Trading Shed
As in our previous email, the trading shed has now been re-stocked.  We have already run out of compost but are hoping for another delivery within the next two weeks.  A reminder that if you want to purchase any stock please email to arrange a 1-1 meeting with Liz or Annie. Once you have a time slot please do turn up on time. And buying is by appointment only. We want to minimise contact and avoid any queuing.  We would like you to pay by cheque where possible (made out to Shepherds Hill Allotments Association) but you can also pay with cash.
Safe Plant Sales
The next plant sale is this Sunday 31stMay 10-12.  An email with further details of what’s on offer to follow. 

The sales have proved very popular and so we are planning another one on Sunday 14thJune.  As before, if you have items for sale please email Annie.
COVID-19 rules – an update
Some tenants have asked us if they can bring a friend to their plot.  The same rules apply on the allotment as any other outdoor space – i.e. as per government guidelines, it is now permissible for an individual to "meet one other person from a different household outdoors - following social distancing guidelines". The other general rules we have previously circulated with the plant sale emails still apply.

Watering guidance
With the dry weather we’ve been having it’s a good time to give a reminder about the watering guidelines on our website. The key points are:

  • Use watering cans where possible, there’s less run off than with a hose.
  • DO NOT leave a hose running unattended.
  • Ideally water plants early in the morning, to avoid evaporation loss during the day. On warm summer days, evening watering is also likely to be effective, the dry soil soaking it in readily and low humidity at night reducing risk of disease.
  • To determine the need for watering, inspect the soil at a spade's depth. If the soil feels damp, there is unlikely to be any need to water, but if it is dry, then watering is probably required for some plants.
  • Most watering should be aimed specifically at the stem bases beneath the foliage canopy, leaving the surrounding soil dry. This helps to limit weed problems and ensures all the water goes where it is needed.
  • Mulching with a layer of organic matter or gravel at least 5cm (2in) thick, reduces moisture loss from the upper layers of the soil. This may amount to as much as the equivalent of 2cm (0.75in) of rain
  • Removing weeds is vital, as weeds use up valuable soil moisture reserve.

The trading shed wheelbarrows get very heavy use and some of them are now broken beyond repair.  Our thanks to Andy Wraight who has done an excellent job maintaining them for us, mending punctures etc.  We are now looking for a volunteer to take on this job – please contact us on if you think you could help.  It may be that someone could ‘cannibalise’ the broken ones to make one that is useable.  And if anyone knows of a supply of second hand builders barrows, or if you would like to donate a wheelbarrow to the trading shed for communal use, please let us know.    
During the pandemic can we remind everyone to sanitise their hands before and after using a trading shed wheelbarrow.  Please also return the barrows to the shed immediately after use so they're available for others to use.
A reminder about locking the gates
Please do double check that you have engaged the padlock in the lock position - the gates have been left unlocked several times recently.

And finally…
A cheery ‘Allotment Song’

Julie, Annie, Trevor, Juliet, Gary, Jill, Ian, and Nick (co-opted - Treasurer). 
The Site Committee, May, 2020

17:37, 28 May 2020 by Website Admin