Click to visit our AWARD WINNING web-siteCliciwch i fynd i'n GWEFAN WOBRWYOLClick to visit our AWARD WINNING web-siteVisit our Gardeners Social Networking siteVisit our Gardeners Social Networking siteRead My Blog at The Gardeners Chat-Shed

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