Monday 4 December 2023

Asian Hornets

 Asian hornets, Vespa velutina, have spread across Europe and are now in the UK. Their main threat is too honey bees. Our help forum administrator ‘Aunt Sally’ has produced this Asian Hornet advice guide to raise awareness and give advice about They are know to be a dangerous, invasive pest that have killed people all over Europe. Do not poke their nest.

Asian hornets are thought to have arrived in Bordeaux, France from China in a container of pottery in 2005. They quickly spread across France and into continental Europe. Reported in Spain in 2010, Belgium in 2011, Germany in 2014the Channel Isles in 2016 and were first spotted in the UK in late 2016.

Gloucestershire, Somerset, Devon, Dorset, Lancashire, Cornwall, Hull, Hampshire, Surrey, Kent, Suffolk and Staffordshire have all had sightings of Asian hornets.

Once established their growth rate is exponential. If allowed to establish they will be near impossible to eradicate in the UK

Report sightings to:

The place where you might find them is in corners of your shed or in boxes or any where you might find wasp. 

Friday 1 December 2023


 Winter has come, at last.

It is good to have some months doing what they should be doing.

-7 here in Oxfordshire.

From last year , when we had -10 , I have learnt that Pigeons can wipe out Kale overnight.

So, for this year I have covered everything with netting and the Pigeons have gone else where.

Monday 27 November 2023

Mare's Tail


Quick facts

Common name: Horsetail, mare’s tail 
Areas affected: Will grow anywhere, even up through concrete
Main causes: May establish from spores, but usually arrives via rhizomes from neighbouring gardens, 
Timing: Seen in spring and summer; treat when every and where ever you see it.

I had lots of this on my allotment when I started 13 years ago, however there is very little on my plot now.

I just cut it off at ground level when ever and where every I saw it. 

Tuesday 21 November 2023


 My Grandad used to say "one years seeding is seven years weeding’, and how true that is.

Weeds are part of growing and as such must be dealt with a plan.

All  annual weeds  will spread thousands of seeds  into  the ground to await the right  conditions . Digging the the soil brings seeds from deep down and up to  the surface to grow.

Luckily, most of these annual weeds are pretty easy to deal with. Just hoe through them, leave them to dry or collect them for the compost heap. Catching them young is most effective – better to hoe little and often .

There are r weeds that are a bigger challenge. The Perennial and  it can live for years and  years.I just keep hoping them and digging them up where I can 

Friday 17 November 2023

Brussels sprouts


A tip on how to grow good  Brussels Sprouts.

Make sure your plants are firm in the ground.

Stake them to avoid them blowing over
Feed the plant every month ( even in winter ) because they are big feeders.

Wednesday 15 November 2023

Real bad pest

 My neighbour, is leaning to play the bag pipes on his allotment and it is driving me mad.

Any body know how to get rid of such a pest?

Sunday 12 November 2023

Bonfire Ash

 If you have had a bonfire last weekend,

 do collect the ashes and keep them dry for use in the spring. 

Ash is a  valuable source of potash fertiliser which many plants find useful  especially tomatoes and fruit trees.