Category Archives: Advice

Identifying our trees

In support of the It’s Your Neighbourhood 2017 theme – Birds, Bees and Trees – we have begun to survey and identify the trees around our site.

Marion (Plot 88) has created a prototype of a label we could use to identify each tree for interested plotters and visitors.

However, we need your help.  Can we have suggestions please as to materials and finishes that might be used to weather-proof the labels?

Our New Zealand Flatworm Problem

We have just received the interim report from OPAL and the University of Aberdeen on our flatworm problem.  It does not make for great reading as it suggests that over 70% of our plots are infested with these pests.

Suggestions as to how to deal with flatworms, taken from this very helpful report, has been incorporated into a new page under the Advice and Support tab above.  You will also find a copy of the interim report.

Aberdeen in Bloom Competition

Stuart

Application forms for the 2017 competition are now available and entries have to be returned got to be returned to Aberdeen City Council by 14 July.  We have always been big supporters of the City’s, Britain in Bloom efforts and I hope we will see the usual big entry from plotters this year.  A good level of entries helps show how keen we plotters are on our allotments and the Council’s work to support green spaces and gardening.

Plotters can pick up an entry from from the Bothy or from Council offices and libraries.  Alternatively, you can submit your entry online via the Aberdeen in Bloom Page.

I hope we will see a bumper crop of entries this year!

Be bee friendly …

One of the, “It’s Your Neighbourhood” priorities this year is that we plotters do as much as we can to encourage and protect our native bees.

It’s common knowledge that bees have been having a tough time of late.  They are vital to the success of many of our crops and it makes sense for us to give them all the help we can.  The Royal Horticultural Society  has a nice wee video that shows in four minutes just how easy it is to lend our bees a helping hand.

RHS suggests these simple steps to help our honey, bumble and solitary bees:

  1. Plant nectar and pollen rich plants – those with open flowers that give easy bee access.  Examples include Catmint, Lavender, Phacelia tanacetifolia and Sedum.
  2. Leave undisturbed some areas with naturally long grass, or at the base of bushes and hedges – these are the preferred, natural homes for bumble bees.
  3. Put up simple bee hotels for solitary bees e.g Mason Bees, in quiet spots around our plots and public spaces.
  4. Avoid spraying with pesticides as much as possible.
  5. Take up bee-keeping – if you have the necessary experience or get appropriate training.

On this last point, the City Council is reviewing its ban on bee-keeping on allotment sites and a new policy may be announced soon.

So, what could GFAA do to be bee friendlier?