May Day

01 May

I have been given permission by Earthly Pursuits to use their collection of  The Allotment & Garden Guides which were first published by The Ministry of Agriculture in 1945. Just a note of caution: some of the chemicals that are suggested for use are now illegal to use and will be harmful to users, animals and the environment so please check what other methods are suitable instead.

The Enemy

The full April Allotment & Garden Guide can be found under ‘Wartime Advice’, and the information given in them is still relevant today,  but l love this page showing the difference between a Centipede and a Millipede in the form of a Centipede being a ‘fast moving friend’ and proudly showing the Union Jack flag and the Millipede being a ‘slow moving enemy’ with a Swastika! Priceless!

These leaflets are surprisingly difficult to get hold of considering they were printed in their hundreds of thousands to promote the Dig for Victory campaign. I have the odd one and l am always on the look out. Ebay is a good place to start looking but know when to stop bidding as l have seen them fetch silly amounts of money.

So, April is behind us and what a month it was! The hottest on record and l can well believe that. A lot of us had over 25c or nearly 80 f and no rain for weeks now making this month, of all months, particularly difficult in the garden. BUT, last night we had thunderstorms and it started to rain and this morning it is still raining. Thank goodness as the garden was resembling a dust bowl and l felt so sorry for all the birds trying to raise their young. This will really help bring things along and l am sure l will be seeing big differences throughout the garden over the coming days. I kept the salad bed well watered and we have been eating some really nice ‘cut and come again’ Hot & Spicy salad leaves, rocket and Mizuna. Delicious.

At least we now live in relatively peaceful times on our shores and we don’t have to worry about the Nazis invading us. 70 years ago in 1941, Hitler’s intensive bombing campaign was drawing to a close and he had to abandon ‘Operation Sealion’, the invasion of our shores. Over 40,000 civilians lost their lives during the Blitz but moral remained high, on the whole,  and everyone pulled together over the coming years  to see it through to the bitter end. It is these people and in this period that l will always remain fascinated and in total awe.


Posted by on May 1, 2011 in May, The garden


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6 responses to “May Day

  1. Erin Tankersly

    May 1, 2011 at 19:52

    excellent work you have done, this site is unmistakably cool with superb info. I advise you put this content to reddit, and then more and more habitancy might entry your posts. Thank You

    • trevorhunt

      May 9, 2011 at 15:22

      Thank you so much Erin. I have since put this blog on Reddit as l would love more people to become familiar with the way we used to live and garden during those war years. Now we shall have to wait and see!

  2. Flowering Pear

    May 2, 2011 at 09:56

    Just a note of caution: some of the chemicals that are suggested for use are now illegal to use and will be harmful to users..
    Thanks for sharing.. Flowering Pear

    • trevorhunt

      May 9, 2011 at 15:20

      Hi Flowering Pear, Thanks for the note. I have recently added a note of caution on one of my entries but l might add something onto the front page as well. I would hate for anyone to think they could still use some of these chemicals from the War years. It is little wonder that a lot of the full-time gardeners on some of the estates from that period and before, died an early death having been spraying arsenic etc!

  3. Janet/Plantaliscious

    May 2, 2011 at 11:01

    Love the patriotic centipede – and the guide for setting wireworm traps – but why are worms the enemy? They presumably just meant wireworms…

    I am envious of your rain, we’ve still not had any, and parts of my allotment beds are developing that annoying crust. Typically this is on areas where I sowed salad leaves and herbs in wide drills, so I can’t even hoe the ground to loosen it all up. Fingers crosses they still manage to break through – the weeds seem to be managing OK.

  4. trevorhunt

    May 2, 2011 at 11:27

    Haha, yes, the weeds always win through Janet. I cannot believe the amount of rain we have had in the past 12 hours. Everywhere is flooded now. Big pools of water laying on the ground. I suppose its because the ground was so dry and hard it just sits there. I’m not grumbling although it can stop now, thank you!
    I’m sure if you can water and remember to loosen the ground a little with a hand fork, then the salad seedlings will come on. Good luck.


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