Seed Potatoes & Onion Sets for planting 2023 Order Now!

Posted 9th September 2022

Now more than ever is the time to grow your own potatoes and onions and save £££’s. Order top quality seed potatoes and onion sets for the next growing season from our trading shed.
See the chart below for the full range, product information, prices and pack sizes. Orders must be placed at the trading shed before 23rd October 2022.

Prices. Wholesaler prices have increased again. However, our selling prices as usual are below most retail and online outlets and of course purchasing from the trading shed supports our allotment site.

Extra Earlies. Choose from Swift and Maris Bard, both reliable and heavy cropping varieties.

Earlies. Following supply problems last year the nation’s favourite second early Arran Pilot is now available.

Bulk Buy Sacks. Please note that 25kg sacks (of single varieties) are no longer available and have been replaced with 20kg sacks.

How to order. Orders must be received before 23rd October 2022. Please visit the trading shed to place your order for seed potatoes and onion sets. Payment should be made when ordering and please bring along a debit or credit card as we now only accept contactless card payments.

 

EXTRA EARLY VARIETYPRODUCT DESCRIPTION PRICE
(£)
2KG PK
Swift Fast growing first early, heavy crops of round, smooth, white fleshed baby new potatoes.4.80
Maris BardSmooth white skin and flesh, heavy cropping and a traditional new potato taste.4.80
EARLY VARIETIES PRODUCT DESCRIPTION PRICE
(£)
2KG PK
Arran PilotHigh yield of white skinned tubers with high scab resistance, tasty and versatile with many cooking options.4.80
Charlotte Waxy long light yellow tubers, creamy yellow  flesh, great cold for salads or hot and sauté.4.80
MAINCROP VARIETIESPRODUCT DESCRIPTION PRICE
(£)
2KG PK
Desiree Red skin, yellow firm waxy flesh, high yield, all cooking purposes including roasting and baking.4.80
King Edward Part red colouration, creamy white flesh, light floury texture, great all round cooking qualities.4.80
Maris PiperHigh yields, good resistance to splitting, stores well, great all rounder, boil, steam, mash, chip, sauté, bake, roast.4.80
PicassoRed eyes, massive yields, stores well, mild taste.5.30
Pink Fir Apple Knobbly pink tubers, delicious hot or cold. 6.30
Sarpo Mira High resistance to foliar blight, great for  storage, excellent boiled.5.30
OR BULK BUY (SINGLE VARIETY POTATOES) PRICE PER 25KG SACK ONLY £25.00
ONION SETS PRODUCT DESCRIPTION PRICE
(£) 200G PK
Sturon All time great onions, reliable and consistent,  straw coloured bulbs, good bolting resistance,  fine flavour and stores well.2.00 
60 sets  
per pk

Prices are £ sterling. VAT not applicable



Hot Weather Advice for Plotholders

Hot and dry weather, with temperatures rising again this week are you prepared for the heat? There is an amber weather warning in place from Thursday (10th) until 11pm on Sunday (14th) evening.

Our allotment site is very open with little shade or cool spaces to counter the challenge of temperatures forecast to reach 35degC/95degF and extended periods of high temperatures can bring health risks

Stay out of the heat, cool yourself down and take a few minutes to check out expert advice on coping with the hot weather by following this link:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/heatwave-plan-for-england/beat-the-heat-staying-safe-in-hot-weather

There may, hopefully, be some respite for our plots and ourselves next week as cooler temperatures and rain are forecast.



Plot Competition Winner + More News

Plot competition winner

We are delighted to let you know that a Pointalls plotholder is a prizewinner in this year’s annual BAF plot competition which was held in July. Each of the Federation’s 44 sites could enter up to 2 plots and that adds up to a lot of competitors. Our very own Christine Denton has taken bronze, third place, and will be presented with a trophy and cash prize. Christine’s plot (19) is a testimony to commitment and a talent for allotment gardening. In just three years this former derelict plot has been transformed into a growing space adapted to Christine’s special needs. Congratulations Christine.

First Aid Stations

The two on site first aid stations have been replenished with new stock. Particularly important is the replacement of sterile items once the use by dates have been reached. The quantities of some items have been reduced in order to minimise waste.

Water Tanks

Repairs have now been completed to fix the water leakages from a number of tanks, taps and pipes. Please continue to report any problems in order to save this valuable resource.

