GrowingSouthwark's Blog


Applying for the resources being redistributed to London from the RHS Chelsea flower show as part of the ‘Re-use Chelsea’ project being coordinated by Growing Southwark and LCRN
May 22, 2010, 2:29 pm
Filed under: chelsea, reuse, Uncategorized

Are you part of a community group that is looking for material to start your growing project but can’t afford to buy new items? Then we may be able to help you. LCRN and Growing Southwark are working together with the Royal Horticultural Society to capture as much unwanted material from the gardens at the Chelsea Flower Show as possible in order to redistribute to groups in need. With the help of dedicated volunteers, we will spend the week after the show ends to collect timber, compost, woodchip, bricks and plenty of other gardening material that would otherwise go to landfill. Then, from early June, the material will be offered for free to eligible community groups. The criteria are simple: your growing project must be open to the general public within your community and we will prioritise groups that have little or no funding; you will also need to arrange your own transport.

To find out more or to get a copy of the application form, please contact Edouard Guidon at LCRN on 020 7324 4703 or at edouard@lcrn.org.uk or download it from here and email it to Edouard.RHS Chelsea material distribution form 2010

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Help Growing Southwark Re-use the Chelsea Flower Show!
May 18, 2010, 9:23 pm
Filed under: chelsea, reuse, Uncategorized

RHS Chelsea Flower Show Growing Southwark/LCRN Reuse Scheme has received a wonderful collection of Plants from The Eden Project also other exhibitors have donated bricks, mortar, sand and wood. We need help moving it all to our distribution point, in Peckham. If you have a van and can get to the Show Ground between 8am and 7pm on Friday 20th May, Saturday 21st,Sunday 22nd please call Lesley on 07972687930 If you can volunteer this weekend then again please call or email Lesley. office@growingsouthwark.org.uk

This is a non-funded project.



Natural pest control
May 17, 2010, 3:12 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized
collated by a lady at my allotments I thought I would pass this on to you.

Sprays (organic) for pest control

Please
note: under UK and EC law is is illegal to use any preparation as a
pesticide that is not approved for such use. The information here is
for historical reference only and does not imply a recommendation for
use. If you disregard this warning and make any of the preparations you
do so entirely at your own risk.

Update 22 June 2008

A few years back there was news that a German research group had found
that milk diluted with water made a good fungicide. There were various
suggestions about the ratio some said 1 pint of milk to 8 pints of
water (1:8) while others advised 1 pint milk to 4 pints water (1:4). I
recently had some mildew on the main onion crop and used the 1:4
dilution (plus a very small amount of approved liquid detergent wetting
agent) to spray the soil as a nutrient additive. Unfortunately, because
the onions were quite closely spaced, a lot of the spray went on the
leaves of the onions and cured the mildew problem!

The information below is from “Organic Gardening” by Roy Lacey,
published by David & Charles, London, 1988, now out of print.

Soap

The insecticidal properties of ordinary soapy water should be more
widely known because it would undoubtedly save inorganic gardeners a
small fortune in poisonous sprays and save many helpful insects into
the bargain.

I’ve used nothing but soapy water as a spray on my roses for many
years and have never had more than minor trouble with aphids. Soft
soap, a pharmaceutical product used as a liquid in enemas, is a very
safe and very effective insecticide to control brassica whitefly and
cabbage white caterpillars. Dissolve 56g (20z) in 4.5 litres (1 gal)
hot water and use diluted when cool enough. Soft soap can be bought
from Garden Organic

Savona insecticidal soap is a relatively new product for the control
of aphids, whitefly, red spider mite and scale insects. It is perfectly
safe to human beings, mammals, bees, ladybirds and other predators and
is recommended for use in greenhouses before the introduction of
biological controls if there are high pest levels. It is diluted with
fifty parts of rain-water and is now widely available from garden shops.

Do NOT use washing up liquid as it contains many other chemicals which can damage
plants.

DO-IT-YOURSELF SPRAYS

There are any number of recipes for home-made pesticides, many of them
handed down over the centuries (and some of doubtful efficacy).

