Garthdee Allotments

the e-home of the Garthdee Field Allotments Association

Category: News (Page 39 of 42)

Unwelcome Visitors

The NZ flatworm

The NZ flatworm

Stuart recently circulated an email reminding us that New Zealand flatworms have been resident on our site for several years now.  If you are lucky enough not to have come across any on your plot, you want to look out for them – they are a murderous bunch and live almost exclusively on our native earthworms.

Some of our plotters report finding no earthworms in their soil for the last four years or more and NZ flatworms (Arthurdendyus triangulates) are the obvious suspects. They kill their smaller earthworm prey in the most unpleasant way – covering them in mucus to part-digest them, then sucking up their remains. They have a voracious appetite and will quickly decimate local earthworm communities if left uncontrolled.

Know your enemy

Know your enemy

They are not a problem limited to our area. Researchers from Scottish Natural Heritage indicate they are present across much of Scotland as this Advice Note and Distribution Map shows. Early reports from the 1960s, when they first appeared in the UK, warned of the possible elimination of our earthworm populations, but more recently commentators have suggested that with help our earthworms may be able to come to terms with the interlopers. Research is on-going at The James Hutton Institute and sightings should be reported to Dr Brian Boag via the above link.

Control Measures

Can we fight back? Unfortunately, it seems that once established the New Zealand flatworm cannot be eradicated: however, their local impact can be reduced to a degree. The following methods are suggested:

  1. Inspect any pots or containers of bought or swapped plants before planting to prevent new infestations.
  2. Look under flat stones or wood etc. as the flatworms retreat to these locations during the heat of the day.
  3. Lay such traps, or peg out sacking to find if they are present.
  4. Kill any flatworms found by grinding between stones, completely squashing, dropping them into very salty water or spraying them with lemon juice.
  5. Ground and Rove Beetles are reported to prey on the adults.
  6. Add farmyard manure to help introduce more earthworms.
Bruce on flatworm patrol

Bruce on flatworm patrol

Need more information?

Pat Wilson circulated a recent Factsheet – see Stuart’s email.

Related articles

Mr Fox comes to call…

When working her plot on Thursday last, Rhona spotted this visitor. While many have reported seeing foxes around our site, Rhona was quick enough with her phone camera to catch this shot:

Look who's dropped by

Look who’s dropped by

Foxes are much more common visitors to open areas and gardens in our cities than they used to be, but need not be a cause for alarm – they are very rarely aggressive unless cornered and provoked. One of the benefits of a large allotment site is the space it provides for wildlife, although some visitors are a lot less welcome than others! The RSPCA has advice on being around foxes on their website.

More Foxy Facts

Urban foxes: the facts and the fiction The Guardian

The Fox Website


Noticeable Improvement

Sharp-eyed visitors to our site will have seen our noticeboard on the bothy now sports a smart new canopy. We were having trouble with water ingress so the canopy will help prevent that to some extent. The perspex still needs to be resealed to the frame and this will be done at the earliest opportunity.

All the news that's fit to print...

All the news that’s fit to print…

Thanks go to Frank from Plot 63A for the joiner-work and to Maureen from Plot 82 who kindly supplied some of the timber needed. 

Remember that all members of the association are welcome to post relevant items to the noticeboard. If you have items likely to be of interest to fellow members please pass them on via a member of the committee.


Mine is bigger than yours


To break with the spell of dreich weather of the last week we decided to amuse our readers with some of our members’ prowess at growing carrots.


4ft and 6in nonetheless, good effort!



Now that the long dark days are fast approaching perhaps it’s a good time to roam through your files and share your photographs with the community.  Please send your entries to “pozaicer” [at] “yahoo” dot “com”.


Pruning workshop on 23/11/2013

A professional pruning workshop has been arranged with Colin Stirling commencing 10am on Saturday 23rd November at the allotments. The workshop will be sponsored by Garthdee Field Allotments Association and is free to all our allotment holders. This will be the third time we've organised the workshop and it has proved popular. It will cover fruit bushes of all types and fruit trees both in the orchard and in your own plot. Please contact the undernoted if you are interested so that we have some idea of numbers.

On behalf of GFAA Committee,

Stuart Oram
Chairman GFAA

BBQ at the Garthdee Allotment Orchard on Sunday Oct 6th at 1pm

Hi Folks,

Just a quick reminder as you will have already seen it in the minutes:

BBQ at the Garthdee Allotment Orchard on Sunday Oct 6th at 1pm

Please bring your own food.

Please let Rupert Hunt [rupertj.hunt ‘at’] & Ruth Evans[ruth1010 ‘at’] know if you are able to bring your own barbecue.

Please also consider bringing an item for the raffle – and please tell Rupert& Ruth what you will be bringing.

Best regards,


Page 39 of 42

Powered by WordPress & Theme by Anders Norén

%d bloggers like this: