Best allotment in the whole of Merton

There’s champions in our midst’s. Digging away down near the Plough lane gate, Sue and Ian, Lynda and Stephen have flown the flag for Havelock Road allotments and collected an armful of awards at this years Merton In Bloom.

As you enter the allotments from the Plough Lane gate, you can’t fail to notice the amazing display of colour that Sue and Ian create every year with dahlias and tulips.
This visual riot has won them the the best floral plot in Wimbledon a number of times, though this year the judges decided to recognise all their hard work by awarding them the prize for Best Floral Plot in the whole borough of Merton!
Well done Sue and Ian for the award and thank you for the fantastic rainbow of flowers that welcomes everyone into the allotments.

A little further along, Stephen and Lynda have been working their plot since 2008 and now all that hard work has been recognised and duly rewarded as they’ve scooped two top plottie awards.
Stephen and Lynda won the Challenge Cup for the best allotment in Wimbledon (for the second year running), AND they scooped the boroughs top award – the Challenge Cup for the Best Allotment in (the whole of) Merton!

Stephen says, ‘We were completely surprised to win the cup for best allotment in Wimbledon for the second year in a row and amazed to get the cup for best allotment in Merton!’ ‘We’ve had a great year in particular for soft fruit, tomatoes and winters quashes – and we have some super leeks still growing which will go through to the early part of next year’.
Lynda loves her tomatoes and spends many an hour in the kitchen turning them into all sorts of fascinating dishes plus sauce and great soup. Stephens favourite crop is garlic, though he does admit – he sometimes struggles to get it to grow well – which leaves hope for the rest of us, eh?

Congratulations to Sue and Ian, Stephen and Lynda from all at Havelock Road!
Well done chaps. Hip-hip…!

Lynda and Stephen accepting their award

Lynda and Stephen accepting their award






Welcome, especially to our newest members. If any members have not completed a HALGA contact form would you please fill out one with such details as you are happy to supply. I’d also appreciate any email addresses for your neighbouring plot-holders who are not here today.

Membership: We appear to have a total of 38 financial members, of which 2 or more are from other plot sites. These dues are used to fund our Public Liability Insurance of about £2.50 per member. As our funds are so limited we have no alternative but to leave non-payers uninsured. after AUGUST 2014. It appears that about 46 plots are shown as held by financial members and about 30 are not. Please check the membership list to ensure you are covered.
Frank will cover these figures more fully but basically we probably need to look at increasing our Association fees next year and getting more financial members.
FROM FRANK’S NOTES: The membership list submitted to the NAS on renewal of affiliation August 2013 consisted of 41 names of which two are Durnsford. Cost is £2 per person (same as subs) so £82 total. RHS affiliation including PLI is £103, so as you say about £2.50 per person paid out of general profits.

Burglaries, Vandalism: We have had a few incidents of burglaries lately with food items, wheelbarrows gas cookers and cylinders being the items mostly stolen. You all should have received an email advising of the preferred police contact to report any losses Thanks everybody for locking the gates and being vigilant; AND PLEASE, continue to do so. Remember we all have the right to challenge any unknown people entering the plots.
Fly-tipping. There is still some builders rubble and domestic rubbish appearing in the landfill bay. If you see an unknown vehicle dumping rubbish, the Council asks that you pass the registration number to them and they will prosecute the fly-tippers.

Green Waste: The Green Waste bays have been quite well used; we need to use one bay at a time, to allow plot-holders to use the compost produced. The bays on plot 20 needs emptying .I have uncovered the matured bay at the Plough Lane end, so if anyone wants some of this compost please help yourself. I recently strimmed plot 20; it needs raking and tidying then volunteers could strim it regularly.

Open Day, BBQ: National Allotment Week is from.4 to 10 August The consensus for the last two years was that because of the security concerns, we would not have an Open Day. Is this still the feeling among members VOTE LATER.

We held a B-B-Q last July which was well attended. If you’d like one this year. We’ll VOTE LATER and if necessary, decide the date then.

Remember if you want to contact your fellow plotties the easy way is to email me with a request to send an email to all the members on our distribution list. We currently have about 50 plot-holder email addresses but would ideally like to have one for all plot-holders.

Merton in Bloom, Allotment Judging: HALGA members had very successful results in the competition last year. Lynda & Stephen Prior Plot 56 won the cup for the Best Wimbledon Division Allotments, Tony Sturton and I received certificates, and Eddie & Audrey won the Best Front Garden, Wimbledon division. And as usual, Pat Maloney from Durnsford won many categories. I have the prize-winner’s list here if anyone cares to see it.

Plot Numbers and Paths: It is a requirement, as shown on your Contract with the Council, that plots are clearly numbered and delineated and paths between plots are well maintained. Your insurance cover is void if the state of the path can be shown to have contributed to any accident. Please make sure the plot numbers are shown correctly before the next Council inspection as in the past we’ve had instances of people being sent non-cultivation letters for the wrong plots.

