September 2014 Update

Discover the progress made on the First World War allotment during September 2014.

Sandra Eder and Ray Bailey - Southlands Road Allotment and Gardens Association

A quiet month on the World War 1 allotment,  all the digging has been done, manure has been laid and we now have to wait for the elements to do their work by breaking down and feeding the soil.  We will keep on top of the weeding and pull out any that dare to pop up.

We are still making wooden seed trays to sow seeds next spring.

Visit to Scotland!

Me and my husband had the privilege of visiting Scotland’s Rural College where they too have created a World War 1 allotment.

WW1 allotment at Scotland’s Rural College

On their open day many people visited the site and you can see from the pictures how well their crops grew.  We are hoping for similar results.

A colour photograph showing allotment beds with produce grown in them.

Image shows allotment produce.

Images of Scotland’s Rural College’s First World War allotment

We came away with some good ideas for our own project, one of which is to make slate plant labels, so as soon as we returned I contacted All Type Roofing based in Waldo Road, Bromley asking if they would donate some slate tiles for this purpose and I am pleased to say they have agreed.


A colour photograph showing a slate with information about beetroot.

One of the information slates.

Did You Know – How did they protect their crops?

They had their poisons and little information as to how these chemicals might affect them personally.

SLUGS. Hand picking, sprinkling soot, ash or lime around plants.


1. Quassia chips and soft soap. Quassia amara is a South American shrub.

2. Nicotine wash.

3. Paraffin wash.

The nicotine and paraffin wash would have had soft soap added to improve it’s efficiency. Soft soap still makes a useful spray against aphid.

4. Hellebore powder (very toxic).

5. Methylated spirit (still recommended for woolly aphid on hardwood subjects).

6. Hand picking.

DISEASES were more difficult to control and efforts were made to prevent disease by using Bordeaux mixture on potatoes and tomatoes (as now). Gardeners made their own by mixing 1lb copper sulphate, 1.5lb burnt lime in 10 gallons of water. Efforts were made to kill the overwintering spores of some diseases as well as insect eggs on fruit trees, by spraying dormant trees with a sulphur lime wash.

LEAF-EATING INSECTS were sprayed with a lethal home-made mix of 1oz arsenate of soda, 3oz acetate of lead, 18oz soft soap, 18 gallons of water.

HYGIENE was also encouraged and garden waste was burnt and the ashes used as a fertiliser.

BIRDS were also encouraged.

Did you know article by Ray Bailey, Chairman of SRAGA

This page was added by Lucy Bonner on 07/10/2014.

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