RATS

One of our members has identified a rat problem. As our site is in a rural setting, it is likely there will always be rats around but there are things we can do to prevent attracting them and allowing them to nest and multiply. It is every plot holder’s responsibility to ensure they follow these guidelines:

No household waste! Never put meat, dairy, bones, cooked foods or other inappropriate items in your compost bin. This will attract rats and make your bin smell. Fork your compost regularly as rats do not like disturbance.

Plastic compost bins should be given a small gauge wire mesh lining at the base or can be placed on paving slabs to prevent rats from burrowing in underneath.

Do not leave discarded fruit and vegetables on the ground; clear them away to your compost bin, as these are a source of food for rats and other pests.

Do not let your plot become overgrown or allow rubbish to build up e.g. timber, old carpet, stockpiled materials etc, as this provides cover for rats to live under.

Competitions 2024

Following the success of last year’s competitions, we are repeating the Sunflower & Pumpkin competitions and re-introducing, after a 10-year break , ‘The Photography Competition’. If you want some inspiration, all the entries for the 2014 Photography competition can be found on this page:- https://hawkinge-allotments.org.uk/2014-photo-competition/

A summary of all the competitions are as follows.

  • SUNFLOWER Register before 1st May 2024
  • Sunflower must be grown from seed and raised lovingly on your own plot in the ground (No pots)
  • Only one sunflower per plot can be entered.
  • The tallest sunflower will win, when measured on Sunday, 1st September and it must still be smiling!
  • PUMPKIN Register before 1st May 2024
  • Your Pumpkin must be grown from seed and raised lovingly on your own plot in the ground (No pots)
  • Only one pumpkin per plot can be entered.
  • The heaviest pumpkin will win when weighed on Sunday, 6th October
  • PHOTOGRAPHY Register before 1st May 2024
  • Four categories, all criteria & rules see link below.
  • 2025 Calendar produced from the pictures.
  • Results of this competition will be published on Sunday 15th September.

OTHER Competitions Best Full Plot, Best Half Plot and the Best Newcomer’s plot, as well as the visitors’ choice for their favourite plot on the Open Day. Entry for these competitions is automatic unless you advise the committee otherwise. All the winners of these will be announced on the Open Day.

Important Dates for 2024

INVOICES and UPDATED DOCUMENT

Invoices – Dawn, our Treasurer will be sending out invoices for next season’s plot fees in November. This is often a time when members reflect on whether they wish to continue for another year or not. Most of you carry on, though there is always someone who is having difficulties, or their circumstances have changed and is struggling to maintain their plot. If this is you, the sooner we know the easier it is to manage the handover to a new member. Currently, the plots are all taken and we do have people on the waiting list. So if you are thinking of giving up your plot, please do contact Dawn as soon as possible, she can be contacted by email at: treasurer@hawkinge-allotments.org.uk

Code of Conduct – All members should be aware that the latest updated version of the Code of Conduct is now available on this web site and can be reviewed or downloaded from here:- http://www.hawkinge-allotments.org.uk/documentation-2/code-of-conduct/

Message from RHS


Hello to all our affiliates in Kent.  I have been asked to forward the following to help raise awareness.

We have had a message from the GB Non-Native Species Secretariat. They monitor, inform on policy and educate on non-native invasive species, plants and animals.

The Asian hornet, an invasive hornet which eats our native honey bee and other pollinating insects has been spotted in Kent.  The GB N-N SS sent a link to a poster – see below (designed for public use) which shows how to identify the hornet and where to report a sighting.  If you have a public meeting place perhaps you could print and display it.  Or could you send on to your members to help with identifying.

https://www.nonnativespecies.org/non-native-species/species-alerts/

Kind regards

Susie Corr

Affiliated Societies & Partner Gardens

Royal Horticultural Society

RHS Garden Wisley, Woking, Surrey GU23 6QB

rhs.org.uk

01483 226 554

Monday – Wednesday

rhs.org.uk

Reg charity no. 222879/SC038262

Working Party review

A huge thank you to all those members that came along on Saturday and Sunday and assisted with the tasks of tidying up the site. Most notable of all the jobs undertaken is the clear paths on the north and south sides of the site where the hedges have had a really good trim. This makes keeping the grass cut a safe and much easier task for the lawn mowers. We have noted that there are far more than the normal amount of weeds coming through the hedgerows, particularly bindweed, so we would ask all members to be diligent in their efforts to remove as much of it as possible, not only from their plots but the adjacent hedgerow too.

Coffee Mornings & Pumpkins

There will be two more coffee mornings this year, the next one being on 3rd September and the final one on 1st October. The September one will be hosted by Sylvia, our Chairman and she has asked for support with cakes. If you can bring one on the day, please let her know via chairman@hawkinge-allotments.org.uk

On the day of the October coffee morning, the judging will take place for the pumpkin competition. So if you have entered the competition, please make sure your specimen pumpkin is available for weighing then. The coffee mornings will run as usual from 10am until midday in the Clubhouse.

KFHS

The Society has recently joined the Kent Federation of Horticultural Societies. There is a link to their website on the home page on our website and you can also visit their site by clicking here

The federation’s aim is to bring together all the horticultural and garden societies in Kent and the South-East. They hold a number of shows throughout the year and their Autumn show is on Sunday 17th September and is held at the Ditton Community Centre. Full details are on their website.

It is too late this year to think about entering any competitions, however, if members think this might be something they are interested in, (we can make an entry as a society as a whole,) then please come and talk to us at the coffee morning in September.

Sunflower Competition Results

The competition was to see who could grow the tallest sunflower. We had a dozen entries and there were even some very tall sunflowers on site who hadn’t entered the competition, sadly. However, there was one outstanding sunflower which was over one metre taller than any of its rivals and that belonged to Alan Court on plot 37.

Alan, by the way, won our Best Plot Competition and was very close to winning the Bug Hotel competition. He has also entered the Pumpkin competition and if you glance over his fence, there does appear to be a couple of very large specimens there already! Can nobody beat this man? Alan’s winning sunflower was measured as being 312 cms tall, second place went to Stuart Cook on plot 8a whose sunflower measured 207 cms. Third place went to Emma on plot 9, 182 cms. Our congratulations to Alan and all the competitors for their efforts.

Essential Maintenance Working Party

Our Site Manager, Chris, needs your help with several urgent maintenance projects around the site, which cannot wait until the time of the next normal Working Party in the Autumn. Chris is therefore organising a Working Party weekend on 19th and 20th August. He will be on site from 10 o’clock in the morning on each day. He will only need your help for a couple of hours and refreshments will be available in the Clubhouse afterwards, (including a free slice of cake for all volunteers!).

If you are a new member to the Society, this is a great way to meet and become better acquainted with your fellow gardeners and make your personal contribution to the general upkeep of the site.

So that we have some idea of numbers, please can you email Chris to let him know on which day you can attend at sitemanager@hawkinge-allotments.org.uk We look forward to seeing you.