December 2014 update

Learn about the progress made on the First World War allotment during December 2014.

Sandra Eder, Southlands Road Allotment and Gardens Association

We have been writing on the slate plant labels with information from the seeds packets and when the seeds were first introduced. There is one variety of runner bean dating back to 1668.
Southlands Raod Allotment and Gardens Association
Thomas Etty heritage seed packets packaged in the style of their original era.
Southlands Raod Allotment and Gardens Association

Heritage seeds

The Heritage seeds have arrived from Thomas Etty and the seed potatoes were delivered before Christmas, a little earlier than we had expected so we will keep them in the dark for a few more weeks before chitting them ready to plant once the ground has warmed up.

Chitting encourages the seed potato to sprout before they are planted out in late January to early February. Chitting can take up to six weeks, potatoes are placed in trays or egg boxes in a frost free area such as a shed until the sprouts are about 1.5—2.5cm long


In December the Southlands Road Allotment and Gardens Association received a grant from Co-Operative Community fund to buy a chicken house and run for the allotment site. The Association will buy some chickens to include the local rare breed ‘The Orpington Buff’. These birds would have been kept not only for their eggs but for their meat.

Did You Know?

With the advent of the First World War, the demand for medicine was huge, due to the enormous number of casualties, and herbs were widely used. Garlic and sphagnum moss were used in large quantities. Garlic was widely respected for its antiseptic properties, likewise Thyme, which was used in the form of essential oil. The garden designer, Gertrude Jekyll set aside a large plot of land just for the growing of Marigolds (Calendula), which was shipped to France to treat burns victims.

Did you know article from History of Herbal Medicine in Britain by kind permission of The Herb Society.

This page was added by Ian Grant on 02/02/2015.

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