BAF Honours Board

If you are interested in viewing the list of this year’s plot and site winners plus all winners since 2015 please go to the Federation website: barnetallotments.org.uk, click on the Events page, and tap the Honours Board/Annual Competitions dropdown,



Fire Risks on Site

Fire Alert – BBQs

This week wildfires destroyed homes and swept through grass, agricultural and woodland. It is rare for wildfires to start without some form of human intervention. We are now experiencing a prolonged dry spell without any appreciable rainfall, temperatures frequently above average and intermittent gusts of warm winds.

Our allotment site is vulnerable too with areas of dry grass, vegetation, trees, hedgerows and timber structures making the site a potential ‘tinderbox’. In the event of a fire which would rapidly spread, the neighbouring properties, pasture and railway embankment would also be at considerable risk.

BBQs are one of the main fire dangers where the heat or sparks can easily start fires and get out of control very quickly, potentially causing catastrophic damage. To protect our site and surroundings it is necessary from today to avoid lighting barbecues anywhere on the allotment site. Once weather conditions change and in particular sufficient rainfall to dampen the land it will be possible for barbecues to resume.

Fire Alert – Compost

It is reported that the likely source of the devastating fire in East London started in a compost heap. When compost materials reach excessive temperatures the internal heat causes the contents to smoulder which is a fire hazard. It is good practice to keep the compost heap/bin moist in dry weather which also helps to break down the materials, speed up the process as well as improving the quality of the compost. To limit the possibility of fire please add water.



Heatwave Gardening – Keeping Your Plot Hydrated

Rising temperatures and extended periods of sunshine can wreak havoc on your plot. Keeping on top of watering the plot and greenhouse is an essential task during increased periods of heat. Monday and Tuesday could see temperatures hit 40°C (104F) in some parts of the country, so as the heatwave continues, water your plants early in the morning or late evening and avoid watering during the day particularly between 11am and 4pm. Keep hydrated yourself.

Top heatwave watering tips:

  • Focus on the root area and avoid watering the foliage. Wet leaves are the ideal environment for plant diseases and pests.
  • Invest in quality watering tools – The right watering equipment can help improve your watering schedule. Remember sprinklers not allowed on allotment plots.
  • Potted plants require more watering; aim to water with 10% of the pot volume and use a saucer for reabsorption.

 



Seasonal Bugs On Site

We are very grateful to a conscientious plotholder who has helpfully reported the early arrival of two of our least favourite bugs, namely codling moths and blackfly. The codling moths head for apple and pear trees (and walnuts) whilst blackfly are taking up residence on broad bean plants, particularly those planted during the autumn months. Perhaps these early arrivals are due to the spell of warmer weather and the absence of severe frost.

There is a huge amount of advice available in gardening books and magazines and on the web of course. Some plotholders will have tried and tested ways of dealing with these pests but for many of us here’s what we suggest, act now and protect your fruit and vegetables.

We recommend the Agralan codling moth trap to protect your apple and pear trees. Available from our trading shed the traps and refills are easy to install, just follow the on pack instructions. The traps are RHS endorsed and 1 trap will protect up to 5 trees.

Use a brush to remove small clusters of blackfly before they increase and spread.  A gardeners’ trick is to pinch off the tips of broad bean plants before blackfly appear in order to remove a favourite feeding point. Not only does this address the problem, but it also encourages better growth and development of strong pods.



Trading Shed News Update

Trading Shed Update

Our latest delivery arrived along with inevitable price increases to a few products and a small increase in transport costs. The increases have been kept to a minimum which enables us to continue our offer of great value when compared to other retailers and the convenience of purchasing on site. Full details can be found on the price list below.

Following a substantial wholesale price increase we have decided to discontinue the heavy duty version of 8ft bamboo canes (we have a small stock available) and replacing with a slightly lighter weight in order to keep prices down.

Thank you for your continued support.

