Pat at the council has been in touch with this bad news.
Dear Allotment Tenant
I am sorry to inform you that Himalayan Balsam seed may be present in the compost delivered to the allotment sites listed below.
A number of allotment tenants have advised us that they have identified seedlings growing on the compost as being Himalayan Balsam.
The compost has now been removed from all the allotment sites except King Street where the compost is being managed on site.
(For King Street Allotment tenants please do not use this compost until advised it is Himalayan Balsam free which will be when there is no new growth of annual seedlings.)
If you have used any of this compost or are an allotment tenant on one of the above sites, please be vigilant as Himalayan Balsam spreads very easily and is an non-native invasive weed.
Unfortunately, this plant is spreading everywhere especially along our river banks. You may have seen Himalayan Balsam when walking along the banks of the River Dee or the River Don. It flowers predominantly in July and August and is particularly prevalent either side of the Brig o Dee, the Persley Bridge , the Diamond Bridge, along Seaton Park and at Donmouth.
Himalayan Balsam is an annual plant and produces colourful flowers. After flowering it produces seeds for the following year and when touched the seed pod bursts and sends the seeds flying in all directions.
It is important that this plant is controlled and not allowed to produce seeds that will be next year’s plant. Perhaps the best control is to pull the plant out of the ground before the flowers are fully out and left to dry, wither and die as per the average weed. It can be hoed out or cut down too. Control requires to be carried out before the flowers are fully out which is usually just before August. The plant will be recognisable to most during June and July.
If pulled out before the flowering stage which is before the seeds are produced it can be composted. If you are unsure of the stage it would be best not to compost and just leave the pulled plants to dry and wither.
Please find attached an information sheet on Himalayan Balsam.
Further information and advice is available online using the links below or searching “Himalayan Balsam”