Saturday, October 31
This way you can keep an eye on the most recent posts made on both of these blogs.
The Green Lane Allotments Weather Diary concentrates on weather records taken in our garden and the effcts that the weather has on our plot and activities.
The School Vegetable Patch focuses on gardening with children especially in a school environment but it has articles that would also be useful to adult gardeners or those who garden with children at home. This blog links to our School Vegetable Patch website just as this blog links to Our Plot at Green Lane Allotments website
Direct links are also given to all these areas on the sidebar of all our blogs. We hope that you find your way around.
Wednesday, October 28
Tuesday, October 27
"The little hog you brought in is doing well now, and since being wormed and had a course of antibiotics is now putting on weight and should begin to thrive.
We have had 13 brought in over the last three days so it has been a bit hectic".
So it was all worth it.
Monday, October 26
At the beginning of the week our car became a hedgehog ambulance. Our September diary featured a video of two baby hedgehogs spotted in our garden. As these were obviously late babies I have been keeping watch for them. I was worried that they wouldn’t make the weight - 600g - needed for successful hibernation. One was spotted in our garden last week and ended up having an unexpected journey to a new home.
Saturday, October 24
Yesterday one decided to take a bath in my coffee. When weeding it is advisable to keep your mouth firmly shut and only breathe when absolutely necessary.
As soon as any type of plant is gently touched clouds of these tiny moth like insects rise into the air. It seems this is very much the pest of the moment but what do you know about these tiny invaders? Click here to read what I have managed to find out. There seems to be lots of ideas for how we may try to control if not eliminate these pests but do any of them work? If you have any tried and tested methods for control on food crops then please share.
Wednesday, October 21
Tuesday, October 20
Click here to read more about this offer from Thompson & Morgan
Click here for products that may be useful when buying seed potatoes
Friday, October 16
The full email 'conversation' may be of interest and is reproduced here
Thursday, October 15
Wednesday, October 14
The fruit had started to fall from the tree and so I assumed that the time was right for picking.
The fruits have now been set out to blet. Browsing the internet it states that the fruit should be laid out on absorbent material such as straw but this seemed over the top for just ten fruits and so I have used pieces of kitchen towel.
We now eagerly wait to see what happens!
Saturday, October 10
If you find a strawberry that has been nibbled by slugs, don't remove it. If you leave it on the plant then the slug will return to eat more of this berry and not move on to another victim. When I read this I was sceptical but it worked - apparently it works with tomatoes too. I'm not sure how it works but maybe slugs follow their scent back to the place where they had a good meal. If a berry has been 'broken into' maybe the scent is stronger or it is easier to tuck in.
Friday, October 9
Thursday, October 8
One point has come up in discussion with affected growers which concerns us as revealing a loophole in Dow's stewardship campaign. We are worried about the not inconsiderable quantities of this product still in the possession of people such as stable owners and others. It is likely that its use will be resumed for spot removal of weeds in paddocks etc with the result that manure supplied to allotments and gardens will continue to suffer contamination. Has consideration been given to these residual stocks and a way of ensuring that they are not used?
The response was:
Thank you for your email.
The only aminopyralid products which may now legally be used are the two products for which approval has recently been granted; these are Forefront with approval number 14701 and Mileway with approval number 14702. Any aminopyralid product with any other approval number may now only be stored for disposal and may not be used; anyone using these 'old' products will be doing so illegally and will be subject to appropriate enforcement should they be discovered to be doing so.
I understand that Dow have taken steps through their distributors to identify and recover unused stock and that they believe that only small amounts of the products now still remain in the hands of users.
It is certainly possible that stocks of manure containing aminopyralid residues from use in 2007 and 2008 might still be available so you will, I'm sure, accept that, even with Dow's stewardship programme, anyone now obtaining manure for their garden or allotment will need to assure themselves that the manure is suitable for their needs, and not only in respect of herbicide residues such as aminopyralid, but also any other 'contaminants' such as veterinary medicine residues that they would not want.
We will, of course, continue to monitor this issue so if you do come across evidence that things are not working as anticipated - whether this is stocks of manure containing aminopyralid reaching allotments and gardens, or the incorrect or illegal use of aminopyralid products - do please let both us and Dow know.