Plot Shop Repairs: The Council sprayed the ivy and carried out the repairs to the roof and guttering. The promised new non-asbestos roof appears to be very low on the Council priority list.

Sharers and Sweetheart deals: We seem to have an increasing number of unofficial allotment sharers and sweetheart deals. If you want to share your plot please register the proposed sharer with the Council, and please show or give your sharer a copy of your contract so they understand the conditions under which they are allowed on the allotments. Remember sub-letting is prohibited and is most unfair to those people on the waiting list. (See section 6 (f) in the Schedule of your “Agreement for Leisure Gardens”

General: The shop has been trading quite well, with most of the items significantly cheaper than the major retailers. As usual, a reminder that the plots start behind the plot-side line of the water butts. These butts do not belong to the individual plots and must be easily accessible from the front and both sides by other plot holders. The council requires access to this area to maintain the water lines and will dig up any cultivated area around the water butts without warning or compensation, if they find it necessary.

Happy gardening!

PSB… as they like to call it on telly

Over the past couple of months purple sprouting broccoli has been the darling of the magazine chefs, now we’ve had our fill from the allotment as the fresh stuff is just about all gone… wasn’t it good while it lasted. The fact they were charging £8 per kilo in some of the supermarkets made it taste even better!.

Purple gold

Did you know… that Bush (Snr) was anti broccoli

  • Allegedly, on March 18th 1990, President George W. Bush had broccoli banned from Air Force One. A few days later Apio Produce and the United Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Association sent 20,000 pounds of fresh broccoli from California to the White House, to try to persuade the President to reconsider. The broccoli was donated to local food banks.

Here we go again…

It’s been a few weeks since the snow finally cleared, and now that the ground seems to of defrosted enough to get a spade into it we can get digging again. Although the broad beans took a bit of a beating from Mr Jack Frost the garlic seems to of survived, within the past week the whole allotment has ‘boiing-ed’ into life. After being somewhat confused earlier in the year, not knowing if they were coming or going, the daffs have popped their heads above the ground.

Time to get stuck in again…

You may of noticed an advert appear in the posting below – where it came from and how it got there I’ve no idea – but with a bit of tinkering I think I’ve managed to zap it and stop it appearing again.

Happy new year

Happy new year!

Hope that everyone had a fine time and is ready for some digging to work off any of that over indulgence … er… that is when the ground’s defrosted,… the rain stops and we get more than a two day window with out snow. 

Talking of , which there’s a few new pictures to look at of the plots covered in snow from earlier this month. Click on the ‘Picture’ tag at the top of the page. 

Fingers crossed, over the next few weeks we’ll get to grips with this computer merlarchy and before long have a fully functioning destination of our own out there on the world wide web. 

All the best for 2010, happy digging

Digging a snow pit

I'm sure I planted the garlic here somewhere


Sorry for baring bad news, but the tomato blight has arrived on the allotments, so if you haven’t already, I guess it’s probably best to  start spraying.

Don’t do what I did.

Not one for throwing things away, last Sunday I thought I’d check the remaineder of some Dithane that I had mixed up in a bottle in the shed from last year. After shaking the bottle the appearance seemed the same as I remembered it to be, in that milky, yellow, cloudy sort of way. So ignoring the instructions on the packet, (i.e. to use it straight away and not to store the mix) and promptly sprayed my crop (about 50-60 plants). One week later when I visited the plot today, blight had caught hold of most of my toms. I’ve removed all the infected parts, plucked a couple of hundred of green and brown toms and ripped up those plants that were worst hit.

I guess part of me cynically believed that the company who makes this stuff didn’t want you to save any from one year to the next as it would affect their sales. Big mistake. Now to mix up some fresh brew.

Merton Horticultural Show 31 August

At the AGM it was decided that we would enter an Association exhibit as this years Merton Horticultural Show. We have won the cup for the best display over the last few years so we need to keep up the good work

Anyone who has produce to spare at this time would you please liase with Annemarie or one of the Committee Members.

All produce needs to be at the shop by 1-00 pm on Sunday 30th, although we often take late flowers down on Monday morning.

 We will be having our usual Hospitality Table at the Show with a selection of drinks, wine and cheese.  All Association Members are welcome.  If you are not a Member and wish to partake in this event, please join the Association, it’s a mere £2 per annum.

 If you have not received a Merton Show brochure, we have spare copies in the shop.  There are many exhibition classes and all plot holders are invited to enter as many as possible.  The prizes are small cash prizes, but really most of us do it for the fun of the day. 

 We normally donate all of the Havelock produce to the auction at the end of the day and the proceeds are donated to the Mayor’s choice of charity.  If you do not wish to donate your produce, tell me or Annemarie when you deliver it.

Hope to see you all there. 

Hello and welcome…

Welcome to the Havelock Road Allotments blog, 

You may have to bare with us over the next few weeks as we get to grips with technology and general ‘webbery’.

To start with though heres a few pictures from around the allotments to give a flavor of the things to come.

Click on the image to enlarge, hit the ‘back’ button to return to the gallery.