Society presents awards for best allotment plots

Felpham Allotments and Gardens Society recently saw plots judged by a professional from the Royal Horticultural Society.

Prizes were handed out to the winners. Valerie Parfoot won the Innovation cup and the best quarter plot, while Martin Newnham won the best ten rod plot and Martin Cornelius won the best five rod plot.

Valerie Parfoot, who is the chair of Felpham Allotments and Gardens Society, said: “The society recently gave prizes for the best plots which were judged professionally by Richard Hilson from the Royal Horticultural Society.

“He was looking for all the different elements that add up to a well-kept allotment plot. For example weed control, healthy crops, proper structures and soil condition to name but a few.

“There was a fantastic array of flowers at the allotments, as more plot holders see the benefits of growing flowers and vegetables together. The judge was very impressed by the whole allotment site and the wonderful facilities we have.

“Three different sized plots were judged along with the best newcomers. There was also a new cup donated to the allotments by Felpham Co-op Funeral Care, their cup was for innovation.

“The Innovation Cup was given for original ideas; we had a very original scarecrow, well put together with clever finishing touches. A very smart scarecrow!

“A Victorian iron bed suddenly appeared in the middle of a plot and became a beautiful bed of flowers. The winner was the bicycle wheel, modified with crochet squares and bright colours, an invention intended to ward of the birds.

“However, they were not deterred as they scurried around in the strawberry bed right underneath the bicycle wheel.

“The Innovation Cup will be presented every year and hopefully more plot holders will join in the fun.

“Looking back over 2018 it’s been a wonderful summer with most of the produce enjoying the long hot days.

“Produce such as tomatoes, aubergines, courgettes which like the heat, did well. There will be less green tomato chutney, as plot holders managed to harvest their tomatoes varieties when ripe.

The potatoes did not do so well, individuals reported that they had less or smaller potatoes.

“You would think potatoes are easy to grow but too wet and they get blight, too dry and their growth is stilted.

“One thing for sure is that no two years are ever the same and that is what challenges the gardeners to try different things, to choose from the many varieties of seeds and plants out there.

“For the winter it’s wonderful to grow lovely food like leeks, sprouts and green vegetables. Nothing can be better than enjoying your Christmas dinner with your own home grown food.

“If you have never visited Felpham Allotments take a look at our website at www.felphamallotments.org.uk.

“We have Plant Sales and Open Days throughout the year. Schools can contact us to teach children the value of growing your own.

“We would very much like to develop a plot for disabled plot holders now that we have our own disabled loo thanks to funding from The Lottery.”