Martin Way Allotment Gardens Association

Handy Hints for Gardeners!

If you have any tried-and-tested tips, or handed-down gardening wisdom from your Mum/Dad/Granddad etc, you'd like to share with fellow allotmenteers, send it to us at

-  A half gutter can be used to cover a trench of newly-sown seeds to deter pigeons, mice etc until such time as the seedling is of a decent height.

-  Use a half gutter filled with compost to sow peas or sweet peas.  Once large enough to plant out, prepare a trench, with support if necessary,  more or less the same width and length as the gutter, and slide the contents of the gutter straight into the trench.

-  Space saving method of growing cucurbits (melon, squash, courgette, cucumber etc).   Drive a 7ft stake into the ground, plant the cucurbit next to the pole and once the plant starts to grow tendrils, gently attach these to the pole so the plant grows upwards. Pick off the yellowing leaves as they appear at the bottom.

-  Removing indelible ink on plastic plant labels:  put them in a plastic container, cover them completely with bleach and leave overnight. Just rinse under hot water the following morning and they are good as new.

If your Bramley apple suffers from bitter pit (dark spots marring the fruit), sprinkle crushed eggshells around the base.  The calcium from the shells will help prevent the bitter pit occurring next year.