Trading shed – Products and Prices – May 2022

BrandProductSizePrice £
Composts
CloverMultipurpose compost60ltrs6.80
CloverEricaceous compost75ltrs8.00
WestlandTop soil, screened & blended loam35ltrs5.00
MelcourtSylvaGrow peat free multipurpose compost50ltrs8.00
J A BowersJohn Innes seed compost (loam based)10ltrs4.00
SinclairVermiculite10ltrs8.30
Fertiliser & plant food
J A BowersOrganic farm manure50ltrs5.90
GrowmoreFertiliser & multipurpose plant food25kg27.00
Westland/GrowmoreFertiliser & multipurpose plant food1.5kg4.60
Vitax 6XPelleted chicken manure8kg7.50
LevingtonLiquid tomato feed1.3ltr4.00
WestlandSulphate of potash – new pack size1.5kg4.00
VitaxGarden lime granules3kg3.50
WestlandFish, blood & bone – new pack size1.5kg4.60
Garden lime25kg7.00
Bamboo canes
Bamboo canes (50/55 lb)8ft0.80
NewBamboo canes (44/48 lb)8ft0.70
Bamboo canes5ft0.35
Bamboo canes4ft0.30
Bug & pest control
ProtectSlug killer pellets800g6.00
Growing SuccessNatural bug free spray for fruit & vegetables800g6.00
VitaxCabbage collarsPk302.30
BayerDithane fungicide/bug spray4g1.00
AgralanApple/pear maggot trap (trap, 2x sticky inserts, 2 lures)7.00
AgralanPlum/gages/damsons moth trap (trap, 2x sticky inserts, 2 lures)8.00
AgralanRefills for above (2x sticky inserts, 2 lures)6.00
AgralanLeek moth trap (trap, 2x sticky inserts, 2 lures)6.50
AgralanFly/bug traps & hangers – sticky double sidedPk73.50
ProvantoGreasebands (certified for organic use)1.75m5.50
VitaxCopper mixture175g4.00
Sundries
GarottaCompost activator3.5kg2.00
CardocGarden twine natural jute200g3.00
Cem-SpecWashed potting/horticultural grit – lime freePk3.50
JobdoneWeedkiller (single sachet)8g1.50
JobdoneWeedkiller (pk 6  x sachets)Pk 6x8g8.50
NetlonPlant tie twists1001.00
Plant labels501.00
Polythene sheet – black4×12.5m25.00
VitaxGreenhouse shading500ml5.50
VariousVegetable & Herb seeds – subject to availability0.50



News from the Trading Shed

We have been busily restocking the trading shed and thanks to your support our stock of many items is moving quickly. Please be reassured that we are reordering to get ahead of demand.

Moth traps

Some fruit trees and leeks are best protected from invasive moths. Moths are the major cause of maggot damage in apples, pears and plums. Fixing a moth trap in place towards the end of May offers great protection. One trap will monitor up to 5 average size trees within a range of 15 metres (50 feet).

Leek moths which also attack members of the onion family fly from early April until late May and again from July until September.

A range of Agralan traps and refills are available at the trading shed. See price list below for full details.

Slug Pellets

We wish to clarify the situation and correct some of the misinformation on the web and on site regarding usage of slug pellets.

From April 2022  slug pellets containing Metaldehyde can no longer be purchased in the UK. At Pointalls we discontinued selling that variety of slug pellets several years ago and switched to organic brands. We only sell slug pellets which contain Ferrous Phosphate  which are approved for organic use in the UK and EU.

We think our organic slug pellets are both more effective and rain resistant. Uneaten pellets eventually dissolve and add their nutrient content to the soil.

Lost keys

Keys were found on Monday close to the Squires Lane gate. If you think they may belong to you or someone you know please get in touch by replying to this email.

Prices

Due to more increases in wholesale prices we have adjusted the prices of a small number of products. Below is the latest price list.

BrandProductSizePrice £
Composts
CloverMultipurpose compost60ltrs6.50
CloverEricaceous compost75ltrs8.00
WestlandTop soil, screened & blended loam35ltrs5.00
MelcourtSylvaGrow peat free multipurpose compost50ltrs8.00
J A BowersJohn Innes seed compost (loam based)25ltrs4.00
SinclairVermiculite5ltrs2.00
Fertiliser & plant food
J A BowersOrganic farm manure50ltrs5.50
GrowmoreFertiliser & multipurpose plant food25kg27.00
Vitax 6XPelleted chicken manure8kg7.50
LevingtonLiquid tomato feed1.3ltr4.00
WestlandSulphate of potash – new pack size1.5kg4.00
VitaxGarden lime granules3kg3.50
WestlandFish, blood & bone – new pack size1.5kg3.60
Garden lime25kg6.50
Bamboo canes
Bamboo canes (heavy duty)8ft0.80
Bamboo canes5ft0.35
Bamboo canes4ft0.30
Bug & pest control
ProtectSlug killer pellets800g6.00
Growing SuccessNatural bug free spray for fruit & vegetables800g6.00
VitaxCabbage collarsPk302.30
BayerDithane fungicide/bug spray4g1.00
AgralanApple/pear maggot trap (trap, 2x sticky inserts, 2 lures)7.00
AgralanPlum/gages/damsons moth trap (trap, 2x sticky inserts, 2 lures)8.00
AgralanRefills for above (2x sticky inserts, 2 lures)6.00
AgralanLeek moth trap (trap, 2x sticky inserts, 2 lures)6.50
AgralanFly/bug traps & hangers – sticky double sidedPk73.50
ProvantoGreasebands (certified for organic use)1.75m5.50
VitaxCopper mixture175g4.00
Sundries
GarottaCompost activator3.5kg2.00
CardocGarden twine natural jute200g3.00
Cem-SpecWashed potting/horticultural grit – lime freePk3.00
JobdoneWeedkiller (single sachet)8g1.50
JobdoneWeedkiller (pk 6  x sachets)Pk 6x8g8.50
NetlonPlant tie twists1001.00
Plant labels501.00
Polythene sheet – black4×12.5m25.00
VitaxGreenhouse shading500ml5.50
VariousVegetable & Herb seeds – subject to availability0.50



