When you become a plotholder you will be given the code to access the general toolstore, which contains spades, forks, trowels, secateurs, rakes, brooms and gloves.
We make bulk purchases of compost and manure which are available for sale to members at reduced cost. See posters in the garden for details.
Only water your plot every 3 to 4 days
It is important to thoroughly soak the soil periodically rather than watering little and more often. Applying too little water will only wet the upper layers of the soil where there are few roots and may actually encourage the plants to keep their roots in these areas which are especially prone to drying out, resulting in less drought resistance.
Water the ground near the base of each plant, rather than sprinkling water over the leaves.
Water new plants immediately before and after planting out, and again a few days later.
Before deciding whether to water, check the soil to a spade’s depth
Even if the surface appears dry, the soil may still be moist lower down at root level and so watering isn’t needed.
Water in the evening or early morning
The best time to water is in the evening or early morning to minimise the amount of water lost through evaporation. Watering at this time will also eliminate any possibility of delicate plants getting scorched.
Mulch your plot
Organic matter, garden compost for example, increases the moisture-holding capacity of the soil by about 50mm of rain in the first year after application.
When you’ve finished watering, please refill the watering can and leave it full next to the water butt. That way, if we do get any rain, there will be more room in the water butt to store it.
Tetanus and other infections
Many people are unaware that the soil contains bacteria, including tetanus, that can be hazardous to health, and which can enter the body through a simple cut or scratch. As a precaution, you should make sure that your tetanus booster is up-to-date; if in doubt, check with your GP.
Tetanus can be a potentially fatal disease and in its most common form, it can cause paralysis. The symptoms are initially a feeling of stiffness in the neck and having trouble with swallowing which is why the condition is often referred to as ‘lockjaw’. Symptoms tend to manifest themselves within just over a week of exposure to the bacteria but can appear in as little as three days or up to three weeks or so later.
If you do cut yourself in the garden, it’s important to make sure that you thoroughly clean and disinfect the wound. If you start to experience any of the symptoms mentioned above, or feel in any other way unwell, contact your GP.
Insect bites are an accepted hazard of spending time in the garden, especially on summer evenings, and are generally irritating rather than dangerous. However sometimes dirt can be transferred from the skin into the wound caused by the bite, which can then become infected. If you experience unusual symptoms following an insect bite, such as excessive swelling, pain, and a burning sensation in the skin, you should consult your GP as this may require treatment with antibiotics.
Bee and wasp stings
If you’ve been stung by a bee you should try to remove the stinger that the bee has left in your skin. If you can see the poison sac on the end of the stinger, cut this off first so that you don’t squeeze out more poison, and then pull out the stinger with tweezers. Wash the affected area with soap and water. A cloth soaked in cold water or wrapped in ice cubes can help to alleviate the pain.
Try to move as far away as possible from the area where you were stung, as the scent of the pheromones released by the bee will attract other bees to come to its defence.
Wasps and hornets don’t leave the stinger in you, but the downside of this is that they can sting more than once. Otherwise, the sting should be cleaned in the same way as a bee sting.
Anaphylactic shock: Some people are allergic to bee stings and may go into anaphylactic shock. If someone who has been stung tells you that they are allergic, or has fainted, or is showing other symptoms such as a burning or tingling sensation on the skin, particularly in the extremities such as fingers, breathing difficulties, nausea, diarrhoea, cramping or anxiety, you should call an ambulance straight away.