Newsletter August 2020

Face masks required in the trading shed

The trading shed is open again every Sunday from 10 to 12. For everyone’s protection, please wear face masks when in there. The shed should be treated like a shop and government guidelines apply.

Do not bring rubbish to the site

In recent months, we have seen an increase in inconsiderate behaviour by plotholders. Discarded food wrappings are being blown around the site and rubbish is being brought from home to the burning site. Somebody even dumped a TV set in one of the bins!

It is absolutely forbidden to bring any rubbish on site.

Do not do it as it can lead to being expelled from Pointalls.

Self-isolation means staying at home

If you are returning from a stay in a country like Croatia or Austria, you have to self-isolate at home for two weeks. That means you cannot come to work on the allotment.

We have witnessed plotholders who have not followed this rule, therefore this reminder. Please remember that there are some very vulnerable people among our gardeners.

Third place goes to plot 116

In the recent ‘best plot’ judging, Anca Covaci with plot 116 was placed third by the judges. Held in a virtual manner, the Barnet Allotment Federation (BAF) had a tough job to rank a record 63 entries. Congratulations to Anca, and her helper Lina, for an excellent job representing Pointalls so well.

In total, Pointalls had four entries – itself a very strong showing – and John Waterhouse with plot 76 received a commendation.

The winning six are:
First – Erica Page from Bells Hill
Second – Graham Fletcher from Cat Hill
Third – Anca Covaci from Pointalls
VHC – Silas Kendall from Golders Green
HC – Abdullah Rustame from Vale Farm, and
C – Bill Hancock from Cat Hill

Click here to see the photos of these six plots.

Greengages without worms

In late May, for the first time ever, I put pheromone traps into my plum trees. This was based on a recommendation from John Waterhouse

I can report that my greengages were much healthier than they had been for many years. Only a very small proportion of fruit had worms in them. Similarly, the Victoria plums were less affected than in the past, although there the percentage of healthy fruit was not quite as high as with the greengages.

I highly recommend these traps for the future and will remind you to place them next spring.

Climate-change gardening

At a recent meeting of the Barnet Allotment Federation, gardening journalist Kim Stoddart talked about the problems posed by climate change. As it is no longer gardening as usual, she discussed ways of adjusting gardening to the new situation:

  • Improving soil, soil health, no dig gardening*, mulching, composting
  • Implementing water saving measures, water retention
  • Designing the plot to cope with extreme weather events, plant stress and damage, low maintenance, raised beds, pests and diseases
  • Creating a resilient vegetable plot, growing in blocks, crop rotation, slow it-spread it-sink it
  • Planting a climate change orchard
  • Reshaping a flower garden to be climate change proof, mixed and companion planting, wildflowers
  • Peasant gardening techniques and dealing with weeds
  • Nature holds the answers, biodiversity, attracting wildlife, nature’s pest control
  • Perennial growing, seed saving

The solutions show how we can strive to shore up our defences for climate change-savvy gardening by adopting resilient and novel gardening techniques.

*For more information about no-dig gardening check out Charles Dowding who is a leading authority on this technique

If you want to know more and create a climate change-resilient allotment plot, this excellent book The Climate Change Garden, is available from the authors Sally Morgan & Kim Stoddart (

Pointalls – at the end of the rainbow

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