Newsletter March 2022 (2)

Workshops are returning

We are offering workshops in composting and pruning for anyone who wants to improve their gardening practice.

Paul Castignetti, our site manager, is inviting all to the first session next Sunday 27 March at 10am outside the trading shed. He will explain how to compost your weeds and grass cuttings, and end up with beautiful, nourishing organic matter that will feed your vegetables .

The second session will be on Sunday 10 April at 4pm on pruning of trees and shrubs and will offer advice on pruning techniques and timing.

And a third session, again on composting, is scheduled for Sunday 24 April at 10am.

All sessions are outside the trading shed. Just come along on the day with your questions.

If you have ideas what future topics should be covered, be they in the form of workshops or of talks, just drop me a line and we can see what we can organise. We have some extremely experienced gardeners on site who may well be open to sharing some of their knowledge with beginners and improvers.

Thank you to our volunteers

We want to send a warm thank you to our volunteers who have been helping with important general maintenance around the site. This contribution is worth a very great deal to all of the plotholders at Pointalls.

Plot competition to be run as real event

Barnet Allotment Federation (BAF) will hold its competition for best plots in Barnet as a real event this year. Following two years when Covid forced BAF to run a virtual competition based on photos, in 2022 the judges will return in person.

You may remember it is only two years ago that Anca Covaci and Lina Hellgren of plot 116 came third in the whole of Barnet. In May 2021, the two prize winners were presented with their trophy by Kirstie Burgin, vice chair of BAF.

This is to alert everyone who is thinking of entering this year to start planning their growing so as to have the best chance. Timing is all important in this, so it is just as well to be aware that initial and final judging is planned for the weekends of 16 July and 23 July.

Plot inspections will start in May

Walkarounds by the gardening working group will start in May. This group is responsible for making sure that we fulfill the requirements of our lease with Barnet and achieve a suitable level of cultivation, as well as keeping pathways mowed and clear, and plots reasonably tidy.

Open garden in Deansway N2

On 8 May, two of our plotholders are opening their garden for charity. Located at 7 Deansway N2 it is our chance to view a beautiful garden for a small admission fee of £5 that all goes to charity.

Joan Arnold and Tom Heinersdorff, the owners of this garden, will also sell tea and coffee, homemade cakes and jam, as well as homegrown plants on the day between noon and 6pm.

All proceeds will go to the National Garden Scheme. Every year, the National Garden Scheme raises millions for nursing and health charities thanks to the generosity of garden owners and visitors.

open gardens

Water back on

You may have noticed that the water has been switched on. As usual, John Waterhouse has done a brilliant job, finding and fixing a problem with one of the water tanks before ensuring the water was back across the whole site.

Feedback

Please send any feedback and blog ideas to Brigitte at communications@pointalls.org



Newsletter March 2022

A hot box for winter germination

Graham Jardine is making the argument for installing a hot box and tells us about his experience with one.

A hot box is easy to build and has the advantage that you can germinate seeds during the winter months. The temperature in a hot box is around 12 to 18 degrees Centigrade in winter, much warmer than in a a greenhouse where the earth temperature is around 8 degrees or below.

Graham says: “Currently, I’m growing salads. Already through are lettuce, beetroot, radish and spring onion. In the past I’ve had winter salads and melons growing in the summer.”

germination

 

If anyone is interested, Graham offers to help with advice. Just get in touch with him on plot 29A.