For example, an old remedy to deter snails and slugs is to collect
as many as possible, morning and evening. Tip them into a bucket of
boiling water and let it stand for a few days until the smell becomes
fearsome, then strain off the liquid and use it to sprinkle round
vulnerable plants, such as the young growth of delphiniums, lettuce and
so on – but not on them. The remains of the slugs and snails can also
be scattered.

Bracken spray

Effective against blackfly on, for example, broad beans and runner beans but not
against cherry blackfly.

The bracken must be gathered when brown and brittle dry. Pulp the
leaves and store in paper bags until wanted. Using a graduated jar,
measure out 120cc (4fl oz) of the bracken and pour on 420cc (14fl oz)
of hot water, stir and allow to soak for twenty-four hours, strain,
then bottle into airtight jars and keep out of reach of children, of
course.

For use as a spray, dilute 25cc (1 fl oz) to 4.5 litres (1 gal) of rainwater and
spray each day for three days.

Elder spray

This kills aphids, small caterpillars and is useful as a fungicide for
mildew and blackspot on roses. The toxic agent is hydro-cyanic acid, so
in preparing the spray use an old saucepan.

Gather 450g (1 lb) leaves and young stems of elder prefer-ably in
spring when the sap is rising. Place in the saucepan and add 3.3 litres
(6pt) water. Boil for half an hour, topping up as necessary. Strain
through old tights and use the liquid cold and undiluted. It will keep
for three months if bottled tightly while still hot.

Twigs of elder, cut in the spring and placed at intervals, inverted
V-wise, over early turnip rows, are said to ward off attack by flea
beetles.

Horsetail tea

Horsetail (Equisetum arvense) is a
pernicious weed which spreads by underground stems which may go down as
deep as ten feet, forming horizontal rhizome systems at intervals. This
makes it particularly difficult to control. If you have a horsetail
problem, there’s a bright side to it because an infusion of the weed
makes a good fungicide for control of mildew on straw-berries and other
crops, and checks rust on celery and celeriac.

Collect the horsetail, foliage, stems, rhizomes and all, and for
each 28g (1 oz) pour on 1.1 Litres (2pt) hot, not boiling, water, and
allow to stand for twenty-four hours. Strain off the ‘tea’ and use
undiluted.

Nettle spray

Bio-dynamic gardeners and growers have a very high regard for the
common stinging nettle, using the leaves in sprays of several kinds. As
well as using nettles as an activator on the compost heap (page 27) the
organic gardener can use them as a liquid manure and as an aphicide.

Gather 224g (l/2 lb) young nettles and soak in a bucket of water for
a week. Strain and use undiluted as a control of aphids on roses and
celery leaf miner. Add the mushy nettles to the compost heap.

Rhubarb spray

The oxalic acid in rhubarb leaves is a safe control agent for aphids,
particularly those on roses. Cut 450g (1 lb) rhubarb leaves, place in
an old saucepan with 1.1 litres (2pt) water and boil for half an hour,
topping up as necessary. When cool, add 1 dsp soap flakes dissolved in
275ml (l/2 pt) warm water. This acts as the wetting agent when added to
the strained rhubarb liquid. Stir the mixture thoroughly and use
undiluted as a spray.

Soap spray

Use the recipe above as an effective weapon against aphids on many crops.

Seaweed spray

The value of seaweed as a liquid manure is well known. Used as a foliar
feed on a wide range of vegetable crops, it also has an insecticidal
and fungicidal effect possibly because the alginates make the surface
of the foliage less attractive to pests and the spores of fungi.

ORGANIC FUNGICIDES

The advice from the book quoted above is dated. As far as I know
none of the fungicides shown below are now approved for organic use.
Never use anything containing sulphur on cucumbers, marrows, courgettes
or any other squash as it will kill the plant. A few years back I heard that
horsetail tea was once used as a fungicide.

Bordeaux mixture

This was discovered in 1845, but not used as a fungicide until 1885
when it was found to control downy mildew . It is the most important
preventative of potato blight and is made from copper sulphate and
lime. Applied before the fungus spores of blight settle on the leaves,
the copper sulphate gradually releases small amounts of soluble copper
which kills the germinating spores. It is equally effective in
preventing blight attack on tomatoes outdoors.

Burgundy mixture

Substantially the same as Bordeaux mixture, but the lime is replaced by
washing soda. It can be used as a prevention against mildew on roses
and gooseberries by spraying the bushes in January.

