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Ministry of Agriculture Allotment & Garden Guide


Ministry of Agriculture Allotment and Garden Guide January 1945 page 2

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facsimile of page 2

January 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




         It is the top foot or so  of soil got into a "crumby" condition. The "crumbs" hold a lot of water on their surfaces and let surplus water drain away quickly through the big pore spaces between them. These spaces supply air, which the roots need as well a water. When rain falls, the uppermost "crumbs" soak it up till they are saturated––like blotting paper dipped in water. Then the surplus soaks downward to the "crumbs" immediately below, and so on. Each "crumb" is like a little sponge. If there is more rain than the "crumbs" can hold, the bigger spaces between them allow the extra water to drain quickly downward and the soil does not become waterlogged. The roots of plants in "crumby" soil can grow easily down the air spaces between the "crumbs." All around them are "crumbs" containing the water the roots need.   At the tips of the roots are tiny hairs which absorb water. So you will see how important it is that the tips of the roots should not be damaged when planting out.

drawing of cabbage with 12 inch root

     What is "humus"? It is a formless material made up of tiny particles produced from the remains of plants and animals when they have decayed. It helps to maintain a "good tilth" and thus ensures good aeration. But it does more ; it helps the soil to remain moist and provides plant foods.

'Organic' MANURES

         "Organic" manures help to make clay soils lighter and sandy soils better able to hold water. "Organics" are so called because they are formed from something that was living––plants or animals, or both.

drawing of digging in organic manure

  What are they? The best known are farmyard manure and other animal droppings, such as pig and poultry manure. Other "organic" manures include guano, hoof and horn meal, dried blood, meat and bone meal, shoddy and soot. But market gardeners make great use of these "organics" and it may not be easy for the amateur grower to get them. You yourself can make "organic" manures, either in the form of green manure––a green crop, such as mustard, grown specially for digging in––or compost, which you can make from waste garden material.