Save Ryton Organic Gardens

Lawrence Hills established Ryton Gardens in 1985 as home for the charity he founded, the Henry Doubleday Research Association, later to become Garden Organic. A year later, the gardens opened to the public to promote organic gardening. Upon his death in 1990 his ashes were scatted around the gardens and its future now lies in the hands of the Trustees of the charity. This year (January 2018), to the surprise of many members, the gardens were placed for sale with an estate agent as investment/redevelopment opportunity. Discussions had taken place with the Local Planning Authority that indicated that they would not oppose residential redevelopment provided “the openness of the green belt” in which the gardens are situated. The aim of this post is to bring to the attention of the current Trustees the strength of feeling that opposes this sale. They are: Miss Elaine Margaret Shaw Mrs Gail Coleshill Dr Margaret Lynn Eyre – Vice-Chair Mr Martin Stott – Chair Ms Judith Wayne Ms Phillipa Lyons Mrs Naomi L’Estrange Mr Andrew Collins Mr Steve Howell – Treasurer Mr Adam Alexander Mr Kevin James Wissett-Warner Dr Tania Elizabeth Sayer Mrs Marjan Bartlett-Freriks Courtesy of Save Ryton Organic Gardens: Ryton Gardens update January 2018:   … [Read more…]

Potato pests and diseases

Potatoes can suffer from a range of pests and diseases – ranging from scab, which causes superficial damage, to blight, which can destroy a whole crop. The best strategy is to take the following steps to prevent problems arising. Pest and disease prevention Variety choice: Varieties are available with resistance to blight, blackleg, scab, potato cyst eelworm and other problems. Seed potatoes: Use certified seed potatoes to avoid introducing pests and diseases. Home saved seed from healthy crops can be used for a year or two, but virus levels may build up quickly. Never save seed from a diseased crop. Crop rotation: Grow potatoes on a 3 or 4 year rotation to help avoid build-up of soil-borne pests and diseases, such as potato eelworm and scab. See factsheet GG19, Crop rotation, for more information. Soil improvement: Compost and other rotted organic materials help keep soil borne pests and diseases under control. They also help the soil to retain moisture, encouraging strong growth. Compost fed plants are less attractive to pests than those given artificial fertilisers.   … [Read more…]