Potassium permanganate

A combined pesticide and fungicide that offers some control over aphids
and powdery mildew on roses, delphiniums, chrysanthemums and other
plants.

Sulphur

Usually sold as flowers of sulphur or yellow sulphur, it is
also available as a brand-named spray for control of black spot on
roses, powdery mildew and scab on fruit vegetables and ornamentals. It
can harm parasitic wasps and predatory mites.

Also available as a combined insecticide and fungicide when mixed
with lime. It is used as a winter wash on fruit trees and is useful in
controlling big bud and other mites.

Urine

Used neat it is an effective winter wash for soft and top fruit. For
gooseberry mildew use 0.5 litre (1 pt) urine to 3.9 litres (7 pts) hot
water into which 84g (3oz) washing soda and 28g (1 oz) soap flakes have
been dissolved. Spray when cool.


‘How to Get a Community Garden Growing’-15 page TTB guide
May 11, 2010, 9:10 pm
Filed under: allotments, compost, edible, planting, Uncategorized

Launch of our new Grower’s Pack by Transition Town Brixton-a great resource:

‘How to Get a Community Garden Growing’

This 15 page guide to establishing a community garden in and around Brixton is full of information. From ‘first things’ to finding land, from soil to skills, from insurance to involving others, it has lots of advice and links to resources.

The guide has been written by members of the Food and Growing Group using their experience over the last year in setting up community gardens. To those involved in its production, apologies for the delay in finalizing it, we have had difficulties with file formats. We are very grateful to Chris Rodier for sorting this out for us.

To encourage the establishment of more gardens we would love to make it widely available, so please download and print out a copy for your local group. Or collect a copy from the shop (they aren’t there yet, but will be soon when we have arranged printing).  It can be downloaded from our website:

http://transitiontowns.org/Brixton/HowToGetACommunityGardenGoing

Best wishes and hope to see you soon,

Coordinators Katy Press, Katy Thompson and Penny Noy

Transition Town Brixton
Food & Growing Group



Volunteer at RHS Chelsea Flower Show
May 11, 2010, 3:19 pm
Filed under: chelsea, recycling, reuse, Uncategorized

Growing Southwark in conjunction with the London Community Resource Network have for the second year been asked to help ensure all items used in display gardens don’t end up in landfill but are collected, stored and then distributed to growing groups across London.

This is your opportunity to help support the ‘re-use’ of all items used in the display gardens at Chelsea! Volunteer by filling out this form: RHS Chelsea volunteer application form 2010 -final 1, please say where you got the form from i.e. this blog! and how you heard about it. We need people before and after the show; to promote the re-use scheme and then get the hardware onto transport to our storage site.

If you have access to any transport to help shift items to our site especially lorries with HiAB’s this is your opportunity as a business to help re-use Chelsea, please email office@growingsouthwark.org.uk if you can help with transport.

Who benefits: Those growing groups with no funding will have first dibs-watch out here for a form to apply for items for Chelsea for your group.

Follow the build up to Chelsea on the RHS blog: http://mygarden.rhs.org.uk/blogs/alex_denman/default.aspx



Growing Southwark newsletter
May 10, 2010, 1:25 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

Read more about what Growing Southwark is up to here: Microsoft Word – May_2010_Growing_Southwark_Newsletter



The slugs and snails are out and about!
May 9, 2010, 10:57 pm
Filed under: citrus fruit, slugs, Uncategorized

So rather than using nasty slug pellets what can you do:

1. bury a pot with top in line with soil and fill with beer-yum, yum;

2. Copper bands around your pots or around planting area, make sure to bury them a bit as slugs go underground too;

3. spread ash, crushed egg shells, nut casings…around vunerable plants…it seems to be the beans that the snails love for us…

4. Upside down citrus fruit:

Slugs and snails congregate under the upside down citrus fruit casing-what doooooo they talk about?! Extract slugs and move on to a happier home away from your beans-photo courtesy of the lovely Jean

Slugs and snails congregate under the upside down citrus fruit casing-what doooooo they talk about?! Extract slugs and move on to a happier home away from your beans-photo courtesy of the lovely Jean

any other ideas that have worked for you please post below!