Additional information from the poser of the question:
I could also add a warning that straw mixed with manure could also contain residues of disinfectant - apparently I am told that some allotment holders used to get straw-based manure from a slaughterhouse until it started to distort crops. That followed new disinfecting regulations on slaughterhouses following the BSE scare.
Following suspension of the use of the products, Dow AgroSciences initiated a major awareness campaign, reminding all those involved in distributing and using the product to follow the label instructions and only to use manure on-farm and on certain crops. At the same time, through published articles, advertisements and contact with trade associations and allotment societies, attempts were made to alert all those who use manure to the issues and how to minimise the chances of any problems. A website was established which included a simple bioassay for gardeners to help determine if manure had any herbicide residues. If manure was suspected to contain herbicide residues and the owner agreed, Dow AgroSciences arranged for its removal.
These actions have had a positive impact. Despite awareness of these issues being far higher this year, the number of reported incidents where aminopyralid is implicated has fallen.
The Advisory Committee on Pesticides (ACP), at its May and July meetings, considered a range of further information on the reported incidents and the properties of aminopyralid. Major changes to the way the herbicide is to be sold and used were proposed. The ACP advised Ministers that these changes reduced the risks involved and approval could be recommended.
The minutes of the ACP meetings have been published. The information considered by the ACP is in the process of being drawn together and will be published on the CRD website in due course. Ministers have accepted this advice and new approvals have been issued.
The Major Differences between the Modified and New Approvals
Two products containing aminopyralid are approved. One is for use only on grassland to be grazed, not where silage or hay is to be harvested, to control a range of common weeds. The key changes from the previous approval are as follows:
Use only on grassland for grazing will mean that the majority of manure will fall back onto the treated grassland. Small accumulations, for example with dairy herds in milking parlours, are to remain on-farm and be spread only on grassland.
- There will not be use on grassland for producing fodder, much of which is fed to cattle housed through the winter months that results in major accumulations of manure.
- The product is to be used only by those with cattle or sheep, not those with horses. A high proportion of incidents arose from horse manure where fodder was brought in and there was no or limited scope to spread the resulting manure on the premises.
- These changes are designed to prevent sale of manure from treated grassland being supplied to gardeners and allotment holders, eliminating the risks involved.
Prior to sale of the product, potential purchasers are required to receive training from qualified advisors (British Agrochemicals Standards Inspection Scheme certified) so that the risks and how to prevent these are fully understood. Checks will also be made on the proposed use and ability to meet the warnings and restrictions. Only when all these checks have been satisfied will the product be sold.
The second product is for use against invasive and pernicious weeds in amenity situations (e.g. ragwort and Japanese knotweed on roadside verges, railway embankments or industrial areas) which are rarely grazed and where there is no fodder or manure collection.
Comments are welcome
Wednesday, October 7
Tuesday, October 6
It would appear governement ministers have accepted the ACP recommendation that aminopyralid have its licence reinstated
More information on the Manure Matters website here
I suppose all we can do now is hope that the stewardship works but manure will be off our shopping list for the foreseeable future!
So what do you think? Comments are welcome.
6 October 2009 Extract from - Minutes of the 339th meeting of the Advisory Committee on Pesticides (ACP) held on 15 September 2009
Aminopyralid Letter to Allotment Holders ACP 12 (339/2009)
Aminopyralid Correspondence ACP 18 (339/2009)
Minutes have very little mention of aminopyralid other than
Agenda Item 2: Secretary’s report.
2.1 The Secretary to the Committee reported on the recommendations made at previous meetings. Members heard that Ministers were considering advice given at the last Meeting on aminopyralid.
11. Any Other Business
11.1 The Committee considered the items for information received since the last meeting.
It would seem that the matter is now in the hands of government ministers
One positive is that the strong winds have at least kept any signs of frost at bay.
It's a good plan to gather in your squash and pumpkins before Hallowe'en or they may just disappear! Now that much of the plant growth has died down they tend to advertise their presence and could be tempting to wouldbe witches and warlocks!
Sunday, October 4
Patrick Holden - the director of the Soil Assocation recently sent a letter to Hilary Benn expressing concern regarding the reinstallation of the licence for aminopyralid. Extracts from this letter have been published in the media. If you wish to read the full letter it is available here
Saturday, October 3
Thursday, October 1
To read the diary update and view the September photograph album click here