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Ministry of Agriculture Allotment & Garden Guide

Allotment and Garden Guide December 1945 page 2

Click image for
facsimile of page 2

December 1945

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Ministry of Agriculture
Allotment & Garden Guides Index

January 1945

February 1945

March 1945

April 1945

May 1945

June 1945

July 1945

August 1945

September 1945

October 1945

November 1945

December 1945

The Allotment DVD
The delights of having an allotment. 15 programmes as seen on ITV. Suit new and established growers. Seasonal guide, top gardening tips, fascinating food facts and insights into what's really in those sheds! 

THE ALLOTMENT SERIES was first shown on ITV 1 West

Allotments UK and other related allotment links



   The weather is always with us to grouse about, and 1945 was on the whole a poor year. In the first place we got away to a bad start. The Januarys of 1940 and 1945 were among the coldest of the last half century, and those o f us who put off doing things before Christmas were less inclined to do anything for a long time afterwards. The beginning of leafthe year's offensive we far too long delayed on many allotments, with the result that the "diggers" were for ever trying to catch up on the jobs to be done and seldom succeeded, and the soil lacked the weathering influence that benefits land dug during winter.
   Too much train, not enough sun—that was 1945. Tomatoes loomed large in the minds of most of our gardeners. They were late in most places owing to the lack of ripening sun, and numerous were the enquiries for hints on speeding up ripening. Some people had trouble with their runners : the flowers would not set. In built-up areas there were no bees to do the job of pollination and some allotment holders were unable to give the flowers the fine misty spraying that could have helped. Or it may have been that watering, where possible, was irregular and the land dried out too quickly, which was a trouble on the Ministry's own demonstration allotments in Hyde Park. On some plots marrows suddenly died off and there was little that could be done about that.leaf
   No doubt owing to the American "invasion" of this country many gardeners became much interested in sweet corn, and there were complaints about delayed ripening. On the Ministry's own plots, however, which are by no means ideal, the variety "John Innes Hybrid," which is early maturing, did well and aroused much interest. The various herbs grown there also came in for attention and later on there is a note on this subject.


 Ministry of Agriculture demonstration garden 

 But perhaps the subject that was most often raised by visitors to the Ministry's plots was pests and diseases. Greenfly and blackfly, of course, are nearly always with us and occasioned many enquiries, but the "cabbage White" butterfly cameleaf in for the most vituperation. The Ministry's woman demonstrator reports that one Sunday morning in a Sussex cottage she picked about fifty caterpillars off the walls upstairs and downstairs, and that a cabbage filed nearby was "skeletonised" in groups. We read that ninety-nine years ago passengers on a cross-Channel boat found the sun obscured for hundreds of yards by a cloud of this pest flying from France to England. This year their descendants must have come in even greater numbers, and only those gardeners who took prompt action by spraying and hand-picking managed to save their green crops, especially the Brussels, from being turned into skeletons.


drawing of cabbage white butterflies invading Britain in 1945