Materials required:
Paving slab or cement and sharp sand ………….for base
Reclaimed pallet wood ………………………………..for frame
Straw bale………………………………………………….for warmth/base
Top soil/multipurpose compost …………………..growing material
Well rotted manure
Polycarbonate…………………………………………….top

  • Set the hard base, if using slabs as opposed to a cement/sharp sand base, then put a plastic liner under the slab to stop weeds growing through the joints.
  • Build frame to size required, as big or small as you want, as a hot box can be whatever size you want, in fact it can be a flat top not angled as Graham’s is.
  • Once built to size, place the straw in base and compact. The golden rule is 2/3rds straw bale for warmth and 1/3 growing material. Don’t forget to allow for plant growth. Ensure the straw is compacted right down.
  • Then mix the growing material in a wheelbarrow and add on top of straw. Graham says: “I use a 50/50 mixture of top soil/multipurpose compost and add a few handfuls of well rotted manure.”

“My hot box has been in place for five years. I change the growing material annually (takes 5 mins) and use elsewhere and replace with new.”

 

Bog restoration

This Guardian article – Dank, ancient and quite fantastic: Scotland’s peat bogs breathe again | Scotland | The Guardian – tells the recent history of Flanders Moss in Scotland, a peat bog that has been under attack for centuries. More recently, however, work has been done to restore it.

“A healthy bog is a bit like a malfunctioning compost heap. With a compost heap we keep throwing stuff in and it all rots and breaks down, but with a bog, it doesn’t. It just keeps accumulating and accumulating,” says David Pickett, who manages the site, which is a National Nature Reserve. It is now recognised that peat bogs are among the greatest stores of carbon.

Despite restoration efforts, Flanders Moss is still a net emitter of carbon. Scotland’s bogs emit about 10m tonnes of carbon equivalent, which is almost as much as the transport sector. Stopping these emissions and preventing further degradation are the primary objectives of the restoration project.

We can all help Flanders Moss and the other bogs by exclusively buying peat-free soil.

 

Update on legal case

As explained in an earlier newsletter, Pointalls has applied for permission to appeal elements of the judgment that was handed down by the Court in December 2021 (this is the first step in the process of appealing any elements of a judgment – if permission to appeal is granted by the Court, then the appeal hearing itself will follow thereafter). The claimants have also applied for permission to appeal in respect of the elements on which they were unsuccessful. Both of the parties’ applications for permission to appeal will be considered at the same time by the Court in due course.

In the interim, the Court has granted Pointalls a ‘stay’ (this is effectively a ‘pause’) on all of the aspects of the order which relate to the payment of costs, until Pointalls’ application for permission to appeal is heard (and, if successful, until the appeal itself is determined). In other words, until Pointalls’ appeal is determined, Pointalls is not required to make payment of the interim payment of £20,000 that was part of the costs order made in early January 2022. In addition, the Court has ordered the parties to consider mediation to resolve the issues between them and Pointalls has indicated its willingness to engage in such a mediation to see if a resolution is possible.

Pointalls continues to be represented pro bono by a firm of solicitors and a barrister in respect of these matters (including the application for permission to appeal (and any subsequent appeal)), meaning it will not incur legal fees.

 

Normal service resumes

The ‘stay’ on the costs order means that we can return to normal service for all plotholders.

By the weekend, we will hopefully receive a delivery to re-stock the trading shed and offer again all our products at the attractive prices that you know and love.

We will be letting empty plots to reduce the waiting list. And the green skip will be replaced with a new one as soon as possible.

 

Heritage seed growing

Why grow the same old mass produced corporate varieties when you could sow some endangered heritage varieties with lost flavours which are biodiverse and help the planet at the same time? Franchi Seed’s Paolo Arrigo shares his thoughts on whether it is best to grow heritage or mass produced veg. “Some 94% of our heritage veg has been lost in just one century, and Franchi supply about 200 varieties of the remaining 6%. We specialise in heritage and endangered, but we also have hundreds of newer (ethically produced) varieties,” says Paolo.

“The best way to save these 6% varieties is not to put them in a seed bank – that is just an insurance policy, but it is to grow them. Take our endangered Spinach Viroflay as an example. There are just a few growers left and if they don’t make a profit producing it or retire, that variety is lost forever and yet if you compare that to a mass produced corporate variety like Gardeners Delight, then there are hundreds of producers.”

“There are enough people growing the mass produced varieties and these 6% varieties need our help. The San Marzano 2 is a case in point – grown by hand on the slopes of Vesuvius, it would have been picked by hand and canned by hand. But because it has thin skin, it doesn’t favour mechanisation, so it is no longer produced commercially and is now on the slow food endangered list. So by growing it the producer makes a profit and will continue.”

And there is the oldest pumpkin in Europe. Berrettina Piacentina comes from the Veneto region and is based on a wild pumpkin that was brought back from the Americas in the 15th century. It has been grown ever since and you can become the latest grower of this tasty variety.

Jennie, thank you for this contribution.

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