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Virus Update, Allotments Open, Books & Tools

Well it’s been a busy few days but not doing what I want to be doing. This pandemic is having some surprising effects

Well Done and Thank You

First and foremost, 500,000 have signed up following the NHS request for 250,000 volunteers to help with non-medical but vital jobs. Makes you proud, doesn’t it?  Maybe the Blitz spirit our forebears had isn’t vanished!

Still on the Allotment

If you take the kids, keep them safe too.

We can go allotmenting so long as we do it safely. That’s official. There seems to be some confusion about the new government rules and a bit more common sense would be helpful. This is my take on it

  • If you can walk or cycle to your allotment without getting close to others, that’s safe. Driving from home to plot is fine but don’t get on a bus. That’s upping the risk a lot.
  • Once on the plot, chat with others by all means but keep the magic 2 metres distance. Don’t share tools or even a cuppa. It does feel awkward and even rude but better that the alternative.
  • Surfaces touched by others may have the virus on them. The skin is a pretty good barrier to diseases but if you then touch your face or rub an eye you can let the virus in. So open the gate and then use a proper hand sanitiser or wash your hands properly in soap and water. It doesn’t matter if the water is cold – but be thorough. Apparently just handwashing will halve the infection rate. Some sites have troughs rather than taps – don’t use troughs for hand washing, fill a bucket and use that.


I sent out a couple of extra newsletters about the situation. It doesn’t take too long to send the emails but I didn’t expect the response. I had hundreds of lovely emails back in short order. Sadly, far too many to reply to individually. But I do read every one.

Our Books

Realising things may get difficult for deliveries I thought order some extra books from the publisher before this lockdown really kicked off. What I didn’t expect was the flood of orders when it did. By Sunday it was obvious we were going to run out of some titles so emailed another order to the publishers.

Ever felt the universe was against you? Problems getting the order I won’t bore you with in detail Lots of emailing everyone and his dog and waiting for people to reply. Anyway, the orders are all in the post and on their way now to customers.

We’ve sorted the logistics of getting the books out without exposing ourselves to the virus. Small quantities – less than 20 books – go into the big post box. Larger quantities are taken to the village post office stores in a sack by our son-in-law. This may seem over the top, but we’re both at vulnerable, so why take a risk?

It’s very strange. We drive down to the village, check nobody is around and then quickly post the orders before driving back and washing our hands. Makes you feel like a secret agent or something.

Voucher Codes Suspended

The horticultural suppliers like Harrod Horticultural and Two Wests & Elliott are experiencing exceptional demand along with staffing problems with self-isolation, people now working from home and shortage of delivery slots.

For some years now, we’ve worked very closely with Harrod Horticultural who support this website. Sadly they can not keep giving us our special discounts like the extra 10% in this situation. All their offer codes are suspended.

Seed Supplies

Seed suppliers are experiencing a surge as well. Don’t panic buy seeds, it’s just silly. Take your time, just get what you need. You may find you can’t get the variety you really want so look for alternatives. They’re not toilet rolls, the germination rates fall off with age. See this page on seed life and this page on the best temperatures for germination, so you get the most from them.

Can I get back to growing our own now, please?

Posted in Allotment Garden Diary
3 comments on “Virus Update, Allotments Open, Books & Tools
  1. g evans says:

    I’m so glad me and the wife have an allotment, we already planted potatoes and onion setts, it keeps us occupied, sowing seeds next on our list, I made 5 gallons of beer the other day and used the yeast in the bottom of the barrel to make bread, that was really good so were using up all our resources, the bread we put in the freezer, the only problem for us is our age we are both over 70. Stay Safe and carry on.

  2. Rowland Wells says:

    i must admit we haven’t made any beer yet but we are using our resource’s out of the freezer and also looking at the sound advise given on this site regarding going to the allotments i feel a lot more confident to go and do something down the allotments next week also we are both over 70

    really appreciate virus update on this site you all stay safe

  3. Huw Allaway says:

    I think with the potential of fresh food shortages due to the lockdown and a shortage of pickers the importance of growing your own will help your families and reduce pressure on the supermarkets.
    So as well as the “Pick for Victory” campaign just launched we will have another Dig for Victory.
    Many thanks to John for the information and I hope everyone stays safe.

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